The new legal profession responds to the need to serve the less fortunate in lower-level representation

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What happens when you need help but the legal costs are too high? Most go without representation or are unable to get help to repair an accident or situation. This, combined with the need for professional training in how to navigate the system, results in many being underserved.

A licensed paralegal practitioner is a new opportunity for people looking to enter the legal industry and for the many people who need help but cannot navigate the legal system or afford it. This is an entirely new legal license that was created a few years ago for these specific purposes.

In Utah, as in the whole country, direct access to justice is a major issue. There are also many who see the need, want to help, but do not have the means or the time to become a lawyer. An LPP may practice law, but is not required to have the same level of training or education as a practicing attorney.

A licensed paralegal will help provide affordable legal representation, assistance with low-level legal matters that do not rise to the level of judicial representation, complete legal forms, obtain more information about their rights and obligations and many other targeted ways.

To become an LPP, one must meet certain education, experience, and course requirements. By having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, holding a law degree or master’s degree in legal studies, and completing a substantial 1500 hours of law-related experience, you can become an LPP. The experience must be hands-on, hands-on training in the areas of law in which LPPs are eligible to be licensed, namely: family law, debt collection, and evictions.

Currently, the estimated salary for an LPP is quite unlimited depending on the rates and amount of work. Since the profession has only been in existence for three years, there is not much data on the income of these positions. LPPs are free to set their fees, which are lower than those of a licensed attorney, but higher than those of a paralegal. There is much more training to become a licensed paralegal as they will be licensed to practice law. The title mentions paralegal, a position currently unable to practice law, as they have the necessary training to become a licensed paralegal.

If you are looking to enter the economy with a new opportunity and want to step in for many people on the lower level who can use your help, please visit the Utah State Bar at UtahBar.org or find out more about schools that offer paralegal programs.


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