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Should Non-Lawyers Be Permitted to Own Law Firms?

Should Non-Lawyers Be Permitted to Own Law Firms?
Wednesday, May 24, 2023 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Online registration is now closed. Please call Customer relations at 212 382 6663 to register or for assistance.

Format: In-Person

Program Fee:
Free for Members and Non-Lawyers | $15 for Non-Member Lawyers
Non-Lawyers please call Customer Service at 212-382-6663 to register.

Under current New York Rules of Professional Conduct, only lawyers can own law practices. However, some lawyers (and many non-lawyers) favor amending the Rules (and certain New York State statutes) to permit partial or total non-lawyer ownership, and three U.S. jurisdictions (D.C., Utah, and Arizona) permit non-lawyers to own law firms or to be partners in law firms under certain conditions. The debate proponents and opponents – four lawyers who have thought about non-lawyer ownership for years – will engage in a vigorous and rigorous debate regarding the benefits and risks of permitting non-lawyers to own law firms. The debaters will delve into ethical considerations, practical concerns, and the experiences of other jurisdictions that allow various forms of non-attorney ownership. Our goal is that, by the end of the debate, everyone will better understand the key issues surrounding a question that has persisted for decades and is likely to persist for many years to come.

Professor Roy Simon, Author, Simon’s New York Rules of Professional Conduct Annotated

Arguing Pro:
Anthony E. Davis, Of Counsel, Clyde & Co.
Jennifer Paradise, General Counsel, White & Case

Arguing Con:
Stephen P. Younger, Partner, Nixon Peabody; former President, New York State Bar Association
Richard C. Lewis, Special Counsel, Hinman, Howard & Katell; President-Elect, New York State Bar Association

Sponsoring Committee:
Professional Responsibility, Aegis J. Frumento, Chair

Co-Sponsoring Committee:
Council on the Profession, Mary Lu Bilek and Melissa Colon-Bosolet, Co-chairs

New York City Bar Association 42 West 44th Street New York, NY 10036

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