March President’s Message

March brings us one step in the year: to St. Patricks Day, Easter, Spring – some of my favorite things. The hustle and bustle (and recovery) of the holidays has usually taken place by now and I really begin to settle into the year.

As you are aware, Washington recently created a new class of legal professionals: Limited License Legal Technicians. One of the reasons for the creation of this new class was to address the “ever-growing gap in necessary legal and law related services for low and moderate income persons.”[1] The Limited LIcense Legal Technician was created not to replace the role of an attorney, but to provide a limited scope of duties to the public who do not need the skills of a lawyer. It took approximately four years for Washington to create and rewrite the rules and framework for this Limited License Legal Technician, but it’s gained attention in nationally and in California.

The State Bar of California is proposing to create a subcommittee to explore “licensing of legal technicians and or creating a limited license to practice law,”[2] similar to what Washington has recently done. (Note that at this time, the State Bar is currently exploring the option, this is not something that will go into effect immediately.) New York is also looking into the idea of having a limited licensed legal technician. What are your thoughts on this idea? This is something CAPA Is keeping an eye on and trying to find out as much information as possible. If you find any additional sites with information, please send them to me.

There are some interesting articles and blogs out there if you wish to track this:

The Empowered Paralegal: http://theempoweredparalegal.com/?tag=legal-technician
Will California Threaten Lawyer Livelihood with Legal Technicians?: http://blogs.findlaw.com/greedy_associates/2013/02/will-california-threaten-lawyer-livelihood-with-legal-technicians.html
An End to the Cartel? Board Contemplating New Class of Legal Pros:
http://blogs.findlaw.com/california_case_law/2013/02/an-end-to-the-cartel-board-contemplating-new-class-of-legal-pros.html?goback=%2Egna_3090907%2Egde_3090907_member_211464129
California Bar Journal: http://www.calbarjournal.com/February2013/TopHeadlines/TH1.aspx
ABA Commission on Non-Lawyer Practice: http://www.paralegals.org/includes/get_asset.asp?asset=35 (I found this interesting because it is from 1995. It’s not completely on point, just some interesting points.)
Access to Justice: http://accesstojustice.net/2013/02/05/california-bar-explores-joining-movement-for-non-lawyer-practice/

If you find any additional sites with information, please send them to me. We will keep you informed as this develops.

Our March 14 continuing education luncheon will be held at The Petroleum Club. We hope you’ll join us! Our March community affair is collecting business clothes for men and women for the Bakersfield Rescue Mission. Donations can be made at the luncheon or to Starlene Parson prior to the luncheon.

Are you interested in serving on the Board? We’re now looking to fill positions for the 2013-2014 KCPA Board. Please contact Jannett Coats if you are interested in serving. We’d love to have you join!
I hope you have a wonderful and safe St. Patricks Day and great start to this coming Spring.

[1] http://www.courts.wa.gov/content/publicUpload/Press%20Releases/25700-A-1005.pdf.
[2] http://board.calbar.ca.gov/docs/agendaItem/Public/agendaitem1000010373.pdf

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