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Full text of "Paralegal assistants : hearing before the Subcommittee on Representation of Citizen Interests of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-third Congress, second session ... July 23, 1974"

PARALEGAL ASSISTANTS 



HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON 
REPRESENTATION OF CITIZEN INTERESTS 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY 
UNITED STATES SENATE 

NINETY-THIRD CONGRESS 

SECOND SESSION 

ON 

PARALEGAL ASSISTANTS 



JULY 23, 1974 



Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary 




i LAW CENTER ULRARY 

CONCORD, N. H. 

I 

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
^^^^^ 41-375 WASHINGTON : 1974 

jarcn 

'■3'^ ON DEPOSIT DEC 3 1 1974 



i 



PARALEGAL ASSISTANTS 



HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON 
REPRESENTATION OF CITIZEN INTERESTS 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY 
UNITED STATES SENATE 

NINETY-THIRD CONGRESS 

SECOND SESSION 

ON 

PARALEGAL ASSISTANTS 



JULY 23, 1974 



Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary 







i i^^CW. 



. LAW CENTER L3RARY 

CONCORD, N. H. 

I 

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
41-375 WASHINGTON : 1974 

ON DEPOSIT etc 3 1 w^4 



Boston Public Libiaiy 
Boston, liA 02116 



COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY 

JAMES O. EASTLAND, Mississippi, Chairman 

JOHN L. McCLELLAN, Arkansas ROMAN L. HRUSKA, Nebraska 

SAM J. ERVIN, Jr., North Carolina HIRAM L. FONG. Hawaii 

PHILIP A. HART, Michigan HUGH SCOTT, Pennsylvania 

EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts STROM THURMOND, South Carolina 

BIRCH BAYH, Indiana MARLOW W. COOK, Kentucky 

ROBERT C. BYRD, West Virginia CHARLES McC. MATHIAS, JR., Maryland 

JOHN V. TUNNEY, California EDWARD J. GURNEY, Florida 



Subcommittee ox Representation of Citizen Interests 

JOHN V. TUNNEY, California, Chairman 

SAM J. ERVIN, Jr., North Carolina MARLOW W. COOK, Kentucky 

BIRCH BAYH, Indiana CHARLES McC. MATHIAS, JR., Maryland 

JANE FRANK, Chief Counsel and Staff Director 

NEIL LEVY, Assistant Counsel 

JOSEPH DAWAHARE, Minority Counsel 

W. DEAN DRAKE, Chief Clerk 

(II) 



CONTENTS 



Hearing Days 

Pagf 

Tuesday, July 23, 1974 1 

Statement of Subcommittee Members 

Tunney, Hon. John V., U.S. Senator from California, chairman, Sub- 
committee on Representation of Citizen Interests 1 

Witnesses 

Allen, Wilbur, managing partner, Allen, Allen, Allen, & Allen Corp., ac- 
companied by Sally Fairbanks 79 

Anderson, Austin, chairman of the American Bar Association Special 

Committee on Legal Assistants 58 

Dickey, Frank, executive director of the National Commission on 

Accrediting 96 

Fairbanks, Sall,y, administrative manager of Allen, Allen, Allen, & Allen 

Corp., accompanying Mr. Allen 82 

Fry, William, executive director of the National Paralegal Institute, ac- 
companied by Jim Miller 32 

Johnson, Phyllis, graduate of the Institute for Paralegal Training, ac- 
companying Mr. Shapiro 7 

Miller, Jim, of the Philadelphia OEO Legal Services Organization, ac- 
companying Mr. Fry 40 

Quinn, Thomas M., Association of American Law Schools 107 

Shapiro, Paul, director of Institute for Paralegal Training, accompanied 

by Ms. Johnson 3 

Statements and Documents for the Record 

American Association of Commtmity and Junior Colleges 204 

Arnett, Alvin J., Director, Office of Economic Opportunity, OEO, ex- 
perience with paralegals, letter to Senator Tunney, July 18, 1974 113 

Association of Paralegal Professionals 207 

Berg, Carla, president, San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants 
and Watenmaker, Victoria, president. The Los Angeles Paralegal As- 
sociation 197 

Berge, Charlotte, president, the Atlanta Association of Legal Assistants. _ 224 

Carrington, Paul D., University of Denver, speech on law school cur- 

riculums and paraprofessionalism, delivered June 9, 1974 114 

Chambers, Yolanda H., director, Department of Human Development 
and Services University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA's attorney 
assistant training program, letter to Senator Tunney, July 17, 1974 121 

District of Columbia Paralegal Association, statement of the members of the 

steering committee 225 

DeMent, Sandy, executive director. National Consumer Center for Legal 

Services 235 

Hawkins, Robert L., Jr., president, the Mii^souri bar 237 

Humphreys, Gladys G., chairwoman, secretarial and paraprofessional 
programs, Humphrey's College, training of paralegals and impact on 
legal profession, letter to Senator Tunney, July 12, 1974 123 

Larbalestrier, Deborah E., executive director, the American Paralegal 

Association 240 

Lawson, William H., assistant to the superintendent, instruction-services, 
Ventura County Community College District, paralegal training pro- 
grams, letter to Senator Tunney, July 15, 1974 125 

(HI) 



IV 

Page 
Lernor, Marc, Richard A. Stone law office, potential value of paralegals, 

letter to Senator Tunney, July 18, 1974 125 

Longmire, Francis, vice president, the Legal Clinic of Jacoby and Meyers, 

letter to Senator Tunney, July 15, 1974 14o 

Metz, David E., associate professor of law, University of Massachusetts, 

Boston 247 

MoUenaar, Shiela J., president, Chicago Association of Paralegal As- 
sistants, letter and booklet, "The Legal Assistant: A Self Statement," 

July 18, 1974 146 

Moulton, Jennifer T., president. Rocky Mountain Legal Assistants As- 
sociation, paralegals and lowered legal costs, letter to Senator Tunnev, 

July 18, 1974 !. 169 

National Federation of Paralegal Associations, letter to California Senate 

Judiciary Committee, July, 24, 1974 203 

Office of the Solicitor of Labor, paralegal program information 173 

Olsen, Fred J., dean, Ventura College of Law, letter and pamphlet, "Divi- 
sion of Paralegal Studies," July 26, 1974 173 

Price, John Scott, coordinator of paralegal development. Community 

Action for Legal Services, Inc 249 

Pugh, Francis X., director legal assistant program, Villa Julie College, 

July 11, 1974 : 254 

San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants, annual survey, 1973 179 

San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants Statement 218 

Watenmaker, Victoria, president, Los Angeles Paralegal Association, 
letter to Senator Tunney on problems in defining aspects of the legal 

assistant and accompanying letter, July 29, 1974 195 

White, Richardson, Jr., president, Blackstone Associates 255 

Yaegar, Louis, chairman, business division, Canada College, letter to 

Senator Tunney on paralegal training programs, July 15, 1974 203 



PARALEGAL ASSISTANTS 



TUESDAY, JULY 23, 1974 

U.S. Senate, 
Subcommittee on Representation of Citizen Interest 

OF the Committee on the Judiciary, 

Washington, D.C. 

The subcoinmiltec met. pursuant to notice, at 10:15 o'clock a.m. in 
room 1318. Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator John Y. Tunney 
presidiiifT. 

Present : Senator Tunney. 

Also present : Jane Frank, Xeil Levy, Joseph Dawahare, "W. Dean 
Drake. 

Senator Tunney. The hearing will come to order. 

OPENING EEMAEKS OE HON. JOHN V. TUNNEY, U.S. SENATOR 
FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, SUBCOMMITTEE ON REPRE- 
SENTATION OF CITIZEN INTEREST 

Today, tlie Judiciary Subcommittee on Representation of Citizen 
Interest begins hearings on recent developments in paralegal 
assistance. 

In recent years, the term "paralegal" has been applied to legal 
assistants with various amounts of training — from secretarial skills 
to college or gi'aduate degrees — who perform law-related tasks, such 
as legal research, interviewing clients, investigating claims, processing: 
legal documents, and assistino- in the preparation for trial, which do 
not necessarily I'equire an attorney's time or expertise. Paralegals are 
less often used in court -related work because statutes in most States 
forbid the unauthorized practice of law, and bar association rules limit 
the use of nonlicensed personnel. 

Today, we will hear from a paralegal training institute, paralegals 
themseh^es. educators, lawyers, and bar associations. We will test the 
assertion that becau.se they save from one-quarter to one-half of a 
lawver's time, paralegals can be a maior factor in lowering the cost 
and increasing the availability of legal services, against the arainnent 
that paralegals merely make more money for lawvers. AVe will learn 
of the organized bar's efforts to "safeguard the public" by controlling 
the accreditation of paralegal training programs, a move which some 
see as narrow-minded self-interest. 

Two premivSes underlie the work of this subcommittee to date. The 
first is that the average American citizen is frequently faced with an 
unfulfilled need for eifective legal representation. The second is that 
the high cost and traditional modes of practice operate to bar many 
citizens from access to needed representation. As part of the subcom- 
mittee's ongoing investigation into ways to lower the cost and improve 

(1) 



the delivery of legal services, we have already studied the role of the 
organized bar in serving the public, developments in prepaid legal 
services plans, and the use of small claims courts and arbitration to 
resolve minor legal disputes. The use of paralegal assistants is another 
important component of this investigation. 

During the last 5 years, paralegals have gained widespread accept- 
ance. Because the definition of a paralegal is still imprecise, accurate 
statistics on their numbers are unavailable; estimates run as high as 
50,000. The U.S. Civil Service Commission estimates that 
the Federal Government alone employs 30,000 nonlawers in law- 
related job classifications. The OEO-funded legal services program 
uses oA'er 1.000 paralegals in 127 legal aid offices. One trainirg institute 
in Philadelphia has graduated 1,000 students and placed 95 percent 
of them in private law firms. 

Numerous training programs across the coutitry have developed. 
There are now more than 50 formal training programs in the United 
States, most of Avhich are nonprofit affiliates of colleges and univer- 
sities. Many public agencies and private law firms have their own 
training programs. At least five national and numerous Jocal organi- 
zations of paralegals have sprung up across the countr3\ Many of 
there organizations will be submitting statements for the record of 
this hearing. 

These developments have not gone unnoticed by the organized bar. 
The American Bar Association, in 1968, went on record in support of 
the training and employment of legal assistants. In 1972, the ABA's 
house of delegates directed a Special Committee on Legal Assistants 
to develop standards for accrediting formal programs for the train- 
ing of paralegals.. These guidelines were adopted by the ABA house 
of delegates 1 year later, and the special committee will seek authority 
at the ABA annual meeting in Honolulu this August to implement 
them. 

Some critics charge that bar control of the training programs will 
defeat the impact of paralegals as a cost-lowering device. What is 
needed in the legal profession, they argue, is more competition with 
allied professions such as legal assistants. A recent report of a Special 
Task Force to the Secretary of HEW on National Policy and Higher 
Educntion expressed substantial opposition to control of allied profes- 
sions by professional groups, and stated : 

Tlie rush toward professionalization * * * has often been at the expense of 
equitable access to careers, consumer protection, and individual opportunity for 
advancement * * *. Now while it is still feasible, the Federal Government must 
consider how it can assist in the encouragement of a more open and flexible 
educational community. 

On the State level, there hns been some activity — with the State of 
California in the foiefi-ont. The "Certified Attorneys' Assistants Act" 
has now passed the California State Assembly and awaits State senate 
action. In its present form, it sets up a broadly representative board 
composed of members of the State bar, persons engaged in paralegal 
training, paralegals themselves, and private citizens to establish the 
criteria for licensing individual paralegals and accrediting training 
prorri-ai-ns. 

Like the dental technical, the paramedic, and the architect assistant, 
the paralegal may improve the quality of professional service while 



lowci'ino; tJieir costs, AVhollier tliis development fulfills its potential 
will depend on the oi'tranized bar, lawyers, educators, paralegals, 
legislators, and concerned members of the public. 

Our first witness is Mr. Paul Shapiro, director of the Institute for 
Paralegal Training, Philadelphia, Pa., who is accompanied by Phyllis 
Johnson, graduate of the institute. 

Mr. Shapiro, is Miss Johnson here? 

Please come forward. 

I would suggest that you try to limit your remarks to about 15 
minutes. The Judiciary Committee will have to have a quorum in order 
to go into executive session, and I must attend. I would imagine that 
that would be about 15 minutes. 

[Discussion off the record.l 

STATEMENT OF PAUL SHAPIRO, ESQ., DIRECTOPv, INSTITUTE EOR 
PARALEGAL TRAINING, PHILADELPHIA, PA. 

Mv. Shapiko. Senatoi- Tunney and membere of the subcommittee and 
staff, before beginning my ]iresentation, I would like to thank you for 
inviting jne to present my views on the subject of paralegals. 

The urbanization of our society, which tends to complicate relation- 
ships, the high degree of government involvement in our lives, and 
other factors expose us all to law and regulation which inevitably 
lead us to need legal services, whetlier we be the largest business corpo- 
ration, the most humble citizen or the rather neglected average wage 
earner. 

The great failure of the legal system in this society is that it has 
been unable to deliver legal services to many in need of them at a 
reasonable price. 

The problem is undoubtedly two-fold, as it is in medicine. The 
delivery of services must be made more economical, and the money to 
pay for services must be made available to those who will be unable 
to afford them at any price. 

I would like to talk about one of these problems, the delivery of 
legal services in a more economic fashion. 

While there are many technological innovations which may make 
the modern law office moi-e efficient than its predecessors, it is clear 
that the major cost component of legal services is professional labor. If 
the labor cost can be lowered, the price of the services can be lowerd. 

The use of paralegals is a major economic breakthrough in the prac- 
tice of law, bcause paralegals do lower the labor cost incurred in pro- 
viding legal services. 

"What then is a paralegal ? 

I will try to skip the more complex definitions and just stick to the 
simple one, that is, that paralegals are nonlawyers who perform func- 
tions traditionally performed by lawyers. 

The fundamental theories on which use of paralegals rest are as 
follows: 

First, that a lea^al matter can be broken into small tasks. Each task 
need not be done by the same person. 

Second, that not all of the individual tasks involved in handling a 
client's ]-»roblem require a lawyer to do them. In fact, most of what a 
lawyer does every day was not learned in law school. Instead, it was 



learned on tlie job. Surely, there are others in the society who possess 
the aptitude to do some parts of the work. 

The basic concepts involved are not new. Industry adopted these 
concej)ts v;hen it switched from the piecework method of production 
to the production line. The advent of nursing and the other medical 
subprofessions marked a similar change in the practice of medicine. 
Actually, we have had some de facto use of paralegals for years. There 
are many legal secretaries who did work in one office that was done by 
lawyers in another. 

What is new. I believe, is the concept of formally trained paralegals 
who can, within a particular type of practice, do a wide variety of 
tasks that involve a real understanding of the substance of a transac- 
tion or lawsuit. 

In the limited time alloted me, I would like to discuss the Institute 
for Paralegal Training of which I am a founder, the licensing and 
accreditation of institutions for training paralegals and the certifica- 
tion of paralegals. Of necessity, I will be brief. 

However, much of what I will discuss has been elaborated upon the 
written submission which I have delivered to the subcommittee. 

The Institute for Paralegal Training is a proprietary institution 
which was founded in March of 1970 by three attorneys, including 
myself and a businessman. 

The school grew out of the need which we perceived for trained 
paralegals and the feeling that law firms could not economically do the 
training themselves. 

The institute's students are, for the most part, graduates of -l-year 
colleges with excellent academic records. Acceptance is highly com- 
petitive. 

The institute recruits its students through an active oncampus re- 
cruiting program at about 110 colleges and universities from coast to 
coast. Students attending the institute have actually come from about 
260 colleges and universities throughout the country. 

The institute presently offers six courses. Five train students to per- 
form tasks in one legal specialty area, either corporations, estates and 
trusts, litigation, real estate, or employee benefit plans. Students take 
one of these courses, and it is expected that they will work for lawyers 
with a corresponding specialty. 

The institute also offers a general pi-actice course which trains stu- 
dents to do tasks in four areas of law designed to mesh with the needs 
of small- to medium-size law firms. In September we are adding a 
course in criminal law. 

The specialty coui'ses each run 13 weeks, or 180 class hours, while the 
general pi'actice course runs 17 weeks and consists of 231 class hours. 
Classes meet 3 hours per dav, .") days a week. 

The coui'ses are all taught by practicing attornevs with experience 
in the area they teach. The basis for the class work is a lengthy text 
in-oduced by us for each course. In addition to class work, there are 
writing assiflfuments which are designed to parallel the tasks which a 
]iaralegal might be given on the job. And there are tests. Not all stu- 
dents are able to successfully complete the program, although about 04 
per-cent of those enrolled do receive a certificate of completion. 

Ij^on completing a course, the institute endeavors to place each of 
its irraduates. 



Placement is liandlod by a staff of 10 full-time people, plus others 
who devote i)art of their time to placement. This large staff is con- 
sistent with our belief that vocational education nuist lead to a job. 
Otherwise, the expectations of the student have not been met. We have 
been able to achieve a remarkable placement record, especially con- 
sidering the neAvness of the field. To date, over 90 percent of the in- 
stitute's graduates who were eligible for placement received jobs within 
2 months after graduation. 

I would like to mention (me unique aspect of our arrangement with 
students in the specialty coui-ses which I've mentioned. We enter into an 
agreement with each student, whereby the students designate a place- 
ment city upon gi'aduation. If w^e fail to get the student a job offer in 
that city within 2 months after graduation, the student receives a full 
tuition refund. We have been able to make that arrangement by care- 
fully controlling applicants to correspond with our estimates of the 
job market in each city. To date, the institute has graduated about 
1.000 students. Graduates are working in more than 250 private law 
firms and over 40 banks and corporations in about TO cities from 
coast to coast. 

The institute is licensed in Pennsylvania as a private business school. 
In addition, it is licensed in five other States in which it solicits 
students. 

Licensing involves a judgment by the State that the financial con- 
dition of the school is adequate for its purpose, that the physical facili- 
ties are adequate, and that the administration's credentials are satis- 
factory. While approval of faculty and programs is also within the 
purview^ of most State regulatory schemes, the State agencies generally 
i-eview faculty and course content in a rather cursory manner. I would 
like to focus briefly on a few problems relating to State licensing of 
paralegals and other private vocational institutions. 

First, the lack of reciprocity between the States. There is virtually no 
reci])rocity between the States with regard to licensing. This results in 
duplication of effort on the part of the licensee who must prepare many 
api^lications, pay several fees and obtain mutiple school bonds. 

In addition, the regulations differ from State to State. One example 
of differing requirements is the tuition refund applicable to a student 
who does not complete a course. The refund varies- depending uiion the 
State in which the student was solicited. Also, advertising rules vary 
f I'om State to State, so that a statement in a brochure may be accept- 
able in one State and not permissible in another. 

These problems may be less serious in some fields where all of the peo- 
ple in the field are subject to the same regulation. However, in our field, 
the majority of competitive progi-ams are nonprofit and. therefore, 
subject to less stringent regulation. It must be remembered that non- 
profit institutions are subject to many of the same abuses as can occur in 
those with a profit motive. 

Aside from State regulation, accreditation or approval of programs 
is now on the horizon. For the past 3 years, the American Bar Associa- 
tion Special Committee on Legal Assistants has wrestled with this 
i:>roblem. Last August the house of delgates of the ABA authorized the 
special committee to begin recommending programs for approval, in 
accordance with guidelines which had been developed by the committee. 

The guidelines, as presently constituted, would premit the approval 



6 

of many types of programs. The basic reqiiiiemeiit is that 15 semester 
hours be devoted to paralegal training. The training can be general ; 
that is, in several areas of law, or the training can be in a legal specialty. 
The guidelines also require 45 semester hours of general education, al- 
though students may receive credit for past education, as would be the 
case with virtualh^ all of our students. Tlie ABA guidelines require that 
the program have a lawyer advisory board, that the program be spon- 
sored by a parent institution which is accredited, or eligible for accredi- 
tation by one of the recognized accrediting agencies, and the program 
be in existence for 2 years at the time it applies for accreditation. 

The committee has made a pilot accreditation visit to the institute 
and a few other programs, to test the procedures it has developed. 
When the ABA begins actual accreditation of programs, we would 
expect to be among the first instiutions to aj^ply. 

Many people active in the field believe that, close on the heels of ac- 
creditation, will come certification of paralegals. While the special com- 
mittee of the ABA might well get into that field once it finalizes 
accreditation procedures, the State of California has already begun to 
move toward State certification of paralegals and approval of pro- 
grams. The California Assembly has passed a bill which is now before 
the senate. The bill authorizes the creation of a certified attorney assist- 
ant board of nine ]:)ersons, which, acting in cooperation with the board 
of governors of the State bar association, will establish criteria for cer- 
tification. The board is expected to create job-functions related exams 
and to establish standards for approved programs for training 
paralegals. 

The California legislation does not contain the crucial substantive 
information of importance to paralegals desiring certification, and 
institutions seeking approval of their programs. That will come later 
from the board. 

However, the legislation does raise the question of whether an 
institution approved by the ABA will also have to be approved by 
California and ultimately many other States. 

Certification is a thorny area. One nnist ask what we are trying to 
accomplish. Do clients need the protection of certification? I would 
argue that, so long as the lawyer they hire is responsible for the work, 
certification adds little. 

Do attorneys need the protection? It would seem that attorneys 
could reasonably protect tliemselves by hiring graduates of approved 
programs. Although, with regard to those who have not graduated 
from approved programs, certification would provide guidance for 
the hiring attorney. Over time, however, the number of people entering 
the field without completinsf a program may well diminish. 

It can be argued that certification will give well-deserved status and 
recognition to the paralegal. PTowever. I wonder if the ABA cannot 
better serve that need than can the States. 

I would like to add one final note with regard to certification and 
accreditation or approval of ]irograms. 

The field is new and so much at the experimental stage that it would 
be verv harmful to tie either nccreditation or certification to narrow 
inflexible guidelines. Yet. if the guidelines are broad, accreditation 
and certification may have little meaninq-. 

I have tried to cover a lot of ground relating to a subject which I 



find oxtremcly excitinc:. I take o;rcat pride in the fact that vrc liave 
changed the way the Law is practiced in many law firms throughout 
tlie countr3% wliile at the same time creating a job market for a group 
of people with great potential. 

One such person will speak next. The subcommittee has invited 
Phyllis Johnson, a practicing paralegal, to make some remarks. Be- 
cause Ms. Johnson is a graduate of our program, I have been given 
tlie pleasurable task of introducing her. Ms. Johnson is a graduate of 
Eaymond College of tlie T aiivorsity of the Pacific where she majored in 
philosophy. She graduated our litigation course in December 1971 
and, soon thereafter, began work in the Xew York law firm of "Weil, 
Gotshall & Manges. Her job involved work on an antitrust case ; and, 
wlien tlie files were transferred to cocounsel Arnold & Porter in Wash- 
ington, slie followed. 

In August 1973. ]\[r. Jolmson moved to Erie. Pa., to join her fiance, 
now husband, who is a law clerk to Justice Samuel Roberts of the 
Sujireme Court of Pennsylvania. ]\Is. Johnson worked for a private 
laAV firm in Erie for a few months and, since early December of last 
year, has worked for legal services of northwestern Pennsylvania. 

STATEMENT OF PHYLLIS JOHNSON, GRADUATE, INSTITUTE FOP. 
PARALEGAL TRAINING 

Ms. JoHxsox. Good morning. I am pleased to have the opportunity 
to express my views on possible legislative responses to the question 
of licensing and training of legal assistants and the accreditation of 
schools for legal assistants. 

As Paul Shapiro has mentioned. T graduated from and have woi-ked 
in the lab for years as a legal assistant, both in public and private 
offices. My work in private firms included document review, research 
and document analysis. 

]\ry current position with ]mblic legal services involves client inter- 
viewing, negotiation and drafting of pleadinirs. 

P)ecause of my diverse experience, I realize the complexity of the 
questions that have been raised here and can offer no easy answers. 

There is no doubt that, as Prof. Lester Brickman has stated, "The 
development of a trained legal paraprofessional group is clearly an 
idea whose time has come.'" 

Although we may agree on that much, the present concern is how to 
l)est imi)lement that idea. I would like to focus on a few questions 
winch inhere in our joint concern. 

T would like to stress my belief that legal assistants must have a 
voice in anv decisionmaking that affects their work and lives. Surely 
the professional ization of legal assistants is a desired and necessary 
goal. Although legal assivStants as a group are now considered a "para" 
profession, in my judgment, time will change this. By having profes- 
sional concern for clients and their problems, legal assistants make 
a truly significant contribution to the task of providing quality legal' 
services. As ci*eative, independent thinking is expected to them, legal 
assistants are emerging as a profession. 

I suggest, therefore, that, like all other professionals, legal assist- 
ants should manage their own affairs. 



I AVOLild agree that standards must be established to ensure that those 
holding themselves out as teachers of legal assistants do, in fact, ade- 
quately prepare persons to be legal assistants. 

The develoi^ment of curriculum is in an experimental stage. This 
makes the formulation of accreditation standards that meet the diverse 
needs of legal assistants all the more difficult. However, the questions 
of standards of accreditation and who should be the accrediting body 
are presently under consideration by the ABA. As a legal assistant 
who attended a training program, and is now practicing, let me share 
some thoughts with you on these questions. 

First, attending an accredited course for legal assistants should not 
be the sole method of entering the profession. Opportunities should 
exist for entry through apprentice programs. My experience has been 
that on-the-job training, if properly conducted and supervised, is 
just as effective, if not more so, in preparing a person to be a legal 
assistant. 

Persons who wish to be a legal assistant at either a public or private 
law office should have the opportunity to choose apprenticeship. Ap- 
pi'enticeship, however, is especially helpful in fulfilling the need of 
public legal services. This allows legal assistants to be drawn from the 
community served by legal services programs. 

My experience has been that "community" legal assistants play a 
significant role in public law offices. Because they are better able to 
communicate with the clients of legal services, problems are discovered 
more quickly and factual situations are drawn from the client more 
completely. Because they are usually long-time residents of the com- 
munity, they provide continuity in the delivery of legal services and 
furnish a foundation of trust for legal services within their com- 
munity. 

Moreover, requiring that all legal assistants attend an accredited 
school will have the effect of rasing the cost of entry into the profes- 
sion. Raising cost barriers to entry will likewise limit the supply of 
legal assistants, with the concomitant residt of increasing the cost of de- 
livery of legal services. To the extent this occut's, it will be comiter-pro- 
ductive to the very purpose of having legafassistants. 

Second, let me suggest that accreditation should not be used directly 
or exclusively to ensure the professional competence of legal assistants. 
Rather, as stated earlier, it should be directed to regulating courses of 
study designed for legal assistants. 

Licensing and the promulgation of normative standards are more 
senstive means of assuring professional competence. Licensing can 
guai'antee that those who enter the ]irofession have a certain level of 
competency without inhibiting important distinctions between public 
and private legal assistants. 

Normantive standards will enable the profession to exact a high 
level of professional conduct from its members and, when necessary, 
to enforce those standards. 

Again. I must reiterate my belief that, in the structuring of a licens- 
ing system and in the drafting of normative standards legal, assist- 
ants must play a key role. It is they who will have to live by these 
standards. 

Third. T am wary of accreditation at this time. This concern stems 
from a perception that, to the extent the to-be-accredited schools re- 



9 

fleet onl}' the needs of private law offices, accreditation will prejudice 
the status of public legal assistants. The Institute for Paralegal Train- 
ing which I attended, was oriented solely toward schooling persons tO' 
be legal assistants for private law firms. 

In m}' view, schools for public legal assistants are necessary to re- 
duce the cost of legal services to low and moderate-income persons. 
Without equal emphasis on accrediting schools, both for public as well 
as private legal assistants, premature accerditation will widen the al- 
ready existing gulf between public and private legal assistants. 

P'inally, legal assistants sliould have an actlA^e voice in determining 
the content of any curriculum designed to train persons entering their 
profession. This is only common sense. 

Legal assistants know firsthand the scope of tasks assigned them and 
in what way their prior training was relevant. They will be able to 
make thoughtful suggestions for imporving legal assistant schooling. 
Of coui"se, attorneys who work with legal assistants have a perception 
of the adequacy of legal assistant pre-job training that cannot, and 
should not, be ignored. Both perceptions are necessary if schools for 
legal assistants are to most effectively prepare persons to enter this new 
profession. 

Proper standards for legal assistants and for schools for legal assist- 
ants is a goal shared by all those interested in the adminish-ation of 
justice in oui' Nation. I hope my comments will aid your subcommittee 
in approaching that task. 

Once again, let me thank you for this opportunity to testify. 

Senator Tuxxey. Thank you very much— both of you, for your re- 
marks. And also I wanted to thank you, ]Mr. Shapiro, for the very 
extensive supplementary statement that you prepared for us which 
i-uns 50 pages, or so. And I want to thank you for not reading it. 
It's a very good statement. I was glancing through it, as you were 
speaking, and I think it's going to be a substantial addition to the 
record. 

I have a few questions. The}' are probably obvious questions from 
your point of view, but they intrigue me. 

Ms. Johnson, how much dries your attorney charge for your time ? 

Ms. Johnson. I am the public assistant now. So my time is not 
charged. At the time I was working in a private firm, l' believe I was 
charging at $15 an hour. 

Senator Tuxney. At $15 an hour ? 

]Ms. Johnson^. Right. 

Senator Tunney. And how much was your attornej' charging for 
his time? 

Ms. JoHNSox'. Depending on what law firm I was in. In the Erie 
law firm I was in, it was from $?>5 to $50. It was substantially higher 
than that in the New York and Washington, D.C. firms that I worked 
at. I would say it was from $50 to $100. 

Senator Tunney. $50 to $100 an hour. To your knowledge, is $15 
an hour about the going rate for a paralegal ? 

Ms. JoHNSox'. I think it's recently increased to about $21 an hour 
for senior paralegals that have been working for about a year or 2 
in a law firm. 

Senator Tuxxey. Mr. Shapiro, what is your understanding of this? 

INIr. Shapiko. We did a study — I believe it was about 6 months ago. 



10 

And our last figure indicates that most paralegals in large cities re- 
ceived a billing rate of $18 to $20 an hour to start. And the rate is 
likely to go up after they have gained some experience. And we're talk- 
ing about 

Seriator Tunxey. To how much ? 

Ms. Joiixsox. Well, if v.-e live in New York City, probably $25 an 
hour with a year to year-and-a-half experience. And Ave are talking 
about firms in which probably the lowest attorney billing rate is in 
the range of $40 an hour — for the youngest attorney in the firm after 
he has passed the bar— she has passed the bar — and then on up to 
$100 an hour. 

Senator Tuxxey. So the paralegal is getting approximately one- 
quarter of what the attorney gets for his time in some of these larger 
law firms, and a third in some of the smaller ones where they charge 
$35 to $50 an hour. 

