Licensed paralegals program in Oregon gets final approval

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The Oregon Supreme Court has given final approval to a program that allows licensed paralegals to provide limited legal services in family law and landlord-tenant cases.

Reuters has the story on the program, which was approved July 19 and takes effect July 2023.

Licensed paralegals won’t be able to argue in court, but they will be able represent clients in settlement discussions and mediation, according to this fact sheet. They will also be able to help clients draft and file forms, assist clients in discovery, help clients prepare for court appearances, attend clients’ court appearances and depositions to provide support, and explain court orders and notices to clients.

Under new rules approved by the Oregon Supreme Court, people seeking paralegal licenses will have to meet minimum educational and experience requirements and to pass an entrance exam. The paralegals will have to pass a character and fitness review and will have to follow many of the same rules and regulatory requirements that apply to lawyers.

Other states that have given a green light to licensed paralegals programs include Washington, Utah, Arizona and Minnesota, according to Reuters. The Washington program, however, lost support, and the Washington Supreme Court stopped offering new licenses.

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