What is a LLLT / Legal Technician?
Limited License Legal Technicians also known as LLLT's, are legal professionals licensed by the Washington State Bar Association to provide advice and assistance in many family law matters. LLLTs must meet strict standards to achieve licensure. These include education at UW School of Law, examination from the State Bar, and 3000 hours of supervised experience.
LLLTs must carry professional liability insurance and attend continuing legal education. Legal Technicians are members of the Washington State Bar and and follow Rules of Professional Conduct similar to attorneys.
What can a LLLT do?
Legal Technicians are similar to nurse practitioners, except in the legal field. When a person has a sore throat, he/she doesn't require the skills of a surgeon. Similarly, when a person has legal needs that are primarily form based and do not require representation in court, a legal technician may be a reasonable and more cost effective option.
A LLLT can complete many family law forms for clients in dissolutions, legal separations, and some aspects of committed intimate relationships and third party custody. LLLT's can complete parenting plans, child support worksheets and explain family law forms to you.
LLLTs can file forms on your behalf with the court.
LLLTs will help you understand service of process.
LLLTs may not advocate on your behalf but may attend court hearings with you and speak on factual or procedural matters to a judge or commissioner.
Do I need an LLLT, and can I afford it?
This decision is up to you. In the past, family law litigants had only two options, either hire a full service attorney to help you figure out your legal matter, or try to do it yourself with self-help resources. There was nothing in-between. Now there is.
LLLTs provide important access to justice for those who can afford to pay something; people who know they can't afford an attorney, but don't qualify for pro bono legal aid programs. Washington is the first state in the country to create this new profession. I am proud to be a pioneer in this field and help people navigate the often confusing court system.
Costs are difficult to determine. If you have an agreement with your spouse already and simply need forms prepared and filed, I may be able to quote a flat fee. If your matter is highly contested and requires motions and hearings, you will pay more. Generally my hourly rate is $125 per hour, but sometimes less. I do offer payment plans.