Ms. Joiix'sox. Yes — except the problem with most of the paralegal 
time is replacing the time of attorneys who are not the most senior 
in the firms. So it's probably replacing the time that is in the $40 to $60 
an hour range. It's more like a half or a third, as opposed to the time — ■ 
the $100 range. 

Senator Tuxxey. One of the arguments made against paralegals 
is that they will be used to make more money for attorneys, and al- 
though attorneys charging less for parlegals' time. When you net 
out the balances, you find that attorneys will make more money by 
using paralegals. 

What is your view of that ? 

Ms. JoHxsox. Well, the potential for that kind of abuse is this — 
and I think that you must break up the kinds of work that lawyers 
do for clients and the methods of billing. So that, for example, we 
were talking about a matter that is traditionally billed on an hourly 
basis. For example, a large piece of litigation. If the attorney is 
representing the defendant and is doing a great deal of documenting 
and purely indexing, which would normally be charged on an hourly 
basis, I think the same is being passed through to the clients, so they 
are being billed directly for paralegal time at the lower rate, and 
paralegal time probably equates with lawyer time on the basis of a 
1-hour basis. 

On the other hand, there are other matters such as public law firms, 
personal injury lawsuits, which are normally billed on a contingency 
fee. and estates and trust work which are normally billed on a per- 
centage on the size of the estate or trust in which, if the billing rate — 
if the billing method stays the way it has traditionally been computed — • 
the use of Daralegals will simply increase the profit to the law firm. 

In addition, many law firms are using paralegals on tasks that were 
only marginally profitable until now. Even, in a sense, they were tasks 
on which the Jaw^ firm traditionally lost money; but they were kind of 
lost leaders. They are done in services to clients who provided large 
fees in other ways. Those matters are now being performed at a break- 
even or even slight profit. 

For example, in the East, the use of the attorney at the house set- 
tlement Avas traditionally a losing settlement for a large firm ; and they 
now break even if you use a paralegal. But I think the courts can 
help in this respect, in that they, for example, control the setting of 



11 

fees in estates and trusts areas. If tliey would switch to a different 
method of compiitinc: fees, that would take into account the use of 
paralegals, and the same savings would be passed to the public. 

Senator Tunney. I am informed that we are approaching a quorum 
up in the committee, so I'm going to have to leave — probably — hope- 
fully, for only about 35 minutes. 

I think it is a matter that is under discussion and can be disposed 
of rather quickly up there. But, in any event, I'm going to have to 
go up. So I will recess this hearing until I return. 

[Hearing recessed at 10 :55 a.m.] 

Senator Tuxxey. This hearing will come to order. 

As I left the hearing room. I was questioning you about the problems 
associated vrith paralegals and fees charged for ]:)aralegals and v;hether 
or not these would, in fact, lead to abuses and I wanted to follow up 
on the questions that I asked, with this thought. 

The Department of Labor has estimated the law schools will turn 
out for the next few years, 29,000 lawyers for each 16,000 jobs avail- 
able in the legal profession. 

How do you feel the paralegal development will affect this already 
overcrowded job market ? 

Mr. SiTAPTRO. Well, I think that — well, I hate to say it, paralegals 
will be competitive with the other lawyers for jobs especially in the 
marginal market. I believe that they are already competitive for jobs 
because it seems to me that you are dealing with a situation where, 
aside from the possibility of prepaid legal services in the existing 
jn'ivate field, there is so much legal work which I think can be handled 
today b}' an existing staff of legal personnel. 

XoAv, there has crept into tliat circle already a relatively large 
number of paralegals. I can't think — well, let me put it a different way ; 
I think they have replaced other lawyers already because if j'ou pull 
those paralegals out of that sphere, it would be imposisble to say that 
you wouldn't have to have more lawyers in or else the paralegals 
haven't been doing anything. 

Now, I think that more and more firms are not necessarily going to 
cut back their hiring of young lawyers but hire at a less increased rate 
so that a firm that might have hired, for example, eight young lawyers 
in 1074 and hired five last year might hire six this year and three 
]-)araleo-als and I think the mix will be such that paralegals will com- 
l^ete with young lawyers for jobs. Additionally, the traditional method 
of hirino- young lawyers has been again among the larger firms to 
hire in full and what happens is during the year they perceive a need, 
say the firm is faced with all of a sudden a large piece of litigation and 
these people could do some of the factual research in that case and they 
bring ]iaralegals in, that job now becomes a paralegal job and is 
proba])ly lost to young lawyers forever. 

As, for exa])lo, paralegal may leave the firm. The paralegal will 
probably ])e replaced with another paralegal and not a young lawyer 
so I think there is competition there that will affect the ability of 
young lawyers to get jobs. 

Senator Tuxx'ey. Yes, but don't you have to look at the delivery 
of legal services and the need for legal services as a total system? 

This committee has heard testimony that TO percent of the American 
people who need legal advice do not get it because they do not feel they 



12 

can afford it and we've had some estimates — one by Cornell University 
in a survey that they've made that approximately thirty thousand legal 
decisions are made every day by laymen without the advice of a lawyer 
when they should have the advice of a lawyer simply because they 
don't feel they can afford it. 

Now, the question I have is— and I don't know if you've gone into 
this in depth: Do you not feel that there is, at the present time, a 
need for all the lawyei's that are being turned out of law school as 
well as the paralegals? That we just don't have an adequate delivery 
system in this country ? 

Mr. Shapiro. Yes. I was responding before with regard to the exist- 
ing system. In other words, I was not taking into account the ques- 
tion of delivei-y of legal services to the people who now cannot get 
them. I think without any question the statistics you have are prob- 
ably accurate in that if we were able to deliver legal services at a 
reasonable price to the vast group of people that either can't afford 
them of even if they can somehow afford them they're so overpriced 
that they try to make it through without them. From our standpoint I 
think without any question we could use a vastly increased number 
of paralegals. 

It seems to me that the use of paralegals is one of the key factors 
in being able to price legal services at a rate that this middle-income 
group could afford. Because so much of the kind of work that needs 
to be done for these people is work that would occur on a high volume 
basis, but in each matter would involve only a small dollar volume, 
so it's high volume, repetitive work, and I think that it's almost 
impossible to conceive of somebody handling that work economically 
Avithout a large number of paralegals being part of the working team. 

Ms. Johnson. I'd just like to make a comment in regard to the 
public sector which I think has already felt its concern and has utilized 
paralegals in order to reach the poverty community which they ought 
to represent for free and so we see evei'ybody we can see within that 
community but without the use of paralegals we only reach a small 
percentage of the numbers of that community that have access to our 
service. 

Senator Tunney. Well, do you feel a community or junior college 
may be doing a service to the students if it floods the markets with 
paralegals from the related programs and leaves many of its graduates 
unemployed? 

Mr. Shapiro. Yes. I think it is possible that the graduates of those 
programs would ultimately find work as group legal practice grows 
but I think that today the work is not there except for community 
colleges which exist in some smaller communities whei"e there is no 
existing institution they can supply the needs of the lawyers — that 
in general the graduates of those programs are not what the legal 
market is looking for in the private sector. It is also — it has been our 
experience that for the most ])art, the poverty law programs are also 
not looking for these people. We have been very interested in the 
past, in producing programs in the poverty low area ourselves. I 
think that the students tliat would be on campus, graduates of 4-year 
colleges, are quite interested in woi'king that area and are often willing 
to work for quite a bit less money than they would receive in the 
private sector but the feeling has generally been that, for the most 



13 

part, tlie community proirvams want local people trained as paralegals 
rather than a cadre of iipper-middle-class people that don't really 
understand the problems and such as that. 

Senator Tunney. What role, if any, do you see for the Federal 
Government in this area 'i 

Mr. Shapiro. "Well, I think — that's a difficult question to respond 
to. I think, first of all, that I would like to respond with regard to 
the legislation that presently affects training institutions. I think that 
I mentioned that there is no reciprocity between States, with regard 
to licensing of institutions and I think this creates an unnecessary 
hardship and ultimately just an expense to students to the extent that 
we have to spend money for staff to simply duplicate information from 
one State that we have already given to another. That ultimately gets 
passed onto the students and the lawyers and the clients so that dup- 
lication of effort would seem unnecessary. What kind of legislation 
to deal with that — I'm not certain. I thiiik that with regard to ac- 
creditation. I don't know whether — the proljlem I see on the horizon 
is the possible duplication, again, of standards by the States and by 
the American Bar Association, which I think would be very negative 
result unless the State would buy and accreditation program produced 
by the American Bar Association. I think the possibility of having 
50 different systems for approving programs would be extremely 
detrimental and I think it's possible the Federal Government could 
mediate and I think tlie same is true with regard to certification. I 
think to the extent the Federal Government can push lawyers toward 
group legal practices, I think it is the Federal Government's prob- 
lem that this vast group of people do not have legal services. 

Certainly the Federal Government has faced the problem in the 
medical area and apparently will be facing it in an increased way in 
the next year. I see no reason why the same iiroblem couldn't be dealt 
with in the legal area and I think that anything that the Federal Gov- 
ernment can do to encourage forms of legal practice which will deliver 
services to this vast middle-income group will be a positive factor; if 
paralegals get dragged along in that scheme, I don't think that should 
be the focus. I think the focus should be the Dublic. And I think that 
once services can be provided to the public, the profession can — I think 
the public and the profession can mediate the question what is the 
most economic Avay to provide them. 

Senator Tunxey. Thank you very much, Mr. Shapiro. 

Thank you, IMrs. Johnson. 

[Mr. Shapiro's statement follows :] 

Written Statement To Suppleisient Testimony of Paltl E. Shapiro, the 
Institute for Paralegal Training, July 23, 1974 

I. introduction 

The written material that follows is intended to supplement testimony to be 
presented before tlie United States Senate Snbcommittee on Representation of 
Citizen Interests. The material is divided into three areas : 

(1) The history and back.£rronnd of the Institute for Paralegal Training. 

(2) state laws and regulations governing the Institute, and its programs, in- 
cluding proposed approval of paralegal training programs and certification of 
paralegals, and 

(3) our view of the effect paralegals will have on the economics of the private 
practice of law. 

41-375—74 -2 



14 

II. THE INSTITUTE FOE PARALEGAL TRAINING 

A. History 

1. Founders 

The Institute for Paralegal Training- was founcled in 1970 by four individuals : 
Daniel Promislo, Paul E. Shaiiiro, B. Barry Swedloff and Richard J. Braemer. 
Messrs. Promislo, Shapiro and Braemer were lawyers practicing with large firms 
in Philadelphia and Mr. Swedloff was a businessman. 

The need for the program was based upon the experience and perceptions of the 
founding attorneys. Their fundamental sense of the need for well trained legal 
assistants was further refined in discussions with a number of lawyers prior to 
embarking upon the establishment of the program. The program w^as designed to 
recruit and train paralegals capable of performing all of the tasks within a 
specific field of law that a receptive lawyer might reasonably delegate. 

2. Initial Business Structure of the Institute 

The Institute was formed as a private business corporation, financed through 
a private offering of stock. PJach of the founders, with the exception of Mr. 
Braemer, davoted full time to the enterprise. 

3. Basic Conceptual Premises of the Program 

After a great deal of discussion, certain basic premises were developed. These 
premises controlled the direction of the Institute's eif orts. A discussion of the most 
important premises is set forth below. 

(a) Much of the Work TradifionaUy Dmie By Lawyers, Does Not Require A 
Law School Education. — While law schools rank at or near the top of the world 
of education in terms of quality, most lawyers would agree that they did not 
learn to do the everyday work of law in law school. This part of legal education 
is accomplished on tlie job. 

Some of the work that a young lawyer learns to do draws on the knowledge 
and skills acquired in law school while other work does not. In the practice 
of law there has been no distinction drawn between these two types of tasks. Al- 
though a lawyer is needed, for example, to negotiate and shape a transaction, 
or appear in court, we believed that a non-laywer could perform such tasks as 
preparing drafts of documents or digests of depositions. 

Lawyers as a group have other characteristics wliich permit them to do cer- 
tain tasks well that are not related to their law school education. They tend 
to be intelligent, careful, conscientious and highly motivated. It is obvious that 
at least some other people who are not lawyers share these same characteristics. 

(b) Type of People to Be Trained. — As paralegals will perform many tasks 
traditionally reserved to lawyers, we believe that it was important to find and 
train the brightest people available. Therefore, we decided to aim our program at 
liberal arts graduates of four year colleges, whose education has given them 
only limited skills usable in the .iob market. We believed that a program aimed 
at these people would be able to attract top notch students who would be 
eminently trainable and have the level of intelligence necessary for the work. 

(c) Specialty Paraleaahs. — We concluded that it would be best to train people 
in legal specialties so that their training would parallel the v.'ork performed by 
a laywer specializing in one area of practice. Subsequently, the Institute 
did add a general course which is geared to small law firms in which the lawyers 
can not properly utilize a specialist. 

(d) A Highly Sophisticated Placement System. Was Needed. — In 1070 there 
was very little .job market for paralegals. Therefore, we decided that we would 
try to serve a national market from one location. We would attempt to draw 
students from all over the country, train them in Philadelphia and place them 
with employers all over the country. In that way we would not have to depend 
on a very big market in any one place in order to place the graduates of a class. 

In addition we recognized the need to do a tremendous amount of missionary 
work in the field in order to obtain employment for our graduates. This meant 
that we would need a large placement staff trained to visit law firms, l)anks and 
other potential employers to promote the concept and ultimately place graduates. 

(e) Employers Sul>sidi::cd a Portion of Tuition.- — In order to maintain a highly 
selective admissions system, a large placement effort and a top notch educa- 
tional program, we realized that the tuition would have to be too high to be 
economic for many prospective students. This was extremely troublesome because 
we did not want to lose good candidates because of the expense of the program. 
We decided to charge students a tuition which is below our cost, and to charge 



15 

employers a substantial fee when they hire a graduate. The employer fee sub- 
sidizes the recruiting and placement efforts and is a partial subsidy of the tui- 
tion. We felt it was reasonable that the employers, who ultimately receive a 
great deal of the benefit of the screening and training, bear a portion of the 
expense. 

B. History of the Imtiiutc, 1910-191 -'i 

1. Course Development 

In July 1970, the Institute began its first course — Corporate Law. A description 
of that course, as well as the others offered by the Institute, appears as Appendix 
A to this statement. In January of 1971 the In.stitute added a course in Estates 
and Trusts. Later that year courses in Real Estate, Litigation and General 
Practice were added. In the summer of 1972 the Institute added a course in 
Professional Association and Pension and Profit Sharing Plans. In September 
of 1974 the Institute intends to introduce a new course in Criminal Law. 

2. Student Population 

(a) 1910. — During the year 1970, 39 students were enrolled^ in two Corporate 
Law courses. 33 students graduated, of whom 30 were available for placement. 
27 graduates were placed by the Institute and 2 placed themselves. 

(b) 1911. — The combined enrollment of the E.states, Litigation, Real Estate 
and Corporate courses during 1971 was 142. Of that group, 132 graduated and 
127 were available for placement. One hundred Twenty of the graduates were 
placed by the Institute and 3 placed themselves. During that year, 17 students 
were enrolled in the General Practice course of whom 16 graduated. Ten of the 
graduates were available for placement and they were all placed by the Institute. 

(c) 1912. — The combined enrollment in the variois specialist courses in 1972 
was 230 students, of whom 212 graduated and 202 were available for placement. 
One Hundred Ninety Four of the graduates were placed by the Institute and 
5 placed themselves. 

Twenty seven students were enrolled during 1972 in the General Practice course 
of whom 22 graduated and 21 were available for placement. Thirteen of the 
graduates were placed by the Institute and 6 placed themselves. 

(d) 1913. — During 1973, 33S students were enrolled in the specialist courses 
at the Institute of whom 316 graduated and 305 were available for placement. 
Two Hundred Seventy Three of the graduates were placed by the Institute and 17 
placed themselves. 

Fifty nine students were enrolled in the General Practice course in 1973 of 
whom 56 graduated and 52 were available for placement. Thirty of the graduates 
were placed by the Institute and 15 obtained jobs on their own. 

(e) 191. >t. — During the spring of 1974, 186 students were enrolled at the Insti- 
tute. Of that group, 185 have graduated. Although the Placement of these students 
is not finalized, the record will be about the same as for the classes in the past. 

In June of 1974 four courses began with a total enrollment of 108, and in July 
three courses began with a total enrollment of 78. 

In September of 1974 the Institute expects an enrollment of about 30 students 
in its new Criminal Law course. 

(f) Snmmnry. — In summary, through the end of 1973. the Institute had en- 
rolled a total of 852 students in all courses. Seven Hundred Eighty Seven had 
graduated and the Institute placed 667 of 747 available for placement, a total 
in all courses of 89.3%. When the 48 graduates who placed themselves are added 
to the total, the combined placement rate equals 95.7%. 

S. Physical Facility 

The Institute was originally located on a floor of an office building in the 
'Society Hill section of downtown Philadelphia. In December of 1972 the Institute, 
through the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development, purchased a 
large four story townhouse building at 17th and Locust Streets in the business 
district of Philadelphia. The building was renovated during the spring of 1973 
and the Institute moved its operations in May of 1973. 

The building has two floors of office space and five classrooms, each of which 
is terraced to provide a warm intimate atmosphere for the type of teaching 
methods used. The classrooms are equipped with blackboards, instructor's desk 
and chair, a recording machine and microphone to record each class session for 
students who may have mi.s.sed the class or want to review the cla.ss session, and 



1 Students are counted as enrolled In the year their class graduates. 



16 

classroom seats with tablet armchairs for each student. The students also have 
available to them a coffee and food lounge, a reading lounge, library, game room 
and study room. The facility accommodate approximately 360 students at 
any one time, ISO in the morning and 180 in the afternoon. The physical facility 
is adequate for the expected expansion over the next several years. 

If. Staff 

The administrative staff of the Institute is divided into four areas of respon- 
sibility : (a) the Directors of the Institute, (b) Faculty and Student Affairs, 
(c) Admissions and (d) Placement. A roster of the current staff' is set forth as 
Appendix B to this submission. 

5. Present Business Structure 

In April 197.3. the stock of Para-Legal, Inc., the operator of the Institute, was 
acquired by Bell & Howell Company. The Institute is presently a wholly owned 
subsidiary of Bell & Howell. 

C. The Students 

1. Basic Admission. Critreia 

(a) Academic. — A degree fi'om a four-year college and a high level of college 
achievement are required in nearly all instances. An exception is made to tliis 
requirement when, in the opinion of the Institute's admissions committee, an 
applicant who does not have a college degree exhibits sufficient ability and mo- 
tivation to appear to enable him or her to successfully complete the course and 
work competently in the field. Approximately 5% of the students do not have 
college degrees. An applicant is required to submit an application form and an 
official copy of his or her college transcript to the Institute for review in the 
admissions process. 

(b) Testing. — In order to assist in comparing graduates of a large number of 
schools, the Institute administers a test measuring verbal and analytical skills. 
the Ohio State University Psychological Test — Form 2(i. A prospective student 
is expected to achieve a test score which would place him or her in the top 
16% of the college population. 

(c) Personal Interview. — The Institute requires all applicants to have a 
personal interview with a member of the admissions staff. This gives the adyiis- 
sions staff an opportunity to evaluate the applicant and to discuss the applicant's 
career plans, the Institute, the job of being a paralegal and the geographic lo- 
cation in which the applicant would like to be placed after graduation from the 
Institute. 

(d) City Choice. — The Institute operates under a unique admissions pro- 
cedure whereby it matches the number of students accepted to an estimate 
of the number of job openings. The number of students admitted to each 
class is governed by a series of projections or estimates prepared course by 
course and city by city by the Institute's placement staff. The admissions staff 
seeks to fill these projections. For example, the placement staff" may project 
one real estate job in Denver upon graduation of the next incoming class. There- 
fore, the admissions staff" would accept one student in the next real estate 
course for placement in Denver upon graduation. The admission staff would not 
accept more than the one student, notwithstanding the availability of addi- 
tional qualified applicants. 

2. How We Find Students 

In general, the Institute has found its students with the help of college 
placement offices throughout the country. We first try to sell the program to a col- 
lege placement office. The office will then make our literature available on 
campus. We will also advertise in the college newspaper. 

The final step in the process of locating prospective students on a given 
campus is a day of on-campus interviewing. 

3. Schools Visited 

In order to satisfy the widespread law firm market, the Institute interviewed 
during 1974 on approximately 100 campuses throughout the country. Schools 
are chosen based on their academic reputation and the likelihood that they 
are geographically located so as to feed students into a good law firm place- 
ment market. For example, the Institute recruits heavily at many of the major 
universities and independent schools throughout the northeast and mid-Atlantic 
states. In addition, the Institute recruits heavily in the Midwest in order 
to serve its placement markets in Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, and 



17 

Minneapolis. Similarly, schools in the Denver area, the West Coast, the South- 
west and the South are visited. Since 1970 the Institute has visited approxi- 
mately 135 colleges and students have come to the Institute from approxi- 
mately 260 colleges. 

4. student Tuition and Book Charycs 

(a) Specialty Courscfs. — Students in the Corporate. Estates and Trusts, Real 
Estate, Litigation and Employee Benefit Plans courses pay a tuitif>n of .$!)50. 

(b) General Practice and Criminal Laic. — Students in the General Practice 
and Criminal Law courses pay a tuition of $1250. 

(c) Employer Sponsored Students. — Approximately 10% of the students en- 
rolled at the Institute at any given time are sent for training hy existing or 
prospective employers. The fee for such students is $1800 and is often split in 
some manner between the employer and the student. 

(d) Book Charge. — In addition to tuition, the charge for the textbooks prepared 
by the Institute is $75 for all courses except General Practice which is $100, 

5. Student Housing 

The vast majorit.v of students enrolled at the Institute are from out of town 
and, therefore, require housing. Students are given the option of obtaining their 
own housing or of availing themselves of housing provided by the Institute. 
At the present time the Institute's housing consists of a block of apartments 
at The Drake, an apartment hotel located at 15th and Spruce Streets in down- 
town Philadelphia, approximately three blocks from the school. Most are fur- 
nished two to three room apartments which accommodate two students. The 
rent for the apartments is approximately $1.'>5 per student per month. 

The Institute has also been able to house a small number of students with 
families living in the residential district of downtown Philadelphia. These 
students often earn their room and board in exchange for various services sucli 
as babysitting. 

D. Academic information 

1. Course Structure 

(a) Class Hours. — The basic daily class routine for each course consists of 
three class hours per day, five days per week, divided into two sessions of one 
and one half hour each with a 30 minute intermission. In addition to attendance 
in class, students are expected to spend another 2-3 hours per day preparing 
for class. 

There are a variety of programs which meet during non-class hours relating 
to matters sucli as interviewing techniques, law firm economics, how to get 
along in a law firm and so forth. 

(b) Total Hours of Instruction. — The five specialist and Criminal Law courses 
each total 180 class hours. The General Practice course consists of 231 hours 
of class instruction. 

(c) Clas.i Size. — The class size ranges from about 15 to 46. We believe that 
a class size in excess of 46 would hamper the kind of dialogue that we are 
trying to create between the teacher and the student. 

2. Teaching Method 

In general, the teaching method in use at the Institute is the Socratic or 
dialogue method. Teachers are instructed to keep lecturing to an absolute mini- 
mum and to emphasize class participation. This is done through the use of 
hypothetical situations which are developed by the instructor for use in the 
classroom. 

All teachers are asked to try to have each student respond in class at least 
twice per day. We believe that the use of hypotheticals and the creation of a 
dialogue between the instructor and the student lead to the deeix'st possible level 
of understanding of the work being studied. 

3. Course Texts 

When we began to develop our first course we found, upon a review of the 
existing literature, that there were no satisfactory textltooks designed to teach 
lay i)eople the material that wo had in mind. Therefore, we found it necessary, 
and have subsequently found it necessary in each of the other courses, to develop 
our own texts. 

The text for each course was developed by first setting forth the tasks that 
we would wish a paralegal in a particular area to be able to perform. Working 



IS 

backwards from the tasks we created a text which would take Mu' student step 
by step from point zero to the level of understanding we sought to achieve in 
each area. 

After detailed outlines were prepared for each course, the Institute hired 
lawyers to prepare specific chapters of a course dealing with areas in which the 
lawyers had expertise. On the average, the courses required ten to twelve authors 
plu.s two editors, and each took 1500 to 2000 lawyer liours in preparation. 

The average length of a text in the specialist courses is approximately 1400 
pages and the general practice text is approximately 2700 pages. 

The texts serve as the basis for reading assignments for class each day. In 
addition, they contain a variety of forms and sample agreements which may be 
used as the basis for preparing writing assignments. 

Jf. Writing Assignments 

As a supplement to the text and tests, the Institute has prepared a series of 
writing assignments in each course which are designed to parallel the kinds of 
assignments which might be given to a practicing paralegal. These assignments 
are usually in the form of a memorandum from a lawyer to a paralegal and re- 
quire the preparation of a document which would be used in a legal transaction. 
The assignments are reviewed in class and sometimes graded. 

5. Tests 

While the Institute does not formally grade or rank its students, it does 
administer to each student two to three tests, each of two to three hours dura- 
tion. Tests are designed to help spot those students who are not displaying suffi- 
cient aptitude or interest to successfully function as a paralegal. 

G. Aeademic Withdraival 

Approximately 67r to 7% of the students have been asked to withdraw from 
the Institute for academic reasons. 

Depending upon the (-ime in the course at which a student withdraws, or is 
asked to withdraw, a refund of tuition may l)e applicable in accordance with 
state law and our enrollment agreement. 

7. Faculty 

(a) Teachers.— The Institute's teaching staff consists of two attorneys who 
are on the Institute's administrative staff, three attorneys who devote approxi- 
mately half of their time to teaching (i.e.. they teach half a day almost every 
class day), and approximately 45 teachers who teach on a part time basis. The 
latter group consists of practicing attorneys who teach one or more chapters of 
a coTirse one or more times a year. The teachers all teach exclusively in areas 
in which they specialize in practice. Teachers are evaluated by the Institute's 
staff and students, and are retained or replaced based on these evaluations. 

E. Placement 

1. The Placement Goal 

The Institute believes strongly that it is providing a type of vocational educa- 
tion which students seek in order to obtain a job. Therefore, we believe it is our 
responsibility to make certain that every graduate of the Institute receives an 
appropriate job offer. Obviously, it is impossible to achieve 100<7f of that goal. 
However, the statistics cited in section 1(B) (2) above attest to the high level 
of success which our placement effort has met. 

2. Placement Responsibility — Course by Course 

(a) Corporate, Estates and Trusts, Real Estate, Litigation and Emploi/re Bene- 
fit Plans. — The Institute enters into a contractual arrangement with students 
enrolled in the above courses whereby the students agree to seek employment only 
through the Institute's placement service for a ])eriod of two months after grad- 
uation from the Institute. If the Institute fails to obtain a job offer for the 
student in the city designated on the agreement. wiMiin the two month period, 
the Institute is ol)ligated to refund the full amount of the student's tuition, even 
if the student ultimately obtains employment either through the Institute or on 
his or her own. 

As the statistics indicate, while the Institute's placement rate is exceedingly 
high, a number of students in each class are likely to receive a tuition refund. 
The tuition refund, is not viewed by the students or tlie Institute as a gimmick. 
Instead, it is our way of assuring our good faith to students with recrard to the 
judgments that we make concerning ihe placement market in any city, and the 
likelihood that they will receive a job upon graduation. 



10 

(b) General Practice.— Students in tlie General Practice course do not receive 
a refund of tuition in the event tliat they are unplaced. The Institute does not 
offer a tuition refund for graduates of this course because economic factors do 
ndt permit tlie kind of a placement effort for each General Practice graduate 
which is possible for graduates of the specialty courses. Many of the firms in 
large cities which are candidates for General Practice graduates are not as easy 
to tind as those firms which are candidates for specialized paralegals and do not 
have the same potential for repeat placement business as a alrge firm. Also, a 
substantial number of graduates of the General Practice course desire placement 
in small towns throughout the country where it is uneconomic for the Institute's 
placement staff to make personal visits to fii'ms. 

However, the Institute does make a placement effort for all General Practice 
graduates through advertising, mailings and phone follow-ups to firms in various 
cities throughout the country. In addition, the Institute's admission's policy is 
designed to spread the students thinly throughout the country so as not to flood 
he job market in any one city. 

The result of the combined efforts of the Institute's placement staff, place- 
ment efforts by the students, and the admission's policy has been that a high 
percentage of graduates of the General Practice course have obtained employ- 
ment within a short period of time after graduation. 

(c) Criminal Law Course. — The majority of graduates of the InstitiTte's 
Crinunal Law course are expected to work for government agencies which are, 
by law or edict, prohibited from paying a placement fee. Therefore, the Institute 
will not undertake the kind of placement effoi-t which it has undertaken with 
regard to graduates of the other specialty courses. Graduates of the Criminal 
Law course will not obligate themselves to be placed through the Institute's 
placement service, the Institute will not charge a placement fee to employers 
of these graduates, students who do not obtain employment will not receive a 
tuition refund and the placement efforts of the Institute will be more limited 
than in other courses. However, the Institute has already begun to promote 
acceptance of these graduates in the agencies mentioned. We expect to advertise 
in journals read by criminal lawyers and attend conventions of groups such as 
public defenders and district attorneys. The Institute has also retained a former 
Assistant District Attorney of Pliiladelphia to make promotional trips to offices 
of the district attorney. U.S. attorney, and defenders in cities such as Detroit, 
(Miicago, Los Angeles, Denver. San Francisco, Pittsburgh. Atlanta, and Phila- 
delphia, in order to open the job market for graduates of the Griminal Law- 
course. We also expect to discuss the program with the United States Depart- 
ment of Justice. 

3. Who Arc the Employers? 

For the most part, the employers to date have been large law firms through- 
out the country. The Institute also has placed graduates in over 20 banks and 
in a variety of corporate legal departments. The Institute has placed graduates 
in over oO cities throughout the country, although the vast majority are placed 
in the major metroix)litan areas. 

If. Placement Process 

(a) Meetings rvith Firms. — We have found that the concept which we are 
trying to sell to law firms and other employers is sufficiently unique that it is 
very difficult to describe it adequately by mail or promotional literature. Due 
to the lack of understanding as to what paralegals cnn do, how they would fit 
into a particular law firm and even what a paralegal is. the Institute has relied 
heavily on person-to-person meetings between members of its placement staff and 
lawyers. To this encl the Institute's staff travels all over the country to meet 
with lawyers in their offices. These meetings generally last one to three hours 
per firm and may involve one or a group of attorneys. In addition, the In.stitute 
often holds seminar meetings wl^ich are attended by a group of S to 15 lawyers 
specialzing in one area of law. 

(b) Advertising.- — The Institute has done a limited amount of institutional 
advertising in magazines such as the American Bar Association Journal and 
Estates and Tru.sts magazine. 

