Task Force Backs Changes in Legal Education System

Among changes recommended by a draft ABA task force report is training nonlawyers to provide limited legal services, as in Washington State.

News Story (NATIONAL, Washington)

Tamar Lewin
New York Times (NYT)
September 20, 2013
Link to story

Tags: Law Schools, Non-lawyers, Unbundling

Organizations mentioned/involved: American Bar Association (ABA)


Faced with rising student debt and declining applications to law schools, a task force of the American Bar Association is calling for sweeping changes in legal education, including training people without law degrees to provide limited legal services and opening the bar to those who have not completed four years of college and three years of law school.
Mr. Shepard said that there had been little controversy over the use of nonlawyer practitioners, in part because the members were so impressed by Washington State’s experiment with limited-license legal technicians, trained and licensed to handle certain civil legal matters. That program’s success has led to an expansion to practitioners for domestic relations, an area in which many of those who come to court are now unrepresented.