I’m passing on a story from Law Week Colorado entitled “Colorado Considering Legal Technician Licensing.” Normally I try to summarize or excerpt but in this case it seems best to just print re-post the whole article and hope I don’t get a “take down” missive!
LAW WEEK COLORADO
Posted on June 8, 2015.
By Tony Flesor
Colorado is exploring the option of opening up the legal profession with a limited license legal technician program.
The license would create a nurse practitioner-type position for the legal field. With demand for full legal services in decline and do-it-yourself online options such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer providing basic services to those who can’t afford a lawyer becoming more common, the LLLT program, if adopted in Colorado, could connect more people with an actual human service provider and employ more people in the legal field with a lower investment than a law school legal license. Despite the positive expectations for the program, though, there are some concerns about the quality of service an LLLT could provide.
A subcommittee of the Colorado Supreme Court Advisory Committee led by Alec Rothrock, a shareholder at Burns Figa & Will whose practice is focused on the law of practicing law, is looking into the possibility of adopting the plan for the license from Washington, the only state that currently offers it.
In Washington, anyone with an associate’s degree can get an LLLT license, which allows them to offer legal services, such as helping family law clients file restraining orders or divorce documents, drafting parenting plans or custody documents and assisting clients with the court documents and procedures involved in the court system. Currently, Washington’s LLLTs may only practice in family law, a popular area for self-representation. License holders can open their own businesses as well, allowing them to work independently of law firms.
I’m not sure the characterization of Washington’s program is completely accurate. It is my understanding that the Washington program is open to people who have a paralegal undergraduate education, not just an associate’s degree in any subject.