"Less expensive equates to better client service?"
That wasn't my point. What I wrote was that more competition is likely to lead to better client service and that legal services need to be provided at a price the public is willing to pay. If lawyers price their services too high (which is often a result of inefficiencies in the way legal services are provided), fewer people are going to use the services -- or someone else is going to provide the services clients want at a better price.
The legal profession in general has been slow to adopt changes needed to provide services more efficiently or in innovative ways that better meet the needs of the client. I believe that situation has to change. The lawyers and law firms (and alternative service providers in some cases) that can figure out how to provide the services clients want at prices that reflect the value of those services to the client are going to succeed in the future. In some cases that should mean that lawyers can actually charge more because they are providing better client service by adopting new ways of doing business.
But we need to realize that it's not always going to be lawyers and law firms that are going to deliver services that we traditionally have viewed as "legal" services. The Internet is going to empower clients looking for "legal" services just as it has in many other areas. Clients are going to vote with their dollars and decide who is best positioned to provide the services they want at a fair price. The primary point I was trying to make is that we need to figure out how to adapt to the changes that are going to come - and the Wisconsin State Bar Association's President's column did nothing to address this important issue.
To be clear, I have no problem with the bar association working to protect the public from harm, and clearly there are examples where UPL has harmed the public. My concern (apparently shared by the Wisconsin Supreme Court*) is that a crackdown on UPL not be used as a pretense to restrict competition that, if allowed to flourish, would actually be good for the public.
* From Inside the Bar, Feb. 2006: "In response to a 2003 State Bar petition, the supreme court asked the State Bar to collect evidence of instances in which the UPL harmed members of the public, thus demonstrating that the lack of a definition of the practice of law is detrimental to the public interest."