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What is an LLLT?

A limited license legal technician (“LLLT,” “3LT,” or “triple-LT”) is an individual licensed by the State of Washington to perform limited legal services for the public.  Legal technicians are not attorneys, but can provide many of the same services as attorneys, in a limited capacity.  This is similar in manner to how Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners and Physician’s Assistants can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication to patients without physician oversight.  Alaska, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Washington were the first states to offer expanded scope of practice ARNPs in the 1980s.  Not surprisingly, it is again Washington that has become the first state to allow the limited practice of law by non-attorneys and continues to refine the scope of practice for this profession.  Many other states are currently in the process of creating their own non-attorney legal practitioner rules.

Why was the LLLT profession advanced?

The Washington State Supreme Court ordered adoption of APR 28  in 2012 to address the gap in “necessary legal and law related services for low and moderate income persons.”  More than three-quarters (76{6cf5a4bf0f61f62b262506a0646531264be256ca32586f0e288608a50be6c120}) of those who have a legal problem do not get the help they need, according to the 2015 Washington State Civil Legal Needs Study Update.  Low- and moderate-income individuals and families are often unable to afford attorneys, whose hourly fees normally fall in the range of $200-400, and higher.  By licensing qualified legal technicians, more people will have access to legal services.  In general, a client can expect a legal technician’s hourly rate to be about 1/3 that of an attorney’s, depending on both the attorney’s and legal technician’s level of experience.  Many legal technicians offer flat-fee services so that clients are able to anticipate and budget for their legal expenses.

What are the licensing requirements for a legal technician?

Most legal technicians formerly have been paralegals.  All must meet rigorous education requirements, must have a minimum amount of experience, and must have passed the LLLT Bar Exam administered by the Washington State Bar Association.  Legal technicians are members of the State Bar and many are members of their local county bar associations.  Legal technicians can have varying degrees of experience, both in regard to total years in practice and within certain practice areas, so it is wise to “shop around” when considering your options for obtaining such services.

What are the rules and regulations that govern a legal technician’s practice and conduct?

Legal technicians are regulated APR 28 – The Limited Practice Rule for Limited License Legal Technicians.

Legal technicians are held to high standards of professional conduct very similar to those of attorneys.  For more information, read the LLLT Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC):