Limited License Legal Technician Board
The Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Board derives its authority from the Washington State Supreme Court under Rule 28 of the Admission and Practice Rules (APR) adopted and effective Sept. 1, 2012. APR 28 authorizes a new level of licensed legal professionals who meet certain educational requirements to advise and assist clients on specific areas of law.
With the rule, the Supreme Court established the LLLT Board to administer the Legal Technician Program. In December 2012, the Supreme Court appointed the first LLLT Board, which includes several non-attorneys and a legal educator. The Board's charter for the first year was to begin creating and drafting the operational details for the Legal Technician Program. This includes regulations for professional conduct, exam procedures, continuing education requirements, and disciplinary procedures.
The Board began its work in January 2013. As one of its first actions, the Board recommended family law to become the first practice area for Legal Technicians to be licensed for practice. The Supreme Court unanimously approved the Board's recommendation in March 2013.
The Supreme Court adopted the Limited Licensed Legal Technician amendments to the lawyer Rules of Professional Conduct, effective April 14, 2015. The Court’s order also directs WSBA to solicit and gather comments from members on the amendments. Following a comment period, WSBA will forward members’ comments to the Court. The comment period ends November 30, 2015. Post a comment.
The amendments include complimentary rule changes related to the proposed Rules of Professional Conduct currently under consideration in the Supreme Court. Given that lawyers likely will work in firms with legal technicians, amendments to rules for lawyers are intended to provide guidance to lawyers about their duties and responsibilities with respect to legal technicians and their clients. A significant new provision is RPC 5.9, which covers permissible business structures for legal technicians and lawyers, including joint ownership of firms. The proposed rules include specific restrictions against a legal technician: (1) Directing a lawyer’s professional judgment, (2) having direct supervisory authority over a lawyer, and (3) possessing a majority interest or exercising controlling managerial authority. The legal technician rules have further implications on the rules for lawyers with respect to imputation of conflicts and fee sharing. Additionally, given that an legal technician’s client is considered pro se, newly proposed comments to Title 4 provide guidance for interacting with legal technicians and parties they represent.
On Jan. 8, 2015, the Supreme Court adopted the Limited License Legal Technician Rules of Professional Conduct. The primary purpose of the rules is to establish the ethical conduct rules for practicing legal technicians. The rules are effective Feb. 3, 2015.
On Jan. 8, 2015, the Supreme Court adopted amendments to APR 28. The purpose of the suggested amendments is to provide for the efficient administration of the program and to clarify one issue related to the LLLT's scope of practice. The amendments to APR 28 are effective Feb. 3, 2015.
The LLLT Board generally meets the third Thursday of each month 2–5 p.m. at the Washington State Bar Association office. See complete sets of meeting materials, including approved meeting minutes.
*Any discrepancy or conflict between the information provided here and the rules and regulations set by the Washington State Supreme Court, or the bylaws and policies of the Washington State Bar Association, is unintentional and will be resolved in favor of strict compliance with the rules, regulations, bylaws and policies.
New class of legal professional widens access to judicial system
Approved meeting minutes and complete sets of materials from past meetings.
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