Written by Briane Cornish
In November 2014, the California State Bar Board of Trustees approved the creation and appointment of the Civil Justice Strategies Task Force. The charge of the task force was to analyze the reasons for the state’s justice gap: the conundrum of how there are so many lawyers yet so many Americans have unmet legal needs and cannot afford or access legal help. Specifically, the task force intended to study creative solutions and innovative strategies in use by other states and other countries that have the potential to greatly improve access to justice in California.
Written by Tom Gordon
The Washington State Supreme Court is considering rules that would move the state one step closer to licensing non-lawyers to help consumers with certain legal matters. The court is reviewing proposed rules regarding limited license legal practitioners (LLLTs). These trained and licensed service providers would be able to provide certain forms of assistance to people needing assistance with family law matters. We wrote previously about LLLTs, describing what services they will and won't be able to provide consumers. Essentially, LLLTs will have training roughly equivalent to a paralegal and will be allowed to guide customers through legal processes, but will not be allowed to represent them in court.
Written by Elisheva Aneke
The Connecticut Bar Association Task Force on the Future of Legal Education and Standards of Admission has recommended that state regulators allow persons other than licensed lawyers to practice law under certain restrictive guidelines. In evaluating various procedures and practices in Connecticut, the task force has suggested, among other things, that court rules be modified so as to permit non-lawyers to provide basic legal services to legal consumers. While proposals for lowering the cost of a JD and shortening the law school curriculum from a three-year program to a two-year one were rejected, the task force recognized that “much legal work is already being performed by individuals with credentials less than fully licensed attorneys” and that there is and would still be a demand for these sorts of professionals.