Licensing Legal Paraprofessionals: Oregon Says Yes, California Says No. Why?

Two neighboring states – Oregon and California – have recently come to different conclusions on whether to license paralegals to provide some legal services. In July, the Oregon Supreme Court, with the support of the Oregon State Bar’s Board of Governors, approved a proposal to allow licensed paralegals to provide limited legal services in family law and landlord/tenant cases – two areas of law with large numbers of self-represented litigants. In August, the California legislature, after opposition from some lawyers’ groups, prohibited the State Bar of California from implementing, or even proposing, any loosening of existing restrictions on the unauthorized practice of law before 2025, effectively killing a proposal to permit licensing of paraprofessionals to provide limited legal services. This webinar will explore how and why Oregon and California reached conflicting results and identify lessons learned from both experiences.