Looking back just one year ago, the progress in regulatory reform that is now taking place in Utah and Arizona seemed almost unimaginable. Now, both states are making history with their bold steps to reimagine law and provide access to justice for all. The Utah sandbox, established last August, has already approved nearly thirty entities, including a pilot that will allow domestic violence victim advocates to help victims fill out court forms and get ready for court. And, three alternative business structures have been greenlit so far in Arizona, including an estate planning law firm co-owned by a nonlawyer fiduciary advisor. None of these innovations would have been possible without the groundbreaking reforms passed by their state supreme courts.

As Chief Justice McCormack said in this month's inaugural Redesigning Legal panel, “There hasn’t been a moment like this in my legal career, where so much change happens so quickly and people are open to changes in the air. And it’s not just in the profession—it’s in the communities as well. . . . This is just a really important moment for us not to waste. We can’t waste what we could get done right now.” Momentum for regulatory reform is building, and it is vital that other states not take a "wait and see" approach with Utah and Arizona. They must make these changes now because justice for all is more than just a tagline
it is a necessity.
Michael Houlberg, Manager
June 2021
June 16"State Justices Stress Need for Courts to Lead the Way on Regulatory Reform" on IAALS Blog

June 15: "Conn. Judges Praise Design Thinking For Future Of Law" on Law360 Pulse

June 14: "Top jurists favor changes to model legal rules" on the ABA website

June 13: "How State 'Regulatory Sandboxes' are Laboratories for Innovation" in the National Interest

June 9: "Big Four Said to Sidestep U.S. Law Firm Competition, For Now" in Bloomberg Law

June 9: "Paraprofessionals Won’t Fix the Access to Justice Problem" in Bloomberg Law

June 3: "Nonlawyer Ownership of Law Firms: Coming to a Jurisdiction Near You?" on JD Supra

June 1:
 "Legal-tech startups are eyeing a huge opportunity in Utah, where a new regulatory 'sandbox' is letting non-lawyers practice law" i
Business Insider

May 28: "The Sandbox Grows, and So Do Outside Investors for Law Firms" in the American Lawyer

May 25: "Law Firm Deregulation Programs Gain Speed in Utah, Arizona" in Bloomberg Law

May 24: "Allowing Nonlawyers To Practice Law Would Hurt Clients and the Justice System" in the Recorder

May 18: "What Keeps Vendors Away From 'Regulatory Sandboxes'? It Starts With Timing" on Law.com

May 2021: 
"How to Empower People to Solve Their Own Legal Problems" on TED

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The past two years have seen unprecedented change to the regulation of the practice of law with major reforms implemented in Utah and Arizona. It has been my privilege to work with an extraordinary team of people endeavoring to build a new vision for legal services in the United Statesand it is thrilling to think that we might even succeed. Utah and Arizona illuminate the possible: what can happen when there is strong leadership from the state supreme court; a team built of experts across law, social science, economics, and data science; and a bar willing to reach for opportunity. I hope that everyone watching Utah and Arizona can see that opportunity and will be open to it for their own jurisdictions.
    IAALS is a national, independent research center dedicated to facilitating continuous improvement and advancing excellence in the American legal system. Our mission is to forge innovative and practical solutions to problems within the American legal system. 


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