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Unauthorized Practice of Law and Multidisciplinary Practice

Unauthorized Practice of Law and Multidisciplinary PracticeWebinar
Product Code - LGN280
Speaker(s): Thomas E. Spahn, McGuireWoods LLP
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This program will first address unauthorized practice of law issues, including which governmental branch defines the practice of law and enforces unauthorized practice of law restrictions; what is the definition of "practicing law" and what exceptions apply; whether self-help books and online services such as LegalZoom® constitute the "practice of law"; where the line is drawn between permissible and impermissible actions by paralegals; what activities can disbarred or suspended lawyers engage in without violating the law; whether lawyers should be allowed to employ or partner with non-lawyers in providing legal services or non-legal services; and whether non-lawyers should be allowed to own a minority or majority interest in a law firm.

Next, the program will cover multidisciplinary practice principles, including the effect of lawyers practicing law in states where they are not licensed; the permissibility of lawyers giving advice about the law of states where they are not licensed; the ability to practice "virtually" in other states; litigators' ability to be admitted in another state's courts; the permissible temporary practice by lawyers in states where they are not licensed, in both the litigation and the transactional context; the rules governing lawyers moving permanently to another state; the ability of lawyers not licensed in the state where they practice to represent clients before federal agencies, in federal court and in matters involving federal law; limitations on in-house lawyers practicing in states where they are not licensed; and the ability of foreign lawyers to practice in the U.S.

Educational Objectives:

• Understand the difficulty of defining the "practice of the law."

• Learn what actions paralegals can and cannot undertake.

• Find out about lawyers' ability to temporarily practice in states where they are not licensed, either after being admitted pro hac vice or by engaging in other activities.

• Discover new trends in the rules governing lawyers moving permanently to states where they are not licensed.

• Understand lawyers' ability to practice "federal" law in states where they are not licensed.

• Learn what the future holds for foreign lawyers practicing in the United States.

Who would benefit most from attending this program?

• Attorneys noticing that the legal profession is being eroded by non-lawyer online services and others engaging in activities that most lawyers consider to be the "practice of law." Lawyers need to understand these trends.

• Lawyers who work with paralegals and need to know what actions the paralegals can and cannot undertake.

• Lawyers who may not have a completely in-state practice and who need to understand the rules governing their temporary physical or even "virtual" presence in states where they are not licensed. Given lawyers' increasing mobility, many lawyers might also want to learn about the new trends governing their moving permanently to another state without taking the bar exam.

Program Level: Basic-Intermediate.
Prerequisite: A general knowledge of professional responsibility.
CPE Delivery Method: Group Internet-Based Live
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge and Applications
Recommended CPE Credit: 1.5 credits
Anticipated CLE Credit: 1.5 credits (may vary based on from which jurisdiction requested)
Anticipated Ethics Credit: 1.5 credits (pending)

For additional information, please see the “CE Credit” tab.

Thomas E. Spahn, McGuireWoods LLP

Thomas E. Spahn, McGuireWoods LLP
Tom Spahn practices as a commercial litigator with McGuireWoods in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Mr. Spahn was selected as the 2013 metro-Washington, D.C. "Lawyer of the Year" for "Bet the Company Litigation" by The Best Lawyers in America. He has served on the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and is a Member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Mr. Spahn has written extensively on the attorney-client privilege, ethics and other topics, and he has spoken at more than 1,200 CLE programs throughout the U.S. and in several foreign countries. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and earned a J.D. from Yale Law School. Mr. Spahn in licensed to practice in Virginia.

This program’s CLE-credit eligibility varies by state. Bloomberg BNA is an accredited provider in the states of New York*, California, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, and most other jurisdictions grant CLE credit on a per-program basis. At this time, Bloomberg BNA does not apply directly to the states of Florida, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware and Hawaii although credit is usually available for attorneys who wish to apply individually. Additionally, the following states currently do not grant credit for Bloomberg BNA OnDemand programming: Arkansas, Ohio, Nebraska and Delaware. All requests are subject to approval once the live webinar has taken place or the customer has viewed the OnDemand version. Please allow up to four to eight weeks for CLE processing. Contact the Bloomberg BNA accreditations desk if you have specific questions that have not been addressed.

*Bloomberg BNA is an accredited provider in New York for experienced attorneys only.

Hardship Policy
For information regarding Bloomberg BNA’s Hardship Policy, please visit the Continuing Education Information page.

Individual programs, subjects, and formats may not receive credit in some states and there may be specific rules regarding who may earn credit or the maximum number of credit hours that may be earned with specific formats. For specific questions, contact your state MCLE regulatory entity for specific questions about your MCLE rules or visit the American Bar Association’s website for general information on accreditation.

If you have further questions regarding a specific state or how to file for CE credit, please contact Bloomberg BNA customer service at 800-372-1033 and ask to speak to the CLE Accreditation Coordinator or send an email to