Limited License Legal Technician Board
The Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Board derives its authority from the Washington State Supreme Court under Rule 28 of the Admission and Practice Rules (APR), adopted effective September 1, 2012. APR 28 authorizes a new legal professional who meets certain educational requirements to advise and assist clients on specific areas of law.
With the rule, the Supreme Court established the LLLT Board to administer the program. In late December 2012, the Supreme Court appointed the first LLLT Board, which includes several non-attorneys and a legal educator. The Board's charter for the first year is to begin creating and drafting the operational details for the LLLT program. This includes regulations for professional conduct, exam procedures, continuing education requirements, and disciplinary procedures.
The LLLT Board began its work in January 2013. As one of its first actions, the Board recommended family law as the first practice area in which to license LLLTs, which the Supreme Court unanimously approved in March 2013.
In early 2015, the LLLT Board is expected to begin accepting applications for the licensing exam in March 2015 and begin licensing of LLLTs in Spring 2015.
The LLLT Board submitted to the WSBA Board of Governors (BOG) suggested amendments to the lawyer Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) asking that the BOG act as proponent for these suggested amendments, which the BOG approved on November 14, 2014. On December 4, 2014, the BOG submitted to the Supreme Court the suggested amendments to the lawyer RPC. See the GR 9 cover sheet and suggested amendments to the lawyer RPC.
The suggested amendments are complimentary rule changes related to the proposed LLLT RPC currently under consideration by the Supreme Court. Given that it is envisioned that lawyers will be working in firms with and encountering LLLTs in their practice, the suggested amendments to the lawyer RPC are meant to provide guidance to lawyers about their duties and responsibilities with respect to LLLTs and their clients. A significant new provision is RPC 5.9, which covers permissible business structures for LLLTs and lawyers, including joint ownership of firms. The proposed rules include specific restrictions against an LLLT (1) directing a lawyer’s professional judgment, (2) having direct supervisory authority over a lawyer, and (3) possessing a majority interest or exercising controlling managerial authority. The LLLT RPC has further implications on the lawyer RPC with respect to imputation of conflicts and fee sharing. Additionally, given that an LLLT’s client is considered pro se, new proposed comments to Title 4 provide guidance regarding interacting with LLLTs and parties represented by LLLTs.
The LLLT Board submitted to the WSBA Board of Governors (BOG) suggested amendments to Rules 15.4 and 15.7 of the Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct (ELC) asking that the BOG act as proponent for these suggested amendments, which the BOG approved on November 14, 2014. On December 4, 2014, the BOG submitted to the Supreme Court the suggested amendments to ELC 15.4 and 15.7. See the GR 9 cover sheet and suggested amendments to ELC 15.4 and 15.7.
On Sept. 25, 2014, the LLLT Board submitted to the Supreme Court suggested amendments and new regulations 13-20 to Appendix APR 28. See the GR 9 cover sheet and the suggested amendments and new regulations to Appendix APR 28. The primary purpose of the suggested amendments and new regulations is to complete the basic regulatory framework for licensing LLLTs. The Court published the proposed rules for a 60-day comment period ending Feb. 7, 2015. Comment now.
On Jan. 8, 2015, the Supreme Court adopted the LLLT Rules of Professional Conduct (LLLT RPC). The primary purpose of the LLLT RPC is to establish the ethical conduct rules for practicing LLLTs. The LLLT RPC are effective Feb. 3, 2015. Read the LLLT RPC.
On Jan. 8, 2015, the Supreme Court adopted amendments to APR 28. The purpose of the suggested amendments is to provide for the efficient administration of the program and to clarify one issue related to the LLLT's scope of practice. The amendments to APR 28 are effective Feb. 3, 2015. Read APR 28.
The LLLT Board will meet on on Feb. 19, 2015, from 2–5 p.m. and on Mar. 19, 2015, from 2–5 p.m. at the Washington State Bar Association office. See the meeting materials for the February 19, 2015, meeting. See complete sets of meeting materials, including approved meeting minutes.
Stephen R. Crossland
Board of Governors Liaison
WSBA Staff Liaison
*Any discrepancy or conflict between the information provided here and the rules and regulations set by the Washington State Supreme Court, or the bylaws and policies of the Washington State Bar Association, is unintentional and will be resolved in favor of strict compliance with the rules, regulations, bylaws and policies.
APR 28 limited license for nonlawyers
The Supreme Court's order approving the limited license legal technician rule
Approved meeting minutes and complete sets of materials from past meetings.
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