(c) Conventions. — The Institute has maintained a booth each year at the 
American Bar Association Convention, where memliers of the staff are availalde 
to talk with attorneys. The booth and the American Bar Association Journal en- 
a)»le us to reach many small town lawyers we are unable to reach on a personal 
basis in our travels. 

(d) Fipeeehes and Program, Appearances. — Because the subject of paralegals 
is of increasing interest, we are frequently invited to speak before Bar Associa- 



2U 

tious and participate in s-eminars ou law firm economics. We try to provide a 
speaker from the Institute's staff for eacli sucli occasion to wliicli we are invited. 

5. Placement Fee and Firm Refuted 

As mentioned in section 11(A)(3)(e) alx)ve, tlie Institute has adopted the 
unique policy of charging employers a fee which includes, in part, a subsidy of 
the student's tuition. The fee also encompas.ses the cost of placement and recruit- 
ing. The total fee charged a firm wliich hires a graduate of the Institute is 
i^lSOO. A refund and credit schedule is applicable to the fee in the event that 
a graduate leaves or is asked to leave a firm within a period of one year from 
the date employment couunences. The schedule provides a full cash refund 
during the first three months and then a series of credits, decreasing from 
100% to 50%, toward the fee payable upon hiring another graduate of any 
course of the Institute in the future. 

6. PJacemc^jt Record 

The placement record of the Institute has been discussed in section II (B) (2) 
above. The Institute believes strongly that its ability to succeed as an institution 
has largely been due to its highly successful placement record. Obviously, that 
record is in large part due to the large commitment of resources, in terms of 
staff size and money, devoted to the pliicement effort. 

F. Folloir-L'i) Information About Graduates 

1. Starting Salary 

The starting salary of graduates of the Ini-titute's most recent classes has 
been approximately $8400 in most cities, with New York City being the highest 
at $9500. 

2. Working Conditions 

Most paralegals are accorded some measure of professional status. In addition, 
they are given a small oflSce, where feasible, and secretarial assistance. Their 
vacation and other benefits in most firms is somewhere between those of a secre- 
tary and those of a lawyer. 

3. Salary Increases 

Salary increases have generally been in the range of 7% to 12% per year. 
However, some individuals have received raises as high as 25%. 

^. Jot) Satisfaction 

The question of job satisfaction is diflScult to assess. There is no doubt that a 
certain number of trained paralegals find that the field does not meet their ex- 
pectations. In addition, a good rigorous training program has a built in problem 
of pushing graduates to a level of skills that may not be utilized fully on the 
job. We endeavor to portray the field in a realistic manner and hold various 
special training sessions designed to make the graduates aware of the limitations 
and satisfactions of the job. 

It is to be exi)ected that because of the newness of field, the first people in the 
field may have a difficult time breaking through bari-iers created by the habits of 
lawyers built up over generations. However, we have found that with all of the 
problems the turnover statistics are not terribly high. Of the 715 graduates placed 
by the Institute or on their own, 540 (76%) are with their original employers. 
Thirty graduates (4%) have left their jobs to go to law .school, 86 (12%) have 
left tlie field completely and 5fM) (84%) are still working as paralegals. Con- 
sidering the problems that many of these early graduates have faced, these statis- 
tics are comforting. 

G. Future Goals of the Institute 

1. Additional Courses 

As mentioned previously, in September the Institute will introduce its seventh 
course — Criminal Law. We would hope over time to introduce additional courses. 

2. Student Growth 

The Institute has no present plans to expand by opening additional training 
centers. However, we would contemplate continued and orderly growth in the 
student population at a rate of about 10% per year. 

5. Continuing Education for Paralegals 

The Institute expects to expand its activities by adding a variety of con- 
tinuing education programs for graduates of the Institute and for other prac- 
ticing paralegals. These programs are in the formative stage. 



21 

.{. J'rof/rnins for the Education of Lawyers 

We believe that the next major growth in the use of paralegals can only be 
acliieved through a large educational effort directed at training lawyers to 
better utilize paralegals. The Institute is in the process of formulating pro- 
grams for training lawyers to utilize paralegals in the most productive possible 
ways. 

III. LICENSING, ACCREDITATION, CERTIFICATION 

A. state licensiii!/ of proprietary paraJeyal tntininy schools 

The Institute is licensed as a proprietary school in I'ennsylvania, the state 
in which it is located. The Institute is also licensed in certain other states in 
which it solicits students : Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio. In 
general, the act of soliciting students within a state brings a proprietary school 
within the anil)it of the state's proprietary school law. The overlapping of regula- 
tUm creates a series of problems : 

1. Lack of Reciprocity 

In general, the requirements of the various states are somewhat similar. In 
some instances the states are calling for different kinds of information. How- 
ever, in nniny instances, they all call for the same information on different forms. 
The problem is that there is no reciprocity between the states. Therefore, a 
school must comply with the laws of many states. 

During the past year alone, the Institute expended staff time valued at over 
i?4.0()0 just to fill out the various forms necessary and process the applications 
f(U* licenses. 

2. Bonding 

Most states require the posting of a bond as security for the school's obliga- 
tions to students. The amount of the bond is quite arbitrary as it is set by law 
and does not necessarily bear any relationship to the number of students 
solicited in a given state. 

3. Differiiif) Refund Schedules 

Each of the states has its own schedule of required refunds in the event a 
student withdraws from a program. In order to comply with the various laws, 
the Institute now operates under a system in which students coming from some 
states receive refunds based on one schedule and students from other states 
receive refunds on another schedule. 

//. Differinff Rcfjulations Governing Advertising 

Esi)ecially in the areas of job information and placement statistics, the states 
have differing regulations concerning what may be said by a proprietary school. 
At least one state has even taken the position that we ma.v not make factual 
statements concerning our placement record, although the statements are 
backed by accurate records. This seems to us to be a violation of the First Amend- 
ment to the United States Constitution. 

5. Non-Regulation of 'Non-Profit Schools 

We are in the rather imusual situation of having our major competition from 
non-profit institutions. The.se institutions are not subject to the kinds of regu- 
lations to which a proprietary school is subject. It is terribly irksome to be regu- 
lated where your competition is not subject to the same regulation. For example, 
a review of the brochures published by various non-profit institutions teaching 
paralegal training programs would reveal the inclu.sion by .some institutions of 
irre.sponsible statements relating to the need for trained paralegals and the 
success of their graduates in obtaining employment. 

B. Accreditation — Approval of Programs 

1. Brief History 

In 1971 the American Bar Association Special Committee on Legal Assistants 
(the "Special Committee") proposed a system under which the American Bar 
Association (the ''ABA") would approve paralegal training programs. It is 
diflicult to detemine whether it is a semantic difference or a difference in sub- 
stance, but the ABA proposed to "approve programs" rather than to "accredit 
institutions." 



22 

The ABA proposal was designd to permit approval of two year programs 
offered by uou-protit institutions. These programs would consist of a general 
course containing training in four or five areas of law. The program combined 
elements of general education, communication skills and paralegal skills. The 
{)aralegal component would comi)romise approximately one-quarter of the model 
curriculum. The proposal was based on the assumption that paralegals would 
be ti'ained largely at junior or community colleges. 

The original pi-oposal focused on paralegal training at the undergraduate level. 
It did not deal with the issue of program content at the post-graduate level. 
Furthermore, the original proposal provided only for approval of pi-ograms taught 
by non-profit institutions. 

Over the next several years the proposed guidelines were revised by the special 
Committee. A final set of proposed guidelines (the "guidelines") was presented 
to the House of Delegates of the ABA in August, 1973. 

The final proposal permitted approval of programs taught by proprietary insti- 
tutions, provided that the institution is "accredited or is eligible for accreditation 
by an agency recognized by the National Commission on Accrediting, the U.S. 
Office of Education or an officially recognized state accrediting agency." ' In 
addition, the proposal permits approval of programs teaching specialized courses. 
The adopted guidelines also permit approval of programs at a post-college gradu- 
ate level by giving students credit for an undergraduate degree. Any paralegal 
program is required to provide 15 credit hours of paralegal training. 

In August, 1973 the House of Delegates of the ABA approved the revised 
Guidelines and authorized the Special Committee to begin recommending approval 
of qualified programs. Final approval of a program rests with the House of 
Delegates, which acts on recommendation of the Special Committee. 

Since August, 1973 the Special Committee has been engaged in working out the 
mechanics of approving programs. It is expected that the Special Committee will 
begin processing requests for approval of programs sometime after the ABA 
annual meeting in August, 1974. 

2. ABA Special Committee Pilot Visit 

In the spring of 1974, the ABA Special Committee visited a small group of in- 
stitutions to review their paralegal training programs and to test some of the 
Special Committee's proposed procedures for approving programs. 

The Institute was visited by Austin G. Anderson, Chairman of the ABA Spe- 
cial Committee on Legal Assistants, Professor Roger A. Larson, a consultant to 
the Special Committee and Ann Kearney of the ABA Staff. 

Prior to the visit the Institute was asked to prepare a self evaluation report. 
Following the visit, the visiting team submitted a report of its findings to the 
Institue. The "Conclusions" section of the report of the visitation team is set 
forth below : 

Tlie visitation team was favorably impressed with the program being con- 
ducted by The Institute for Paralegal Training. As a single purpose institu- 
tion, the Institute very effectively directs all its attention to the selection, 
training, and placement of candidates for paralegal positions without worry- 
ing about justtifying its existence and competing for funds as is often true for 
programs that are part of a comprehensive college. It was the impression of 
the visitors that the information provided in the self-evaluation report as well 
as that provided in the publicly distributed literature described the program 
accurately. This was confirmed through visits with students, faculty, and ad- 
ministrative staff. The team visited with several students who act as om- 
hudspeople for the various programs being offered. The students are bright, 
articulate, and display both a strong interest in the program and a high level 
of satisfaction with its overall quality. They unanimously expressed the opin- 
ion that the Institute, in recruiting them, had represented all aspects of the 
program very accurately. They felt that a healthy relationship existed be- 
tween students, faculty, and administrators, and noted the sincere efforts 
that have been made to make them feel comfortable and to provide whatever 
assistance was needed. 

The team sat in on thi-ee different classes and later visited with two ex- 
perienced members of the teaching faculty. The conclusions were that the 
instructors were well-qualified and effective teachers. Furthermore, the fac- 
ulty members indicated that they thoroughly enjoyed their work with the 
Institute, had great respect for the academic ability and diligence of their 



= Spction .SO-TCc), ABA Giiidolines, arlopted by the House of Delegates August 7, 1973. 



23 

students, and confirmed in the minds of the visiting group that a very open 
and congenial relationship existed betvi'een students, faculty, and adminis- 
tration. 

There was clear evidence of the financial support necessary to maintain 
a strong ongoing program. Physical facilities were attractive and functional, 
and the officials of the program appear to have both the authority and the 
commitment necessary for continuing its successful oi)eration. Therefore, 
with few exceptions, the program appears to l)e in compliance with the 
'Guidelines for the Approval of Legal Assistant Education Programs.' There 
are. however, two areas where the program does not meet tlie present guide- 
lines. The Institute does not have an advisory committee. The directors of 
the program maintain that the functions an advisory committee would per- 
form are now being effectively performed in other ways. For example, 
guidance on matters relating to curriculum is quite effectively provided by 
feedback from the large number of employers, nationally distributed, who 
have hired the school's graduates. Similarly, the recruiting and placement 
staffs of the Institute provide continual information on the nature and 
scope of the job market. Furthermore, the active participation of approxi- 
mately 65 practicing attorneys in curriculum development and instruction 
insures the involvement of the local legal community in the program. 

Guideline 303-C stipulates that the institution offering the program mu.st 
be accredited or eligil)le for accreditation by an agency recognized by the 
National Commission on Accrediting, the U.S. Office of Education or an 
ofBeially recognized state accrediting agency. The directors of the Institute 
feel that their programs more than satisfy the requirements set forth by 
the.se various accrediting agencies. They have not, however, applied for 
this accreditation since up to this time they have seen no advantages asso- 
ciated with it. The Institute is, however, licensed in a number of states as 
a vocational school in order to recruit students. 

3. The Importance of Approval to a Program 

The Institute believes that once an approval system is in effect, it may be 
difficult for unapproved i>rograms to obtain top notch students. The stigma of 
being unapproved will i^ffect tlie willingness of parents to contribute toward 
tuition, and may affect tlie willingness of college placement ofl[icers to cooi^erate 
with the recruiting effort of the .school. Fndoubtedly, employers will tend to 
favor graduates of approved programs, especially when evaluating graduates 
of programs with which they are not familiar. It is also possible that certifica- 
tion of paralegals, whether by states or by the ABA. will l>e easier for tho.se 
people who have completed an approved program. 

//. The Institute's View of Program Approval 
(a) Need. 
The popularity of paralegal training in the student market is such that it is 
possible to sell students on programs that are highly deficient. It must be recos- 
nized that at the time the Special Committee tackled the lu-oblem of approval it 
was feared that the field would be inundated by proprietary schools. The irre- 
sponsibility of many proprietary schools in newly developing vocations (e.g.. 
computer programming) was a cause for concern. In general the fear of develop- 
ment of a large number of proprietary programs has not been borne out. On the 
East Coast we know of only one othe sizeable proprietary program. We know of 
one or two on the West Coast. In our opinion the real danger in the field lies with 
.iunior and community colleges who may .see this as a popular program, but may 
not have the resources and know-how to provide first-class training. Adequate 
protection of potential students would be aided through a discriminating ap- 
proval system. 

(6) Problems with Approval, 
(i) It May Be Too Early.— The most serious problem in our opinion relating 
to approval of programs is that the field is so new that it is imppssilde to be 
certain what the training model or curriculum .should be. Strict approval .stand- 
ards would result in a freezing of curriculum long before appropriate exneri- 
nientatioTi has been carried niit. Therefore, there is n great need for the kind 
of flexiliility now in the Guidelines. On the other hand, the Guidelines may now 
lie so broad as to permit approval of virtually any non-profit and most proprietnrr 
programs. If that is the case it may be meaningless for a lawyer to know vrhether 
or not the person who he is hiring came from an approved program. Students also 
would suffer. They would derive a sense of security based on attending an ap- 



24 

proved institution. If the profession puts little value ou approval, the student's 
sense of security will prove ill founded. 

The problem, while serious, may be unavoidable. 

(ii) Tvvo-Year Programs May Be Off Target. — In the opinion of the Institute, 
especially with regard to tlie large city placement market, it is possible that two 
year programs of a general nature are drawing on students who, for tlie most 
part, will not be employable in the law tirm market. It has been our experience 
tliat law firms seek only the most highly qualified four year college graduates. 
We have serious doubts about the ability of a graduate of a general course from 
a community college to compete with even an untrained bright four year college 
graduate, let alone one from a specialized training program. If graduates of the 
two year programs are unable to hnd employment as paralegals, consistent with 
their expectations, after having graduated from an ABA approved program, that 
would tend to indicate that the Guidelines do not parallel the needs and desires 
of lawyers. We believe that tliis problem may soon exist. 

In other words, we feel that the Gixidelines as applied to two year colleges may 
w^ork for the colleges, and may be educationally sound in theory, but may not 
work in the market place. 

C. Ccrtificaiion 

1. General 

It seems likely that tlie next step after accreditation, or possibly even before 
accreditation, would be certificarion of paralegals. Certification could be under- 
taken by the ABA or by a state Bar, or by both. It is our understanding that 
legislation in California has already paved the way for a regulatory body to 
propose standards for certification. 

2. Should Certification Be Undertaken By the States or hi/ the ABA? 

The Institute has no opinion on the question of whether certification would 
best lay in the liands of the states or the ABA. However, we do believe that 
differing certification requirements, state by state, as in the licensing of lawyers, 
is unnecesai'y and undesireable. We would favor a certification system which 
would achieve some degree of uniformity of re(iuirements. Given the age and 
mnl)ility of so many of the people now working as paralegals, differing state 
laws which might lead to recertification as one moves from one state to another 
would cause unnecessary hardship. 

3. Some General Ohaervations 

(a) Dual Approach. — If the ABA adopts certification, it would almost surely 
adopt a dual approach. One method of certification would apply to paralegals 
who are graduates of an approved program. The other method of certification 
would cover paralegals who have either been trained on t)ie job or have taken 
courses, but have not completed an approved program, or both. 

A highly sophisticated certification scheme could lead to a licensing process 
similar to lawyers, including a "mini bar exam" with cram courses and so forth. 
However, if the ABA's program approval system is satisfactory, we should 
consider certifying, without an exam, all peop-le who graduate from an appi'oved 
institution and meet a practice requirement. A practice requirement and an 
exam could provide a means of equivalency for those who do not attend an ap- 
proved program. 

(b) State Certification. — There is a program relating to state certification 
programs. Would these tie into ABA program approval or would a stnte ado|)t 
one approach for all paralegals whether formallv trained or trained on the 
.iob? 

.}. Is There a Need for Certification 

(a) Bar and Puhlic. — Many professional groups are certified because of their 
direct exposure to the public and the public's inability to jtrotect itself against 
unqualified practitioners. On the other hand, so long as ])aralegals must operate 
under the supervision of a lawyer, it could be argued that the lawyer is discrim- 
inating enough as a professional that he does not need the protection of 
certification. The lawyer acts as a buffer to the public. In other words, is cer- 
tification really necessnry either to protect lawyers or to protect the public? 
We believe that a substantial argument can be made that it is not. 

fb) Parnleciaift. — There is a desire for certification on the jiart of many dedi- 
cated paralegals. Certification gives well deserved reco.gnition and status if the 
standards are reasonable but demanding. The desire for certification as recogni- 
tion of profes.'iional status is justified and may prove a strong force in pushing 
coi'tification. 



IV, THE FUTURE 

A. Economics for the Lawyer and Client 

1. Paralegals Allow Lawyers To Profitahly Do Work at a Lower Price 
I'aralegals have a much lower hourly billing rate than even the youngest 

lawyer in a law firm. We have found, for example, that on the average our 
graduates' time is billed at a rate of $20 per hour. The combination of salary 
and overhead applicable to the paralegal in a large city law firm is approxi- 
niatolv .$15,000 per yeai'. If the paralegal is able to bill 1.500 hours at .$20 an 
hour, "that would yield a gross billing of .$30,000 a year. After subtracting the 
paralegal's overhead the firm derives a reasonable profit from use of the para- 
legal. 

If it takes the paralegal twice as long to perform a task as it would have 
taken a lawyer whose time is billed at $40 an hour, then there is no money 
to lie saved by the client. On the other hand, many of the tasks performed by 
paralegals can be performed for a total hourly charge, i.e., billing rate times 
hours, that is less than a lawyer's. This is even true when comparing the costs 
of a paralegal to a young lawyer, because lawyers are not trained in law school 
to do the every da.v work of legal practice, while paralegals are trained to do 
just that type of work. 

2. Will Use of Paralegals Save the Public Money? 

Indications are that many matters which are presently billed on an hourly 
rate are being billed for less as they are shifted to paralegals. There are other 
situations where these savings are not passed on to the public. For example, 
certain areas of law, such as estate administration, are billed on fees fixed by 
a court, normally as a percentage of the estate or trust. In addition, legal 
work on many substantial matters such as public offerings, is billed at a fee 
negotiated in advance, which probably does not reflect savings engendered by 
paralegals. In these instances the savings will not be passed on to the public. 

It has also come to our attention that in certain large litigation matters such 
as class actions, courts which must approve the fee for the attorney for the 
class have been unwilling to take paralegal time into account. In other words, 
the courts are considering paralegal time to be part of general oflBce overhead. 
If the court is then unwilling to grant the lawyer a substantially increased 
hourly rate, the court is penalizing the more efficient lawyer and ultimately 
his client. 

T'ltimately. we believe that the use of paralegals will tend to make the cost 
of legal services more reasonable and increase the profitability of lawyers. In 
other words the dividend that may be achieved will probably be split between 
the clients. 

3. Future Utilization in Large and Medium Size Fi7-ms 

We believe that firms of 15 lawyers and up will vastly increase their use of 
paralegals, especially as they learn to better utilize them. Over time, these firms 
will hire fewer new attorneys, a problem of no small consequence given the tre- 
mendous increase in law school enrollment. 

/f. Small Firm Use of Paralegals 

Smaller firms of 1 to 5 lawyers have a limited ability to absorb paralegals. 
Often, the lawyers have a very general practice, which means that the training 
received by the paralegal cannot possibly fit their practice as well as it would 
for a specialist. Therefore, more time-consuming and costly on the job training 
is required. This is especially difficult because of the manpower shortage under 
which these firms often operate. In addition, the increased overhead presented 
by the paralegal is often not feasible in such a firm because the practice of many 
of these firms is simply not growing at any appreciable rate. The future for use 
of paralegals in smaller firms may lie mainly in the training of secretaries to 
function as both secretaries and part-time paralegals. 

5. Changes in. Practice dy Virtue of Prepaid Legal Services 

The past several years has seen the introduction of prepaid legal services, a 
trend which will undoubtedly grow. The firms Involved in this type of practice 
tend to develop highly specialized structures because the work they handle falls 
into a routinized pattern. Unlike the large law firm, they depend economically on 
the profitable processing of a high volume of low fee matters. The use of para- 
legals can make the difference between processing low fee work at a profit rather 
than a loss. These firms, therefore, present a very fertile area for the employment 
of large numbers of paralegals. 



26 

B. Training Institutions 

In our opinion the biggest problem facing training institutions is the possibility 
that, while the field is growing, institutions may be turning out too many para- 
legals for the market place to absorb. It is incumbent upon institutions to keep 
careful track of their graduate placement records to be certain that the goals 
of the students are being achieved. Non-profit institutions are subject to this 
problem to as great an extent as are proprietary schools. 

Recently there has been a great deal of publicity, including articles in such 
national magazines as Business Week, which tends to create the illusion of a vast 
paralegal job market at the present time. Our experience has been that this is 
totally inaccurate. The growth potential is there. However, until it is realized, it 
is ix)ssible that many students will find that the market is not yet ready for the 
training they have received. For a student who is trained today, there is little 
solace in the fact that a job will be available three years down the road. 

Summary 

The use of paralegals has had a dramatic impact on the way law is practiced 
in the United States. This impact can be expected to increase year by year. In- 
creased use of paralegals will benefit the public and lawyers and will create a 
new job market for a group of people who tend to be economically underutilized 
at the present time. 

However, the very newness of the field requires that training institutions, pro- 
gram approval, and certification of paralegals be carried out with extreme caution, 
lest the field be overregulated and/or oversold to prospective students. 

The field has tremendous potential. However, unless institutions turn out only 
the most qualified people, lawTers will be dissatisfied with the use of paralegals, 
students will stay away from the field because of inadequate placement oppor- 
tunities, and the public and the profession will never reao the full benefits that 
could be achieved. 

The Institute wishes to thank tlie Subcommittee for the opportunity to px-esent 
its views. 

Respectfully submitted, 
The Institute for Paralesal Training. 

By Paul E. Shapiro. 



Appe:idix a — Course Depckiptio7v.«5 



CUBPORATELAW CUKRTCUT.UM 



1. I>itroduction to the Corporation. — The Model Business Corporation Act and 
selected state corporate laws will be examined in order to familiarize the stu- 
dent with the concept of a corporation as well as the basic law governing its 
formation and operation. 

2. Formation and Structure of Corporations. — The lawyer's Assistant will learn 
to prepare initial and amended articles or certificates of incorporation, satisfy 
state filing and advertising requirements, draft pre-incorporation subscriptions 
and draft or modify by-laws. 

3. Shareholders and Directors Meetings.- — Students will receive instruction and 
practice in preparing initial incorporators' or directors' minutes, waivers and 
notices of meetings, repetitive resolutions wliether in the form of written con- 
sents or actual meetings, agenda, scripts and ballots for directors' and share- 
holders' meetings. 

4. Corporate Equity and Debt Securities. — This section of the course will focus 
ui)on the characteristics of debt and equity securities as well as the variety of 
securities within each category. Students will learn to prepare stock certificates, 
maintain stock ledgers and books and prepare drafts of securities. 

5. Corporate Distributions. — The student will learn to draft resolutions author- 
izing cash and stock dividends and stock splits as well as resolutions relating 
to spin-offs, liquidations and dissolutions. In addition the student will prepare 
the forms required by the state and by the Internal Revenue Service in connec- 
tion with the liquidation and dissolution of corporations. 

G. Qualification in Fnreifin Jurisdictions.- — There will be an introduction to the 
concept of "doing business". Students will learn to draft qualification papers, with- 
drawal from qualification and periodic and special reports. 



27 

7. Employment Agreements. — The Lawyer's Assistant will learn to draft an 
employment agreement containing frequently used terms including "non-compe- 
tition". "trade secrets" and "stock option" provisions. 

S. Stock Optioiis. — Students will analyze and draft qualified stock option plans 
and stock option agreements. 

9. Stock Restriction A(jreemevt.<t. — A typical buy-sell agreement will be reviewed 
paragraph by paragraph. Students will be trained to draft a comparable agree- 
ment and to draft the corporate resolutions necessary to approve the transaction. 

10. Regulation of Piihlic Sales nf Securities. — The Lawyer's A.ssistant will be 
trained to prepare blue sky memoranda and suporting material and forms 
for the registration of securities under blue sky laws. In addition the Lawyer's 
Assistant will assist in compiling information and documents required for Regis- 
tration Statements under the Securities Act of 1033. 

11. Additional Documents Relating to the Ptihlie Sale of Securities. — Students 
will learn to draft an underwriting agreement, as well as powers of attorney 
and resolutions authorizing the sale of securities, registration with the various 
regulatory agencies and the execution of the underwriting agreement. 

12. Securities Exchange Act mf 19S^i. — Lawyer's Assistants will be trained to 
know when and how to prepare Form 3 and 4 reports, Form 8-K, 10-K and 10-Q 
reports and the Form 10. In addition they will be trained to draft proxy mate- 
rials for a shareholders' meeting at which certain routine events occur, such as 
the election of directors, adoption of a stock option plan, .selection of auditors 
and amendments to the articles or certificate of incorporation or by-laws. 

13. Listing Application to Stock E.rchanges. — Students will prepare drafts of 
corporate resolutions relating to listing of securities. In addition, they will re- 
view the listing application itself and various supplemental forms required by 
the exchanges. 

14. Acquisition and Merger Agreements. — Lawyer's Assistants will learn the 
different tyi>es of acquisitions and merger, the statutory requirements of such 
a transaction (including procedures required to comply with Bulk Sales Acts). 
and the customary range of i>rovisions that appear in the agreement, including 
affirmative convenants. representations and warranties, indemnifications and 
escrow provisions, deferred pay-outs and registration rights. They will be trained 
to prepare a closing agenda and papers and prepare the necessary eori^orate reso- 
lutions. 

If). Closing Papers and Closing Binders. — Lawyer'.s Assistants wlil be aware 
of the various closing documents necessary to consummate each of the transac- 
tions covered in the course. They will lie able to prepare or obtain the officers' 
certificates, certified i-esolutions. encumbency certificates, good standing certifi- 
cates, tax lien certificates, etc. They will also be able to prepare closing agenda, 
closing papers and a binder for the transaction. 

ESTATES AXD TRUSTS CURRICULUM 

1. Introduction to Estates and rnr^/s.^Students will be introduced to the 
basic concepts of intei-vivos trusts, testamentary trusts and estates and how they 
are created and administered. 

2. Prohate. — The Lawyer's Assistant will learn to prepare for probate in both 
formal and informal jurisdictions. They will learn to gather the necessaiT infor- 
mation and draft and file applicable documents for both testate and intestate 
estates. 

3. Asset Accumulation and Pai/nient of Del)ts. — Students will be trained to aid 
the lawyer in discovering, gathering and valuing the assets of a decedent. This 
will include instruction in such tasks as changing record ownership of property 
to the executors, obtaining social security, medicare and veteran's benefits, etc. 
In addition, the Lawyer's Assistant will be trained to prepare the inventory of 
assets and aid the executor in the payment of the decedent's debts. 

4. Preparathnyi of Federal Estate Tax Return. — A ma.ior part of the cour.se is 
devoted to teaching students to prepare a Federal Estate Tax return. Many ba.sic 
concepts of property law and federal estate taxation will be explored through a 
schedule by .schedule study of the return. 

.". Preparation of Federal Income Tax Returns. — Students will be introduced 
to the preparation of individual income tax returns. Special emphasis will be 
placed on the preparation of the final lifetime return and fiduciary income tax 
returns for both estates and trusts. The Lawyer's Assistant ^ill be familiar with 
the interrelationships among the federal estate tax, the fiduciary income tax and 
the income tax of beneficiaries. 



28 

G. ^tatc and Local Taxation. — Students will be iutroduced to the returns re- 
quired for state gift, inheritance and estate taxes. To a lesser extent, this section 
of the course will also deal with state income taxes and real and personal prop- 
erty taxes. 

7. Forinal Accounting. — The Lawyer's Assistant will be introduced to the pi*oc- 
ess of fiduciary accounting. The concepts of principal and income, disburse- 
ments and distributions and reconciling an account with the assets on hand will 
be covei-ed. Students will explore the procedures of a court accounting in both 
formal and informal jurisdictions. 

5. tScttlement hy Ayreeincnt. — Students will be prepared to draft a family agree- 
ment and distriliute assets in cases where no court accounting is desired. 

9. Dixtrihntion. of Assets. — Students will learn how to take all the steps neces- 
sary t(j accomplish the actual physical distribution of assets from an estate or 
trust. This section will also teach students to prei«ire whatever court tilings are 
necessary to terminate the administration of an estate or trust. 

10. Gi'ftfs and Federal Gift Tax Return. — Lawyer's Assistants will learn the 
legal elements involved in a gift. They will be taught to prepare the documents re- 
quired to transfer property by gift and to prepiire and file, when necessary, fed- 
eral gift tax returns. 

11. Estate Planning and Drafting. — Students will be prepared to help lawyers 
in estate planning and drafting by assembling relevant information, making esti- 
mated tax calculations, and calculating liquidity requirements. Students will 
learn the fundamentals of will and trust drafting so that they will be able to 
assist lawyers in preparation and periodic review of these documents. 

12. E)<taie Record Keeping and Office ^Systems. — The Lawyer's Assistant will be 
prepared to keep filing systems and accounting records for both large and small 
estates. Students will be introduced to modern office systems aimed at assuring 
that work is accomplished at the appropriate time, that both the lawyer and the 
client are informed of progress, and that billing is kept current. In addition, 
students will learn to install and monitor systems for the periodic review of estate 
plans. 

REAL ESTATE CURRICULUM 

1. Introduction, to Real Property. — Students will be introduced to background 
concepts relating to the ownership, sale, leasing, financing, and governmental 
regulation of improved and unimproved land. 

2. Hurvcy and Legal Description. — The Lawyer's Assistant will learn to order 
and read surveys and to prepare legal descriptions for insertion in deedii, mort- 
gages and other documents. 

3. Recording Statutes. — Statutes providing for the recording of documents re- 
lating to real estate will be studied. The Lawyer's Assistant will be trained to 
understand what types of documents must be recorded and to carry out the actual 
recording. 

