Non-Lawyer-Owned Alternative Legal Service Provider Receives Arizona Approval to Integrate with Law Firm

Access to justice

Non-Lawyer-Owned Alternative Legal Service Provider Receives Arizona Approval to Integrate with Law Firm

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Elevate, a non-lawyer alternative legal services provider, has been licensed to operate in Arizona in tandem with an integrated law firm, the company announced Thursday.

According to the company’s application for a license as an alternative business structure known as ElevateNext, the entity said it would focus on assisting customers with general business issues and has received approval from the Arizona Supreme Court late last year.

Elevate officials said its combined business is poised to help clients who have legal practice needs in addition to technology and other consulting service needs.

“Our clients come to us for help with issues that typically require some element of legal advice, but are best resolved by integrating that expertise with legal operations, technology and large-scale services,” said said Nicole Auerbach, vice president of Elevate who leads ElevateNext, in a report. “Elevate clients now have the choice they previously lacked: to use one firm for all ‘running the business’ work that requires practicing attorneys at the helm or in the mix.”

Liam Brown, president and CEO of Elevate, said in a statement that companies like his don’t compete with traditional law firms.

“Law firms work with Elevate as a strategic partner to provide their clients with an effective alternative to the Big Four, which have ramped up their legal services in recent years to compete with law firms,” Brown said, referring to major accounting firms.

There has been speculation that members of the Big Four accounting firms may seek to gain traction in the legal industry by becoming alternative business structures, but this has yet to materialize.

In 2020, Arizona became the first state to eliminate Rule 5.4 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits non-lawyers from having an economic interest in a law firm or participating in the sharing of lawyer’s fees.

The state has allowed alternative business structures since last year and 17 applications have been approved, according to Arizona Supreme Court spokesman Aaron Nash.

Among the applications approved was one filed by LegalZoom to operate as LZ Legal Services.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “First law firm entirely owned by non-lawyers opens in Utah”

ABAJournal.com: “Cusing Access to Justice, Arizona Moved to Adopt Controversial Alternative Business Structures”

ABAJournal.com: “Deloitte monitors regulatory reforms but focuses on developing new practices”

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