At its meeting on March 12, 2020, the Board of Trustees established the California Paraprofessional Program Working Group (CPPWG), and charged it with developing recommendations for the creation of a paraprofessional licensure program. The CPPWG was directed to balance the dual goals of ensuring public protection and increasing access to legal services. The California Paraprofessional Program Working Group Report and Recommendations, with its accompanying appendices, represents the full set of the working group recommendations.
Discussion / Proposal
The State Bar has long been aware of a gap between Californians’ need for civil legal services and the availability of those services. In an effort to address this justice gap, since the late 1980s and early 1990s the State Bar Board has considered the idea of licensing nonlawyers to provide limited legal services to the public. In 2018, the State Bar updated its 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, adding the objective of exploring options to increase access to justice by licensing nonlawyer legal services providers.
In March 2020, the Board of Trustees appointed the California Paraprofessional Program Working Group (CPPWG) and charged it with developing recommendations for the creation of a paraprofessional licensure program, with a goal of increasing access to justice while ensuring public protection. The CPPWG submitted its report and recommendations at the Board’s September 2021 meeting.
Appendix A provides a summary of the programmatic and policy recommendations included in the report; Appendix B provides proposed Paraprofessional Rules of Professional Conduct; and Appendix C provides proposed Standards of Licensed Paraprofessional Sanctions for Professional Misconduct. Following are links to each of these documents:
Appendix A. Summary of Programmatic and Policy Recommendations
Appendix B. Proposed Paraprofessional Rules of Professional Conduct
Appendix C. Proposed Standards of Licensed Paraprofessional Sanctions for Professional Misconduct (Disciplinary Standards)
Background information is provided in the report presented to the Board of Trustees, whch details the research undertaken by the CPPWG to develop the recommendations provided for a paraprofessional progpam, including all appendices referenced within the report. The full report can be found at the following link:
September 2021 Agenda Item 701: California Paraprofessional Program Working Group Report and Recommendations