4. Title Abstracting. — The Lawyer's Assistant will learn the elements of search- 
ing title to real estate and preparing an abstract to be used at the time of a pur- 
chase, mortgage or lease. In addition, students will be trained to read title reports 
and abstracts prepared by title companies or lawyers for the purpose of obtaining 
documents necessary to clear title at a settlement or closing. 

.5. Title Holder. — Individual, partnership, joint venture, straw and corix)rate 
ownership of real estate will be examined. The student will train to form title- 
holding corporations juid to prepare the documentation re(]uired where title is 
held by a straw party or corporation. Partnership and joint venture owner.ship 
will be dealt with more fully in Chapter 11. 

6. /ierrf-v. — Students will leani to prepare the various types of deeds in common 
use. Deed forms used in several states will be examined and the differences 
analyzed. 

7. Mortgages. — The Lawyer's Assistant will study mortgage financing with 
an emphasis on learning to prepare mortgages, notes and the multitude of sup- 
porting documents required for construction and permanent loan closings, such 
as security agreements, declarations of no-set off. i^erformance bonds and corpo- 
rate resolutions. In addition, students will be trained to prepare and title the 
documentation involved in mortgage foreclosures. 

8. Gorcrnmental Control Over Land Use. — Students will be trained to assist 
the lawyer in applying for and obtaining zoning, building, occupancy and other 
similar permits required by local governmental authorities. 

9. Leasing Real Estate. — Students will review the provisions of standard res- 
idential, commercial, shopping center and net leases in great detail. They will be 



29 

traiued to draft a variety of leases, from simple residential leases to more com- 
plex commercial and shopping center leases. 

10. Buying and Celling Real Estate. — Students will learn the steps necessary 
to buy and sell real estate by examining purchases and sales of properties rang- 
ing from homes through multi-million dollar iudu.sti'ial and commercial proiJer- 
ties. They will be trained to prepare agreements of sale covering certain of tke 
transactions studied. 

11. Partnership and Joint Venture Agreements. — Students will study the Uni- 
form Partnership and Limited Partnership Acts. They will learn to prepare an 
initial draft of general and limited partnership agreements as well as joint ven- 
ture agreements. 

12. Canstruction Contracts. — ^The Lawyer's Assistant will learn to prepare 
simple construction contracts with an emphasis on A. LA. and bank forms. 

13. Settlements and Closing. — The events which take place at a settlement or 
closing for the purchase and/or mortgaging of real estate, as well as the role of 
the Lawyer's Assistant in preparing for the closing, will be the subject of the 
final section of the course. Students will be trained to obtain or prepare, as the 
case may be, tax receipts, lien clearances, corporate resolutions, pay-off state- 
ments, etc. In addition, they will be trained to prepare a binder of the transaction. 

LITIGATION CURRICULUM 

1. Introduction to Litigation — An Overview. — Students will be introduced to 
the differences between civil and criminal litigation. While there will be refer- 
ences throughout the course to criminal litigation, the emphasis will be on civil 
litigation. 

The student, in this chapter, will be exposed to the basic framework or rules 
which govern the law suit, the manner in which legal priciples are developed 
by precedent and the types of relief that are available. 

2. Courts and their Jurisdiction. — Students will learn of the variety of state 
and federal courts and the differences in the scope of their jurisdiction. By the 
use of selected federal and state laws and rules, they will be exposed to such 
concepts as "in personam", "in rem" and "subject matter" jurisdiction. In this 
and other parts of the course, particular emphasis will be placed on the Fed- 
eral Rules of Civil Procedure and the Judicial Code. 

3. Substantive Laiv. — In order to prepare the student to assist a lawyer in a 
lawsuit, a rudimentary understanding of certain major areas of substantive law 
is essential. This chapter will expose the student to the broad outlines of law 
in the areas of anti-trust, contracts, negligence, shareholder derivative actions 
and fraud (with particular reference to Rule lOb-5 under the Securities Ex- 
change Act of 1934) . 

4. Investigation, of Facts. — Students will learn how to assist lawyers in the 
initial interview and how to take the client's "history." The student will also be 
taught techniques for reviewing the client's documents and cataloging the in- 
formation obtained. 

5. Commencement of the Laicsuit and Preparation of Pleadings and Motions. — 
Students will learn how to assist lawyers in the commencement of lawsuits by 
ascertaining the correct names of the parties, helping to gather facts which estab- 
lish that jurisdiction exists, assisting in drafting simple motions and pleadings 
and providing defendants with the required notice. 

6. Discover}/. — Students will develop an appreciation for the kinds of infor- 
mation sought through discovery and will learn how to gather the relevant in- 
formation, prepare certain types of interrogatories and answers to interroga- 
tories, arrange depositions and medical examinations and make requests for 
document inspection. 

7. Preserving Facts and Preparation for Trial. — A significant portion of the 
course will be devoted to training students to digest and index depositions, inter- 
rogatories and documents so that information within these materials can be 
made readily available for the lawyer. The student will also be introduced to 
techniques for preparing chronologies of the facts as well as charts and other 
visual-aids useful in lawsuits, such as anti-trust litigation, involving significant 
amounts of data. 

8. Trial. — To help the Lawyer's Assistant in undertaking work for an at- 
torney and to give an overview of the litigation process, students will learn 
the various phases through which a trial proceeds. 

9. Decision and Settlement. — Lawyer's Assistants will learn to draft releases 
and prepare and record settlement agreements, and will study how to assist 
lawyers in the collection of judgments. 

41-375—74 3 



30 

10. Post Trial Motions and A/>/>e«7.s'.— Students will review the mechanics of 
challenging a court decision and the procedure for staying the judgment of the 
court until an appeal has been taken. 

11. Techniques of Legal Research. — In order to assist lawyers who are pre- 
paring briefs or memoranda of law, students will learn how to use various legal 
research tools such as indexes, digests, Shepards, treaties and the West "key 
number system." Students will also be able to do "cite checking" and "proof 
checking" of the legal citations. 

12. File Maintenance and Docket Control.— Yor a busy litigation lawyer who 
represents many different clients in a wide variety of lawsuits, it is essential 
that he have a systematic procedure for maintaining all of the documents, 
paperwork and evidence which are involved in each case. Students will learn 
various techniques for keeping track of the paperwork as well as the court 
dockets. 

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION AND EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS CURRICULUM 

1. The Professional Association. — Students will learn the basic concept of a 
corporation and the unique attributes of a professional association. They will 
learn to prepare initial and amended articles or certificates of incorporation, 
satisfy filling and advertising requirements, draft pre-incorporation documents',, 
draft or .modify by-laws and prepare notices, minutes and consents. 

2. Shareholders' and Employment Agreements for the Professional Associa- 
tion, — Students will review in detail a typical buy-sell agreement and will learn 
to draft such an agreement. Students will also learn to draft employment agree- 
ments for use in a professional association. 

3. Introduction to Deferred Compensation. — Students will be introduced to the 
most common types of qualified deferred compensation plans and the roles of 
lawyers, actuaries and others in the development and operation of such plans. 

4. Setting Up the Plan. — The Lawyer's Assistant will learn to gather data re- 
quired for the establishment of each type of plan, to prepare directors' and 
shareholders' resolutions establishing plans and trusts, to prepare plan and 
trust outlines and to prepare employee communications documents and brochures. 

5. Contrihution-Oriented Plans. — Students will study a typical profit-sharing 
plan, paragraph by paragraph, and will be introduced to frequently used varia- 
tions from the fundamental provisions. Students will learn to draft profit-sharing 
money-purchase pension, thrift or savings and stock purchase plans. 

6. Benefit-Oriented Plans. — Students will be taught to draft typical flat and 
unit benefit pension plans. Plans with variable features, such as "cost of 
living" and "variable annuity" features, will also be studied as will "assumed 
benefit" provisions. 

7. Integration. — The Lawyer's Assistant will be trained to integrate plans with 
Social Security benefits. Special attention will be directed to the impact on 
retirement benefit formulas of early retirement, 'disability and pre-retirement 
death benefits. Students will also be taught to draft integration provisions ap- 
plicable when plans include joint-and-survivor, period certain and refund feature 
payout options. 

8. Retirement Plans for the Self-E mployed .—i>tm\entfi will be trained to draft 
HR-10 (Keogh) plans and will learn the special limitations applicable to such 
plans. Special emphasis will be placed on the problems encountered when a 
professional practice is incorporated. 

0. Master, Prototype and Multi-Employer Plans. — Students will learn the 
particular considerations that must be reviewed and provisions that must be 
included in drafting general purpose plans designed to meet the needs of a 
variety of employers. 

10. Tru.^t and Custodial Agreements. — Students will study a typical trust 
agreement suitable for use with a bank-trusteed or individually-trusteed plan. 
Variations necessary to accommodate insurance and annuity contracts, split- 
funding and sub-trust arrangements will Ite reviewed. In addition, students will 
be introduced to permissible trust-substitute arrangements and will learn to 
draft a custodial agreement for use with certain non-trusteed plans. 

11. Initial Agency Filings. — Lawyer's Assistants will be trained to prepare 
filings with the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor and S.E.C., 
including those filings required to secure Letters of Determination from the 
IRS. Students will also be made aware of certain state filing requirements. 

12. Administration. — Students will study the administrative duties of plan 
managers, administrative committees and trustees. They will also review an-^ 



31 

nual resolutions, committee and trustee records of proceedings and annual re- 
ports to employees and administrative agencies. Instruction \A'ill be given on 
how to complete IRS forms 4575 (relating to trust fund investments), W-2P 
and W-4P (distributions and withbokling), 990-P (trust tax return), 2950 and 
2950SE (statements in support of deduction), 484S (employer's return), 4849 
(trust financial statement), Department of Labor form D-2, S.E.C. form 11-K 
and various state forms. 

13. Amendment, Modification and Merger of Plans. — The Lawyer's Assistant 
will learn how to amend plans and trusts, how to effect a simple plan and trust 
merger of like ])lans, and how to meet agency filing requirements. 

14. Termination of Plans. — Students will learn to draft necessary termi- 
nation dociiments and to complete appropriate agency forms including IRS 
form 4570. 

15. Other Exeeutive Compensation Plans. — Students will be introduced to 
benefit plans for key personnel. Non-qualified programs and stock options will 
be examined and examples of each will be reviewed. 

10. Proposed Legislation. — Proposals relating to mandatory vesting, portability, 
minimum benefits, the "Rule of 50," deductibility of contributions made by 
individuals and federal reinsurance of benefits will be examined. 

Appendix B — Administrative Staff 

directors 
Paul E. Shapiro 

B.A. University of Pennsylvania, 1964; LL.B. University of Pennsylvania Law 
School. 1967 (Cum Laude, Editor of Law Review) ; Associated with the law 
firm of Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 
[September, 1967 to March, 1970. Areas of respmisiMlity : Training and Program 
iDevelopment. 

B. Barry SwedlofiP 

B.S. Drexel University, 1962 (Phi Kappa Phi). Areas of responsibility: Ad- 
missions and Placement. 

FACULTY AND STUDENT AFFAIRS 

Caroline S. Laden 
B.A. Cornell University, 1962 (Honors in Economics) ; LL.B. Harvard Law 
School, 1965 (Williston Drafting Prize) ; Law Clerk, Common Pleas Court, 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from September, 1965 to August, 1966; Assistant 
Counsel, The School District of Philadelphia, from September, 1966 to June, 
1969 and from May, 1971 to June, 1972 ; Associated with the law firm of Dil- 
worth, Paxson, Kalish, Levy and Coleman, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 
September, 1969 to May, 1971. Dean of Faculty and Students. 

Ruth E. Scott 

A.B. Radcliffe College, 1961; M.A.T. Yale University, 1963 (Ford Scholarship) ; 
Oxford University, Summer, 19M : Assistant Regional Director of Admissions, 
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, from July, 1969 to June, 1970; 
Admissions Officer, University of Pennsylvania Law School. Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania, from June, 1970 to April, 1972; Assistant to the Provost, Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from April, 1972 to Sep- 
tember, 1972. Associate Dean of Faculty and Students. 

Cathy B. Abelson 

University of Connecticut, 1966-1968. Assistant to the Dean. 

ADMISSIONS 

Molly S. Lunkenheimer 

B.A. Wheaton College, 1968; Corporate Law Course, Institute for Paralegal 
Training, 1970. Director of Admissions. 

Carol J. Brown 
B.A. Allegheny College, 1972 ; Estates and Trusts Course, Institute for Para- 
legal Training, 1972. Assistant Director of Admissions. 

Judith Current 

B.A. Vanderbilt University, 1978 ; Real Estate Course, Institute for Paralegal 
Training, 1973. 



32 

Catharine S. Davies 

B.A. Swarthmore College, 1973 ; Corporate Law Course, Institute for Paralegal 
Training, 1973. 

Jan Klueevesk 

Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1967-1969. Admissions. 

Bea Glidden 
Admissions. 

PLACEMENT 

Charlotte H. Parker 
B.A. Smith College, 1970 ; Corporate Law Course, Institute for Paralegal 
Training, 1970 ; Assistant to the Director of The Institute, May, 1971 to June, 
1974. Director of Staff Training. 

Sharyn N. Wells 
B.A. Ursinus College, 1970 ; Real Estate Course, Institute for Paralegal Train- 
ing, 1971. 

Julie A. Conover 

B.A. Pennsylvania State University, 1970; Litigation Course, Institute for 
Paralegal Training, 1972. 

Joan M. McClatchy 

B.A. Trinity College, 1973; Real Estate Course, Institute for Paralegal Train- 
ing, 1973. 

Catharine Simler 
B.A. Swarthmore College, 1973 ; Estates and Trusts Course, Institute for 
Paralegal Training, 1973. 

Michael Dickerman 

B.A. Temple University, 1971 ; General Practice Course, Institute for Paralegal 
Training, 1972 ; Paralegal with the law firm of Kleiubard, Bell and Brecker, 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from October, 1972 to January, 1974. 

.Julie G. Wood 

B.A. Brown University, 1973 (Magna Cum Laude) ; Litigation Course, In- 
stitute for Paralegal Training, 1974. 

Elaine G. DushofE 

B.A. Temple University, 1962. Placement Staff Coordinator. 

Elen Epstein 
B.S. Hofstra University, 1963. Placement Coordinator. 

Madeleine S. von Hemert 

B.A. Lake Forest College, 1971. Placement Coordinator. 

Senator Tunney. Our next witness is Mr. William Fry, executive 
director of the National Paralegal Institute and lie will be accom- 
panied by Mr, Jim Miller, a paralegal with Community Legal Serv- 
ices, Philadelphia. 

Because of the unexpected turn of events with that executive ses- 
sion of the committee, I'm running behind in time and I would like, 
if possible, for you two — for both of you to summarize your state- 
ment to the point it can be included in a 15-minute time frame. 

I'm just going to have to notify you in 15 minutes because I have 
a couple of questions I'd like to ask you and then we're going to have 
to go to one of the other witnesses. 

Mr. Fry. Thank you. 

THE STATEMENT OF WILLIAM FRY, EXECUTIVE DIEECTOE OF 
THE NATIONAL PAEALEGAL INSTITUTE, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Mr. Fry. I am "William Fry, the executive director of the National 
Paralegal Institute, a nonprofit corporation funded by OEO and 



33 

HEW to promote the training and utilization of paralegals in the 
public law sector. We design and deliver training programs for para- 
legals, and do studies, experiments, and demonstrations on the train- 
ing and utilization of paralegals. Among our current projects is the 
the design of model legislation for States to use in moving toward 
accrediting paralegal training. I believe I have been asked to appear 
before the subcommittee in order to explain the use of paralegals in 
the public sector and to detail our concerns on the accrediting of 
paralegal training programs. 

I helieve tliat this hearing and the ultimate recommendations of 
the subcommittee are of potentially great importance to the delivery 
of legal services to citizens. The paralegal movement is the most signi- 
ficant development that I know of for dramatically changing the 
access of citizens to legal rights and remedies. Paralegals can offer 
services to millions of citzens whom the legal profession cannot now 
serve. 

The issue of accreditation of paralegal training is of critical im- 
portance to this new occupation. The group which possesses the au- 
'thority to accredit paralegal training will set the shape of the oc- 
cupation, and wall ultimately have a substantial influence on the ques- 
tion of whether paralegals Avill become a major force in improving 
legal services and the legal profession. 

Let me explain why I think accrediation is so important. To do 
so I will briefly describe what I see happening in the paralegal move- 
ment. 

The use of paralegals has been generally recognized and supported 
by bar associations and others for at least 5 years. The movement has 
tended to divide into two groups: private law and public law para- 
legals. 

We heard from Mr. Shapiro a description of the use of paralegals 
in the private law ; so I am going to abbreviate my remarks by skipping 
a section in wliich I describe their utilization in ways very similar to 
those he described. 

Senator Tuxxey. That will be included in the record as thouo;h 
read. 

Mr. Fry. The presence of paralegals in law firms often results in 
considerable economies although I know of few instances in which this 
has led either to substantial lowering of fees to clients or to a notable 
extension of legal services to those who cannot now afford an attorney. 
I say this not by way of criticism but as a contrast to the public law 
sector where paralegals are utilized quite differently and offer the pos- 
sibility of a major extension both of the quality and quantity of legal 
services available. I take the public sector to include GEO legal services 
to the poor. HEW-financed legal services, public defender agencies, 
prosecutors offices, government agencies, and the thousands of tenant 
oroanizations, senior citizen j^rojects, and other service organizations 
whicli deliver some form of legal assistance. 

Public law paralegals have a much larger scope of responsibility and 
function than their counterparts in the private law. In GEO lesral 
services they interview clients, investigate cases, deal with public 
agencies in resolving legal disputes and arpue thousands of cases be- 
fore administrative agencies, as permitted bv Federal and State law. 
In some GEG legal services offices, paralegals are specialists in areas 
such as Social Security disability. Avelfare, and workmen's compensa- 



34 

tion. In these areas, they maintam their own caseloads and represent 
clients in cases from the beginning through to an administrative hear- 
ing. There is virtually no possibility that either federally fancied law- 
yers or private attorneys could take over the work done by these para- 
legals. 

No one is certain how many paralegals exist in either the public or 
private law sectors. In the public law sector, the Federal Civil Service 
Commission has counted 30,000 law related jobs, some of which are 
clearly paralegal functions. In GEO legal services, we believe there 
are in excess of 1,000 paralegals scattered among the 280 legal services 
projects in the country. The many hundreds of community based proj- 
ects serving senior citizens, tenants, welfare recipients, and consumers 
are beginning to use paralegals to help their clients with legal 
problems. 

Given the wide variety and growing numbers of public and private 
law paralegals, the question arises of how paralegals should be trained. 
There is a total lack of empirical knowledge on the best kind of train- 
ing paralegals should receive and indeed it is obvious that paralegals^ 
need different training for different functions. In private law offices, 
some attorneys prefer to employ competent people who have not re- 
ceived any special paralegal training, since they choose to teach the par- 
ticular w'ork to be assigned in their own way. Other law firms have 
looked to the Institute for Paralegal Training in Philadelphia and 
there are many experiments in paralegal training underway ranging 
from community college-based short term training for legal secretaries, 
to 1- and 2-year college-based programs giving general law back- 
ground. 

In the public law sector, training is usually provided for a specific 
function. Thus, legal services paralegals may be trained in welfare, con- 
sumer, divorce, and domestic relations or landlord-tenant law, or in 
the skills needed for administrative hearing work. 

It is obvious to me that a wide variety of training is needed for para- 
legals, and at this point in history experimentation should bo 
encouraged. 

Against this background, the subject of accreditation of paralegal 
training becomes vitally important. In the ITnited States, accredita- 
tion is considered voluntary — tliat is, educational institutions join to- 
gether to recognize one accrediting agency to establish rules about 
related educational programs. Despite this voluntariness, the conse- 
quences of accreditation are far ranging and important. Because stu- 
dents, employers, and educational institutions all pay attention to 
whether a training program is accredited, the promulgation of rules 
for accreditation may have a stifling effect on experimentation, and 
a strong tendency to lead towards only one way of training. 

There are two things to fear from accreditation. The first is that it 
will be done prematurely before real knowledge and understanding is 
obtained about the connection between education and the job to be 
done. The second is that the group to establisli and promulgate accred- 
itation rules will not be representative of those who by experience 
and knoAvledge, can produce balanced, rational, and appropriate rules. 

As to the first point, that accreditation should not be established 
prematurely, it seems clear that we have not yet reached the state of 
knowledge and understanding of the paralegal movement for rigid 



35 

rules to be set. It should be noted that paralegals present no new threat 
either to society or to the legal profession, 1 do not know of a single 
case in which an OEO Legal Services paralegal has been found to have 
violated ethical or unauthorized practice rules. 

There is an extraordinary amount of healthy experimentation under 
way in paralegal training. Some believe that the best training for para- 
legals is to show them systematically how to handle every step of a 
particular kind of case. This is the "systems" approach. Others be- 
lieve that short-term intensive training is the most suitable, and have 
designed courses which last anywhere from a week to 3 months, pro- 
ducing a paralegal knowledgeable and skilled in one substantive law 
area. Yet another approach is commonly found in the colleges which 
prepare generalists. Finally there are those who believe that on-the-job 
training for paralegals is most suitable. 

Tliere is no evidence that any of these approaches is superior to any 
other. JNIoreover, the variety of people doing paralegal work makes it 
plain that no single approach will be suitable for all. 

The only movement toward accreditation of paralegal training has 
emanated from bar associations. In August of 1973, the American Bar 
Association promulgated standards for college-based training pro- 
grams, and its special committee dealing witli paralegals is currently 
working on standards for all other paralegal training. Eecently. the 
California Bar Association promoted legislation in Sacramento which 
would lead to accreditation of paralegals. That legislation is still 
pending. 

It is my view that a committee of lawyers, of the American Bar As- 
sociation or of any other bar association, is a wholly inappropriate 
group to establish accreditation for paralegal training. 

The issuance by the American Bar Association of rules purporting 
to fix guidelines for paralegal training is, in my view, a disservice to 
the paralegal movement. The guidelines suggest standards which have 
no relevance to the needs of paralegals, and suggest that a single 
monolithic approach to paralegal training will fit the needs of all. 

The tendency of bar associations to establish rules governing new 
forms of legal practice which coincidently serve to protect the interest 
of lawyers is well recognized and not surprising. Indeed, every occu- 
pation should organize to promote its own best interests, and I hope 
that paralegals will do the same. A problem arises, however, when 
one professional organization undertakes to establish rules for a 
subprofessional organization. As the National Commission on Ac- 
crediting rightly suggests, there is a conflict of interest in this. More- 
over, private attorneys are not experts in the area of training, nor 
are they particularly knowledgeable about the far-ranging needs of 
the public law sector v/here paralegals have their greatest role to 
play. 

The paralegal movement has extraordinary potential for extend- 
ing legal rights to citizens, and its growth and development is of 
great public interest. 

Because the accreditation of paralegal training is bound to have 
a sisrnificant impact on the direction of the movement, a large-scale 
study of paralegal accreditation is necessary. This is all the more true 
because bar association and others are inclined to prematurely pre- 
empt the field. 



36 

I would urge that this committee recommend legislation to estab- 
lish in an appropriate Government agency or as part of a broadly 
representative nongovernmental entity, a study group with a man- 
date to analyze the paralegal field and produce both empirical data 
and recommendations for paralegal accreditation. In my full state- 
ment, submitted for the record, are some suggestions about the func- 
tions that such a study might undertake, and I will be glad to dis- 
cuss such a study further with the committee's staff. 

Let me conclude by saying that there are millions of citizens in the 
country who cannot afford legal counsel and who suffer the loss of 
rights and remedies which in many cases might be simply obtained. 
Paralegals have already shown that they can provide valid and use- 
ful services to such people. It is within the pow^r of Congress to pro- 
mote a more rational and promising utilization of paralegals, by 
mandating a stiidy which can lead to a sound accrediting policy, in 
contrast to the premature and stifling approach suggested by some 
members of the organized bar. 

Senator Tuxney. Thank you very nnich for your statement, and 
for summarizing it. And your entii-e statement will be included in 
the record as if read. And you submitted to the committee a state- 
ment that was made before the California Legislature. Do you want 
that to also be incorporated in the record following your testimony ? 

Mr. Fry. I would appreciate that. 

[The statement follows :] 

Testimony of William R. Fry, Executive Director of the National Paralegal 

Institute 

I am William R. Fry, the executive director of the National Paralegal Insti- 
tute. We are a non-profit corporation funded by OEO and HEW to promote the 
training and utilization of paralegals in the public law sector. We design and 
deliver training programs for paralegals, and do studies, experiments and 
demonstrations on the training and utilization of paralegals. Among our current 
projects is the design of model legislation for states to use in moving toward 
accrediting of paralegal training. I believe I have been asked to appear before 
the Subcommittee in order to explain the use of paralegals in the public sector, 
and to detail our concerns on the accrediting of paralegal training programs. 

This hearing and the ultimate recommendations of the Subcommittee are of 
potentially great importance to the delivery of legal services to citizens. The 
paralegal movement is the most significant development I know of for dramati- 
cally changing the access of citizens to legal rights and remedies. Paralegals can 
offer services to millions of citizens whom the legal profession cannot now serve. 

The issue of accreditation of paralegal training is of critical importance to this 
new occupation. The group which possesses the authority to accredit paralegal 
training will set the shape of the occupation, and will ultimately have a sub- 
stantial influence upon the question of whether paralegals will become a major 
force in improving legal services and the legal profession. 

Let me explain why I think accreditation is so important. To do so will require 
some description of the paralegal movement. 

The use of paralegals has been generally recognized and supported by bar as- 
sociations and others for at least five years. The movement has tended to divide 
into two groups : private law and public law paralegals. 

Private law firms, particularly large ones, employ paralegals to work behind 
the scenes. These paralegals usually specialize in such areas as corporate work, 
SEC, anti-trust, or real estate. It appears that over 90% are women college grad- 
uates, many of whom are interested in going to law school. They prepare docu- 
ments, do research, collate complex files, complete forms, and do other behind 
the scenes work. Their presence in a law finn often results in considerable econ- 
omies, although I know of few instances in which this has led either to substan- 
tial lowering of fees to clients, or to notable extension of legal services to those 
who cannot now afford an attorney. I say this not by way of criticism, but as a 



37 

contrast to the public law sector where paralegals are utilized quite differently, 
and offer the i)ossibility of a major extension both of the quality and quantity 
of legal services available. I take the public sector to include OEO Legal Services 
to the poor, HEW-tinanced legal services, public defender agencies, prosecutors 
offices, governiueut agencies, and the thousands of tenant organizations, senior 
citizen projects, and other service organizations which deliver some form of legal 
assistance. 

Public law paralegals have a much larger scope of responsibility and func- 
tion than their counterparts in the private law. In OEO Legal Services they in- 
terview clients, investigate cases, deal with public agencies in resolving legal 
disputes and argue thousands of cases before administrative agencies, as per- 
mitted by Federal and state law. In some OEO Legal Services offices, paralegals 
are specialists in areas such as Social Security disability, welfare, and work- 
man's compensation. In these areas they maintain their own caseloads and rep- 
resent clients in cases from the beginning through to an administrative hearing. 
There is virtually no possibility that either federally funded lawyers or private 
attorneys could take over the work done by these paralegals. 

One distinguishing feature of public sector paralegals is that they operate in 
agencies which charge no fees for their services. Thus economies show up in 
a great profit margin for the agencies but in the greater quantity and quality of 
service to be provided for. the same dollar amoouit. Because public agencies are 
notoriously under-funded, they constantly seek ways to do their jobs more 
efficiently and for less cost. Many, such as OEO Legal Services to the poor, also 
are subjected to demands for service which far exceed their capacity. In these 
settings, paralegals are used to serve more people for a given amount of money. 

No one is certain how many paralegals exist in either the public or private 
law sectors. In the public law sector, the Federal Civil Service Commission has 
counted 30,000 "law related" jobs, some of which are clearly paralegal functions. 
In OEO Legal Services, we beileve there are in excess of 1,000 paralegals scat- 
tered among the 280 Legal Services projects in the country. The many hundreds 
of community based projects serviiig senior citizens, tenants, welfare recipients, 
and consumers are beginning to use paralegals to help their clients with legal 
problems. 

Given the wide variety and growing numbers of public and private law para- 
legals the question arises of how paralegals should be trained. Tliere is a total 
lack of empirical knowledge on the best kind of training pai'alegals should 
receive and indeed it is obvious that paralegals need different training for dif- 
ferent functions. In private law offices, some attorneys prefer to employ com- 
petent people who have not received any special paralegal training, since they 
choose to teach the particular work to be assigned in their o^^■n way. Other law 
firms have looked to the Institute for Paralegal Training in Phihidelphia which 
trains i>aralegals in a single siieeialty over three months of intensive classroom 
work. Many experiments in paralegal training are underway, ranging from com- 
munity coUege-ijased short term training for legal secretaries, to one and two year 
college-based programs giving general law background. 

In the public law sector, training is iisually provided for a siiecific function. 
Thus, legal services paralegals may be trained in welfare, consumer, divorce and 
domestic relations or landlord-tenant law, or in the skills needed for adminis- 
trative hearing work. Other areas in which public law paralegals are trained in- 
clude National Labor Relations Board work. Equal Employment Opportunity 
Commission investigations, and criminal procedures. 

It is obvious to me that a wide variety of training is needed for paralegals, and 
at this point in history experimentation should be encouraged. 

Against this background, the subject of accreditation of paralegal training 
becomes vitally important. In the United States, accreditation is considered 
voluntaiy — that is, educational institutions join together to recognize one ac- 
crediting agency to establish rules about related educational programs. Despite 
this voluntariness, the consequences of accreditation are far ranging and potent. 
Because students, employers, and educational institutions all pay attention to 
whether a training program is accredited, the promulgation of rules for accredita- 
tion may have a stifling effect on exiierimentation, and a strong tendency to lead 
towards only one way of training. 

There are two things to fear from accreditation. The first is that it will be 
done prematurely before real knowledge and understanding is obtained about 
the connection between education and the job to be done. The second, is that the 
group to establish and promulgate acrreditaton rules will not be representative of 
those who hv experience and knowledge, can promulgate balanced, rational and 
appropriate rules. 



38 

As to the first point, that accreditation should not be established prematurely, 
it seems clear that we have not yet reached the state of knowledge and under- 
standing of the paralegal movement for rigid rules to be set. It should be noted 
that paralegals present no new threat either to society, or the legal profession. 
I do not know of a single case in which an OEO Legal Services paralegal has 
been found to have violated any ethical or unauthorized practice rules. There 
is no real threat that society or clients will be in any way damaged by the utiliza- 
tion of paralegals. Except for those non-lawyers working in administrative rep- 
resentation cases for the poor, paralegals are entirely under supervision of 
attorneys. 

