Monday, July 8, 2013

Bush on Unauthorized Practice of Law in U.S. Economic History

Michael Bush, West Virginia University, has posted From the Great Depression to the Great Recession: (Non-)Lawyers Practicing Law, which is to appear in West Virginia Law Review 115 (2013).  Here is the abstract
In most American jurisdictions, a practitioner of legal services must have a license to practice law. However, history illustrates that economic recessions increase demand to deregulate the legal profession and allow non-lawyers to provide legal services. This article is a defense of licensing requirements for legal services, because the rule of law is too important to a civilized democracy to let it be undermined by quick judgments in the shadows of bad economies. Ultimately, legal services will be governed- by courts, legislatures, a licensed bar, or the free market. However, due to the critical nature of the rule of law in our society, the licensed bar which is bound by ethical duties and minimum competencies, is in the best position to regulate.