Photo of Tom Sharbaugh

Tom Sharbaugh is currently a Professor of Practice at Penn State Law and the Director of the law school’s Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic.  He was a partner of a global law firm for many years, serving as firm-wide managing partner for his most recent 15 years with that firm.


Maybe. And if so, it would an improvement over what working and middle-class people can afford now.


Most lawyers have probably seen by now the announcement that Arizona has become the first state to permit law firms to have owners that are not lawyers.  See, e.g., Bob Ambrogi, “Arizona Is First State To Eliminate Ban On Nonlawyer Ownership Of Law Firms,” Lawsites, Aug. 31, 2020.  While much of the early commentary has focused on whether this will permit the Big Four accounting firms to encroach further into the lawyers’ protected realm of practice, this new rule is a big deal for the little guy.
Continue Reading “Everyday Low Price” for Legal Services in Arizona? (198)

Source: ABA Profile of the Legal Profession ch. 1 (2020)

Fulfilling work can be found in legal deserts.


There are numerous reports of the problems presented by the decline of the number of primary-care physicians in the United States. The overwhelming majority of med school students understandably gravitates towards the high-paying specialty residencies. The ABA’s recent “Profile of the Legal Profession 2020” report, which includes a chapter on “legal deserts,” caused me to think about the legal profession’s similar problem—the decline of the primary-care lawyer.
Continue Reading In praise of the primary-care lawyer (194)

image of man looking at watch


A timely reminder on the value of time, from my carpenter.


Large firm lawyers spend a lot of time debating the pros and cons of so-called “alternative fee arrangements,” but hourly billing is still their sweet spot.  It is much nicer to focus on the legal work than to worry about being efficient or pursuing


Public Service Announcement related to COVID-19.


The Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic (the “EAC”) of Penn State Law, based in central Pennsylvania in a startup incubator next to Penn State’s largest campus, has served over 1,000 new startup and early-stage clients in the past several years as it expanded to serve all of Pennsylvania through in-person