The Oregon Supreme Court approved the Licensed Paralegal (LP) Program, a program that will license individuals who aren’t lawyers to provide limited legal services in family law and landlord/tenant issues, two areas with the greatest unmet need for legal assistance in the state. This makes Oregon the fifth state in the country to enlist a new tier of legal professionals in the effort to provide more access to legal help. The LP program will train paralegals to assist with a variety of legal issues, including divorce and separation, custody and parenting time, child and spousal support, and forced entry and wrongful detainer.
Some of their duties include:
- Meeting with potential clients to evaluate and determine needs and goals, as well as provide advice
- Filing documents and pleadings with the court
- Preparing for, participating in, and representing a party in settlement discussions, including mediation
- Attending court appearances and depositions with clients to provide support and assistance in procedural matters
Fortunately, states like Utah, Arizona, and Minnesota have also embraced new tiers of legal professionals. As IAALS Manager Michael Houlberg, “There’s a big push. Since 2020, there have been more than 10 states that have developed proposals.” Building on this momentum, IAALS’ newly launched Allied Legal Professionals project aims to help standardize these legal professional programs nationally, in order to expand the options for accessible and affordable legal help for the public. Programs like Oregon’s are exemplary of what we hope to eventually see spread even further across the country.
To read the full article, please visit: Oregon Joins Growing List of States Empowering Legal Professionals to Help More People | IAALS (du.edu)