Westlaw News

Washington state to end program that gives non-lawyers limited license

Washington’s high court has voted to end the state’s program that allows non-lawyers trained in family law to practice law on a limited license, which has been held up as an example by some advocates for relaxing rules on who can practice law or share lawyer fees as a way to increase access to civil legal aid for low-income Americans.

The Limited License Legal Technicians (LLLT) program was created in 2012 to “respond to unmet legal needs of Washington residents who could not afford to hire a lawyer” by allowing licensed legal technicians to provide narrow legal services to clients in certain family law matters, but it is “not an effective way to meet these needs,” wrote Washington’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Debra Stephens in a letter to Stephen Crossland, the chair of the LLLT board, and of the Washington State Bar Association dated Friday, reviewed by Reuters on Monday.

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