coffee-break-1177540_1280.jpgMy research into the more than 50 year history of the legal plan was assisted by a comprehensive 2014 law journal article by Jeremy Tomes, titled “The Emergence of Group and Prepaid Legal Services: Embracing a New Reality.” Tomes’ paper outlines the “tortured history” of the legal plans that started in the early 1960s as a response to the access to the justice problem. After battling ethical concerns, the plans benefited from the new model ethics rules in the late 1970s and grew from trade union into group and prepaid plans via employee benefits enjoyed today by some 20-40% of Americans. Unfortunately, the fight against the unauthorized practice of law was battled out, mainly by Legal Zoom, in most states to allow for the web-based, self-service, automated documents required to make the legal plan economical.

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