In those job slots where there may not be an attorney present, such as in 
tenant organizations, or senior citizens programs, the paralegals are giving a 
service which would not otherwise be given. Limited experience in these areas 
shows that trained paralegals can do work of the same quality as an attorney 
might do. 

These is an extraordinary amount of healthy experimentation underway in 
paralegal training. Some believe that the best training for paralegals is to show 
them systematically how to handle every step of a particular kind of case, such as 
an uncontested divorce, or a consumer problem. This is the "system" approach. 
Others believe that short-term intensive training is the most suitable, and have 
designed courses which last anywhere from a week to three months, producing 
a paralegal knowledgeable and skilled in one sul)stantive law area. Yet another 
approach is commonly found in the colleges which prepare generalists. offering 
what appears to be a diluted version of a law school curriculum. Finally, there 
are those who believe that on-the-job training for paralegals is most suitable, 
since each law oflice handles cases in its own way. 

There is no evidence that any of these approaches is superior to any other. 
Moreover, the variety of people doing paralegal work makes it plain that no 
single approach will be suitable for all. As I have mentioned, large private law 
firms favor women college graduates with good academic records, many of whom 
are qualified for law school. Government agencies often employ those who 
could not reasonably hope to attend law school, and need not even have a col- 
lege degree. In OEO Legal Services, a number of paralegals are drawn from 
the community, and are members of minority groups with little or no college 
experience. (Contrary to popular belief, however, more than half of those 
paralegals working in OEO Legal Services have completed some college and 
many are college graduates.) 

Still other paralegals are elderly people serving fellow senior citizens ; res- 
ervation Indians appearing in tribal court; middle-aged people seeking new 
careers ; or ex-convicts who have learned about the criminal process the hard 
way. 

The content and duration of training for a paralegal on an Indian reservation, 
a real estate paralegal, or a senior citizen handling disability hearings under' 
Social Security are obviously going to be different. No person or group can 
claim to be in a position now to issue rational omnibus rules for all training. 

When the time comes for accreditation standards to be set, the question of who 
is to set them will be of vital importance. 

The only movement towards accreditation of paralegal training has emanated 
from bar associations. In August 1073 the American Bar Association promul- 
gated standards for college-based training programs, and its special committee 
dealing with paralegals is currently working on standards for all other paralegal 
training. Recently the California Bar Association promoted legislation in Sacra- 
mento which would lead to the accreditation of paralegals. The legislation is 
still pending. 

It is my view that a committee of lawyers, of the American Bar Asstx^iation 
or of any other bar association, is a wholly inappropriate group to establish ac- 
creditation for paralegal training. As the National Commission on Accrediting re- 
cently stated in a report dealing with accreditation in the health professions : 

One important factor that is forcing a re-evaluation of the health pro- 
fessionals position in relation to society is the tendency — the necessity — for 
professional organizations to give increased emphasis to the economic and 
social welfare of their members. This development serves to accentuate the 
conflict of interest inherent in the professional associations bifurcated re- 
sponsibility to its members on the one hand and to society at large on the 
other. Concurrent with this development is the altered status and reputation 
of the professional. No longer is it uniformly believed that the acts of 
professionals are totally beyond the comprehension of laymen . . . Further- 



39 

more, accreditation tliat is controlled by health professional bodies has come 
to be heavily i-elied upon by many different segments of society, including 
government agencies that utilize accreditation as an initial criterion both for 
the disbursement of public funds and for individual licensure . . . These 
factors, among others, argue tliat the accrediting process must be lield ac- 
countable not merely to the health professions, but to a mucii broader con- 
stituency. This broader constituency includes in varying ways the educa- 
tional institutions that offer i)rograms of study of health professional fields, 
the potential employers . . ., the Federal and state governments, students, 
and ultimately the public at large. 
I think this statement applies directly to the issue of whether bar associations 
ought to be the accrediting agencies for paralegal training. 

The issuance by the American Bar Association of rules purporting to fix guide- 
lines for paralegal training is, in my view, a disservice to the paralegal move- 
ment. The guidelines suggest standards which have no relevance to the needs of 
paralegals, and suggest that a single monolithic approach to paralegal training 
will fit the needs of all. 

The tendency of bar associations to establish rules governing new forms of legal 
practice which coincidently serve to protect the interest of lawyers is well recog- 
nized and not surprising. Indeed, every occupation should organize to promote its 
own best interests, and I hope that paralegals will do the same. A problem arises, 
however, when one professional organization undertakes to establish rules for 
a .sub-professional organi«ation. As the National Commission on Accreditation 
rightly suggests, there is a conflict of interest in this. Moreover, private atorneys 
are not experts in the area of training, nor are they knowledgeable about the far- 
ranging needs of the public law sector where paralegals have their greatest role 
to play. I believe all these defects are revealed in the ABA Guidelines. 

The paralegal movement has extroardinary potential for extending legal rights 
to citizens, and its growth and development is of great public interest. Because the 
accreditation of paralegal training is bound to have a significant impact on the 
direction of the movement, a large scale study of paralegal accreditation is neces- 
sary. This is all the more true because bar associations and others are inclined 
to prematurely preempt the field. 

I would urge that this Committee recommend le.srislation to establish in an ap- 
propriate government agency or as part of a broadly representative non-govern- 
mental entity, a study group with a mandate to analyze the paralegal field and 
produce both empirical data and recommendations for paralegal accreditation. I 
suggest that this group might well study the following : 

1. The varieties of work which paralegals now do, and may appropriately 
undertake, and the forms of suitable training for such work. 

2. The extent to which training requirements may, if improperly designed, 
limit access to the occupation. 

3. The extent of the public interest in having adequately trained paralegals 
and in insuring open access to the occupation. 

4. An evaluation of the variety of i)re.sently existing training methods, and the 
degree to which employers, paralegals and recipients of legal services find such 
training to be appropriate to paralegal functions. 

5. The constituency which has sufficient interest and knowledge of paralegal 
trnining and utilization to enjoy participation in establishing accreditation rules. 

6. A recommendation for the creation of a permanent accrediting entity. 
There are now millions of citizens in this country v.-ho cannot afford legal 

counsel, and who suffer the loss of rights and remedies which in many cases 
might be simply obtained. Paralegals have already shown that they can pro- 
vide valid and useful services to such people. It is within the power of Con- 
gress to promote a more rational and promising utilization of paraleg.ols, ]>y man- 
dating a study which can lead to a sound accrediting policy, in contracts to the 
premature and stifling approach suggested by some members of the organized 
bar. 

Mr. Frv. Senator, if I may, un]ess there are questions, I would like 
to introduce Jim Miller. 

Jim is a paralepral from the Philadelphia GEO leafftl services 
profjram. We have Avoi'ked with him for a number of months and 
have discussed trainino; and other matters with him. He is quite 
experienced. 

Senator Tunxey. Fine. 



40 

Mr. Fry. I asked him if he would join me here because I think he 
lias interesting thoughts on the subject. 

Senator Tuxney. Would you like to make a few comments, Mr. ]\Iil- 
ler, as to what your thoughts are on paralegals and the use of para- 
legals in the community that you serve and what your feeling is about 
the capacity or ability of paralegals to identify with the clients that 
they serve. 

Are they able to communicate more freely and easily than lawyers, 
to your knowledge ? 

Are they able to assist lawyers in an effective way ? 

Whatever you feel is important to bring to the attention of the 
committee. We would be happy to hear you speak. We are working 
under constraints of time so if you could just summarize your re- 
marks in 3 or 4 minutes. 

Mr. jMiller. Thank you, Senator. 

For the past 8 months I have specialized in divorce hearings. In 
other words just handling divorces. Eecently I became a participant in 
a specialized ti-aining program. I'm under their training now as an 
advocate general advocate and it's been my experience in worldng with 
attorneys in the program that we learn from each other. I believe in 
legal services to the poor. The attorneys have learned as much from me 
as I have learned about the law from them. 

JNIy statement is rather short. 

I don't have too much to say after Mr. Fry. I would feel more com- 
fortable if I read this thing. 

Senator Tunney. All right, fine, proceed. 

Mr. Miller. My formal education was curtailed many years ago by 
the consequences of having been born black and poor. By the time 
economic opportunity became available to black people, I had insured 
that m}' formal education would not be resumed clue to a further conse- 
quence of having wasted my 3'oung years in a rather antisocial life- 
style. 

Senator Tunney. Could you speak a little louder, sir, I can't hear 
you. 

Mv. ]\IiLLER. Today, thanks to the concern of many truly committed 
people in legal services, I am able to come before this important body 
and speak for thousands, who like me, feel they may be legislated out 
of the emerging paralegal profession. I speak also for the vast number 
of persons who may still find their way to the paralegal profession as a 
result of community involvement; those working in and for tenant 
organizations: consumer protection and education; mental health pro- 
grams; those who dedicate so much time and effort toward improving 
the lot of our senior citizens. 

I can realize the tremendous contributions such people make to the 
community because I had at one time or another, through one way or 
another received the beneficial blessings of their contributions. My wish 
now is that witli the proper training, I too can render valuable and con- 
structive-contributions. 

I would be bordering on the threshhold of impertinence were I to 
presume to instruct this committee as to what national body should 
be delegated to oversee or conduct the accreditation of paralegals. 
Likewise, I do not believe you would appreciate my advising you as to 
what paralegals should or should not be licensed. However, as one of 



41 

the best paralegals in one of the best legal services programs, staffed by 
some of the best attorneys in the East, I can say to you, the time has not 
arrived where it is necessarj^ to accredit paralegals. 

Any attempt to test and license paralegals at this point would re- 
quire as many types of licenses and tests as there are types of para- 
legals. In addition, it would be almost impossible, on this date, to 
obtain two descriptions of what a paralegal is or what he does, which 
will appear even remotely tlie same. I find it strange to consider ac- 
crediting a "thing"' which lacks definition. 

The fact that this emerging occupation is not acceditable at the pres- 
ent does not mean it will remain so. When lawyers learn to not feel 
threatened by paralegals; when the Nation's law schools become sup- 
portive of paralegal training; when law officers learn to fully utilize 
})aralegals; when a composite body of lawyers, businessmen, para- 
legals, and educators can be found to administer accreditations, then, 
1 liope to be among the first to seek congressional involvement. 

In the event you are otherwise persuaded and you feel there is a 
compelling need for immediate accreditation of paralegals, I would 
urge that the accrediting agency be comprised of institutions, individ- 
uals, and agencies exjDerienced in the delivery of legal services to needy 
l^eople. An agency thus composed, is more likely to assure the legal 
profession will be enhanced by the continued activities of paralegals in 
that it will be relying on experience in poverty law, whereas one of the 
bar associations could only proceed on the narrow margin of opinion. 
Enactment of any legislation designed to control or further constrain 
paralegals must be considered with the view that paralegalism is not 
aimed at destiaiction of the legal profession, rather, it is aimed at ful- 
fillment of the traditional promise of the legal profession, which is 
justice and equality under the law. 

[Witness requested this supplement be added to his testimony.] 

Additioxal Statement of Jim Miller, Paralegal Assistants 

In my examination of the transcript of testimony rendered by me before the 
Senate Subcommittee on Representation of Citizen Interests, I am forced to con- 
clude that my response to some of the Chairman's questions were inadequate. 
Consequently, I respectfully request that this statement be included as a part of 
my testimony and be entered in the official records of the hearing. 

At Line 9. Page 41, Senator Tunney posed a series of questions. The following 
representH my response to those questions : 

The use of iJaralegals in the community where I am employed is crucial in the 
effective delivery of legal services to needy persons. Being a product of that 
community, I feel I can more readily relate to the needs of tlie client. Quite 
often, the client is unable to identify or articulate his true needs in terms by 
which the highly trained attorney can comprehend. The application of certain 
techniques developed by Legal Services training programs, coupled with my 
knowledge of certain peculiarities of the commimity, enable me to translate the 
legal aspects or consequences of a clients situation into terms wliich he or she 
i'^ able to understand. I see a definite need to have the client truly understand 
his or her situation in relation to application of law. 

Another advantage in the use of paralegals is that clients are more 
willing to respond to questions during an interview when the interview 
is conducted by a paralegal. The client, after he is made aware that I am not an 
attorney, somehow feels more confident, trusting, and willing to accept my 
appraisal. Where the lawyer conducts the interview, the client is defensive and 
cautions to the extent that he hinders the entire process. All too often, the client 
identifies a lawyer with the law ; and "law" to most ghetto inhabitants mean 
deprivation, imprisonment, or suppression. 

Technique or the degree of skill used by the lawyer has nothing to do with 
this phenomena. It is part of the conditioning reflexe.9 and defemses which are 



42 

used for ghetto survival. I might add too. that paralegals are less troubled with 
interpreting slang expressions, codes, standards, and attitudes common to sur- 
vival in the slums. I have found it quite significant that I am not tempted to make 
value judgments of a client, using standards unrecognized by the client. The 
client is therefore free to relate the facts vvithout fear of being criticized or 
judged. He or she is led to a point where they honestly feel that justice will not 
be measured according to the amount of money they are able to pay. 

Generally I have found it more preferable that the client identify with me ; 
rather than I with the client. The affect of his wish to identify with me speeds 
up the interview, allows me the opportunity to listen and be alert for pertinent 
facts, and often acts to shorten the time required for investigation and fact 
gathering. Where the problem indicates the attention of an attorney I am then 
better able to present him with a brief set of facts upon which he can determine 
the legal course of action. 

The paralegal, adequately trained and properly motivated, provides a real 
and valuable assistance to the attorney. Not just in the conventional notion that 
use of a paralegal permits the attorney to devote bis time to more intricate mat- 
ters, but in the real sense that more people are actually served. The process of 
eligibility screening and problem identification is a tremendous consumer of time 
in any neighborhood law oflfice. In the course of a single day, one paralegal may 
receive as many as thirty complaints. By telephone alone, perhaps a dozen com- 
plaints may he settled ; ten may be determined ineligible ; four may be referred 
as potential fee generating situations ; and the remaining four may be retained 
by the agency for further action. 

Naturally I am I'equired to consult with and inform my supervising attorney 
on a continuing basis, and at some point each day, he sits with me to review and 
update any caseload I am maintaining at the time. The process, thus far, has 
proved extremely fruitful. The attorney is assured that clients are receiving full 
and competent legal services ; he is assured that the Code of Professional Respon- 
sibility and Canons of Judicial Ethics are being observed; and we are both 
better able to judge my progress in the development of skills necessary as a lay 
advocate. 

Certainly, the paralegal employed in the public sector of legal services does 
not normally possess the academic credentials of the paralegal usually found in 
private practice of law. And this is so simply because sophisticated credentials 
are not needed. The degreed paralegal seeks a sophisticated and financially re- 
w-arding area in which to apply his skills. Such are not to be found in working 
to ensure that poor people are provided the legal services they need and to which 
they are entitled. 

Indeed, the presence of sophistication in a program designed to benefit slum 
inhabitants, is more likely to prove disadvantageous. Poor people, living in the 
ghetto have been disappointed and disillusioned so often by the promise of help, 
that they have arrived at a point where any sign of government involvement, any 
indication of white middle-class management, is viewed with suspicion. The 
paralegal whose own previous life-style parallels that of those whom he seeks 
to serve, does much towards diminishing that suspicion and mistrust. 

The foregoing view- represents what I hope is an accurate response to the 
question directed by the Honorable Senator Tunney. In examining my response, 
I trust that this entii'e subcommittee wnll consider my views are not derived 
from social studies in the local universities ; my statements are not herewith 
supported by impres.sive statistics ; nor do I appear before you clutching an array 
of diplomas and degrees. I do however, speak to you with a conviction born out 
of difiicult personal experiences. I relate to you the poignant observations of a 
pei'son who has known poverty, frustration, and some bitterness, who now seeks 
to ease some of the deprivation suffered by those who still inhabit the poorer 
communities of our nation. If what this subcommittee seeks is in accord with 
that which I seek. I am confident our common goals can be achieved by continua- 
tion of programs such as the Community Legal Services where the utilization 
of paralegals is recognized as a vital necessity for the program's success. 

Senator Tunney. Tliank you, Mr. JNIiller. 

Mr. Miller. Thank you. 

Senator Tunney. Mr. Fry, I am interested in the present state of the 
training programs that you are designing for OEO. 

I have thought about the possibility of introducing an amendment 
to the community action program bill, which is now going through 



43 

the Cono-ress. This amendment to the funding of development for 
paralegals to help the elderly with their legal fees — I understand the 
Labor Committee is favorably disposed to the amendment if I should 
offer it. 

Do you feel that this is a good idea ? 

]\[r.' Fry. Yes, I do, Senator. I must saj^ I had a short discussion 
witli your staff on this bill and I am very much in favor of that sort 
of provision. We've been involved somewhat in training paralegals 
for senior citizens. Our approach has been to train paralegals al- 
ready employed in agencies serving senior citizens to identify the com- 
mon areas of legal problems that senior citizens have and to design in- 
tensive training programs for paralegals. There have been a few ex- 
])eriments around the country using senior citizens trying to give 
legal services to other elders. And I think the results are totally encour- 
aging. The pai'alegals arc able to provide services that the profession 
has not been able to provide in anyway and that includes OEO legal 
services, which doesn't have the funds or the attorneys to do it. 

I would urge that the training format under such legislation be left 
flexible so that the training can be designed to be appropriate to the 
needs of those paralegals. 

It may very well be that short and intensive training programs 
combined with on-the-job training produce the best paralegals. We're 
moving in that direction ourselves and we think that that works best. 

Senator Tt'xxf.y. In your statement you indicated that the ABA's 
single monolithic approach to a paralegals training program was a 
disservice to the paralegal movement. Yet in your statement con- 
cerning the California bill, which you submitted to us in advance — 
the testimony — you state that ABA guidelines are purely advisory and 
are meant only to apply to college based programs that have no effect 
on other programs. And I wonder how you can ex]5iain the incon- 
sistency between those two approaches as I imderstood them. 

INIr. Fry. I think there are two points to be made. One is that any 
statement from the ABA, even though it's labeled advisory has an 
enormous impact as a practical matter. Community colleges around 
the country are terribly interested in paralegal training and about 
60 of them have undertaken one form or another of paralegal training 
courses. 

When the ABA guidelines appeared, even though they were deemed 
advisory by the ABA, they immediately were taken by colleges and 
many others as a signal from the organized bar about how paralegal 
training should be conducted so that because of its stature in the field 
anything from the ABA has a strong impact. 

The problems that I have with those guidelines is that they suggest 
that the appropriate form of training for a college-based paralegal 
training program in a 2-year format. It's our feeling that that is only 
one of many appropriate formats and that colleges ought to seriously 
consider short-term training programs running anywhere from 1 
month to 3 months or 6 months ; that they ought to be encouraged to 
experiment and that they ought to be told that 2-year format has no 
empirical superiority over other approaches. I'm afraid that the effect 
of the guidelines will be that colleges will, by and large, adopt a 2- 
year format. 



44 

And I must say that, from the legal services point of view, a 2-year 
training program is almost no utility. The legal services paralegals are 
not interested. Many of them have college degrees. Some of them are 
Indians for whom a special training program has to be designed. 
Others are too old for college — senior citizens are not interested in a 
2-year college commitment. I would say that only a small percentage 
of paralegals in legal services would find a 2-year training program 
appropriate. And yet I find that nowhere expressed in the guidelines. 

Senator Tunnet. Thank you very much- Mr. Fry. I appreciate your 
testimony. Many are the questions I could ask you if we had the time. 

And thank you, Mr. Miller, for your statement. 

[The complete statements of William Fry, director. National Para- 
legal Institute, Washington, D.C. and James Miller, Legal Services, 
Philadelphia, Pa., follow :] 

Comments on Accreditation of Paralegal Training and Certification of 

Paralegals 

informational and INTERPRETATIONAL of CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE ASSEMBLY 
BILL NO. 184 (AN ACT RELATING TO "CERTIFIED ATTORNEY ASSISTANTS") 

(Submitted by : "William R. Fry) 
T. Introduction 

The National Paralegal Institute is a Washington, D.C. non-profit corporation 
with grants from OEO and HEW to promote the training and utilization of para- 
legals in the public sector of the law, particularly legal services for the poor. 
The Instiute maintains a clearinghouse for information and a library on para- 
legal materials ; prepares training materials : studies and paralegal movement 
and the utilization of paralegals ; conducts training : gives technical assistance 
to legal services programs ; and stimulates and coordinates the work of colleges, 
law schools, and other involved in paralegal use in the public law sector. 

California Assembly Bill 1814 has been recommended by the California State 
Bar Association. It would designate the Bar Association as the agency within 
California to regulate and accredit training programs for paralegals, and to estab- 
lish and enforce certification procedures for "certified attorney assistants" (or 
paralegals as they will be called herein). As originally introduced, the bill gives 
entire authority to the Bar to set all standards ; and establishes criminal penalties 
for those who fail to comply v,utb the certification requirements by improperly 
using the title "certified attorney assistant". 

This proposed legislation raises a number of questions which beai^ on matters 
of great importance to California and the nation — the availability of legal rights 
and remedies to citizens on an equal basis, and at a cost they can afford. It is 
the purpose of this commentary to provide facts and observations on the pro- 
posed legislation. 

//. Before acting on this hill, the legislator should consider four questions hasic 
to it 

A. Should there be a special accreditation process for paralegal training? 

B. Sbcnld laymen employed by attorneys in other than a clerical or secretarial 
capacity be subject to credentialling standards and requirements? 

C. Does the legislature now have sufficient information and data to make a 
decisive determination on paralegal accrediting and licensing? 

D. If yes to the foregoing, what agency or mechanism should be used to estab- 
lish and control standar'ds for accrediting and licensing? 

III. Background discussion 

In California, as throughout the country, attorneys have used paralegals for 
years. Estimating from the numbers of paralegals in three known paralegal 
associations in major California cities, and those in Legal Services for the poor, 
there are undoubtedly many hundreds of paralegals now employed. 

The private bar uses paralegals behind the scenes, to do technical work in spe- 
cialty areas such as real estate, litigation, corporations, and trust and estates. 
Most paralegals employed by private law firms are young, college-trained women 
who have not received any formal paralegal education and have been trained on 
the job. 



45 

Colleges and universities in California have recently awakened to the po- 
tential for training paralegals and at least eight training programs have been 
opened in law schools, universities, colleges and junior colleges. Tliese programs 
are so recent that their graduates have not established an employment record, 
and it remains true that the piincipal private law paralegal employment is still 
among those trained on the job. 

The public law sector includes legal services to the poor and government 
agencies. There are approximately thirty Legal Services offices funded by OEO 
in California, and about two-thirds of these employ from one to ten paralegals. 
The attorneys in these programs are generally very favorable toward the use 
of paralegals and would employ more if they had the funds. As one California 
Legal Services project director said in a survey conducted by the National 
Paralegal Institute "we cannot do without them !" 

Paralegals to be employed in I^gal Services are carefully selected by the at- 
torneys. They are often community residents, racial minorities, without college 
training, often having been poor themselves and with little interest in or finan- 
cial ability for formal education. They are trained on the job, either by Legal 
Services attorneys or in short training programs established by consortiums of 
Legal Services projects. Because of a shortage of funds, Legal Services programs 
also take paralegals from a variety of free sources: VISTA, Community Action 
Programs, college and law students. 

Legal Services paralegals have, in some projects, had an important impact. 
For example, in Santa Cruz where approximately twenty percent of the poor 
population are senior citizens, only six percent of that population sought legal 
services until the project established a special senior citizens unit. This unit 
is staffed by three carefully trained elderly paralegals supervised by an attorney. 
In the period of a year, this project has tripled its capacity to deal with senior 
citizen legal problems. 

Overall, paralegals are now a basic resource in legal services to the poor and 
anything which diminishes this resource will be seen as hostile to the needs 
of the poor. In Santa Cruz, for example, the imposition of schooling, written 
examinations or other tests on the three excellent paralegals there may be an 
unmanageable burden. As a result they may be excluded from the occupation 
they helped pioneer. 

Government agencies in California are increasingly recognizing the value of 
paralegals, and .specifically training and enlploying them. For example, the Fed- 
eral Trade Commission employs twelve consumer protection specialists. The 
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is starting a program in which 
they will employ twelve paralegals to work in their five litigation centers. The 
Immigration and Naturalization Service is seeking approval to phase-out a 
number of attorney positions, to be replaced by paralegals and others who will 
be trained on the job. The State Department of Insurance reports that it has 
twenty-one people who would be classified as paralegals. The State Alcoholic 
Beverages Control Agency employs twenty investigators whose positions are 
considered paralegal and for which a person with paralegal training would have 
an advantage. No formal training exists for these paralegals. It is hard to con- 
ceive of tests which would measure their special competence. 

So far as ^ye are aware, none of the paralegals in private law firm employ- 
ment, legal services, government agencies or any other areas have created the 
slightest problem of violation of ethics, unauthorized practice, or violation of 
the law. They work for and with attorneys, are under attorneys' supervision, 
and pose no threat to the public interest. 

IV. Disciisi^ion of questions raided 

A. Should there be accreditation of training pi'ograms? 

As a general mle in the United States, the teaching of particular subjects such 
as chemistry, journalism, mathematics, or forestry is not accredited : only the 
schools offering such training are accredited, and the overall reliability and sta- 
bility of the school passed upon by an existing accreditation agency. 

Accreditation of a specific course of education implies that this course is a 
prerecpiisite to entry into an occupation which is itself licensed and controlled 
in the public interest. Thus accreditation of training, and licensing of an oc- 
cupation are reverse sides of a coin. As stated by the National Commission on 
Accrediting : "The establishment of educational criteria for state licensure is 
widely regarded as one of the prime functions of specialized accreditation."' 

Among colleges and universities, proliferation of accrediting has traditionally 
been resisted. The creation many years ago of the National Commission on 

41-375—74 4 



46 

Accrediting was an effort to stop the proliferation of accrediting agencies by es- 
tablisliing one national authority to certify only those accrediting agencies 
necessary. 

Thus the accrediting of educational programs ought to be done only when 
necessary, and when the colleges and universities have requested it. In other 
cases, public protection comes from the general accreditation of education 
facilities. *'; 

Moreover, where accrediting is justified it ought to be done on a national basis. 
In a statement of policies on accrediting the National Commission on Accrediting 
says : 

Policies, procedures, and standards of accreditation should be established 
and applied on a national and uniform liasis. 

Appropriate differences in tlie administration of accreditation may be 
necessary and desirable Itecause the United States is a large nation in which 
variations in culture and social patterns do exist. However, in view of the 
fact that accreditation of institutions and of their programs of study is 
equally important throughout the country, these proper differences in the 
administration of acci'editation should not be jtermitted to encourage dis- 
criminatoi-y or unfair treatment. To guard against the intrusion of in- 
equality or unfairness to the accrediting process, its policies, procedures, 
and standards should be adopted and applied on a uniform basis. 
In the paralegal field, formal accrediting poses a special prol)lem. Many attor- 
neys prefer to train paralegals on tlie job, except for certain basic training such 
as legal research and writing, and basic analysis of specialty areas such as 
corporations or real estate. Many attorneys wish to have their paralegals attend 
only short intensive training programs of tlie kind offered by special training 
institutions, or by the attorneys themselves. The creation of a fonnal accrediting 
process of training programs will undoubtedly lead to approval of college based 
programs, but it will be almost impossible to establish accrediting standards for 
those special training programs which sen-e the needs of attorneys (and the 
needs of the public for paralegals). Thus the creation of formal accrediting 
will lead to a distinction in paralegal training which does not serve the interest 
of the public, paralegals, or attorneys. 

It requires considerable stud.v, and normally a number of years, to decide 
what training programs and methods of teaching are legally acceptable (rather 
than just preferred). There is insufficient experience across the country to make 
such decisions at this time. The variety of paralegal training programs in the 
United States is endless. One of the most successful paralegal training programs, 
which has placed many hundx'eds of highly regarded paralegals in major law 
firms around the country is the Institute for Paralegal Training, in Philadelphia. 
It gives three months of intensive training in a specialty. It is not affiliated 
with any college or university and its training does not award academic credit. 
One year training programs are given on the graduate level at George Wash- 
ington University in Washington, D.C. The Law School of West Los Angeles 
offers a one year training program. Upwards of twenty community colleges in 
the country offer two year training programs, while at the University of 
Minnesota a three year program is available. Community colleges are contem- 
plating short specialty courses at night or during summer months. 

A number of legal services programs have inaugurated training' consisting of 
one day a month for a year for on-the-job paralegals, combined with individual 
supervision and training from attorneys. Thus, experimentation flourishes, with 
the diverse needs of many groups l)eing met by various training formats. None 
has been proved superior and each serves a legitimate need. 

The only case for moving forward witli accrediting in the face of these diffi- 
culties and absence of compelling need is the possibility that some entrepreneurs 
will take advantage of the paralegal training market by establishing inferior 
and misguided training programs and extracting tuition from eager students. 
For the rare occasions when this may happen, there are already adequate reme- 
dies, primarily through the Attorney General's office which can prosecute and 
enjoin misrepresentation. Aside from this, the pressing need for an accreditation 
program has not been estaltlished. 

Should the California Bar nonetheless wish to promulgate advice to colleges 
and to the public on the recommended criteria for establishing training pro- 
grams, they could easily follow the example of the American Bar Association. 
At its August, 1973 meeting the ABA passed a set of guidelines for college-based, 
two-year paralegal training program. These are purely advisory, and are meant 
only to apply to college based programs, and have no effect on other programs. 



47 

They sen^e the purpose of assisting those colleges which seek professional advice 
and counsel, while not imposing fixed rules or excluding other forms of training. 

B. Should paralegals be credentialled? 

Under the laws of Unauthorized Practice and Canons of Ethics paralegals now 
are not practicing law and are doing only what any laymen can do. They work 
under the su!>ervision of attorneys who are their employers, and are in that 
respect little different from legal secretaries, investigators, accountants, and other 
si)ecialists. We are not aware of a single successful challenge to an OEO Legal 
Services paralegal for unauthorized practice. 

Paralegals pose no threat to the public interest so long as they continue, as 
they have for years, to work for and under attorneys. The only possible threat to 
the public is a layman who practices law. This is not a threat created by the 
paralegal occupation, and is nothing new. The remedies for it are as before. 

The paralegal occupation is broad and serves a variety of needs. For the 
private attorney, it relieves him from onerous detail, and provides an expert in 
the processing and handling of routine technical matters. Private paralegals 
almost never meet clients, seldom have contact with attorneys or officials out- 
side the law firm, and do not as a rule negotiate cases or appear in administra- 
tive hearings. 

The public law paralegal has a wider range of activity. It may include fact 
gathering from clients, discussing a client's prol)lem with an administrative 
agency and doing representation at a fair hearing. Indeed, many Legal Services 
paralegals devote a majority of their time to fair hearing representation, which 
is permitted by law. 

