Both the Wall Street Journal (here, behind a paywall, and quoting LEF's Stephen Gillers) and the ABA Journal (here) are reporting on lawsuits filed yesterday by Jacoby & Meyers challenging Model Rule 5.4's restrictions on nonlawyer ownership and investments in law firms. Jacoby & Meyers argues that the "system perpetuates economic inequity at every level of practice" and contends that the "ability to raise the capital necessary to pay for improvements in technology and infrastructure, and to expand its offices and hire additional personnel, is severely restricted by an out-dated Rule of Professional Conduct." The complaint raises a number of constitutional claims, including a First Amendment argument based upon freedom of speech and association. I've made a similar argument in an article forthcoming in the Ohio State Law Journal, Democratizing the Delivery of Legal Services: On the First Amendment Rights of Corporations and Individuals. A copy of the New Jersey complaint can be downloaded here.