Research Library

Regulating legal services by non-lawyers

Regulation of providers of legal services is needed for many reasons, including to widen access, protect consumers, and to support the legal system. The advent and emergence of non-lawyers delivering legal services via technology directly to the public creates ethical and regulatory challenges and risks in protecting consumers of legal services.  


Author(s): Felicity Bell and Justine Rogers

This title explores the interaction between the delivery of legal services and advice by lawyers and non-lawyers delivering legal services using emerging legal technology (including Artificial Intelligence) and bringing these new non-lawyer legal services into to the regulatory fold.  

For the purposes of this title, non-lawyers are coders and software engineers, entrepreneurs, industry experts and non-practising lawyers. 

The title explores: 

  • the emergence of non-lawyer legal services  
  • the regulatory regime for lawyers, what regulators do and how (regulatory goals) 
  • risks and opportunities associated with non-lawyer legal services provided directly to the public (in particular, the risks to consumers of these services)  
  • redress mechanisms available for clients of legal services compared to non-lawyer services, and 
  • regulatory approaches including continuation of the current regulatory approach, or new approaches (passive or active) to regulate these services. 

The title concludes that the regulatory landscape presents complexities in determining the regulatory approach, including whether lawyers and non-lawyers should be regulated to similar degrees. 

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