It has become increasingly common to find jurisdictions adopting an explicit and succinct statement of the goals they are trying to achieve when they regulate lawyers. The first example was the 2007 UK Legal Services Act, which set forth the regulatory objectives that the Act — and its implementation — should achieve. The form that such adoption takes depends on the jurisdiction’s system of lawyer regulation. Thus, in the U.S., it likely would be a state’s high court and not the legislature or a law society that would adopt regulatory objectives,

This article explains why the author recommends that jurisdictions develop regulatory objectives. Explicitly articulating goals should lead to greater public understanding of our system of lawyer regulation, make it less likely that any particular regulation will be motivated by an improper purpose (such as lawyer self-interest), and make it easier for those who regulate lawyers to respond to claims that regulation of lawyers is motivated purely by lawyer self-interest.

This article argues for an adoption process that is transparent and that encourages meaningful input from a wide variety of stakeholders. It urges US states to jump on the regulatory objectives bandwagon and to begin the process of developing objectives suitable for their respective jurisdictions.

Terry, Laurel S., Why Your Jurisdiction Should Consider Jumping on the Regulatory Objectives Bandwagon (2013). 22(1) Prof. Lawyer 1 (2013). Read the article at SSRN.