On July 19, 2022 the Oregon Supreme Court approved a proposal to license paralegals to provide some legal services that currently only lawyers may provide. Under the new rules, licensed paralegals will be allowed to provide limited legal services only in family law cases (divorces, custody, parenting time, etc.), and landlord/tenant cases. These are two of the areas of law with the greatest unmet need for legal assistance in Oregon.
Licensed paralegals will have specific requirements for education and experience, and will be subject to many of the same rules and regulatory requirements that currently apply to lawyers. The intent is to provide access to legal help for those who currently cannot afford a lawyer or who otherwise might go to court with no legal assistance. Details may be found in the materials linked below.
The court has approved new Rules for Admission and Rules of Professional Conduct for Licensed Paralegals, as well as amendments to the OSB Minimum Continuing Legal Education Rules and OSB Rules of Procedure. These rules are linked below, and will go into effect on July 1, 2023.
Throughout the development of this proposal, the bar received input and comment from hundreds of Oregonians (both lawyers and public). All of the comments received by July 7th were provided to the Court prior to their decision. This input has improved the proposal, and we thank those who contributed, and invite your continued engagement.
Below is a short video on the proposed Licensed Paralegal (LP) program. (Ver video en español)