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State Activities Related to Limited License Legal Professionals

Updated June 21, 2014.
Prepared by Anna L. Endter; updated by AJ Blechner.

On September 1, 2012, Washington became the first state ever 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.  See the Gallagher guide on Washington Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Research Guide for information about Washington State’s approach.

Other states are considering enacting similar limited license and limited practice rules that would allow non-attorney legal professionals to represent clients. This research guide provides links to limited license resources and materials in these states. This guide will be updated as additional resources become available.


California

The State Bar of California

Limited License Working Group

The Limited License Working Group was created on March 6, 2013 as a subcommittee of the Board Committee on Regulation, Admissions and Discipline Oversight. The charge of the working group is to explore, research and report back to the Regulation, Admissions and Discipline Oversight Committee regarding the feasibility of developing and implementing standards for creating a limited license to practice law and/or the licensing of legal technicians, for those not fully admitted to the State Bar as attorneys. Such a license, if the Board of Trustees wishes to pursue it, would enable certified individuals to provide limited, discrete legal services to consumers in defined legal subject matter areas.

News & Other Resources

President’s Message, California Alliance of Paralegal Associations, (2014).  

Joan M. Douglas-Fry, Congratulations to Joan M. Douglas-Fry, Recipient of the 2013 San Francisco Paralegal Association Scholarship, San Francisco Paralegal Association, Oct. 27, 2013.

Laura Ernde, Panel Gives Nod to Limited License Idea, Cal. B.J., July 2013.

Gilien Silsby, Making Justice More Accessible, USC Gould School of Law, June 17, 2013.

Working Group Recommendation: Support of Limited License Program and Possible Governance Structures, Agenda Item (June 17, 2013).

Don J. DeBenedictis, Licensing of Nonlawyers Gets Traction, Daily Journal (May 23, 2013).

Amy Yarbrough, Limited-Practice License Idea Faces Challenging Path, Cal. B.J., May 2013.

State Bar Group to Hold Public Meeting on Limited-Practice Licensing, April 2013 news release.

Limited-licensing for Paralegals: It's Finally a Reality, The Estrin Report, (Mar. 13, 2013).

Laura Ernde, State Bar to Look at Limited-Practice Licensing Program, Cal. B.J., Feb. 2013.

Robin Hagan Cain, Will California Threaten Lawyer Livelihood with Legal Technicians?, FindLaw, Feb. 4, 2013 (critiquing the California State Bar Board of Trustees proposal regarding limited license legal technicians).

Kathleen Eleanor Justice, There Goes the Monopoly: The California Proposal to Allow Nonlawyers to Practice Law, 44 Vand. L. Rev. 179, Jan. 1991.

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Illinois

Van Fleet Law Offices, Limited License Legal Technicians?, Peoria Legal Blawg, Oct. 29, 2013.

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Indiana

Marilyn Odendahl, Limited Licensing Programs Gain Traction in the Legal Community, The Indiana Lawyer, Nov. 6, 2013.

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New York

New York's Top Judge on Non-Lawyer Legal Assistance, SBM Blog, Mar. 13, 2014.

City Bar Recommends Roles for Nonlawyer Practitioners, 44th Street Blog, June 20, 2013 (discussing the New York City Bar's Committee on Professional Responsibility recommends regarding legal technicians).

New York City Bar, Narrowing the “Justice Gap”: Roles for Nonlawyer Practitioners, June 2013

Joel Stashenko, Non-Lawyers May Get Role in Closing New York's 'Justice Gap', N.Y. L.J., May 30, 2013

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Minnesota

Legal Education, UPL Spark Assembly Debate, 70 Bench & B. Minn. 8 (Oct. 2013) (including LLLT programs, such as Washington's on the agenda for consideration by the assembly).

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Oregon

Oregon State Bar

Task Force on Limited License Legal Technicians

Task Force Meeting Materials and Minutes

A town hall meeting was held in Portland Oregon by the Oregon Paralegal Association (OPA) and Pacific Northwest Paralegal Association
about LLLT programs on January 29, 2014.

Laura Orr, Limited License Legal Technician: In Theory and in Action, Oregon Legal Research, (Dec. 30, 2013).

Jesse Wilburn, An New Profession the Limited License Legal Technician, Multnomah Lawyer 12 (Dec. 2013).

Jamie Lynn Summerfield, UPDATE: Washington Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT), Paragram: Oregon Paralegal Association 7-8, (Nov-Dec 2013).

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Rhode Island

J. Robert Weisberger, Jr., Gaining Perspective on Limited Scope of Representation62 R.I. Bar J. 3, Nov.-Dec. 2013.

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South Carolina

South Carolina Law Review hosted a symposium on “expanding the boundaries of legal education,” featuring a Research Roundtable on Limited Licensing.

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Utah

Lori W. Nelson, Looking Back – Looking Forward, 26 Utah B.J. 10, Jul.-Aug. 2013.

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Vermont

Article: Equal Access to Justice: Paralegals and Limited Legal Licensure, 39 Ver. B.J. Dig. 18 (Winter 2014) [UW Law Access].

Wisconsin

State Bar of Wisconsin, On the Radar: Limited License Legal Technicians: On the Horizon?, Wisconsin Lawyer, Apr. 2013.

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General Articles

Paul Paton, The Ball Is Rolling, Lexpert, Feb. 2014.

Wallace B. Jefferson, Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Legal System Falls Short in Protecting Basic Rights, 88 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1953 (2013) (citing LLLT programs as a potential solition to a lack of availability of legal services).

Merrilyn Astin Tarlton, The LLLT and the Power of Positive Thinking, Attorney at Work, Oct. 1, 2013.

Dan Kittay, An Inside Look at Limited Practice for Nonlawyers In Washington and Other States, 38 Bar Leader, no. 1, Sept.-Oct. 2013.

Richard Grant, Limited Licensing of Legal Technicians: A Good Idea?, eLawyering Blog (Sept. 21, 2013) (addressing the pros and cons of the limited license legal technician program).

Mark Hansen, Two Different Animals: ABA Entites Pursue Separate Paths in Search of Ways to Improve Legal Education99 A.B.A. J. 62 (Jul. 2013 (addressing the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education microconference which took suggestions on reducing law school to two years and creating limited license legal technician programs).

Katherine Morgan, Panel Suggests Dropping Tenure Requirement to Reform Legal Education, Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 20, 2013.

David Yellen, The Impact of Rankings and Rules on Legal Education Reform45 Conn. L. Rev. 1389 (2013) (citing the limited license legal technician program as way to enhance the legal profession by engaging in a state effort to limit the barriers to legal practice).

Vincent R. Johnson, Legal Malpractice in a Changing Profession: The Role of Contract Principles, 61 Clev. St. L. Rev. 489 fn. 186 (2013) (discussing professional discipline as applied to Limited License Legal Technicians).

Stephen Gillers, How to Make Rules for Lawyers: The Professional Responsibility of the Legal Profession40 Pepp. L. Rev. 365 (2013)(suggesting a new committee that would seek to lead the movement toward limited license legal technicians if it is found that they help clients with moderate means).

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