Washington state is making national news with the introduction of Limited License Legal Technicians. Washington will be the first U.S. jurisdiction to license legal technicians, but a number of states are already studying Washington’s model for possible adoption. Legal technicians are authorized to provide legal advice within the limited scope described in Regulation 2 of the APR 28 Appendix.
Effective April 14, 2015, the Washington Supreme Court adopted a series of changes to lawyer Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) to reflect the introduction of legal technicians to Washington and to coordinate the lawyer RPC with the legal technician RPC. A number of rules have been amended, including conflict of interest rules, including 1.7, 1.8, 1.9 and 1.10, and changes were made to some familiar terminology such as “law firm,” “counsel,” and “unrepresented.” In addition, new RPC 5.9 permits lawyers and legal technicians to co-own a legal practice in defined circumstances. The state Supreme Court directed the WSBA to solicit and gather feedback on the RPC amendments and provide it to the Court. You can find a detailed review of these changes in the June 2015 edition of NWLawyer.