The Limited License Legal Technician has become reality in the State of Washington. For those not in the loop with this controversial evolution, this license empowers someone without a law degree to provide legal services or advice directly to clients. As you can imagine, many bar associations are in an uproar over this. In Illinois, we still have staunch conservative leadership running our State Bar Association, so such a move in Illinois is unlikely to occur any time soon. Nevertheless, the movement should be monitored with interest.

The license in Washington allows non-lawyers with certain levels of training and qualifications to provide technical help on simple legal matters. Persons who are trained and authorized by a court-appointed Board will be able to provide technical help to the public on certain types of civil cases. Generally, to qualify for the license and certification, a person must be at least 18 years of age and meet certain education, examination, and experience requirements. They must also show proof of financial responsibility and attend regular continuing legal education courses, and be subject to State disciplinary action.

Other states such as California, New York, and Georgia are considering similar licenses. The types of cases that can be advised by a license-holder will vary from State-to-State, but they typically include name and gender changes, small claims matters, uncontested divorces, restraining orders, and routine traffic and criminal matters.

Currently this classification is not being considered in Illinois, but if implemented successfully in Washington and other States it will only be a matter of time. As a result, firms should plan now to embrace the concept and consider it as a possible avenue to deliver affordable routine services in our rapidly changing legal environment.


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VanFleet Law Offices

The VanFleet Law Firm has a strong history in Commercial Litigation, Banking Law and General Business Law matters. Founded by Joseph VanFleet in 1998, the practice has grown and flourished over the years thanks to the talent, expertise and tenacity of the VanFleet legal team. Today, it provides counsel to a broad range of local, regional, national and international clients.

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