Can a Non-Lawyer Own a Law Firm? Debunking the Legal Myths

Can a Non-Lawyer Own a Law Firm? Yes, non-lawyers can own law firms in some states in the US.

However, in most US jurisdictions, non-lawyers cannot own law firms or share legal fees with lawyers.

Some states have modified their rules to allow non-lawyer ownership of law firms and sharing of legal fees with non-lawyers.

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Can a Non-Lawyer Own a Law Firm? Keep reading to find out | PHOTO COURTESY: Pixabay

Can A Non-lawyer Own A Law Firm

It is possible for a non-lawyer to own a law firm. Here are some ways:

  • Find an existing firm that needs partners and gets them to sponsor you.
  • Go to law school and get your license.
  • Partner up with a lawyer and be the face of the firm.
  • Start giving legal advice to people.

The American Bar Association passed a resolution in 2020 aimed at encouraging practice innovations that could increase access to civil legal services for low- and middle-income Americans, but it did not endorse an ethics rule change that would open the way for non-lawyer law firm ownership.

Arizona became the first jurisdiction outside of the District of Columbia to amend its ethics rules to permit non-lawyers to hold economic interests in law firms.

Benefits Of A Non-lawyer Ownerships of Law Firms

  • Ability to raise equity outside the legal sector.
  • Possibility for greater employee intake.
  • Encourages multidisciplinary practice.
  • Increased innovation.
  • More money.
  • Better teams.
  • New business possibilities.

Limitations Of A Non-lawyer Ownerships Of Law Firms

  • They can attract the best talent.
  • They will start to consolidate the fragmented industry.
  • Non-lawyer owners of law firms, who are not bound by legal ethic rules, may be incentivized to push for a settlement in which they have an interest in sharing fees rather than continuing litigation to obtain the best result for the client.


It is possible for a non-lawyer to own a law firm.

Some ways include finding an existing firm that needs partners and getting them to sponsor you, going to law school and getting your license, partnering up with a lawyer and being the face of the firm, or starting to give legal advice to people.

However, it is important to note that there are strict ethics rules which prohibit non-lawyers from owning a percentage, even if it is a minority stake, of a law firm in most jurisdictions.