The New Jersey Supreme Court has adopted a rule supported by Responsive Law that will allow lawyers to practice in New Jersey without a physical office in the state. The rule could increase New Jerseyans' options in choosing a lawyer. For example, a person in Hoboken will now be able to choose from New Jersey-licensed lawyers located just across the Hudson River in New York City, and a person in Cherry Hill will now be able to choose from lawyers located just across the Delaware River in Philadelphia. New Jerseyans could also see the cost of a lawyer decrease due to the reduction in overhead for lawyers by not requiring them to maintain a full-time, fully-staffed office.
The rule maintains standards for lawyer responsiveness to clients, including a requirement that lawyers designate a location for inspection of documents by state regulators, and a requirement of prompt return of client calls, whether through voicemail, a third-party operator, or other means.
You can read our testimony to the New Jersey Supreme Court, which contains a more detailed description of the benefits of this rule. The rule takes effect on February 1, 2013.