The easing rules around law firm ownership has made significant progress in countries like the United Kingdom. But the “Multinational & Multidisciplinary Approaches to Innovation in Legal Services: Has Innovation Improved the Delivery of Legal Services” panel held Wednesday during the Association of Corporate Counsel’s 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting indicated that similar progress in the U.S. would remain slow-going. 

To be sure, jurisdictions such as Washington D.C., Arizona, Utah and New Mexico all make limited allowances for nonlawyer ownership of law firms in an effort to spur innovation and improve access to legal services. Panelist Victoria Sahani, associate dean of special projects and professor of law at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, believes that progress will likely continue one state at a time.