News Story (Washington)
June 29, 2015
Tags: Access to Justice, Delivery Systems
What happens to Wright and the six others is important: Other states are tinkering with similar programs, and likely will be watching closely to see how the legal technician experiment plays out. So far, Washington is the only state to create a new class of legal advisor, the Limited Licensed Legal Technician, or LLLT. The first six, all women, will have more authority than a paralegal and less than a lawyer, when their licenses take effect, expected later this year, after the final administrative details fall into place. In addition to the coursework and the exam, legal technicians also must be qualified paralegals.
State bar leaders are hoping that legal technicians will have less overhead and less debt, and thus be able to charge more affordable rates — Washington has one of the fastest-growing poverty rates in the country, and studies have shown the vast indigent population urgently needs affordable lawyers. Eventually, the state hopes to expand the legal technician program so that LLLTs can also work on elder law, landlord tenant law and immigration law.