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LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REPORTSUBMITTED September 22, 2021
California Paraprofessional Study Group

FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE CALIFORNIA PARAPROFESSIONAL WORKING GROUP TO BE VOTED ON FOR ADOPTION  September, 23, 2021. 


As many of you are aware, the Paraprofessional Working Group is ready to present their report review and recommendations to the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California regarding the potential establishment of this new classification of legal professionals. 

While CALDA has been following these proceedings, we will not be taking a formal position regarding this proposal. The full report, including an executive summary, is now posted  on our website for your reference . We at CALDA are actively studying the gaps and identifying areas where LDA’s can improve the quality of service to the public. CALDA will be offering Certification & Education, on topics such as the Unauthorized Practice of Law, Disclosures, Ethics, and best practices for Independent LDA’s.

For those of our members who are interested in pursuing this potential new career path or are just curious, below are some very brief highlights to give you a bit of the flavor of this program at this point in time. 


PROS:

A paraprofessional would have more flexibility in offering guidance and advice, whether in the freedom to more thoroughly explain forms available to the customer or to even assist the customer in making the choice in forms to use or even choosing the forms for the customer.  This may be an advantage in the marketplace above the LDA.  


CONS:

  • Greater educational requirements and higher costs in obtaining and maintaining the paraprofessional status, including:   
    • Higher bond amounts, higher annual premiums
    • Contribution to a Client Security Fund managed by the State Bar
    • Significant additional education requirement 
    • Licensing and testing fees
    • Increased and more rigorous MCLE requirements 
  • Higher exposure to the scrutiny of the Bar and stricter disciplinary oversight from the Supreme Court
  • Same background check for Attorneys
  • Paraprofessional will need to pass a test administered by the California Bar Association.


GOING FOWARD:

CALDA, will continue to advocate for the rights of the self-help consumer and work within the framework of Business & Professional Code 6400. 


The State Bar of California: Final Report and Recommendations of the California Paraprofessional Program Working Group


Respectfully submitted,

CALDA LEGISLATIVE CHAIR

CHESTER A. RUIZ

ruiz.chester@gmail.com


LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REPORTS:

September 22, 2021

July 7, 2021



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