Ethics Committee Formal Opinion #1995/96‑3

Temporary Lawyers ‑ Temporary Lawyer Placement Agency

November 8, 1995


Rule 5.4 does not expressly prohibit the leasing of lawyers from a business not engaged in the practice of law.  (Rule 5.4)

Full and adequate disclosure to existing and prospective clients must be made regarding the use of temporary lawyers in a client’s case.  (Rule 1.2(a); Rule 1.4; Rule 1.8 (f); Rule 7.1)

Any temporary lawyer‑leasing arrangement could not involve a sharing of client fees, or a sharing of profits by a law firm with a non‑lawyer.  (Rule 1.5(f); Rule 5.4(a); Rule 5.4(d))

Any temporary lawyer leasing arrangement must allow for a temporary attorney to exercise independent judgment for and on behalf of all clients.  (Rule 2.1; Rule 5.4(c); Rule 5.4(d)(3))

A temporary lawyer leasing arrangement must preserve client confidences and must avoid conflicts of interest.  (Rule 1.6; Rule 1.7)


  1. Do the ethical rules prohibit a company or agency (hereinafter “employment agency”) which employs or places licensed attorneys, law graduates and possibly law students to provide temporary legal and quasi‑legal services through these individuals to law firms and other businesses.

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