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Small Firm Survey on Potential Non-Lawyer Ownership of Law Firms (www.nysba.org/NLOSurvey)

Dear Lucas:

In 2000, NYSBA's House of Delegates passed a resolution opposing any form of non-lawyer ownership of law firms.  Recently, the American Bar Association's Commission on Ethics 20/20 proposed to amend the Rules of Professional Conduct in order to permit a limited form of non-lawyer ownership of law firms. In response, I created a Task Force to consider this proposal. Before deciding on how to respond, the Task Force would like to hear the views of NYSBA members through this survey . The survey should only take a couple of minutes to complete, and we would appreciate your response by COB on Friday, March 16th.

Under the ABA proposal, non-lawyer owners would be able to hold a non-controlling equity interest in a law firm.  The law firm would only be able to offer legal services.  The non-lawyer owners would need to be active in the firm by providing services that support the delivery of legal services by the firm's lawyers. Any non-lawyer owners would need to agree to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the Rules of Professional Conduct, and the lawyer owners would be responsible for ensuring that the non-lawyers were of good character and comply with the Rules.

The link to the Ethics 20/20 proposal is:

The link to the survey is:


Vincent E. Doyle III, President