Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 22

"

The [D.C. Access to Justice] Commission
recommends that the District explore
the use of nonlawyers and other allied
professionals in addressing legal and
other needs, including navigator-type
programs.
NANCY DRANE
D.C. Access to Justice Commission

Krantz applauds Washington for devising an alternative method for providing
legal services, but he questions whether the LLLT model would meet the needs
of the District. "The model imposes very rigid and expensive qualifying requirements. While some of the requirements are needed to protect the public,
others, in my view, go well beyond what is necessary," Krantz argues.
In addition to the educational and examination requirements, LLLT applicants
must accumulate 3,000 hours of substantial law-related experience as a paralegal or legal assistant under lawyer supervision. Those hours must be acquired
no more than three years prior to or 40 months after passing the practice area
exam. In Utah, LPPs must log 1,500 hours of substantial law-related experience
within three years prior to the application.
While these exacting requirements cost less than a law degree, many LLLTs and
LPPs find that they need to charge rates sufficient to offset the debt they took
on to obtain their license.
"While less than the normal fees lawyers charge, LLLT fees still average about
$100 an hour and often exceed that amount," Krantz says.
Priscilla Selden of Wenatchee, Washington, the second person to become an
LLLT in the state, started her practice in 2015. Previously, she was a paralegal for
25 years. A member of Washington's Practice of Law Board between 2009 and
2012, Selden was on the committee that wrote the rules for LLLTs. Although her
fees are not fixed in writing, she says her services cost about a third of what
lawyers charge.
"I do flat fees as opposed to hourly because I think it's more understandable for
clients and a bit kinder to them," Selden says. "The clients know what it's going
to cost, which takes away some of the anxiety of wondering if they are going to
run up a huge bill. We have a very consumer-focused ethos."
Selden gets clients through her contacts with a local nonprofit volunteer lawyer
program, her work as a courthouse facilitator, and through referrals from other
attorneys. "It's been a progression," she says. "But now, I'm pretty busy. I have
maybe four or five clients in my solo practice at any given time."
It's important to mention that the cost of living in Wenatchee is significantly
lower than that in Washington, D.C. "The challenge for LLLTs to work in the
District might be finding opportunities where they can earn a high enough
income to pay whatever student debt [they have] and afford the expense of
living in D.C.," says Patrick McGlone, former D.C. Bar president and senior vice
president, general counsel, and chief compliance officer at Ullico Inc.

22 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

SEPTEMBER 2019

*

In a September 2018 article in the online ABA Journal, McGlone cited a March
2017 study by the National Center for State Courts and the American Bar
Foundation that found general client satisfaction with LLLTs. But the study also
found that "the experience of . . . LLLTS to date has not been especially encouraging in terms of viable business models when operating as a pure full-time
LLLT practice."
"Washington State, Utah, and other jurisdictions are to be commended for
experimenting with new models of delivering at least limited legal services by
nonlawyers, subject to certain educational requirements and disciplinary oversight. After a period of refinement and growth, the licensed legal technician
model may mature into a potent solution to the access-to-justice gap,"
McGlone wrote. "In some jurisdictions, the model may grow to the point of
sustainability. . . . In other states, the model may not be an effective solution,
but given the persistence of the access-to-justice challenge, we must remain
open-minded about this innovative approach."
McGlone says one reason LLLTs and LPPs work in Washington State and Utah is
that they serve more rural areas where the ratio of lawyers is significantly less
than the general population.
Steve Crossland, a lawyer based in Cashmere, Washington, concurs. One of the
main architects of the LLLT program, he argues that Washington State's accessto-justice crisis stems largely from fewer people entering and graduating from
law schools there. "About half of the Washington State Bar Association consists
of baby boomers like me," Crossland says. "And many of us are retiring. That
shrinking number of practicing lawyers has caused a crisis."
Krantz notes that because of the District's high cost of living, many DCALF
clients struggle to pay its already reduced fees. "There are over 100,000 people
in the District who fall within the 200 percent to 400 percent federal poverty
level. As an example, the annual income level for an individual at 200 percent of
the federal poverty level is $24,280, and $48,500 at 400 percent. DCALF charges
$75 an hour for its legal services," Krantz explains. "We learned very quickly that
most of our clients cannot afford to pay even that rate. If we are going to add
'limited' nonlawyer services in D.C. to address the reality of the needs here, we
have to develop a program that provides opportunities and incentives for qualified nonlawyers to provide services at a much lower cost."
James Sandman, president of the Legal Services Corporation, says District residents may be leery of LLLTs because of the very nature of their practice. "Let's
start with the title they gave the position - limited licensed legal technician.


https://www.dcbar.org/

Washington Lawyer - September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - September 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Tomorrow’s Lawyers: Jd + Practice Ready
The Justice Gap & The Rise Of Nonlawyer Legal Providers
D.C. Bar Cle: Keeping Up With The Law
Aba Delegate’s Corner
Member Spotlight
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask The Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
2019 Celebration Of Leadership & Presidents Reception
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Tomorrow’s Lawyers: Jd + Practice Ready
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 14
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 16
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - The Justice Gap & The Rise Of Nonlawyer Legal Providers
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 19
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 20
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 22
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 24
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - D.C. Bar Cle: Keeping Up With The Law
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 26
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 27
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Aba Delegate’s Corner
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 29
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 31
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 32
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 33
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 37
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 39
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Ask The Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 43
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 2019 Celebration Of Leadership & Presidents Reception
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 45
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - September 2019 - Cover4
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/januaryfebruary2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/januaryfebruary2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/januaryfebruary2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/januaryfebruary2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/januaryfebruary2022
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2021
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2021
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2021
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/marchapril2021
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/marchapril2021
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/novemberdecember2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/septemberoctober2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/june2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2020
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/october2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/june2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2019
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/June/July2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/March2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/February2018
https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/November2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/july2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/June2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/february2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2016
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2016/
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/october2016
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september2016
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com