A momentary pause in my vacation to bring you the latest installment of the showdown in Texas between the “haves” (a JD) and have nots (“non-lawyer” professionals). In his must-read post, Texas Scold ‘Em, RyanMcClead responds to Chrysta Castañeda‘s article from Texas Law Book entitled Get Wall Street Out of the Practice
Under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, a Texas law firm may not use “officer” or “principal” in the job titles for non-lawyer employees of the firm.
The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct also prohibit a Texas law firm from paying or agreeing to pay specified bonuses to non-lawyer employees contingent upon the firm’s achieving a specified level of revenue or profit. A Texas law firm may, however, consider its revenue, expenses, and profit in determining whether to pay bonuses to non-lawyer employees and the amount of such bonuses.
What is the problem that the Texas Center for Legal Ethics is attempting to correct?
While most likely a plaintiff’s firm or SEO marketing company pissed somebody off, the following questions posed could apply to any corporate law firm:
1. May a Texas law firm include the terms “officer” or “principal” in the job titles of the firm’s non-lawyer employees?
2. May a Texas law firm pay or agree to pay specified bonuses to non-lawyer employees contingent upon the firm’s achieving a specified amount of revenue or profit?
In other words, let’s just prevent a law firm from, gasp, attempting to act like a business.Continue Reading Dammit. We’re a BUSINESS, Texas Center for Legal Ethics, not just a profession