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RAISING ARIZONA –  For an industry that has only recently been introduced to radical concepts like “competitive pricing” and “hiring businesspeople to run the business,” Arizona’s decision allowing nonlawyers to share fees with lawyers and hold equity stakes in law firms is about as mind-blowing as it gets. And by eliminating Rule 5.4, the Grand Canyon State has vaulted itself to the forefront of a movement to revolutionize the U.S. legal industry. Now the only question is: how far will the revolution go? Consumer-focused legal businesses seem to be the most logical starting point for taking advantage of Arizona’s reforms, but, as Dan Packel reports, attorneys who serve commercial clients are also paying close attention. “Lawyers have enjoyed a monopoly on the provision of legal services as long as the profession has existed in the U.S,” said James Goodnow, managing partner of Arizona-based Fennemore Craig. “This lack of competition has bred complacency in far too many law firms across the country. Although the broader business world has evolved with break-neck speed, too many law firms have been inching along at a snail’s pace.”

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