Three Notable Updates on Non-Lawyers Providing Legal Assistance, by Robert Ambrogi, Law Sites Blog (with hat tip to William Statsky!)
In the January 2015 issue of the ABA Journal, I had an article about Washington state’s limited license legal technician (LLLT) program, which will formally license non-lawyers to deliver legal services in limited circumstances independently, without a lawyer’s supervision. The article also discussed New York’s program of court navigators and reported on other states considering programs similar to Washington’s, including California and Oregon. Since that article came out, there have been three notable developments.
Oregon Task Force Calls for Legal Technicians
In the ABA Journal piece, I noted that the Oregon State Bar had convened a Task Force on limited license legal technicians in 2013 and that its final report was expected soon. On Feb. 13, the Task Force issued its report. In it, the Task Force recommended to the OSB’s board of governors ‘that is consider the general concept of a limited license for legal technicians as one component of the BOG’s overall strategy for increasing access to justice.’ The report noted that a large majority of the Task Force members — but not all of them — concurred in the recommendation.
Should the Board decide to proceed with this concept, the Task Force recommends a new Board or Task Force be established to develop the detailed framework of the program. For the reasons set out herein, the BOG should review the recently established Washington State Bar Association LLLT program and consider it as a potential model.
The report praised the Washington LLLT program as ‘comprehensive and well thought-out’ and urged the OSB, should it decide to proceed with a legal technician program, to ‘review, consider and learn from Washington’s program.’
The Task Force further recommended that the first area to be licensed be family law, including guardianship. . . .