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Should the US Eliminate Entry Barriers to the Practice of Law? Perspectives Shaped by Industry Deregulation

Clifford Winston () and Quentin Karpilow

American Economic Review, 2016, vol. 106, issue 5, 171-76

Abstract: States' requirements that lawyers obtain a license to practice law, as well as American Bar Association (ABA) regulations of legal practice, constitute barriers to entry to the legal profession. In this paper, we argue that eliminating entry barriers in legal services would generate benefits that are similar to those resulting from deregulating U.S. network industries (i.e., transportation, communications, and energy.) Specifically, prices would fall as competition from incumbent firms and new entrants intensifies; in the long run, competitive forces and operating freedom would incentivize firms to produce innovations that significantly benefit consumers and the broader economy.

JEL-codes: J44 K40 L84 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20161001
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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:5:p:171-76