Updated: Sept. 2, 2020

Become a Limited License Legal Technician

Limited License Legal Technicians (also known as Legal Technicians or LLLTs) are trained and licensed to offer legal advice and services to clients in family law matters without the financial investment of a traditional law degree. This flexible legal license allows LLLTs to work independently, in groups with other LLLTs, or as part of a traditional law firm. It's a great fit for those who love the law and want to help people but are unsure about going to law school. It is also a great fit for experienced paralegals who would like to work independently or start their own business as a LLLT. LLLTs are the only legal professionals other than lawyers who are licensed to give legal advice and own law firms.

The Washington Supreme Court directed the WSBA to develop and administer the LLLT license as part of the effort to make legal services more available for people with low or moderate incomes. Becoming an LLLT is a great way to be a part of a pioneering effort to make legal services available to everyone.

 

UPDATE:The Washington Supreme Court recently sent us a letter stating that it has decided to phase out issuing new LLLT licenses and would allow those in the pipeline to become licensed through July 31, 2021. You can also find Justice Madsen’s letter in dissent here.

On July 10 the Washington Supreme Court provided an update regarding its decision to sunset the LLLT program on July 31, 2021. The Court has made two modifications to its decision:

  • The substantive law-related work experience requirement for licensing has been reduced from 3,000 to 1,500 hours.
  • Candidates who have met all other requirements by July 31, 2021 now have until July 31, 2022 to complete their substantive law-related work experience under the supervision of a lawyer.

We will update this website when we have more information. In the meantime, WSBA staff will continue working with students and LLLT candidates to understand their individual timelines and provide information on deadlines and requirements. If you are seeking information on your pathway please email lllt@wsba.org.

If you would like to provide comments to the Supreme Court about this decision, you may email the Supreme Court at supreme@courts.wa.gov.


How to Become a Limited License Legal Technician

There are three key requirements to be licensed as a legal technician: education, examination, and experience.

Education Requirements

  1. Have an Associate's degree or higher, in any subject
  2. Complete the LLLT Core Education: 45 credits of legal studies courses that must be taken at a school with an ABA-approved or LLLT Board-approved paralegal program or at an ABA-approved law school. Must include the following subjects:
    • Civil Procedure, minimum 8 credits
    • Contracts, minimum 3 credits
    • Interviewing and Investigation Techniques, minimum 3 credits
    • Introduction to Law and Legal Process, minimum 3 credits
    • Law Office Procedures and Technology, minimum 3 credits
    • Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis, minimum 8 credits
    • Professional Responsibility, minimum 3 credit

    Required course content can be found here.

    Washington colleges approved to teach the LLLT Core Curriculum:

    Other colleges approved to teach the LLLT Core Curriculum:

  3. Practice Area Education: Provides detailed knowledge of the Family Law practice area. The Practice Area Curriculum consists of 15 credits taught across three quarters via live streaming with remote attendance. To apply for the Practice Area courses, which are anticipated to begin September 2020, complete an enrollment application For more information about enrollment, please contact LLLT@wsba.org. Required course content for the Practice Area Education can be found here. 

UPDATE: As of Aug. 6, 2020, applicants for the Practice Area courses are no longer required to complete the prerequisite courses prior to enrolling in the Practice Area courses. Applicants may complete the core education requirements while taking the Practice Area courses or after completing the Practice Area courses, as long as all required core education courses are completed prior to applying for the LLLT exam (or will be completed no less than 18 days prior to the LLLT exam for which you have applied).


Are you a paralegal with 10 years or more of experience?

If you qualify for a limited-time waiver, you will not need to have an Associate's degree or the LLLT Core education and if approved, you will be able to enroll directly into the Practice Area curriculum.

Examinations Requirement

There are three examinations to pass to become a LLLT.

  1. Paralegal Core Competency Exam (PCCE)
    • Tests basic paralegal knowledge and skills learned in the LLLT Core Education
    • Administered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
    • Taken after finishing the LLLT Core Education
    • Required with passing grade before applying for the LLLT exams
  2. LLLT Practice Area Examination: Tests knowledge of a specific practice area. Currently, the approved practice area is family law.
  3. LLLT Professional Responsibility Examination: Tests knowledge of LLLT ethics.

Both LLLT exams are administered by WSBA. You may apply for the LLLT exams after completing the practice area curriculum or during the practice area curriculum as long as you will finish the courses 18 days before the exams. See the LLLT Examination page for more information.

Experience Requirement

  • Obtain 1,500 hours of substantive law-related work experience as a paralegal or legal assistant supervised by a lawyer prior to licensing.
  • Experience must be acquired no more than three years prior to passing the LLLT Practice Area exam.
  • Candidates who have met all other requirements by July 31, 2021 now have until July 31, 2022 to complete     their substantive law-related work experience under the supervision of a lawyer.

 

Note : Any discrepancy or conflict between the information provided here and the rules and regulations set by the Washington 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.