As mentioned earlier, Legal Services paralegals are often drawn from the 
community. In extending legal services to the poor, paralegals represent an 
enormous asset. There are in poor communities many whose educational attain- 
ments, job experience, capacity to pass tests or examinations, and other 
characteristics are substantially different from the middle class which provides 
paralegals to the private bar. There is a real risk that licensing requirements 
will discriminate against these paralegals. Standards based on level of previous 
education may be difficult to meet. Standards requiring certain forms of para- 
legal education may be unattainable (there is currently no appropriate train- 
ing available for public law paralegals in California, and economically deprived 
paralegals cannot purchase their own training) ; it is well known that written 
testing tends to be discriminatory against minority groups. There are no appro- 
priate tests for paralegals, and the staggering variety of work they do sug- 
gests that such a test will he difficult to devise. 

Moreover, the proposed legislation establishes a requirement of good moral 
character. This qualification, while common in the design of licensing statutes 
in the past, has been severely criticized in recent years. It falls particularly upon 
those members of impoverished groups where the incidence of involvement with 
the law is high. 

The California Bar Reports suggest that in some very limited respects, cre- 
dentialled paralegals may be permitted to do what is now the practice of law If 
this is to be the case (and no extension of the practice of law has been granted 
to paralegals as yet) then it is clear that limited licensing for the few paralegals 
who perform the newly authorized practice would be entirely adequate to protect 
the public. The Bar committee suggests that certified attorney assistants may 
be permitted to do such non-discretionary acts as appearing in an uncontested 
ex parte hearing for: guardianship petitions, change of names, petitions for 
family allowance, returns of sale not subject to overbid, sale of securities, and 
step-child adoptions, as well as setting trial dates and stipulations for continu- 
ance. A vast majority of paralegals do not engage and will not be engaged in the.se 
kinds of activities. Accordingly, if the rationale for certification is to regulate 
laymen practicing law in these limited areas, the regulation .should apply only 
for those who do these activities. 

It shoiild be noted that the sanctions under the proposed statutes are not 
gentle. A misdemeanor prosecution may follow if an uncertified paralegal does 
any of the things which hundreds of paralegals now do. If the legislation is 
enacted, hundreds of working paralegals face either criminal charges or loss of 
occupation if they fail to meet standards which the Bar has total discretion 
to set. Should the interests of paralegals in this regard be different from attor- 
neys' personal interests, the legislature will have declared the winner beforehand. 

0. Is accrediting and certification now ready for decisive legislative 
determination? 



The legislature is being asked to make a final and conclusive determination 
on the regulation of this new occupation. Before doing so, it should have the 
benefit or recommendations from the paralegals themselves, in both the public 
and the private law sectors; from government agencies; from public interest 
attorneys ; and from the iwtential recipients of paralegal services — the million of 
citizens who cannot now afford an attorney. 

In addition, educators of paralegals and law school teachers ought to be fully 
involved in the accrediting process, which will involve educational judgments 
which lawyers are ill-equipped to make. 

Thus far, input on the legislation has been limited almost exclusively to mem- 
bers of the organized bar, and while their views are of importance, they should 
not override or displace the views of others. 

It goes without saying that attorneys have a considerable interest in controll- 
ing the paralegal occupation. Paralegals are a potential resource to attorneys 
for increasing business and economic rewards. On the other hand, they pose a 
potential threat to the traditional practice of law, since several attorneys may 
mobilize a sul)Stantial number of paralegals and seriously compete with other 
members of the bar. However, this potential threat to individual attorneys is a 
potential boon to the consumer of legal services. It is inappropriate for the legisla- 
ture to act solely on the motion of the Bar Association without hearing from the 
consumer. 

As the National Commision on Accrediting has said in regard to health profes- 
sions (equally applicable to paralegals) : 

Until recently such accreditation has generally been considered to be the 
unique resix)nsibility and province of the various health professions them- 
selves. But no longer do such assumptions prevail. Current forces are prompt- 
ing intensive reexamination of the health professions' authority to serve as 
the sole arbiters of educational standards, as well as the only participant 
in the other mechanisms by which health professionals have traditionally 
been screened and policed. 

One important factor that is forcing a reevaluation of the health profes- 
sional's position in relation to society is the tendency- — and necessity — for 
professional organizations to give increased emphasis to the economic and 
social welfare of their members. This development serves to accentuate the 
conflict of interest inherent in the professional association's bifurcated 
responsibility to its members on the one hand and to society-at-large on the 
other. 

Concurrent with this development is the altered status and reputation 
of the professional. No longer is it uniformly believed that the acts of pro- 
fessionals are totally beyond the comprehension of laymen. Just as it is now 
realized that accreditation depends not only on technical expertise but also 
involves issues of broad social import, so also is it widely acknowledged that 
understanding of the accrediting process and its implications is not limited 
to the health jirofessions directly involved. 
Accreditation and certification are serious steps, and normally follow years 
of study, analysis and consultation. There is no reason for undue haste to control 
paralegals, and time needs to be taken for consideration of the many diverse 
interests in the area. 

Before passing this legislation, which falls with the weight of criminal sanc- 
tion on potentially thousands of paralegals, the legislature should consider and 
define the "practice of law." Why is it, for example, that insurance adjusters, 
tax counsellors, and many government agency hearing officers are permitted to 
function without criminal sanction, while paralegals are to be subjected to harsh, 
exclusory measures? "Without such definition of "practice of law," the statute 
may lie unconstitutionally vague. 

D. Should the Bar Association have exclusive control over accrediting and cer- 
tification of paralegals? 

The leading organization in the field of accrediting, the National Commission 
on Accrerliting, has carefully studied the entire accrediting process. Their analysis 
is entirely pertinent and deserves quotation. Speaking of the accrediting and 
licensing process in the health field, they said as follows : 

The policies that apply to the conduct and operation of accreditation should 
be determined by national bodies which are responsive to the needs of the 
public and to tlie legitimate needs of all parties with special interest and 
responsibilities, and which are governed by boards of control that 

1. include individuals who represent the interests of the public, and edu- 
cators and practitioners who represent the institutions and the fields and 



49 

levels of study subjected to jicci-editation by the respective bodies, as well as 
others who represent the interests of the complementary professions and/or 
occupations ; and 

2. provide for rotation and limitation of terms of office of its members. 
There is a viAid conflict of interest between attorneys and paralegals. Access to 
jobs, job qualifications, pay and status, roles and functions are all matter of 
essential import<uice to the paralegals themselves, and are subjects which may 
put them in direct conflict with the Interest of attorneys. To place the Bar As- 
sociations in total control of the occupation means that the Bar will have a 
conflict between the even handed administration of accrediting and licensing as 
<against the personal interest of attorneys on such matters as jobs, qualifications 
and pay. 

In the area of education, the Bar Association has no special knowledge. This 
is also true on the question of the need for paralegals in new areas of the law 
such as prepaid group legal insurance — a matter upon which the consumers of 
legal ser^^ces have strong opinions. Moreover, paralegals themselves are the best 
source of information on the value of certain kinds of training, the appropriate 
(lualifications for entry, and the role and the status which paralegals ought to 
have. 

For these reasonjS, it seems inappropriate to place exclusively in the hands of 
the Bar Association the control of the entire paralegal occupation. 

Y. Recommendations 

A. It is recommended that the legislature defer action on the proposed legisla- 
tion until more knowledge and experience is available. To hasten this process, 
the legislature should appoint a study commission or conduct its own hearings 
and studies to analyze the need for accrediting and certification. A study com- 
mission might consist of approximately one-third attorneys, one-third paralegals, 
and one-third educators and members of the public concerned with the delivery 
of legal services. 

B. In the alternative, the legislature should follow the rules established for 
law student practice, and consistent with this precedent, enact legislation to 
regulate only those paralegals who will do v,hat is now the practice of law. For 
law students in California this is done by the State Bar Association under "Rule 
Governing the Practical Training of Law Students". Since the practice by law 
students and others normally involves appearance in court, many states delegate 
to the courts themselves the regulations of those non-attorneys who are per- 
mitted to practice before them. This is a viable alternative to regulation by the 
Bar Association. 

C. In the alternative, should the legislature proceed now with accrediting and 
certification re.gulations, the authority to establish and enforce criteria should 
be placed in the hands of a representative body created by the legislation to 
consist of one-third attorneys, one-third paralegals and one-third educators and 
representatives of the public. This is consistent with the position of the National 
Commission on Accrediting, and serves the legitimate concerns of the many in- 
terests which are not represented in the Bar Association. 

A Short Review of the Paralegal Movement 

(By William R. Fry) 

INTRODUCTION 

The National Paralegal Institute has received many requests for information 
about the nature of the paralegal movement, the forces at work in it. the job 
market for paralegals, and the future of the occupation. While the entire sub- 
ject has been studied and reported in various qiiarters, we believe a short sum- 
mary may be useful for general information. We use "short" loosely, since a 
survey of developments even in summary fashion must cover a lot of ground. 

definition of a paralegal 

'There is no authoritative definition, but those in the field including paralegals 
themselves tend to use the term in a certain way. It is generally conceded that a 
paralegal must be specifically trained, whether on the job or in a formal training 
program. It is also conceded that paralegals work under the indirect or direct 
supervision of attorneys on the kinds of problems attorneys have traditionally 
handled. The concept excludes some fairly well defined supportive roles in the 
lawyering process : secretarial, clerical, librarian, social worker, community aid, 



50 

and office administrator. The paralegal should be trained in basic legal concepts, 
skills appropriate for his work, and one or more specialties. What paralegals do 
with this training will vary, as the following picture of paralegal diversity 
reveals. 

So far there are no credentialing or licensing rules which define a paralegal, 
but some state bar associations and paralegal groups are talking about the need 
for such rules. 

WHO ARE PARALEGALS 

Paralegals come in many forms, and can be classified by where they work, 
what they do, or where they trained. The following is an effort to provide a 
profile of paralegals by dividing them into such classification purely for con- 
venience — the division have no formal significance. 

1. OBO legal services 

A recent survey by the National Paralegal Institute shows that 127 OEO 
funded legal services offices (out of 280) make use of i>aralegals. Some have as 
many as 20, although more often there are only one or two. More than 70% of 
the paralegals have had some college training, up to post-graduate schooling. 
Few received any formal training prior to entering the legal services program. 
Some legal services projects have inaugurated in-house training programs, and 
others use on-the-job training provided by individual lawyers. The in-house 
training varies considerably : 

(a) In Maine, paralegals are trained one day every other week for a full year; 

(b) In Georgia, paralegals were given a two week intensive training pro- 
gram with follow-up training once they began work ; and 

(c) In Long Beach, California, an attorney spends full time supervising and 
training paralegals. They receive formal class teaching, study materials specially 
prepared for them, and receive continuous supervision and guidance from the 
attorney, who handles no cases himself. 

OEO paralegals perform a. wide range of services. Virtually all interview 
clients and a vast majority negotiate with government agencies on behalf of the 
clients in public entitlement cases, represent clients at administrative hearings, 
and do investigative work. Many also do legal research and drafting. 

OEO legal services directors report substantial gratification with the work of 
paralegals, and it is only lack of financing that prevents them from employing 
more. 

2. Institute for paralegal training in Philadelphia 

This profit-making school started several years ago by practicing attorneys 
who invested a good deal of money preparing elaborate specialty training mate- 
rials. Its admission standards are high, and it seeks young women college gi-ad- 
uates with good academic records. Tuition is .$700. and a placement fee of $1,800 
is required from law firms. The students are guaranteed placement in the city of 
their choice or tuition is refunded. Placement success is virtually total. 

Most of the training consists of specialty stud.v in one area of law. For three 
months students are trained in their choice of corporation, real estate, tax, 
litigation, or trusts and estates. There is in addition, a single general course 
geared for the paralegal who will work in a small office. 

Most graduates are working in major law firms in urban areas. The law firms 
are generall.v very satisfied, although it is unclear whether it is the training or 
the screening process which is most valuable to them. 

3. On-the-jnl) trained paralegals 

In addition to those OEO legal services projects, many large and smaller law 
firms also employ paralegals trained on the job. In both San Francisco and Los 
Angeles there are paralegal associations whose members work in large law firms 
and were hired with no previous training. San Francisco reports 125 such para- 
legals in the legal community, which suggests that nationally there may be many 
thousands, although no one knows for certain. Most are young women college 
graduates and some law firms express equal satisfaction with them as compared 
to Philadelphia Institute graduates. Many law firms hire both Philadelphia 
graduates and untrained paralegals, suggesting that it is personal character- 
istics rather than training which govern their selection. The.v use both kinds for 
technical, behind-the-scenes work. 



51 

4. Community college graduates 

About 25 community colleges around the country offer paralegal training, and 
their enthusiasm is spreading to other colleges. The curricula are almost entirely 
limited to training for the private law, on the assumption that a solid job market 
exists there. The colleges generally take no responsibility for placement of stu- 
dents, and the programs are so new that employment success has not yet been 
measured. 

The programs differ in quality and scope, but many imitate the general outlines 
of the American Bar Association suggested curriculum. There is usually one 
course on the structure of the legal system, legal terminology, and other baste' 
information. Other common components are law office administration, legal 
writing and drafting, and research. Beyond that, most offer a iwtpourri of courses 
geared to produce a generalist : coiToration, tax, real estate, family law. With 
one exception (Edmunds College in iSeattle), the community colleges do not train 
for OEO legal services or other public sector employment. 

Many of the community college students are former legal secretaries. The 
remainder are often young women for whom this training represents educational 
advancement as well as career training. 

( Attached is a list of current paralegal training programs in the country, most 
of them at Junior and Community Colleges). 

5. Colleges and laiv schools 

A few colleges and law schools conduct paralegal training programs. Colum- 
bia Law School in the summer of 1969 presented a six-week pilot training pro- 
gram to 23 paralegals slated for OEO legal services. The program has not been 
repeated. The University of West Los Angeles Law School runs a two year 
paralegal training program. George Washington University in Washington, D.C. 
liresents an adult education (non-credit) one year paralegal training program 
with substantial assistance from the Law School. The University of Southern 
California offers a brief, intensive, training program for legal secretaries in trust 
and estate work. No colleges are known to give in-depth paralegal training as part 
of a four year curriculum (although some offer business law, trusts and estates, 
or probate courses which they label "paralegal"). 

6. Government agencies 

A few government agencies have specifically recognized the paralegal aspects 
of some employees' work. The FTC and EEOC use trained laymen for investi- 
gation, research, and preparation of cases, and have recently started limited 
forms of training for them. Other agencies have long used laymen in paralegal 
tyi>e work although they do not label them "paralegal." The NLRB has several 
hundred laymen who process complaints under the Act, investigate, gather facts, 
do legal research, conduct negotiations and arbitrations, and make findings and 
legal recommendations. The Bureau of Hearing and Appeals within HEW is 
responsible for hearings under the Social Security Act, and its employees prepare 
and present cases on such issues as disability. 

Few government agencies have adopted paralegal terminology, or recognized 
the potential for extensive training of staff, but there are no indications that 
this will change. 

7. Miscellaneous paralegals 

Group and prepaid legal services plans promise to provide paralegal jobs as 
these notions gain popularity. The Berkeley Cooperative in California, for ex- 
ample, offers legal services to its members, and employs three trained ijaralegals 
to provide service, together with two lawyers. A national association of unions 
have begun to lobby for prepaid legal services, an item subject to compulsory 
J)argaining. If this effort is successful, it would mean unions could require em- 
ployers to pay for legal services as a fringe benefit — a development which could 
explosively increase the need for paralegals. 

A number of law communes throughout the country also use paralegals, gen- 
erally trained by the lawyers in the communes. It is a commune tenet that 
lawyers, paralegals and other staff are on parity in responsibility, salary and 
capacity. 

The National Lawyer's Guild has developed a serious interest in paralegals 
and formed a network of paralegal coordinators. In some cities the Guild trains 
and uses paralegals in its law work. 



52 

Some criminal law agencies — public defenders, prosecutors, bail projects — 
have made use of trained laymen to assist lawyers, and there has been talk of 
greatly expanding the paralegal role in criminal law work. 

THE ORGANIZATIONS ACTIVE IN THE PARALEGAL FIELD 

In addition to the colleges, legal services projects, and law firms involved in 
the paralegal field, several national organizations have taken an interest. The 
degi-ee and nature of their activities will be summarized here. 

'/. American Bar Association 

In 1968 the ABA's Special Committee on the Availability of Legal Services 
reported to the House of Delegates that '"Legal Services would be more fully 
available to the public" if the legal profession were to recognize that "freeing 
a lawyer from tedious and routine detail" would conserve the lawyer's time and 
energy for "truly legal problems." Accordingly, three recommendations were 
made : 

(1) "The legal profession should recognize that there are many tasks in serv- 
ing a client's needs which can be performed by a trained non-lawyer assistant 
working under the direction and supervision of a lawyer ; 

(2) "The legal profession should encourage the training and employment of 
such assistants ; and 

(3) "A special committee of the ABA should be created to consider the sub- 
ject of lay assistants for lawyers." 

These recommendations were adopted by the House of Delegates and the 
Special Committee on Lay Assistants was established. In 1969 the Committee 
sponsored surveys of law firms around the country, and found that there was "a 
significant" use of non-lawyers underway. 

In 1971 the Committee published a set of recommendations for paralegal 
training. It suggested a one, two and four year college program to be available 
for legal secretaries, legal assistants and legal administrators, respectively. The 
legal secretary would be given limited training in the forms, documents and 
procedures of basic areas of the law. The legal assistant would he trained among 
other things in legal research, and to "analyze and follow procedural problems 
that involve indejiendent decisions." The legal administrator would be distin- 
guished by knowledge of complex ofiBce equipment, ofiice procedures and personnel 
and financial matters. 

The proposed curriculum is entirely slanted towards the private lawyer and 
does not concern itself with paralegals in the public law sector, although it does 
not clearly articulate this omission. 

In June of 1971 the Committee co-sponsored a national conference in Denver 
with the Council on Law Related Studies, and the Association of American Law 
Schools Committee on Paraprofessional Legal Education. Conferees from many 
backgrounds throughout the country discussed paralegals in private and public 
law practice, problems of education, and the future of the occupation. 

For 1972-73 the Committee focused on a survey of training in colleges. On 
May 19, 1973, a limited number of people gathered in Denver to discuss pro- 
posed standards for training in colleges which by making the ABA the accredit- 
ing agency for such training programs would give the ABA effective control 
over such training. The Committee expects to present its standards to the ABA 
House of Delegates in August of 1973. 

One notable observation at the Denver Conference was provided by a rep- 
resentative of the National Commission of Accrediting. He suggested that the 
ABA should not be an accrediting or approving agency for training programs, 
and that it might be a conflict of interest for the ABA to do so since it would 
then l)e spokesmen for both the employer-attorneys and the employee-paralegals. 
It was recommended that accrediting of paralegal training be under the control 
of paralegals, lawyers and legal educators, and spokesmen for the public interest. 

2. The National Paralegal Institute 

The Institute was formed in June, 1972 under a grant from OEO to support 
and promote the use of paralegals in the public sector of the law, particularl.v 
legal services. Because the success of paralegals for serving the poor will depend 
substantially on the development of the entire occupation, the Institute's broad 
mandate included establishing liaison with colleges, law schools and bar asso- 
ciations, developing strategies for the promotion of paralegals, designing train- 
ing materials, and doing research and study on training and utilization ques- 



53 

tions. In the Institute's view, the principle value of the paralegal is in extending 
legal services to those who need service, at a price they can afford. In particular, 
the Institute is concerned that credentialing and licensing standards should not 
needlessly cripple the development of the public paralegal role. 

The Institute has emphasized the designing of training materials because train- 
ing of public paralegals cannot be promoted unless reliable materials are made 
available. The Institute's approach differs from that recommended by the ABA 
because public paralegals engage in a wider range of activities than private 
attorneys now permit their paralegals. Within OEO legal services, paralegals 
interview clients, undertake fact investigations, negotiate cases and represent 
clients at administrative hearings. Thus the Institute's curriculum includes 
training in basic legal concepts (structure of the legal system, role of the para- 
legal, legal ethics, torts, contracts and due process), specific skills (interviewing, 
investigations, legal research negotiation and advocacy) and particular substan- 
tive specialties such as landlord-tenant, welfare and consumer law. Some of the 
concepts and skills materials are ready now ; others are scheduled for com- 
pletion soon. 

As the only national organization concerned with the expansion of paralegals 
in the public sector, the Institute tries to insure that the potential of public para- 
legals is not limited by bar association rules which focus only on private law 
sector work. 

3. Comnumity colleges 

Tlie American Association of Community and Junior Colleges is alive to para- 
legal training possibilities, primarily through its member colleges who have 
imdertaken two year training courses. AACJC is interested in the paralegal field 
not only as a source of new training programs, but as a means of increasing the 
community services. 

Individual community colleges have been quick to see the promise of para- 
legal training. They need more help than is usually available, however, to design 
effective programs. Careful survey of the job market, selection of students, and 
design of curriculum with clinical work experience are all steps for which help 
from exjierienced lawyers is needed. 

As Community Colleges move into this field, it is clear that the AACJC will 
have an increasingly important role in providing leadership and guidelines. 

.'t. Paralegal organisations 

Only a few paralegal organizations have been created, and they are still young 
and not fully organized. In January, 1973, OEO legal services paralegals at a 
conference held in Washington created the Organization of National Legal Ad' 
vocacy Workers (ONLAW) as an association of individual legal services pax'a- 
legals. Officers were elected, and membership activities have been pursued. 

In California, where the pai"alegal movement is vigorous, three paralegal 
organizations exist. One in San Francisco and another in Los Angeles are com- 
posed mostly of young women who are paralegals for major law firms and were 
trained on the job. The third, also in Los Angeles, represents paralegals trained 
in community colleges. This last organization has recently converted to the 
.\merican Paralegal Association and intends to become the national organizaion 
for paralegals. 

Other paralegal associations of private law employees exist in Chicago, New 
York Citv. and Seattle. Local organizations of OEO paralegals have been formed 
in West Virginia. Maine and Seattle. 

.5. The American Association of Law Schools 

In 1970 AALS created a Committee of Paraprofessional Legal Education. The 
Committee has recommended that AALS : 

1. Commission two studies: A law review symposium on paralegals (one has 
since been done by Vanderbilt Law School), and a study and evaluation of present 
training programs. 

2. Consider commissioning a paralegal curriculum development project: 

.S. Instruct the Committee on Pre-Legal Education and Admission to Law 
Schools to consider special admission standards for paralegals in law schools ; 

4. Instruct the Committee on Teachincr Outside Law Schools to consider the 
emerffing need for paralegal teachers : and 

.". Offer to work with ABA, OEO and others on credentialing, supervision, 
and similar issues around the paralegal movement. 

Having no staff or funds of its own, the committee was unable itself to move 
forward with any of the recommended studies or projects. 



54 

AALS has also expressed increasing interest in tlie implications of the paralegal 
movement for the way lawyers are trained. 

6. OEO and HEW 

These are the two federal agencies so far involved in funding paralegal 
activity. OEO after two years of study of the paralegal concept and sponsoring 
a national conference in 1970, decided to form the National Paralegal Institute 
to bring to legal services the values of paralegals. 

The current OEO administration is not sympathetic to paralegals. They have 
given the Institute a terminal grant, have not encouraged the employment or use 
of paralegals, and elements of the proposed legal services corporation bill now 
pending in Congress may be read to diminish the role of paralegals. 

HEW's Administration on Aging has funded the National Paralegal Institute 
to develop training materials for senior citizens paralegals. This indication of 
initial interest may lead HEW to further investment in the field since there 
are many ways that paralegals can serve the beneficiaries of HEW programs. 

As mentioned earlier, other federal agencies such as FTC, EEOC and NLRB 
have an interest in using paralegals themselves. 

7. Consumer ffroup legal services project 

Last year, major unions in the country held a conference on prepaid group 
legal services. The conference favor the creatioin of such programs and 
emphasize the use of "closed" panels of lawyers in which pre-selected groups 
of lawyers handle all legal problems generated by group members. This is in 
conti-ast to the "open" panel approach favored by most bar associations in 
which all lawyers in a community are eligible to give the service. 

Tlie conferees formed the National Consumer Center for Legal Services, which 
is interested in efficiency techniques to reduce the cost of legal services to its 
meml)ers, and will in all likelihood build a substantial paralegal component 
into its plan. The group is now seeking to establish a national technical assist- 
ance agency to assist unions in establishing prepaid legal programs. Amend- 
ments of the Taft-Hartley Act to make prepaid legal services an item of col- 
lective bargaining is hoped for soon and should propel this movement forward. 

WHAT ARE THE CURREXT ISSUES 

Below is a summary of some of the major issues now under discusison in 
the paralegal field. This summary is put forward as an effort to sort out some 
major problems which loom large. The list could be extended or subdivided 
in various ways. 

1. Hotv to train paralegals 

There is no evidence and experience on the kind of training which produces 
the best paralegal. Choices range between on-the-job training by the employing 
lawyer, special intensive training programs, more traditional academic college 
based programs, or a combination of these. 

As to the location of training (as opposed to its design), there is a feeling 
among among that community colleges provide a logical situs. They can pro- 
vide academic credit to those who need it, offer a chance for educational upgrad- 
ing, and are ])]aced in the educational hierarchy at a convenient level. In addi- 
tion, commitnity colleges are increasingly flexible on the format of programs 
and are able to provide night classes, summer programs, intensive training, 
and clinical experience. Moreover, community colleges provide a potent educa- 
tional resource, with solid funding frequently available from the state or local 
communities. 

A separate training issue is the extent to which public law and private law 
paralegal training are or should be combined. At present private lawyers prefer 
specialists and private law paralegal training falls generally into two cate- 
gories: intensive training in a single specialty (the Philadelphia Institute 
model ) or general training in a whole series of private law sjiecialties. Public 
law training places more emphasis on general legal background and develop- 
ment of skills, and the substantive areas taught are different. If private law 
paralegals gain more res])onsibility and scope of authority, their training will 
come to resemble the public side, with the only distinction then being sub.stan- 
tive law specialties. 

A third issue under this heading is the question of how to provide training 
programs designed to accommodate particular needs. For example, senior citizens 
are unlikely to be interested in college accreditation or in lengthy courses 



55 

spread over one or two years. College graduates will also sliai'e these feelings. 
Programs designed primarily to train high school graduates as part of a liberal 
arts curriculum are thus not likely to suit elders, college gradiiates and others 
with special needs. Whether one training design can accommodate all these 
interest remains to he seen. 

The pedagogical techniques to be used in training paralegals vary widely. 
Some community colleges follow the law school tradition of reading cases, 
with heavy emphasis on classroom lectures, discussions, and study of technical 
materials. Others impose less reading, and emphasize role playing, video tape, 
practical exercises, analysis of hypothetical situations, and study of mock 
cases. It is frequently said that paralegal training should not imitate tradi- 
tional law school methods, but must experiment with new techniques. As a 
result, paralegal training materials tend to draw little from law school texts, 
and generally supply careful direction to the trainer on how to teach. 

2. A(1)uission into training 

One approach to admission is represented by the Philadelphia Institute. It 
seeks college graduates with the highest academic credentials. Opposed to this 
approach are some in the legal services movement who believe that the most 
effective paralegals for the poor will be those whose education and background 
are similar to the clients. (However, note that in practice OEO legal services 
tends to take those with some college experience). It may not, of course, be nec- 
essary to resolve this question one way or the other since there is merit to both 
positions. In the end, the entrance qualifications of a paralegal will turn on the 
nature of the work done, and variety of functions will lead to diverse kinds of 
paralegals. 

3. Accreditation 

Whether training programs should be subjected now to an accrediting agency, 
how such an agency should be established or selected, and who should control 
it are all pending issues. One view is that accreditation standards would be 
premature, since little experience is available and since the present threat to 
public well-being is minimal. Under existing rules paralegals cannot practice 
law, and there is little public policy justification for rushing to establish stand- 
ards prematurely. However, if standards are to be set, the issues center around 
the role of bar associations. Several bar association committees comprised en- 
tirely of lawyers have addressed this question and proposed rules which if en- 
acted would place complete control in the hands of the bar associations. 

A better approach would seem to he the design of accrediting standards and 
creation of an accrediting agency should proceed with the involvement of all 
interested sectors : bar associations, paralegals, legal educators, colleges and 
representatives of the public. 

.}. Credentialing and licensing 

These two screening processes may be a duplicative, although they some- 
times exist side by side. Certification generally requires completion of an ac- 
credited program. Licensure involves prohibition of practicing and occupation 
until a state license is granted. 

A numl)er of patterns for licensing and credentialing of paralegals have been 
discussed. The ABA has suggested that there should be at least three levels, 
relating to one, two and four year college training programs. These would be 
vertical categories implying increased capacity, responsibility, and salary. 

Other possibilities involve horizontal categories : the legal technician who 
works behind the scene on one specialty ; the generalist who handles routine 
general law practice problems: the advocate who specializes in representation 
and administrative hearings; the criminal paralegal who works with pro.secutors 
or public defenders, and so on. 

One problem under any system is what to do with current paralegals. In 
almost all quarters a grandfather provision is contemplated to insure that in- 
cumbents are not injured. 

An unavoidable and nagging jirolilem is one of testing. If licensing and cre- 
dentialing are not connected to an accredited training program exclusively, some 
form of testing would seem inevitable. The nature of an appropriate test ha.s 
not been explored, and given the wide variety of paralegal roles would seem 
to be difficult to design. 

.1. Vnntithorized practice and cthica 

The precise question is not what a layman can do, but what a trained layman 
working for a lawyer can do. A great deal more study is needed than is avail- 



56 

able. Some lawyers believe that interviewing clients, doing legal research, and 
drafting legal doennients are all forludden territory. A survey of paralegals in 
major law firms reveals, however, that most paralegals do these things under 
the supervision of lawyers. It is clear that within OEO legal services they do 
these and more. 

One factor bound to enter into the discussion is the public need for legal 
services. If paralegals represent the extension of service to those who will be 
otherwise dejirived, the right of the public to paralegal assistance may reach 
constitutional dimensions. Even short of this, it would be unseemly for lawyers 
to prohibit paralegals from giving services they themselves cannot supply. 

Perhaps the most troublesome issue is "legal advice." Some courts have found 
that laymen cannot advise others on how to get an uncontested divorce or draft 
a simple will. The question of whether a laymen under the supervision of a lawyer 
could so advise was not raised. If, however, it is a rule that laymen cannot give 
general advice, can they give specific advice such as the steps to be taken by a 
tenant who has received a notice of eviction? Is the problem obviated if the 
paralegal transmits specific advice received from a lawyer? Are there areas 
of traditional legal practice which should be extracted from "the law" and thus 
be amenable to paralegal service? 

Further definition is also needed on the impact of many federal and state pro- 
visions that laymen can represent clients at administrative hearings (welfare, 
workmen's compensation, disability insurance, etc.). Do these laws imply that 
a layman can do all the necessary preparation and work leading to a hearing, 
including advise the client, prepare documents, and invoke confidentiality? 

