Utah recently passed a law that allows paralegals to independently practice in specific areas of law, in certain circumstances. The areas of law currently open for Licensed Paralegal Practitioners, as of right now, are: Family Law; Landlord/Tenant disputes; and, Debt Collection Law (under the small claims amount, currently $11,000).
Licensed Paralegal Practitioner’s (aka LPPs) can assist in limited ways. They can file court documents, serve as mediators, complete settlement negotiations, review court documents and sit with a client during a court proceeding. Licensed Paralegal Practitioners are not allowed to represent a client in court, and are not allowed to prepare documents for court that are not court provided.
The decision to allow LPP’s to practice in limited fields and in limited ways was created by the Utah Supreme Court Task Force as a way to address the large number of litigants who are unrepresented or forgo access to the Utah Judicial system because of the high cost of retaining a lawyer (UTcourt.gov ). The three practice areas LLPs are currently allowed to practice in were determined to have the highest number of unrepresented litigants in need of low-cost legal assistance. (Id).
LPP’s are licensed and monitored by the Utah State Bar. They are subject to the Ethical Standards and Discipline, including the requirement of confidentiality, like attorneys. They are required to complete continuing education yearly, and must renew their licenses annually. It is exciting to see how this innovation will play out.
We are happy to announce that our paralegal, Brooke, has successfully passed and been admitted as a Licensed Paralegal Practitioner, licensed in Landlord/Tenant disputes and Debt Collection. Please contact our office at 801-612-9299 to speak with her about your legal needs.