Public Comment on Paralegal Licensing Proposal
The Oregon Supreme Court is considering licensing paralegals to provide some legal services that currently only lawyers may provide. Similar to the introduction of Nurse Practitioners to the medical field, licensed paralegals would 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.
The licensed paralegals would have specific requirements for education and experience, and would be subject to many of the rules and regulatory requirements that currently exist for lawyers. The intent is to provide access to legal help for those who currently cannot afford a lawyer or who otherwise go to court with no legal assistance. The Court will be making a decision on this proposal next year. The Oregon State Bar is interested in your input to better inform the Court’s decision.