I could fill a few blog posts with the differences between the legal professions in England and Wales and in the US.
However, there is one striking similarity. Both are currently being shaped through the prism of competition law. In the US the impact of the Supreme Court decision in relation to Teeth Whitening in North Carolina is causing many state bar associations to take a more cautious approach to new entrants as the article linked below makes clear. Here in England the Competition and Markets Authority has just announced it is investigating the legal market (here).
All of this is the logical conclusion from the now mainstream view that law is just like any other provider of services and the market has to work efficiently. This raises huge issues around where the public interest lies in relation to, amongst other issues, duties to the court, professional standards and legal professional privilege. These debates are looming and who knows what will happen.
While many other professions leverage innovation, LegalZoom and other legal technology services have faced resistance by bar associations across the country. From recent lawsuits in Ohio and Missouri to settlements in California and South Carolina on top of countless other legal challenges, LegalZoom has held their ground but still has yet to be embraced across the board. Last June, LegalZoom even sued the North Carolina bar over whether its business really constitutes unauthorized legal services. As part of the settlement, the two are now working together, with the NC bar signing off on LegalZoom’s template and the NC bar supporting a redefinition of UPL. Legal Ethics Free-For-All