A State Bar of California panel has recommended that the agency consider launching a pilot program allowing non-lawyers to perform some legal work.
The Civil Justice Strategies Task Force, in a draft report recently published for comment, has suggested the bar examine designing a program that would allow so-called “limited license legal technicians” to practice in one subject area.
Subjects mentioned by the task force for the pilot program were landlord-tenant, domestic violence and limited jurisdiction consumer cases.
The task force recommended the limited-license approach as one way to help the state address the growing number of people who can’t afford legal services, often referred to as the access-to-justice gap.
Some studies estimate that more than 80 percent of the essential legal needs of low-income people in the United States go unmet.
Craig Holden, president of the State Bar, said states have traditionally tried to reduce the access-to-justice gap by contributing funds to legal service organizations and encouraging lawyers to perform pro-bono work.
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