This blog post provides a refreshing discussion about why the England/Wales "Alternative Business Structure" system is not the same as the U.S. legal market and why eliminating the no-outside-ownership-of-law-firms prohibition is long overdue in the U.S. Those states that are dismantling this antiquated barrier are doing so slowly, carefully and with oversight. Furthermore, the benefits to the public far outweigh the decades-old arguments in opposition. And as we all know, while bringing about change (particularly in an industry painfully content to remain in "same old" land) is difficult and rarely perfect on the first try, nothing will progress without taking the first step.
Ultimately, nontraditional entities will be regulated differently, and, unlike other jurisdictions, new alternative legal service providers in Utah and Arizona will actually be subject to ethical oversight. What Arizona and Utah are implementing, and what is being considered now elsewhere, is removal of absolute prohibitions against economic arrangements between lawyers and nonlawyers, which have the effect of discouraging multidisciplinary collaborations, holistic practice, and innovation in legal services delivery.