Washington Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Research Guide
Updated Aug. 20, 2015.
Prepared by Anna L. Endter; updated by AJ Blechner (2014).
This research guide provides links to resources and materials related to Washington State’s Limited License Legal Technician Rule (APR 28). This guide will be updated as additional resources become available.
For information about developments in other states, see the Gallagher guide on State Activities Related to Limited License Legal Professionals.
On June 15, 2012, Washington became the first state to adopt a Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Rule (APR 28). The new LLLT rule authorizes non-attorneys who meet certain educational requirements to advise and assist clients in approved practice areas of law.
The purpose of the new LLLT rule is to increase access to legal services, particularly in certain practice areas with high demand. The first identified high-demand practice area is family law. The University of Washington School of Law will begin offering a Family Law Course Curriculum during the 2013-14 school year.
As noted above, the Washington Supreme Court adopted the new LLLT rule on June 15, 2012. The effective date of the order was September 1, 2012. You can access that Order here:
- Supreme Court Order in the Matter of the Adoption of New APR 28-Limited Practice Rule for Limited License Legal Technicians
On July 10, 2013, the Washington Supreme Court approved education amendments to the LLLT rule and adopted Regulation 4 to Appendix APR 28 (limited time waiver):
On July 18, 2013, the Washington State Bar Association LLLT Board submitted proposed Regulations 1-12 to Appendix APR 28 to the Washington Supreme Court. The regulations "set forth the scope of practice for LLLTs licensed in domestic relations; core and practice area education requirements; application procedures; examination standards; requirements regarding substantive law-related experience, financial responsibility, and annual license fees; and the Oath for Limited License Legal Technicians. Regulation 4: Limited Time Waiver was previously approved by the Court as noted above, so the text is not included with the suggested regulations. The Board is further reserving Regulation 7 for character and fitness procedures."
The Washington Supreme Court adopted these proposed regulations on August 8, 2013. The Order is available here.
Admission to Practice Rules, Wa. R. Admis. Apr. 1 (effective Jan. 1, 2014).
Filings in Family Law and Non-Marital Relationships, Okanogan County Local Rules LSPR 94.04.01 (Sept. 2, 2013).
Several additional regulations were adopted recently.
- 13-21-099 Wash. Reg. (Oct. 18, 2013) (adopted Nov. 6, 2013).
- 13-17-020 Wash. Reg. (Aug. 8, 2013) (adopted Sept. 4, 2013).
- 13-15-055 Wash. Reg. (Jul. 12, 2013) (adopted Aug. 7, 2013).
- 13-15-057 Wash. Reg. (Jul. 10, 2013) (adopted Aug. 7, 2013).
- 12-15-036 Wash. Reg. (Jul. 11, 2012) (adopted Jul. 11, 2012).
On March 23, 2015, the Supreme Court issued an order adopting changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers to coordinate those rules with the LLLT Rules of Professional Conduct.
Discussion of Limited License Legal Technicians also appear in the following Washington State Register sections:
- 13-11-049 Wash Reg. (May 10, 2013) (regarding proposed Rule 12.4 on Access to Bar Association Records).
- 12-13-063 Wash. Reg. (June 15, 2012) (regarding printing and publication of the Limited License Legal Technician Materials).
The Washington State Bar Association maintains an informative webpage about Limited License Legal Technicians, which includes a history of the adoption of the LLLT rule and provides current status updates about the rule (amendments, regulations, etc.).
The WSBA states that its “role is to maintain the high standards set for the legal profession while serving as the regulators of this new rule. The goal is to ensure quality implementation aimed at supporting WSBA members and upholding protection of the public…This rule provides Washington the opportunity to lead the nation in expanding legal services for the people of our state.”
WSBA staff have assembled a collection of materials concerning the history and development of the Limited License Legal Technician Rule. These materials were developed in anticipation of a Town Hall Meeting on February 2012. On November 19th, 2013 from 12:00 pm -1:00 pm Stephen R. Crossland & Thea Jennings hosted a Webcast regarding the Limited License Legal Technician Program through the Washington State Bar Association CLE Program.
The Limited License Legal Technician Board derives its authority from the Washington State Supreme Court under APR 28. The Board's charter for the first year is to begin creating and drafting the operational details for the LLLT program, including regulations for professional conduct, exam procedures, continuing education requirements, and disciplinary procedures. The Limited License Legal Technician Board is currently seeking volunteers to form a Family Law Exam Advisory Workgroup.
The WSBA Board of Governors has also discussed the LLLT rule and program.
2012-2013 Minutes; all mention the new LLLT rule and/or program
- November 2012
- January 2013
- March 2013
- April 2013
- May 2013
- July 2013
- September 2013
- November 2013
- January 2014
- March 2014
Terry J. Price, Limited License Legal Technicians: Educational Issues on the Road to a Brave New Legal World, Paralegal Today, 2016 Q1, at 1-4.
Is There a Case for Bringing LLLTs into a Firm? Does It Make Good Business Sense, NW Law., Nov. 2015, at 20 ("A Discussion by Jerry Moberg & Greg McLawsen).
Ellen Conedera Dial, Supreme Court Adopts Changes to Rules of Professional Conduct to Recognize Limited License Legal Technicians, NW Lawyer, June 2015, at 20.
Robert Ambrogi, Who Says You Need a Law Degree to Practice Law?, Washington Post - Opinions, March 13, 2015.
