SJ Quinney College of Law, University of Utah

Utah OnLaw: The Utah Law Review Online Supplement


The practice of law has changed and, in the words of Yogi Berra, “[t]he future ain’t what it used to be.” Not too long ago, lawyers were the sole source from which nonlawyers could access legal information and services. With a strong economy and a demand for legal services, legal practices were growing. All indicators seemed to point to the continuation of a strong legal market.

However, the practice of law has evolved. The line between professions has blurred, the economy has changed, and technological advances have resulted in greater public access to legal information. Public perception of the legal profession has continued to decline with many (including small business owners and the middle class) who are now unable to afford the legal services lawyers provide. The story does not end there. There are also growing numbers of lawyers (mostly new graduates) that are either unemployed or underemployed. The combination of these changes has affected the current legal market, and there is disagreement on how to move through this transitional period. While there is a true challenge facing the profession, there seem to be many voices and many perspectives on how to respond. Law schools seem to think it is about changing law schools; bar associations think it is about creating new programs; and nonlawyers and perhaps even some lawmakers think that market forces will be the answer. Regardless of your voice and perspective, we remain firm that lawyers of the Utah State Bar can work together with others to provide a solution for the future of the practice of law within the state of Utah.