These questions all need further study. Fortunately for paralegals, bar 
associations have not pressed these issues, partly because they are the indirect 
beneficiaries of paralegal work, and also because whatever violations may be 
occurring are likely connected to legal services to the poor about which private 
attorneys have never been deeply fearful. 

6. Creation of puhlic sector johs 

There is a natural market for paralegals in the private sector with attorneys 
who see paralegals as profitable. In tlie public sector, particularly OEO legal 
services, although paralegals are wanted, government funds are not always avail- 
able. A number of federal, state and local agencies have expressed interest in 
employing laymen with paralegal competence, but funding for specific jobs is 
rare. Since growth of the paralegal occupation in the public sector will require 
government agency commitments to create new jobs, and to support the train- 
ing, progress may be slow. Thus, while it may be that the greatest potential para- 
legals are in public law, the heaviest utilization in the near future may be 
among private lawyers. 

There are. however, many existing jobs in government agencies for which 
paralegal training is excellent preparation. Granting, contracting, enforcement 
and investigatory agencies are likely to increasingly hire trained paralegals as 
tliey become available. 

7. The role of laic schools 

It is somewhat anomalous that the training of laymen in the law has pro- 
ceeded thus far with little law school involvement. Only three law schools are 
known to have undertaken any training: Columbia. Denver, and West I.os 
Angeles. Only the last has an ongoing training program. Few people are iirging 
that law schools become the major resource for paralegal training ; but it seems 
clear that they should have a substantial role. Four possible roles, at least. 
need serious consideration : 

1. Research and study on the issues mentioned above and others, which should 
be done by some objective and scholarly group. 

2. If paralegal training is to reside in community colleges, they must have 
support, backing, and technical assistance from individuals familiar with the 
legal profession, the nature of legal training, the functioning of lawyers, and 
the status of the job market. A partnership with community colleges and law 
schools to this end ma.v be useful. 

3. Training of lawvers in using paralegals. The unanimous opinion of those 
in the paralegal field is that lawyers must be trained, oriented and re-educated to 
work with paralegals. Law schools could undertake this for its students and as 
continuing education for members of the bar. 



57 

4. Involvement of paralegals in clinical programs. As an extension of the 
thought above, law schools may involve paralegals in clinical training programs 
to work with students. This would provide benefit to students by involving them 
in the teaching process, as well as by training them to function with paralegals. 

The role of the law schools in the accreditation, liceiLsing and credentialing 
process has already been mentioned. As the trainers of professionals, their 
interest and experience should support a major role in designing the new legal 
occupation. 

8. Training for profit 

At least two schools have entered the paralegal training field for profit. The 
Institute for Paralegal Training in Philadelphia has been quite successful 
and some believe they plan to franchise the operation around the country. An 
imitator of the Philadelphia Institute has been founded in New York City, but 
is said to be having diflSculties. It has been reported that that organization is 
in trouble over agreement to reimburse tuition to students who do not find jobs, 
since some students have been having diflSculties in that regard. 

The American Bar Association is bothered by enti-epreneurial programs, and 
may prohibit them. This is somewhat anomalous since the Philadelphia Insti- 
tute graduates are usually highly regarded by the major law firms in which 
they work. However, the specter of abuse by enterpreneurs is real. 

9. Shortage of laivyering jobs 

In the last several years lawyering has become very popular, and there are 
not enough jobs for those lawyei-s now graduating. Some worry that paralegaLs 
may impinge upon the job market, and substitute laymen for lawyers when 
lawyers need jobs. ABA leadership is sensitive to this question. However, it is 
unlikely for several reasons that the paralegal movement will be slowed because 
of it. First, jobs to paralegals are provided by lawyers who see them as efficient 
and economical substitutes for lawyers, and some eases find that paralegals do 
better work than lawyers. So long as their perception is operative, lawyers will 
hire paralegals over other lawyers. Second, paralegals promised to provide 
service to areas that the bar does not seek to penetrate: service to the poor and 
lower middle class where fees are inadequate to substain a lawyer's style of life. 
Finally, prepaid and group legal services will require highly eflScient techniques 
in order to properly service groups at a reasonable premium. Lawyers who do not 
use paralegals in this area of work will probably find that their prices are not 
competitive. 

A surplus of lawyers combined with healthy expansion of the paralegal occu- 
pation may lead law school aspirants away and reduce the admission pressures 
on law schools. 

CONCLUSION 

The creation of a new professional layer in law is long overdue. Traditional 
lawyering procedures are inefficient and expensive. As a result the power of the 
legal resources are reserved for those whose wealth and power is already sub- 
stantial. Paralegals can help to reduce the cost of legal services and extend 
them to people who cannot now afford the price. In our complex society where 
rights and remedies often turn on legal concepts, the current imbalance of legal 
help for citizens leads to injustice and tends to undermine the social structure. 

Paralegals will make life easier for lawyers who now try to handle virtually 
every element of a legal case except the typing. Legal service will improve as 
lawyers spend more time on the things they do best. It is also becoming apparent 
that trained laymen can do some parts of the "lawyering process" better than 
lawyers can. 

As time goes on. paralegals may take more responsibility for clients problems 
and. ultimately, simple law-related problems will no longer be viewed as the 
"practice of law" for which one must have a three-year law degree. 

The National Paralegal Institute plans to help the expansion of the paralegal 
movement by lending its knowledge, materials and experience, through con- 
sulting and technical assistance, to any organization seeking to train or use para- 
legals in the public interest law sector. 

Statement of James Milleb 

I am James I. Miller, a paralegal employed by the Community Legal 'Services, 
Inc., in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My formal education was curtailed many 
years ago by the consequences of having been bom black and poor. By the time 



58 

economic opportunity became available to black people, I had insured that my 
formal education^ would not be resumed due to a further consequence of having 
wasted my young years in a rather anti-social lifestyle. 

Today, thanks to the concern of many truly committed people in Legal Services, 
I am able to come before this important body and speak for thousands, who, like 
me, feel they may be legislated out of the emerging paralegal profession. I speak 
also for the vast number of persons who may still find their way to the paralegal 
profession as a result of community involvement ; those working in and for tenant 
organizations ; consumer protection and education ; mental health programs ; 
those who dedicate so much time and effort toward improving the lot of our senior 
citizens and welfare mothers seeking self-respect and personal dignity. 

I can realize the tremendous contribution such people make to the community 
because I have, at one time or another, through one way or another, received the 
beneficial blessings of their contribution. My wish now is that, with the proper 
training, I, too, can render a valuable and constructive contribution. 

I would be bordering on the threshold of impertinence were I to presume to 
instruct this Committee as to what national body should be delegated to oversee 
or conduct the accreditation of paralegals. 

Likewise, I do not believe you would appreciate my advising you as to what 
paralegals should or should not be licensed. However, as one of the best paralegals 
in one of the best legal services programs, staffed by some of the best attorneys 
in the East. I can say to you : the time has not arrived where it is necessary to 
accredit paralegals. Any attempt to test and license paralegals at this point would 
require as many types of licenses and tests as there are types of paralegals. In 
addition, it would be almost impossible on this date to obtain two descriptions 
of what a paralegal is, or what he does, which will appear even remotely the same. 

I find it strange to consider accrediting a "thing" which lacks definition. The 
fact that this emerging occupation is not accreditable at the present does not 
mean it will remain so. When lawyers learn to not feel threatened by paralegals ; 
when the Nation's law schools become supportive of paralegal training ; when 
law offices learn to fully utilize paralegals ; when a comjwsite body of lawyers, 
businessmen, paralegals, and educators can be found to administer accreditation ; 
then. I hope to be among the first to seek Congressional involvement. 

The mental gymnastics necessary to imagine any national body composed en- 
tirely of lawyers to administer testing and licensing of paralegals are not within 
my capabilities. Such a sophisticated group, insulated by their Ivory Tower 
existence from the needs of paralegals engaged in the delivery of legal service to 
the underprivileged ; isolated by lifestyles alien to those they seek to control is 
doomed to failure. 

They will be unable to generate growth of the paralegal movement because of 
their unfounded fear. They cannot train or test paralegals because they know 
little of what paralegals do. They will not encourage paralegals because the 
majority of paralegals are engaged in legal services which do not generate a fee. 

In the event you are otherwise persuaded and you feel there is a compelling 
need for immediate accreditation of paralegals, I would urge that the accrediting 
agency be comprised of institutions, individuals, and agencies experienced in the 
delivery of legal services to needy people. An agency thus composed is more likely 
to assure the legal profession will be enhanced by the continued activities of 
paralegals in that it will be relying on experience in poverty law, whereas one of 
the bar associations could only proceed on the narrow margin of opinion as to 
what is, or what should be, done. 

Enactment of any legislation designed to control or further constrain para- 
legals must be considered with the view that paralegalism is not aimed at de- 
struction of the legal profession ; rather, it is aimed at fulfillment of the tradi- 
tional promise of the legal profession — justice and equality under the law. 

Senator Tuxney. Our next witness is Mr. Austin Anderson, the 
chairman of the American Bar Association. 

STATEMENT OF AUSTIN G. ANDERSON, CHAIRMAN OE THE 
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION 

]\Ir. Anderson. Senator Tunney and members of the staff, it is my 
pleasure to be here today as the chairman of the American Bar Associa- 
tion's Special Committee on Legal Assistants. At the present time, I 



59 

am the director of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education at 
the University of INIicliigan in Ann Arbor, ]Mich. I have been a mem- 
ber of the ABA Special Committee on Legal Assistants since it was 
foi-med in 1968, and have been chairman for the past 2 years. 

The development of the legal assistants or legal paraprofessionals 
is a concept that has recently attracted considerable attention from 
the organized bar and from many individuals who are considering this 
as a possible career field. The increased use of legal assistants by the 
legal profession is surely one of the most significant trends to emerge 
within the last 20 years. It has the potential for encouraging innova- 
tion and improvement in law office organization and operation and for 
providing a better quality, lower cost service to the client, as well as 
providing a career for many competent and educated individuals inter- 
ested in law and the administration of justice. 

The fii"st pronouncement of official ABA policy in this area came in 
August of 1968 when the ABA house of delegates adopted a recom- 
mendation from the Special Committee on Availability of Legal Serv- 
ices providing : 

1. That the legal profession recognize that there are many paths in serving 
a client's need which can be performed by a trained, nonlawyer assistant work- 
ing under the direction and supervision of a lawyer ; 

2. That the profession encourage the training and employment of such as- 
sistants ; and 

3. That there be created a special committee of the association to consider the 
kinds of tasks which may be competently performed by a nonlawyer working 
under the direction and supen'ision of tlie lawyer ; the nature of the training 
which may be required and provided to develop competence and proficiency in 
the performance of such tasks ; the role, if any, to be played by the legal pro- 
fession and the bar in providing such training; the desirability of recognizing 
competence and proficiency in such assistants as by academic recognition or other 
suitable means ; and all appropriate methods for developing, encoui"aging and 
increasing the training and iitilization of non-lawyer assistants the better to 
enable lawyers to discharge their professional responsibilities. 

Shortly after the committee was created in 1968, an ambitious plan 
was outlined which called for completion of the committee's work 
within 2 or 3 years. "We were a little naive at that point relative to what 
lay before us. Even at that early date there was a definite feeling on 
the part of the committee that the legal assistants concept Avould catch 
on rapidly, as it has. It soon became apparent, however, that such a 
timetable would not allovr for sufficient input from other interested 
groups and individuals and for the necessary experimentation and ex- 
change of ideas. In order to allow for this exchange, the committee's 
work has now covered a period of 6 years and will continue into the 
coming year. 

One of the first projects undertaken by the committee was the exam- 
ination of the paraprofessional in otiier professions. That study has 
been completed. I believe that pamphlets of it have been proA'ided to 
you. I am familiar with this study because I conducted it and de- 
veloped the pamphlet — indicating the paraprofessional in medicine, 
dentistry, and architecture. 

In September of 1970, in cooperation with the San Francisco Bar 
Association, we conducted a 3-week program for lawyers and legal 
assistants. It became apparent at that program that we had to devote 
more time to the training of lawyers in the necessary techniques and 
practice methods of effective use of nonlegal persomiel. 



60 

Then in an effort to determine what tasks were actually being per- 
formed by nonlawyers in law offices, a sur\'ey of both large and small 
firms, coi'porate legal departments and other legal entities was under- 
taken and completed in 1970. The results of this survey were published 
in a pamphlet entitled '"''Liherotlng the Laioyer^'' which also has been 
made available to you. 

Because the committee had been successful in selling the idea of the 
training and use of legal assistants to the bar, and the bar was in turn 
looking to educational institutions, the committee then developed The 
Proposed Curriculum for the Training of Laio Office Personnel which 
was published in 1971 and resulted from the analysis of the task pre- 
viously performed in law firms. I am reasonably familiar with that 
because I also drafted that particular document for the committee. 

Then the committee began a series of conferences to insure at all 
times that it was, in fact, communicating with all interested bodies. 
I'm digressing from the statement, which has been submitted to you, if 
I may. 

Senator Tuxney. It will be included in the record as if read. 

Mr. AxoERSON. The first conference was held in June 1971 at Denver 
University Law School to which was invited a truly broad spectrum 
of people : lawyere from both the private and public sector, educators, 
legal assistants, social workers, and legal secretaries. The results of that 
conference are included in this publication, "New Careers in Law : II," 
which is again available. 

Between 1971 and 1973, the committee, in conjunction with educa- 
tional institutions began to develop institutional standards for the 
accreditation of legal assistant programs. The first document was re- 
viewed at a conference in ISIay 1973, also in Denver at Denver Univer- 
sity Law School to which were invited legal educators, practicing 
lawyers, representatives of many bar association sections and com- 
mittees, educators and administrators from legal assistant programs, 
and representatives from the Association of American Law Schools 
and the National Paralegal Institute. We spent a full day reviewing 
and digesting the proposed standards at that point. As a result of that 
conference, a final draft of accreditation guidelines, as they are iden- 
tified, was prepared. These were adopted by the American Bar Asso- 
ciation house of delegates in August of 1973. 

To insure that we were in concert with the institutions affected by 
these guidelines, the committee met in October of 1973. with repre- 
sentatives of six institutions which were already engaged in the train- 
ing of legal assistants. To review the guidelines as adopted and to re- 
ceive their suggestions relative to detailed criteria, that is, the imple- 
menting document. We wanted to be certain that we were in concei't 
with what the schools were able to do and that we did not create some- 
thing unmanageable for them. 

The latest conference we sponsored was in I\Iay 1974, to which we 
invited deans and directors of these programs; there were some 50 in 
attendance. At that time we reviewed not only the guidelines and de- 
tailed criteria, but created a forum for the deans and directors to 
exchange information relative to program developments taking place 
to be assured that they had available to them all of the information 
that was available at that time. 

Prior to this meeting, in developing the implementing criteria, the 
rjommittee conducted four on-site visits to institutions, at Cumberland 



61 

Commimity College in Vineland, N.J. ; at Portland Community Col- 
lege, Portland, Greg. ; at the Institute for Paralegal Training in Phila- 
delphia ; and at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. 

The current plans for the committee, in response to a question raised 
in the invitation to appear, include the continuation of the survey 
and study of noninstitutional or nondegree programs for the training 
of paralegals; cooperation with the section of economics of law practice 
of the American Bar Association in the development of one or more 
programs to advise State and local bar associations of the develop- 
ments taking place in this field, and to coordinate and promote the 
legal assistant concept among members of the legal profession; to 
accept name of applications from institutions seeking approval 
of legal assistant training programs; cooperation with the Ameri- 
can Association of Community and Junior Colleges in it efforts 
to develop and promote additional programs for the training of legal 
assistants ; and continuation of the study to determine the desirability 
of certifying levels of competence of individual legal assistants. 

The committee has not taken a position relative either to the licen- 
sure of legal assistants or the certification of individual legal 
assistants. It is studying this, but has moved only in the area of 
accreditation of institutionally based programs. 

During the past year the number of educational institutions offering 
legal assistant training programs has more than doubled. The total 
now exceeds 70. The need for the establishment of standards for 
accreditation seems evident to me. Meaningful standards will provide 
guidance for institutions offering courses in this field. They will be 
of assistance to prosj^ective students in selecting schools that meet 
certain minimum requirements, and they will be of assistance to em- 
ployers interested in hiring individuals from formal institutional 
programs. 

I would like to reiterate what is stated in the guidelines, however, 
tliat an individual's ability to perform as a legal assistant may be 
evidenced in a number of ways, including formal education programs, 
on-the-job training and/or work experience and by the successful 
completion of an examination. Although this document is concerned 
only with the formal education programs for the training of legal 
assistants, it is not intended to limit entry into this career field by 
other means. 

Wliile the committee is aware that a variety of educational pro- 
grams may provide an opportunity for the education of legal assistants, 
it has determined that standards should be developed for the accredita- 
tion of programs of not less than 60 semester or quarter hours. 

In summary, throughout the committee's existence, it has made 
special efforts to maintain liaison with other interested sections and 
committees of the association, as well as with other interested in- 
dividuals and organizations. The committee has been hosting hearings 
with representatives from both the public and private legal assistant 
organizations to insure that the committee has had the input of those 
groups potentially affected by the work of the committee. 

Over ?)0,000 copies of the committee's publications have been dis- 
tributed in an effort to insure the communication of ideas and to obtain 
valuable input so essential to the work of the committee. 

We have held three conferences and have continually consulted 
with individuals throughout each year of the committee's existence. 

41-370 — 74 5 



62 

We feel that there has been groat progress since 1968 and sincereljr 
appreciate this opportunity to report on the activities of the 
association. 

Senator Tunney. Thank you very much, Mr. Anderson. 

That's a vote — acknowledging buzzer. I'm going to have to go down 
and A'ote. And I understand it's back-to-back with another vote. 

So it will take me prolmbly about 15 to 20 minutes to get back. I 
have some questions for you. I'll be able to go until 1 :30 and tlien I 
have to, myself, recess till 2 :30 because I have a luncheon engagement 
that I've already pushed off from 1 :00 to 1 :30. 

And I would just like to ask the other witnesses that we will have — 
I hope we will be able to get Mr. Allen in prior to 1 :30. 

Are Professor Quinn and Mr. Dickey present? Would coming back 
at 2 :30 be all right with you ? 

[Discussion off the record.] 

Senator Tunney. All riglit, then. "Wliat we'll do is : When I come 
back, I'll ask you gentlemen to submit your statements as if read and, 
perhaps, summarize the highlights — in 5 minutes each. And, then, 
I've some questions for each of you. 

We've had your statements in advance, so I know what you are 
going to be saying. And, then, I could spend 10 minutes questioning 
you on your statements, so we'll be able to get both of you in before 
1:30. 

But, in the meantime. I'm going to go down and vote and I'll be 
back in, probably, 15 to 20 minutes. 

[Off the record.] 

Senator Tunney. INIr. Anderson, you were saying, in your testi- 
mony, that the paralegals were lower in cost. Do you have any 
evidence of this? Did the bar in your section do any research to 
obtain that information ? 

Mr. Anderson. During the period of my career as the administrative 
partner of a hundred-lawyer law firm, we employed 27 legal assist- 
ants, all of whom we trained in-house. 

And I am not sure that we've lowered it because the matters weren't 
in the office before they came on. But what we did was : we would bill 
their time on an actual cost to the client, so that we were, in fact, 
saving the clients money. 

If I can respond, also, I do a lot of work in terms of law office 
management — the management of law firms. And I've been traveling 
around ]Michigan and meeting the lawyers in Michigan. 

Now, in IMichigan — at least in probate administration, lawyers are 
required by many probate judges to account for the mamier, the kind 
of activity, and the amount of time and the dollars involved in the 
administration of the estate. 

And what has been determined is that the law firms now use legal 
assistants to provide these services at lower cost, so that they are, in 
fact, able to pass that on to the client. So that is my exprience. 

Senator Tunney. You heard me mention in a question to another 
witness that I am considering offering an amendment whicli would 
provide Federal funding for a program to train paralegals to assist 
the elderly. 

What is your opinion of that ? 

Mr. Anderson. I think that we can use paralegal training in a great 
many areas. I would concur with Mr. Fry that it be left open ended. 



63 

And I would think that because there are a number of institutions' 
that are now involved in the training and have some expertise — that 
they might have an opportunity to participate in the program and 
I think that might be helpful. 

Senator Tunney. Professor Quinn stated in his testimony — he'll 
be testifying later — and he was speaking of the ABA guidelines : 

There Guidelines liave Iiacl, in my judgment, a profoundly directive influence, 
with the result that the bulk of paralegal training is now taking the form of 
2-year training programs in junior colleges. Whether this is a good thing or not 
is subject to some dispute. 

And he continues : 

The best intentioned efforts to accredit one type of program cast sometliing 
of a pall on other "unaccredited programs" — a result which is doubly unfortunate 
where there is no clear consensus on how paralegals are best instructed and 
where the situation requires a great deal of flexibility. 

Now what is your opinion to Mr. Quimi's statements? 

]Mr. Anderson. There ai-e a number of ways to train legal assistants. 
At the outset, a number of 2- and 4-year institutions came to the com- 
mittee and asked us to develop curriculums, and that then led to the 
guidelines. This is one road that might be taken. 

In addition to that, there are among continuing legal education 
organizations a number of programs which would be available to the 
training of a person who is already employed. This is certainly true 
in the State of California. "We have in Michigan planned six courses 
to be offered during this next calendar year for the training of those 
persons who are already employed by law jfirms. And so there are 
many ways to go. And the guidlines are really — are appropriate to 
those 2-year institutions that want to elect that road. 

The committee has made every effort to point out on every oc- 
casion that — again, there are these many avenues. We encourage all 
of them, and are very supportive of them. 

Senator Tunney. In other words, you do not feel that only one 
type of program should be accredited — that another, should be 
accredited '? 

Mr. Anderson. Well, the attack we adopted is to take it one step 
at a time. And the first step was the ongoing institutions. And to 
work with them — because they were in it already. 

And the next step : the committee this next year will examine all 
of the — it sounds like an insurmountable task — but as many of the 
other means by which legal assistants are trained, to see where the 
standards or guidelines can be developed for those additional kinds 
of training. What that leads you to, though, is, of course, the pos- 
sibility of certification. And we are aware of that. And we are not 
taking a position on it. 

Have I responded ? 

Senator Tunney. But you would not dispute Professor Quinn's 
statement of the fact that you have only indicated approval of one 
type of program and casts a pall on other types of programs^ 

Mr. Anderson. I would dispute it without question. 

Senator Tunney. You would dispute it? 

Mr. Anderson. I would dispute that, both as chairman of the 
committee and having delivered almost too many speeches on the 
subject. Again, we have been careful to point out that this is not 



64 

the only route; and I would — if I could just pursue that for just a 
couple of seconds — there has been a temptation to overlook the pre- 
amble to the policy guidelines and which, on page 2, state : "There are 
a number of avenues to becoming a legal assistant." And, because we 
are mindful of this and did not want to cast a pall on other means 
by which one might become trained, there is a very unique program 
going on at Amherst — ^the Amherst division of the University of Mas- 
sachusetts, which has elected to follow the guidelines, but has devoted 
most of its training efforts to the public sector, if you will, while also 
offering courses for the private sector. 

And so, the guideline, so far as I can tell, have not had any in- 
hibiting — have not inliibited the growth and the flexibility, and the 
imagination. It's really been the needs of the local bar and the imagina- 
tion of the program director. 

Senator Tunney. In your view, what would be the cost and benefits 
of extending a moratorium on accrediting training programs until 
more data can be gathered on any program ? 

JNIr. Anderson. An open-ended moratorium would not be helpful to 
anyone, I don't believe. In excess of TO institutions presently are offer- 
ing programs. And, with the guidelines having developed with them, 
and their having requested that we recognize them for their efforts to 
develop) viable programs for the legal profession, I would think it 
would be : one, a disservice to them — and there are perhaps 8 or 10 who 
are at this point — have been in business all that long — within the next 
year, this will double. So I think it would be a disservice to them. 

I think it would be a disservice to the students who are making 
application to the various institutions, because, be they public or pri- 
vate, there are some that are better than others. And so I think it would 
be unfortunate for them, and it would also be unfortunate for the 
employers themselves not to be able to make a judgment among stu- 
dents from those institutions. 

We have attempted to move very deliberately, but in complete con- 
sultation, and would expect to do so. And. as times change and situa- 
tions change, I expect the guidelines — I know that they will be con- 
tinually reviewed, as will the detailed criteria in view of situations 
that emerge. I don't think there's anything lost. 

Senator Tunney. Paul Shapiro who testified representing the In- 
stitute of Paralegal Training indicated that there was a danger of 
flooding the paralegal market with graduates from degree-related 
proirrams who may turn out to be unemployable. What's your thought 
about that? 

Have vou done any studies, for instance, to determine whether or not 
that be true? 

]Mr. Anderson. Studies of whether there would be flooding ? 

Senator Tunney. Yes. 

]Mr. Anderson. I suppose if each of the community colleges in this 
country had a program, that there could very well be flooding. But, 
again, weVe attempted to cover this in the guidelines, in that each 
institution, in order to be recognized, and I quote from section 203 : 

Thf^ legal assistant edncation program, including programs offered by law 
schools, shall have an advisory committee including practicing lawyers, legal 
assistants from the public and private sector, faculty and scbool administrators, 
and one or more members of the general public. 



65 

Now the thrust of that statement is to insure that the prograni is 
meeting initially a local need. And, if there is a need, the institution 
is going to be encouraged to go forward. If there is not a need and, 
Avith the difficulty which educational institutions have in securing 
funds, tliere is going to be a resistance or a reluctance to go forward. 
And so that was the first instance. We wanted to be sure that this was a 
viable kind of thing. 

Senator Tuxxey. And one final question. What role do you think 
the Federal Government should play in all of this? 

Mr. Anderson. I think as an interested observer. But I would— 
because I would hope that among the agencies, the institutions, the 
legal assistants themselves, that all of these problems can be handled 
on a very fair and equitable basis. 

Senator Tunnet. On the other hand, it does seem that it is possible 
for the Federal Government to become involved in an indirect sense, 
and maybe financing students who want to study to be paraprofes- 
sionals? 

Mr. Anderson. Yes. And, if there are, then there would be regula- 
tions that HEW already has relative to the funding of those students. 
And, certainly in a financial sense, I can appreciate this, and it would 
be helpful to those students. 

But, if you are looking at a unit to supervise and to insist that all 
get together, I don't think that that would be the best. 

Senator Tunnet. Not the best role for Government to get involved 
in the accreditation of the paralegals at the schools ? 

Mr. Anderson. I would want to separate those two. One would be 
the certification. And I guess I wouldn't want to be saddled with at- 
tempting to certify legal assistants if I were in that position. 

With respect to the approval of accreditation of programs, I think 
the National Commission and it's soon to be organized successor have 
done a pretty credible job. And I would think that, if we're called 
upon and others are called upon to meet their standards, that that 
should be a fair indication that they have it reasonably well thought 
out. 

Senator Tunnet. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Anderson. 

As I mentioned, there are other witnesses. We could ask you many 
more questions, but we are under constraints of time. And I want to 
thank you for being so concise. We appreciate it. 

[The complete prepared statement of Austin Anderson, on behalf 
of the American Bar Association, is as follows :] 

Statement op Austin G. Anderson on Behalf of the American Bar 

Association 

Chairman and members of the snhcommittee : My name is Austin Anderson. 
I am director of the Institute for Continuing Legal Education in Ann Arbor, 
Michigan. I have been a member of the American Bar Association Special Com- 
mittee t)n Legal Assistants since it was formed in 1968, and I have been chairman 
for the past two years. 

The development of the legal assistant or legal paraprofessional is a concept 
that has recently attracted considerable attention from the organized bar and 
from many individuals who are considering this as a possible career field. The 
increased use of legal assistants by the legal profession is surely one of the most 
significant trends to emerge within the last twenty years. It has the potential for 
encouraging innovation and improvement in law oflSce organization and opera- 
tion and providing a better quality, lower cost service to the client, as well as 



66 

providing a career for many competent and educated individuals interested in 
law and the administration of justice. 

The first pronouncement of official ABA policy in this area came in August of 
1968 when thd ABA House of Delegates adopted a recommendation from the 
Special Committee on Availability of Legal Services providing : 

"1. That the legal profession recognize that there are many tasks in serving a 
client's need which can he performed by a trained, non-lawyer assistant working 
under the direction and supervision of a lawyer ; 

"2. That the profession encourage the training and employment of such assist- 
ants ; and 

"3. That there be created a special committee of the Association to consider: 

" ( a) The kinds of tasks which may be completently performed by a non-lawyer 
^working under the direction and supervision of the lawyer; 

" (b) The nature of the training which may be required and provided to develop 
competence and proficiency in the performance of such tasks ; 

"(e) The role, if any, to be played by the legal profession and the bar in provid- 
ing such training ; 

••(d) The desirability of recognizing competence and proficiency in such assist- 
ants as by academic recognition or other suitable means ; and 

"(e) All appropriate methods for developing, encouraging and increasing the 
training and utilization of non-lawyer assistants the better to enable lawyers 
to discharge their professional responsibilities." 

Shortly after the committee was created in 1968, an ambitious plan was out- 
lined which called for completion of the committee's work within two to three 
years. Even at that early date, there was a definite feeling on the part of the 
committee that the legal assistants concept would catch on rapidly, as it has. 
It soon became apparent, however, that such a timetable would not allow for 
sufficient input from other interested groups and individuals and for the necessary 
experimentation and exchange of ideas. In order to allow for this exchange, 
the committee's work has now covered a period of six years and will continue 
into the coming year. 

One of the first projects undertaken by the committee was the examination 
of the paraprofessional in other profeissions. This study resulted in a published 
report entitled The Paraprofessional in Medicine, Dentistry and Architecture. 

In September of 1070. the American Bar Association, in cooperation with the 
San Francisco Bar, conducted a three-week program for lawyers and legal assist- 
ants. As a result of this program, it readily became obvious that one of the 
major obstacles to the effective use of legal assistants was the training of lawyers 
in the necessary techniques and practice methods. 

In an effort to determine what tasks were actually being performed by non- 
lawyers in law offices, a survey of both large and small law firms was completed 
in 1970. The results of this survey were published in a pamphlet entitled Liherat- 
ing the Lawyer. In response to an increasing number of requests from educa- 
tional institutions for guidance in the area of curriculum development. The 
Proposed Curriculum for Training of Laio Office Personnel was published in 
1971. 

Following the completion of these studies, the committee held its first con- 
ference on paralegals in June of 1971. The proceedings from this conference 
have been published in a book entitled New Careers in Law: II. This publica- 
tion is available from the American Bar Association, as are all of the other 
publications of the committee. Participants in the conference included practicing 
lawyers, educators, legal assistants, social workers and legal secretaries. 

