UTAH SUPREME COURT OFFICIALLY PROPOSES LARGEST REFORMS TO LEGAL PROFESSION IN A GENERATION
Salt Lake City, UT — The Utah Supreme Court has recognized the lack of affordable legal services can be devastating for many people. Between free but limited legal aid, and standard attorney service that can easily exceed $200 an hour, there are few options for affordable legal help.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of finding new, affordable, and high-quality innovations as quickly as possible.
That is why the Supreme Court is offering expedited review and approval of proposals from individuals and entities who believe they can offer low-cost, or no-cost, legal advice for small businesses, people with unemployment issues, and others.
“Americans need and deserve access to affordable legal services,” said Utah Supreme Court Justice Deno Himonas, who heads the Utah Implementation Task Force on Regulatory Reform. “For decades, we in the legal profession have tried to volunteer ourselves across the access-to-justice gap. Under that approach, we’ve witnessed the gap grow into a crisis. And now COVID-19 and its aftermath threaten so many of us with severe legal consequences. The Utah Supreme Court’s regulatory reform efforts offer a way to harness innovation and market forces to improve the delivery of much-needed legal services to all.”
Today, the Utah Supreme Court announced the proposed set of comprehensive regulatory reforms. The announcement comes after many months of careful work and study by a group of state and national legal experts.
A pilot regulatory sandbox has been created to provide a safe space for experimentation while being monitored for safety and effectiveness. An Office of Legal Services Innovation will be created to assist the Utah Supreme Court with respect to overseeing and regulating the practice of law by nontraditional legal service providers or by traditional providers offering nontraditional legal services.
The proposed reforms are the first in a series of changes that will open up Utah’s legal industry to new and more modern ways of offering legal advice at a lower cost. The goal is to fill in the access-to-justice gap with a variety of new, forward-thinking, services for Utah residents. Last year, the Supreme Court approved the Licensed Paralegal Professional. An LPP can help people with family and debt collection matters, such as divorce, civil stalking, custody and support, and small claims cases. Moving forward, the Supreme Court is expecting more innovations will be forthcoming.
Click here for the proposed rule changes: