Updated: Dec. 11, 2019

Become a Legal Technician

Legal technicians (LLLTs) are trained and licensed to offer legal advice and services to clients in family law matters without the financial investment of a traditional law degree. This flexible legal license allows legal technicians to work independently, in groups with other LLLTs, or as part of a traditional law firm. It's a great fit for those who love the law and want to help people but are unsure about going to law school. It is also a great fit for experienced paralegals who would like to work independently or start their own business as a LLLT. Legal technicians are the only legal professionals other than lawyers who are licensed to give legal advice and own law firms.

The Washington Supreme Court directed the WSBA to develop and administer the LLLT license as part of the effort to make legal services more available for people with low or moderate incomes. Becoming a legal technician is a great way to be a part of a pioneering effort to make legal services available to everyone.

How to Become a Legal Technician

There are three key requirements to be licensed as a legal technician: education, examination, and experience.

Education Requirements

  1. Have an associate's degree or higher in any subject
  2. Complete the LLLT Core Curriculum: 45 credits of legal studies courses that must be taken at a school with an ABA-approved or LLLT Board-approved paralegal program or at an ABA-approved law school and that must include the following subjects:
    • Civil Procedure, minimum 8 credits
    • Contracts, minimum 3 credits
    • Interviewing and Investigation Techniques, minimum 3 credits
    • Introduction to Law and Legal Process, minimum 3 credits
    • Law Office Procedures and Technology, minimum 3 credits
    • Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis, minimum 8 credits
    • Professional Responsibility, minimum 3 credit

    Required course content can be found here.

    Washington colleges approved to teach the LLLT Core Curriculum:

    Other colleges approved to teach the LLLT Core Curriculum:

    Are you a paralegal with 10 years or more of experience?

    If you qualify for a limited-time waiver, you will not need to have an Associate's degree or the LLLT Core Curriculum education and if approved, you will be able to enroll directly into the Practice Area curriculum.

  3. Practice Area Curriculum: Provides detailed knowledge of a specific practice area (currently Family Law). The Practice Area Curriculum includes three quarters taught via live streaming with remote attendance. Please contact LLLT@wsba.org for more information about enrolling in the Practice Area Curriculum. Required course content for the Practice Area Curriculum can be found here.

Examinations Requirement

There are three examinations to pass to become a LLLT.

  1. Paralegal Core Competency Exam (PCCE)
    • Tests basic paralegal knowledge and skills learned in the LLLT Core Curriculum
    • Administered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
    • Taken after finishing the LLLT Core Curriculum
    • Required with passing grade before applying for the LLLT exams
  2. LLLT Practice Area Examination: Tests knowledge of a specific practice area. Currently, the approved practice area is family law.
  3. LLLT Professional Responsibility Examination: Tests knowledge of LLLT ethics.

Both LLLT exams are administered by WSBA. You may apply for the LLLT exams after completing the practice area curriculum or during the practice area curriculum as long as you will finish the courses 18 days before the exams. See the LLLT Examination page for more information.

Experience Requirement

  • Obtain 3,000 hours of substantive law-related work experience as a paralegal or legal assistant supervised by a lawyer prior to licensing.
  • Experience must be acquired no more than three years prior to, or 40 months after, passing the LLLT Practice Area exam.

Note : Any discrepancy or conflict between the information provided here and the rules and regulations set by the Washington 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.