Alternative Business Structures
Alternative Business Structures, or ABSs, are business entities that provide legal services and have nonlawyer ownership, managers or decision-makers in the business. Nonlawyers can have economic ownership in the business, but only lawyers and other individuals licensed or certified by the Arizona Supreme Court may provide legal services. At least one lawyer licensed to practice law in Arizona must be appointed by the ABS to serve as its compliance lawyer. All ABSs must be licensed by the Arizona Supreme Court.
More information regarding Alternative Business Structures is available on the Arizona Supreme Court website.
Legal Paraprofessionals, or LPs, are professionals with specific education and experience licensed to provide legal services in limited practice areas. LPs must be licensed by the Arizona Supreme Court. An LP is often compared to a nurse practitioner in the medical field. An LPs areas of practice include family law, limited jurisdiction civil cases, limited jurisdiction criminal cases where no jail time is involved, and state administrative law if the administrative agency allows it. LP services may include drafting, signing and filing legal documents; providing advice, opinions, or recommendations about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options or strategies; appearing before a court or tribunal; and negotiating on behalf of a client.
More information regarding Legal Paraprofessionals is available on the Arizona Supreme Court website.
Disputes with an ABS or LP
With limited exceptions, both ABSs and LPs are subject to the Arizona Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct, including Rule 42 of the Arizona Rules of the Supreme Court. LPs also are subject to the Arizona Code of Judicial Administration Code of Conduct for LPs, as laid out in ACJA § 7-210(J). Complaints regarding ABSs and LPs are taken, investigated and prosecuted by the State Bar of Arizona in the same manner as complaints against lawyers. The process for making complaints regarding an LP or an ABS is the same as making a complaint regarding a lawyer. For further information regarding disputes or concerns regarding an ABS or LP, please visit our page regarding DISPUTES WITH LAWYERS.