Lee Pacchia, a former Bloomberg reporter, recently founded Mimesis Law. It is a web-tv show that focuses exclusively on the business of law. Mimesis has already produced several high quality interviews that are well worth watching. I particularly enjoyed Mr. Pacchia’s interview with Mike McDevitt, the CEO for Tandem Legal Group.
Mr. Pacchia: “Do you see this rule [i.e. Washington D.C.’s Rule 5.4 which allows some degree of non-lawyer ownership] popping up in other jurisdictions around the United States?”
Mr. McDevitt: “I would hope so. I mean we have seen it open up over in the UK and it has been a tremendous success. We went gang busters right out of the gates and to my knowledge there has been no complaints from the clients about it. And that is really what the rule was about initially, protecting the clients of the law firm to ensure that they are getting the proper legal support and proper advice. I am proud to say that I am not a lawyer and that my knowledge on legal services is not that high. So, I am not going to get involved in legal decisions for our organization. My job as CEO is to help our organization run as an efficient and effective firm.”
Tandem is yet another indication that the United States is slowly warming to the idea of non-lawyer ownership. Clients are ready for the change and wherever clients go, lawyers and law firms will follow. Therefore, it is only a matter of time before other jurisdictions reconsider their version of Rule 5.4.