Current proposals to broaden access to legal services are predicated on sound regulatory frameworks that keep the public protected.
By Leah Wilson
Leah Wilson is the executive director of the State Bar of California.
Re “Market capitalism is not the answer to close the justice gap”; Commentary, March 7, 2022
In her commentary, Lorraine López expresses concerns about the State Bar of California’s efforts to broaden access to legal services that are based on oft-repeated but nonetheless inaccurate assumptions.
Most importantly, the State Bar is not proposing an “unregulated industry.” Current proposals for a licensed paraprofessional – which recently returned from public comment – and future, as-yet-to-be-developed proposals that may allow for limited experimentation in the delivery of legal services, are all predicated on sound regulatory frameworks that keep the need to protect the public front and center.
Further, the proposal to license paraprofessionals would require significantly more training than is required for paralegals, not less. The proposal also contains a full set of draft rules of paraprofessional conduct that address the very ethical concerns that López raises. All this being said, on one thing we surely agree: “innovative methods to close the justice gap are sorely needed.”