Robert Ambrogi, Authorized Practice: Washington State Moves Around UPL, Using Legal Technicians to Help Close the Justice Gap, ABA J., Jan. 2015, at 72-79.
David B. Mendoza, Caution on the Road to Limited License Legal Technicians, NW Sidebar, June 19, 2014.
Stephen Crossland, Progress Update: Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Program, NW Sidebar, June 18, 2014.
Paris Achen, Clark College Program Trains Non-Lawyers to Give Legal Advice, The Columbian, June 8, 2014.
Port Townsend Chapter of American Association of University Women Awards 17 Scholarships, Peninsula Daily News, May 28, 2014.
Rachel Payne, Opportunity Knocks with New Option for TCC Paralegal Students, The Suburban Times, May 11, 2014.
Richard Zorza, Progress in Three States on Non-Lawyer Access, Access to Justice Blog, Apr. 4, 2014.
Debbie Cafazzo, Tacoma Community College Will Offer New Legal Tech Training, Tacoma News Tribune, Mar. 27, 2014.
New York's Top Judge on Non-Lawyer Legal Assistance, SBM Blog, Mar. 13, 2014.
Limited License Legal Technician, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Mar. 2014.
Richard Grant, Two ABA Presidents to Weigh In on Future of Legal Education, eLawyering Blog, Feb. 19, 2014.
Structure of Profession Presents Obstacles to Resolving Justice Gap, Panelists Say, ABA News Archive, Feb. 10, 2014.
Katherine C. Pearson, Elder Law & the Future: What Role for ‘Limited License Legal Technicians?’, Law Professor Blogs Network, Feb. 6, 2014.
Paul Paton, The Ball Is Rolling, Lexpert, Feb. 2014.
Frank H. Wu, Cutting Law Schools, The Huffington Post (Nov. 10, 2013).
Ferd. H. Mitchell, Changes in Washington Practice (#1) / Status Report on the New Legal Technician Program, Legal Solutions Blog, Nov. 7, 2013.
Frank H. Wu, My Father's Will: What Lawyers Must Respond To, The Huffington Post, Oct. 31, 2013.
See generally, Dan Lear, Patient Report: Patient "Law School" Needs Financial Therapy and Rehab, Not Amputation, NWSidebar, Oct. 30, 2013 (listing LLLT programs as part of a three-step plan to save legal education without eliminating the third year of law school).
Merrilyn Astin Tarlton, The LLLT and the Power of Positive Thinking, Attorney at Work, Oct. 1, 2013.
Paula Littlewood, Rethinking Legal Education in a Changing Legal Profession, Bar Notes, 1-4, Oct. 2013.
Dan Kittay, An Inside Look at Limited Practice for Nonlawyers In Washington and Other States, 38 Bar Leader, no. 1, Sept.-Oct. 2013.
Carolyn Elefant, Future Fridays: Will Limited Licensed Technicians Kill Solos Smalls?, My Shingle (Sept. 27, 2013).
Tamar Lewin, Task Force Backs Changes in Legal Education System, NY Times, Sept. 20, 2013 (In the interest of completeness this article is included. However, this article purports to discuss the success of Washington's program and the program has not yet been implemented. Therefore, any assessment of success is premature).
Paula Littlewood, Legal Education Facing a Wave of Change, Bar Notes, 9-10, Sept. 2013.
University of La Verne Legal Studies Department, Update: Washington Limited License Legal Technician Applications, Legal Studies Weblog, Aug. 27, 2013.
Dick Clever, Law: Washington Breaks New Ground by Allowing Legal Techs, Puget Sound Business Journal, Aug. 23, 2013.
University of La Verne Legal Studies Department, The Next Big Thing: Limited License Legal Technician, Legal Studies Weblog, Jul. 18, 2013.
Chief Justice Barbara Madsen & Stephen Crossland, The Limited License Legal Technician: Making Justice More Accessible, NWLawyer, Apr.-May 2013, at 23.
SHG, Washington State Leads The Way To Affordable Legal Services, Simple Justice, Feb. 16, 2013.
Josh Camson, Washington: Quasi-Lawyers Can Provide Greater Access to Legal Services, Lawyerist, Feb. 16, 2013.
Ethan Bronner, A Call for Drastic Changes in Educating New Lawyers, N.Y. Times, Feb. 10, 2013 (addressing changes to the legal education and discussion of the Washington State program by the ABA Task Force).
Julie Shankland, Court Passes Limited License Legal Technician Rule, Wash. St. B. News, Aug. 2012, at 35.
Correy Stephenson, State Approves 'Legal Technicians' for Civil Courts, Lawyers USA, Jul. 13, 2012. [UW Access]
Debra Cassens Weiss, In Washington State, ‘Legal Technicians’ Will Be Allowed to Help Civil Litigants, ABA Journal, June 19, 2012
Supreme Court Adopts Rule Authorizing Non-Lawyers to Assist in Certain Legal Matters (June 15, 2012), Washington State Supreme Court Press Release.
Richard Zorza, Important Step Forward with Washington State Legal Technician Rule, Access to Justice Blog, June 19, 2012.
Limited License Practitioner Town Hall (Feb. 23, 2012, YouTube Video)
Supreme Court Adopts Limited License Legal Technician Rule, WSBA Press Release