In May of 1973, the committee sponsored a Conference on Institutional Stand- 
ards for Legal Assistant Training Courses. The purpose of this meeting was 
to evaluate and review proposed standards for the accreditation of legal assistant 
training programs. Persons in attendance included legal educators, practicing 
lawyers, representatives of many ABA sections and committees, educat(jrs and 
administrators from legal assistant programs and representatives from the Asso- 
ciation of American Law Schools and the National Paralegal Institute. Based 
on this conference, a final draft of the accreditation standards was prepared. 
These were later adopted by the ABA House of Delegates in August of 1973. 

The latest conference sponsored by the committee was in May of 1974. The 
purpose of this meeting was to bring together legal assistant program directors 
so that they might evaluate the guidelines, the detailed explanatory criteria 
accompanying them and the procedures for implementation. Immediately prior 
to this conference, the committee conducted four trial on-site visits to institutions 
having legal assistant training programs. The four institutions cooperating with 



67 

the Association were Cumberland Community College, Vineland, New Jersey ; 
Portland Community College, Portland, Oregon ; The Institute for Paralegal 
Training, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ; and the University of Minnesota, Minne- 
apolis, Minnesota. 

The current plans of the committee for the coming year include : 

1. Continuation of the survey and study of non-institutional or non-degree 
programs for the training of paralegals. 

2. Cooperation with the Section of Economics of Law Practice of the Ameri- 
can Bar Association in the development of one or more programs to advise 
state and local bar associations of the developments taking place in this field, 
and to coordinate and promote the legal assistant concept among members of the 
legal profession ; 

3. Acceptance of applications from institutions seeking approval of legal 
assistant training programs ; 

4. Cooperation with the American Association of Community and Junior Col- 
leges in its effort to develop and promote additional programs for the training 
of legal assistants ; 

5. Continuation of the study to determine the desirability of certifying levels 
of competence of individual legal assistants. 

During the past year, the number of educational institutions offering legal 
assistant training programs has more than doubled. The total now exceeds 
seventy. The need for the establishment of standards for accreditation seems 
evident to me. Meaningful standards will provide guidance for Institutions 
offering courses in this field, they will be of assistance to prospective students 
in selecting schools that meet certain minimum requirements and they will be 
of assistance to employers interested in hiring individuals from formal institu- 
tional programs. It should be reiterated that the position of the committee and 
the Association regarding accreditation is, as stated in the guidelines, 

". . . that an individual's ability to perform as a legal assistant may be evi- 
denced in a number of ways including formal educational programs, on-the-job 
training and/or work experience and by the successful completion of an examina- 
tion. Although this document is concerned only with formal education programs 
for the training of legal assistants, it is not intended to limit entry into this 
cai'eer field by other means. While the Committee is aware that a variety of 
educational programs may provide an opportunity for the education of legal 
assistants, it has determined that standards should be developed for the accredi- 
tation of programs of not less than sixty semester or ninety quarter hours." 

Throughout the committee's existence, it has made special efforts to maintain 
liaison with other interested sections and committees of the Association, as well 
as other interested Individuals and organizations. The committee has been hosting 
hearings with representatives from both public and private legal assistant or- 
ganizations to insure that the committee has had the input of those interested 
groups potentially affected by the work of the committee. Over thirty thousand 
copies of the committee's publications have been distributed in an effort to insure 
the communication of ideas and to obtain valuable input so essential to the work 
of the committee. We have held three conferences and have continually consulted 
with individuals throughout each year of the committee's existence. I feel we 
liave made great progress since 1968 and sincerely appreciate this opportunity 
to report on the activities of the Association. 

Guidelines fob the Approval of Legal Assistant Education Programs* 

The development of these Guidelines by the Special Committee on 
Legal Assistants was made possible through a grant from the Ameri- 
can Bar Endowment to the ABA Fund for Public Education. Criteria 
explaining these Guidelines in greater detail are now being prepared 
by the Special Committee. 

introduction 

The American Bar Association has a basic commitment to make legal services 
available to all segments of society. A major way this can be accomplished is 
through the increased use of legal assistants. "This commitment was clearly 
enunciated in the report of the Association's Committee on Availability of Legal 
Services in 1968 which recommended that : 



♦As approved by the American Bar Association House of Delegates on August 7, 1973. 



68 

1. The legal profession recognize that there are many tasks in serving a client's 
needs which can be performed by a trained nonlawyer assistant working under 
the direction and supervision of a lawyer ; 

2. The profession encourage the training and employment of such assistants ; 
and 

3. There be created a special committee of the Association to consider the 
subject of lay assistants for lawyers. 

The adoption of these recommendations by the House of Delegates in 1968 
constituted formal acknowledgment by the Association of not only the general 
desirability of encouraging the use of legal assistants, but also the specific respon- 
sibility of the organized bar with respect to all aspects of the training and 
employment of these individuals. 

In February, 19T2 the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association 
directed the Special Committee to concentrate its efforts on several activities in- 
cluding "the development of standards for accreditation of formal education 
programs directed to the training of legal paraprofessionals." 

Pursuant to this directive, the Special Committee on Legal Assistants prepared 
the following Guidelines for the Approval of Legal Assistant Education Programs. 

A first draft was prepared in April, 1971 as a part of the Proposed Curriculum 
for the Training of Law Ofiice Personnel. This first draft was widely circu- 
lated with approximately 7,000 copies distributed. A second draft was prepared 
and circulated in IVIay, 1973. A conference was held at the University of Denver 
School of Law on May 19, 1973. Approximately 50 persons were present, including 
representatives of the following American Bar Association sections and com- 
mittees: Committee on Professional Utilization, Standing Committee on Eco- 
nomics of Law Practice, Young Lawyers Section/Military Service Lawyers Com- 
mittee, Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Sec- 
tion on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar. Deans and directors of insti- 
tutions offering education courses for legal assistants, law school deans and 
facility members, the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools, The Na- 
tional Association of Legal Secretaries and The Association of American Law 
Schools were also present. A final draft was prepared and adopted by the Com- 
mittee at its meeting on June 16, 1973. 

The Committee recognizes that an individual's ability to perform as a legal 
assistant may be evidenced in a number of ways including formal education pro- 
grams, on-the-job training and/or work experience and by the successful comple- 
tion of an examination. Although this document is concerned only with formal 
education programs for the training of legal assistants, it is not intended to limit 
entry into this career field by other means. While the Committee is aware that a 
variety of educational programs may provide an opportunity for the education 
of legal assistants, it has determine that standards should be developed for the 
accreditation of programs of not less than sixty semester or ninety quarter hours. 

The Committee attaches considerable importance to the contribution to be made 
by interested and affected organizations in the amplification of the Guidelines. 
It therefore proposes to continue to consult with these organizations in the fur- 
ther development of the Guidelines and the detailed criteria including the 
definition of the role of the legal assistant. 

GENERAL PURPOSES, PROCEDURES AND DEFINITIONS 

101 The American Bar Association is vitally and actively interested in ways 
and means of extending legal services in the United States. These Guidelines for 
the Approval of Legal Assistant Education Programs by the American Bar As- 
sociation are promulgated in pursuance of that objective. 

102 The American Bar Association believes that there should be a number of 
ways in which a person can demonstrate his competence as a legal assistant, one 
of which is the completion of a accredited program as determined by this docu- 
ment. Although this document is concerned only with formal edTication pro- 
grams for the training of legal assistants it is not intended to limit entry into this 
career field by other means. 

103 In order to obtain or retain approval by the American Bar Association. 
a program of Education of legal assistants must demonstrate that its program is 
consistent with sound educational policies. It shall do so by establishing that 
it operates in accordance with the Guidelines. 

104 The authority to grant and to withdraw approval is vested in the Ameri- 
can Bar Association. 



69 

105 A legal assistant program will be considered for approval wlien it has 
been fully operational for two years and has graduated students. 

1()6 An approved school should seek to exceed the minimum requirements of 
the Guidelines. 

107 As used in the Guidelines : 

(a) "Program" means a program of education for legal assistants ; 

(b) "Committee" means the American Bar Association Special Committee on 
Legal Assistants. 

ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION 

201 The parent institution shall provide the resources necessary to accom- 
plish the objectives of its legal assistant education program and the program 
sliall be so organized and administered as to utilize fully those resources. 

202 With regard to finances, staffing, faculty rank and salary, appointment 
to policy-making bodies, program priorities and other academic affairs, the 
legal assistant education unit shall be given status within the parent institution 
comparable to other units of similar size and function. 

203 The legal assistant education program, including programs offered by 
law schools, shall have an advisory committee including practicing lawyers, 
legal assistants from the public and private sector, faculty and school adminis- 
trators and one or more members of the general public. 

2r(4 The parent institution shall maintain equality of opportunity in its edu- 
cation programs without discrimination or segregation on the grounds of race, 
color, religion, national origin or sex. 

205 The present and anticipated financial resources of the parent institu- 
tion shall be adequate to sustain a sound legal assistant training program. 

206 Legal assistant education programs will be considered for approval if 
they are offered by law schools, four-year colleges and universities, two-year 
colleges, comprehensive technical institutes or vocational schools. 

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS 

301 The parent institulion shall maintain a program for the education of 
legal assistants that is designed to qualify its graduates to be employed in law- 
related occupations, including public and private law practice and/or corporate 
or government law-related activities. 

302 The program may emphasize some legal specialties and give less atten- 
tion to others. If a parent institution offers such a program, that program and 
its olijectives sliould be clearly stated. 

303 The program of education for legal assistants shall be : 

( a ) At the post-secondary level of instruction ; 

(b) At least sixty semester or ninety quarter hours with not less than forty- 
five semester hours devoted to general education and law-related courses. The 
remaining fifteen hours should be devoted to legal specialty courses; 

(c) Offered by a parent institution accredited or eligible for accreditation 
by an agency recognized by the National Commission on Accrediting, the U.S. 
OflSce of Education or an officially recognized state accrediting agency ; 

( d ) An integral part of the parent educational institution. 



401 The program director and instructors must possess education, knowledge 
and experience in the legal assistant field. 

402 The program director shall be a full-time member of the faculty of the 
parent institution. 

403 In the program of education for legal assistants, the parent institution 
shall establish and maintain conditions adequate to attract and retain a 
<;ompetent faculty. 

ADMISSIONS AND STUDENT SERVICES 

.'01 The admission policies of the program of education for legal assistants 
shall be designed to enroll students qualified for and interested in careers as 
legal assistants. 

(a) A student admitted to the program must have a high school diploma or 
have passed an equivalency examination. 

(b) Students are selected on a basis consistent with the philosophy and ob- 
jectives of the program. 



70 

(c) A number of admission criteria, both objective and subjective, should be 
used to reflect a rational process for selecting students so that success as legal 
assistants can be reasonably predicted. 

(d) Students may be admitted with advanced standing when their perform- 
ance in parallel courses at other institutions or on special qualifying exami- 
nations meets established achievement standards. 

502 Student services of the program shall provide for : 

(a) A well-organized plan for counseling and advising students and assisting 
graduates in securing suitable employment ; and 

(b) Student participation in areas of curriculum review and development, 
in course and faculty evaluation and in all other matters relating to conduct and 
improvement of the program. 

503 Pursuant to an established policy, the parent institution, without re- 
quiring compliance with its admission standards and procedures, may permit 
the enrollment in a particular course or limited number of courses, as auditors, 
nondegree candidates or candidates pursuing degrees in other areas. 



601 The parent institution shall have available a library adequate for its 
jprogram of education of legal assistants. 

PHYSICAL PLANT 

701 The physical facilities of the parent institution shall permit the accom- 
modation of varying teaching methods and learning activies. 

702 Space, equipment and other instructional aids should be sufficient for the 
number of students enrolled in the program. 

703 Faculty, administrative and other staff should have office and work areas 
suitable for performing their duties. 

AUTHORITY 

801 Consistent with the Guidelines, the Special Committee on Legal As- 
sistants shall have authority to : 

(a) Interpret the Guidelines; 

(b) Adopt rules implementing the standards ; 

(c) Adopt procedural rules for the initial application by parent institutions 
and approval of programs of education for legal assistants and for the review 
and reinspection of approved programs ; and 

(d) Amend any rules from time to time. 

All interpretations and rules shall be published and shall be available to all 
interested persons. 

802 The Committee shall have the authority to consider any request for ap- 
proval of a program of education for legal assistants. If the Committee decision 
is that approval should be granted, it shall so recommend to the ABA House 
of Delegates. 

ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT 

901 These Guidelines become effective upon their adoption by the House of 
Delegates. . 

902 The power to approve an amendment of the Guidlines is vested m the 
House of Delegates, but the House of Delegates will not act on any amendment 
until it has first received the advice and recommendations of the Special Com- 
mittee on Legal Assistants. 

Procedukes fob Approval of Legal Assistant Programs and Guide fob 
Self-Evaluation Reports 

procedures for approval of legal assistant programs 

The following procedures have been developed by the American Bar Associa- 
tion Special Committee on Legal Assistants for use in evaluating legal assistant 
programs seeking House of Delegates approval. 

Application 

The officials of an institution seeking provisional or final approval of its legal 
assistant program, shall apply by submitting a self-evaluation report to the 
Chairman of the Committee. Eligibility may be determined by consulting "Guide- 
lines for the Approval of Legal Assistant Education Programs." 



71 

Final approval will not be granted until the program has been in operation 
for at least two years and has graduated students. Applications for provisional 
approval, however, may be made after the program has been in operation for 
one school year. 

Approval by the House of Delegates will be given at either the Association s 
annual or midyear meeting. Applications for final or provisional approval must be 
submitted at least 120 days prior to the meeting at which the application will 
be considered. 

The scheduling of evaluation visits is the responsibility of the Chairman of 
the Committee. 
Evaluation team 

The evaluation team is appointed by the Chairman of the Committee and 
should include representation from the staffs of other institutions offering legal 
assistant programs. 

Prior to the on-site visit, members of the evaluation team review copies of the 
completed self-evaluation report and attachments, and should familiarize them- 
selves with the information contained therein. 

On-site visit 

The evaluation visit provides an opportunity to obtain information supple- 
menting that gained from the self -evaluation report. The visit usually takes one 
day. but the evaluation team holds an executive session on the evening before the 
visit to review the self-evaluation materials, to note those areas needing partic- 
ular attention, and to plan the general format of the visit. 

The visit usually involves the following activities : 

1. Meeting with the program director to discuss the purposes of the visit and 
to outline the procedures to be followed. 

2. Meeting with faculty to discuss the program. 

3. Courtesy visits with the president or other administrators of the institution. 

4. Meeting with the chairman of the advisory committee and as many of the 
members of that committee as possible. (If a representative number of the ad- 
visory committee cannot attend the meeting, written reports should be provided 
by absent members.) 

5. A tour of the physical facilities, including library and classrooms. 

6. Conferences with student representatives. 

7. The evaluation team meets in executive session to assure itself that the es- 
tablished evaluation criteria have been substantially met. The appropriate in- 
stitutional accreditation should also be verified by the evaluation team. 

8. At the conclusion of the visit, the evaluation team again meets with the 
program oflicials to discuss tentative findings and recommendations. This meet- 
ing provides an opportunity to check on possible inaccurate and incomplete in- 
formation and possible misinterpretation of what has 'been observed. At this 
meeting, the program director is advised as to when a report of the evaluation 
may be expected. 

Evaluation report 

The procedure for preparation and submission of the report should be as 
follows : 

1. Each member of the evaluation team is assigned responsibility for preparing 
pax'ticular portions of the evaluation report. 

2. The statements should be prepared promptly and sent to the Chairman of 
the Committee. 

3. The Chairman prepares a preliminary draft of the report and .submits it to 
the members of both the evaluation team and the Committee for their comments. 

4. The final report is then prepared by the Chairman, incoi-porating the com- 
ments and recommendations x-eceived. 

5. A copy of the final report is sent to officials of the institution for their in- 
formation and comment. 

6. Copies of the final report are sent to members of the Committee and the 
evaluation team for their final recommendation. 

7. The final report, together with the recommendation of the Committee, is 
sent to the House of Delegates for action. 

Action hy the House of Delegates 

Based on tlie recommendations of the Committee, the House of Delegates takes 
action, which may be : 

1. To grant final approval : The institution is advised in writing of the House 
of Delegates' action and the term of the approved status. 



72 

2. To grant provisional approval : Applies to a program that has not yet satis- 
fied all the eligibility criteria or has minor deficiencies which must be corrected 
before final approval can be granted. 

The institution is advised in writing of the action of the House of Delegates. 
The notice shall contain tlie specific reasons for approval being provisional and 
state the maximum time allowed for the deficiencies to be corrected. 

3. To deny approval : applies to a new program or to a program that has ap- 
plied for re-approval. 

The institution is advised in writing of the action taken by the House of Dele- 
gates. The notice shall include (1) the specific facts and reasons why approval or 
continued approval does not appear to be warranted ; (2) the effective date of the 
House of Delegates action; and (3) the date by which an appeal must he re- 
ceived by the House of Delegates. The institution should be informed as to when 
it may apply for a re-evaluation for approval by the House of Delegates. 

Appeals 

Appeal from action of the committee shall be to the Assembly in accordance 
with Article V, Section 2 of the Constitution of the American Bar Association. 

Annual report 

Each year an approved program is required to furnish the Committee a report 
describing the current status of the program. 

GUIDE FOB SELF-EVALUATION EEPORTS 

This report, prepared by the applicant institution for review by the Special 
Committee on Legal Assistants, is the primary means by which the House of 
Delegates determines whether approval for the program will be granted. An on- 
site visit will be made only if the report indicates that the program essentially 
complies with the "Guidelines for the Approval of Legal Assistant Education 
Programs." Therefore, it is important that all information requested by the Com- 
mittee be supplied, and that supplemental materials such as catalogs, bulletins, 
reports or surveys also be included if they will be lielpf ul in the evaluation process. 

The following guidelines are provided to assist the institution in preparing 
the report. Careful attention should be given to each of the points listed. 

Section I. General informnfion 

A. Name and address of the parent institution. 

B. Regional or other association by which the institution is accredited (The 
U.S. Commissioner of Education is required by law to publish a list of nationally 
recognized accrediting agencies and associations which he determines to be re- 
liable authority as to the qiiality of training offered by educational institutions. 
The Commissioner's office can provide help to new institutions in terms of the 
qualifying steps. In addition, the National Commission on Accrediting senses as 
a coordinating agency for accreditation activities in higher education and as such 
can provide assistance to schools seeking help in achieving institutional accredi- 
tation.) 

C. Information about the following : 

1. Year students first admitted ; 

2. Number of students currently in the program ; 

3. Number graduated from program last year ; 

4. Total number graduated since the inauguration of the program ; 

5. Type and date of last approval by the House of Delegates (if applicable) ; 

6. Date of last visit by evaluation team (if applicable) ; and 

7. Type of approval requested, i.e., provisional, final, or re-approval. 

Section II. Organization and administration 

A. Describe how the need for the program was determined. 

B. Describe affiliation with organized bar associations and cooperation with 
the legal community as a whole. 

C. Provide an organizational chart showing relationship of the program to the 
parent institution. 

D. Describe the functional relationships of the legal assistant program with 
respect to : 

1. Administrative authority ; 

2. Other units of the institution ; and 

3. Representation on governing councils, committees, other agencies of the 
faculty, etc. 



73 

E. Describe the budgetary provisions for the legal assistant program with re- 
gard to : 

1. Source and permanence of financial support ; 

2. Adequacy of funds for faculty salaries as well as for support personnel, 
instructional supplies, equipment, research projects, program evaluation, etc. ; and 

3. Variations from budgetary procedures of other units of the institution. 

F, Describe the advisory committee : 

1. List the members of the legal assistant advisory committee by name and 
indicate the occupation or profession of each member and the organization or 
firm each represents. 

2. How is the advisory committee appointed and what is the appointment term? 

3. How often does the advisory committee meet? 

4. What are the advisory committee's functions? 

Section III. Educational programs 

A. Describe total curriculum for the legal assistant program, including the 
following information for each legal specialty course : 

1. Title; i 

2. Objectives; ■^ i 

3. Description ; 

4. Instructional methods ; 

5. Evaluation techniques ; and 

6. Number of credit hours. 

Section IV. Faculty 

A. Describe the role and authority of the director of the legal assistant pro- 
gram in the following areas : 

1. Defining and implementing the objectives of the program. 

2. Hiring qualified staff. 

3. Determining financial needs and allocation of funds. 

B. Describe policies relating to faculty-student ratio and workload of the 
faculty. 

C. Describe the professional qualifications of the faculty and the administrative 
staff of the program. Show the composition; i.e., full-time, part-time, regular, 
adjunct, etc. 

D. In regard to such matters as selection, promotion, salaries, academic status, 
etc., compare the faculty of the legal assistant program with the faculty of other 
units of the institution. 

E. Describe procedures for evaluating faculty performance. 

Section V. Admission and student services 

A. Describe the criteria used and the procedures followed for recruiting and 
selecting students. (Attach copies of publicity of recruiting materials.) 

B. Describe policies and procedures in regard to : 

1. Admitting students with advanced standing for academic work done else- 
where ; and 

2. Special qualifying examinations based on valid experience outside the class- 
room or self-study. 

C. Describe enrollments and projected enrollments : 

1. What is the maximum number of students currently accepted into each legal 
assistant class? 

2. What is the projected enrollment for the next five years? 

D. Provide information about costs incurred by students for : 

1. Tuition ; 

2. Books, other materials, and incidental fees ; and 

3. Placement. 

E. Describe activities for, or services available to students in the following 
areas : 

1. Orientation to the program and the career field ; 

2. Counseling and testing ; and 

3. Student organizations, associations, and representation on committees. 

F. Describe how job placement is handled for graduates of the program, and 
provide detailed placement statistics for the years that the program has been in 
operation. 

Section VI. Library 

Describe the library facilities that are available to the students in the legal 
assistant program, particularly as to their suitability for the specialty courses. 
Identify the library as a : 



74 

1. Law school library ; 

2. Regularly staffed county or bar law library ; 

3. A section of a general library ; and 

4. A library set up specifically to serve the legal assistant program. 

Section VII. Physical plant 

A. Describe the facilities provided for the legal assistant program with refer- 
ence to : 

1. Classrooms and conference rooms ; 

2. Ofiice space for the faculty and staff ; and 

3. Equipment, instructional materials, etc. 

B. Supply information about community agencies or resources used to assist 
the faculty" or to provide supplemental experiences for legal assistant students. 

Evaluative Criteria for Guidelines for the Approval of Legal Assistant 

Education Programs 

general purposes, procedures and definitions 
G-101 

The American Bar Association is vitally and actively interested in ways and 
means of extending legal services in the United States. These guidelines for 
the approval of legal assistant education programs by the American Bar Asso- 
ciation are promulgated in pursuance of that objective. 

G-102 

The American Bar Association believes that there should be a number of ways 
in wliich a person can demonstrate his competence as a legal assistant, one of 
which is the completion of an accredited program as determined by this docu- 
ment. Although this document is concerned only with formal education programs 
for the training of legal assistants, it is not intended to limit entry into this 
career field by other means. 

G-108 

In order to obtain or retain approval by the American Bar Association, a pro- 
gram of education of legal assistants must demonstrate that its program is 
■consistent with sound educational policies: It shall do so by establishing that 
it operates in accordance with the guidelines. 

A. To the extent possible, the American Bar Association will provide guidance 
to institutions planning to start programs. 

The authority to grant and withdraw approval is vested in the American 
Bar Association. 

A. The authority to grant and to withdraw provisional and final approval is 
vested in the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, acting upon 
the recommendation of the Committee. 

G-105 

A legal assistant program will be considered for approval when it has been 
fully operational for two years and has graduated students. 

A. Application may be made for either provisional or final approval. Provi- 
sional approval is not a prerequisite for final approval. 

B. Application for provisional approval may be made after the program has 
been in operation for at least one academic year. Provisional approval will 
be based upon review of the self-evaluation forms and, in some cases, a site 
visit by members or representatives of the Committee. Normally, the maximum 
term of provisional approval will be two years. 

C. In appropriate cases, final approval may be made retroactive to a date no 
earlier than the date on which a program was in substantial compliance with 
these guidelines, except with respect to those requirements relating solely to 
time of operation. 

D. Approved programs must submit a yearly report and apply for reapproval 
every five years. 

G-106 

An approved school should seek to exceed the minimum requirements of the 
guidelines. 



75 

G-107 
As used in the guidelines : 

(a) "Program'' means a program of education for legal assistants ; 

(b) "Committee" means the American Bar Association Special Committee on 
Legal Assistants. 

ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION 
G-201 

The parent institution shall provide the resources necessary to accomplish 
the objectives of its legal assistant education program and the program shall 
be so organized and administered as to utilize fully those resources. 

A. The program should be provided with financial and other resources adequate 
to accomplish its objectives and to fulfill the obligations imfjosed by these guide- 
lines. If the school providing the program is part of a multi-program institution, 
the parent institution should assume this responsibility. 

B. The program should have clearly defined, publicly stated goals. It should 
also define explicit objectives for its specific program, stated in terms of the 
educational result to be achieved. These goals should reflect : 

1. Consistency with the general principles of ethical legal practice as defined 
by the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. 

2. Responsiveness to the needs of the constituency which the program seeks 
to serve, but also a recognition that the program should qualify the graduates 
to contribute to the advancement of the profession, rather than to serve only 
the purposes of one institution or locality. 

3. Sensitivity to emerging concepts of the role of the legal assistant in the 
effective delivery of legal service in both the pi'ivate and public sectors of 
our society. 

G-202 

With regard to finances, stafiing, faculty rank and salary, appointment to 
policy-making bodies, program priorities and other academic affairs, the legal 
assistant education unit shall be given status within the parent institution com- 
parable to other units of similar size and function. 

A. The director-coordinator of the program and the instructional staff are dele- 
gated the authority necessary for developing and implementing the program to 
meet the stated objectives. 

B. Communication and coordination is encouraged among administrative of- 
ficers, faculty and students, representatives of other subject matter fields, other 
institutions, and the legal community. 

C. The organizational structure of the program should be sufl^ciently flexible 
to respond to changes in the needs of the community or the legal profession. 
Planning and evaluating are conducted for continuous self-improvement. 

D. There should be evidence of clearly established responsibility and authority 
for long-range planning for the conduct and evaluation of the program. Priorities 
should be defined relative to the development of physical plant, student and 
faculty recruitment, and expansion of the curriculum. 

G~203 

The legal assistant education program, including programs offered by law 
schools, shall have an advisory committee including practicing lawyers, legal 
assistants from the public and private sector, faculty and school administrators 
and one or more members of the general public. 

A. The planning of new legal assistant programs should have been done in 
cooperation with state or local bar associations and representatives of law 
firms, legal agencies, and other potential employers of legal assistants. 

B. A broad range of potential users of legal assistants should have been con- 
sulted throughout all stages of program development. 

C. Feasibility studies should have been conducted prior to starting a program, 
and all educational resources of the community should have l)een involved in 
the planning to assure utilization of available expertise and to minimize dupli- 
cation of effort. 

D. A permanent advisory committee should be utilized, the members of which 
are completely familiar with the objectives of the program. Some specific func- 
tions of the advisory committee should be : 

1. Developing standards to select qualified students for the program. 

2. Determining the content of the training program on the basis of broad 
outlines provided by the committee. 



76 

3. Recommending space and equipment needs for effective training. 

4. Locating outstanding, experienced and professionally able men and women 
to act as instructors. 

5. Informing tlie educational institution as to changes occurring within the 
field. 

6. Helping to determine future trends of a particular para-professional field. 

7. Reviewing constantly the education program and recommending improve- 
ments for consideration. 

8. Advising the administration about employment opportunities for graduates. 

9. Publicizing the program and securing community cooperation and interest. 

10. Assisting in the recruitment of qualified applicants for the progiiam. 

G-20Jf 

The parent institution shall maintain equality of opportunity in its education 
programs without discrimination or segregation on the grounds of race, color, 
relgion, national origin or sex. 

G-205 

The present and anticipated financial resources of the parent institution shall 
be adequate to sustain a sound legal assistant training program. 

A. The budget for the program should include provision for the following r 

1. Salaries for the director, teaching faculty, and supportive personnel com- 
parable to that of other instructional units within the institution ; 

2. Instructional supplies, equipment, and library materials ; and 

3. Funds for research projects, program evaluation, and professional develop- 
ment of faculty. 

G-206 

Legal assistant education programs will be considered for approval if they are 
offered by law schools, four-year colleges and univei-sities, two-year colleges, 
comprehensive technical institutes or vocational schools. 

A. Unlike approved law schools which cannot be operated for private profit, 
a proprietary institution may conduct a program for legal assistants which may 
be approved under these guidelines. 

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS 

GSOl 

The parent institution shall maintain a program for the education of legal 
assistants that is designed to qualify its graduates to be employed in law-related, 
occupations, including public and private law practice and/or corporate or 
government law-related activities. 

A. The primary concern of a legal assistant training program is to develop 
occupational competence. The total program should, however, include general 
education as well as law-related courses. Where the general education is not 
provided by the institution offering the legal technical training, provision 
should be made to accept credit for appropriate courses completed elsewhere, 
working out cooperative arrangements with other institutions or exemption 
by examination. 

B. The curriculum should stress understanding and reasoning rather than 
rote learning of facts. The technical courses should emphasize how the subject 
being studied is aiiplied in the practice of law and should emphasize principles 
and procedures common to as many types of law-related activities as possible. 

C. The curriculum should be resiiwnsive to changing needs and reflect research 
findings and experience related to the training and use of legal assistants. It 
.should luidergo continual review and reevaluation and incorporate new ideas 
relating to both curriculum design and instructional method. When appropriate, 
the curriculum should provide for continuing education for graduates of the 
program as well as legal secretaries and other paralegal personnel seeking to 
improve themselves in their present jobs. 

D. There should be evidence of an organized plan for review and evaluation 
of the total program. The ultimate criterion for judging a legal assistant train- 
ing program is whether it achieves its stated objectives. There should be 
evidence of earnest attempts to measure the extent to which students secure 
suitable positions, to determine how effective they perform duties related to 
their educational program, and to .solicit the reaction of graduates to the 
effectiveness of their training and its relevance to the duties actually performed. 



77 

Evaluation should, therefore, iuclude regular follow-up procedures directed to 
both graduates and employers to assess the results of the programs. The advisory 
committee should help to facilitate follow-up studies by stressing their impor- 
tance, by encouraging cooperation between legal assistants and employers, and 
by seeing that the information acquired is used in the improvement of the 
program. 

G-302 

The program may emphasize some legal specialties and give less attention to 
others. If a parent institution offers such a program, that program and its 
objectives should be clearly stated. 

A. As long as the stated objectives are being followed, the program may 
offer training in several legal specialty areas or only one. 

B. The curriculum should be constructed in such a way as to provide oppor- 
tunity for students to achieve upward mobility. A maximum number of crediti* 
should be applicable toward continued education for higher degrees or certificates 
with minimum loss of time and duplication of effort. 

G-303 

The program of education for legal assistants shall be : 

(a) At the post-secondary level of instruction ; 

(b) At least sixty semester or ninety quarter houi's with not less than 
forty-five semester hours devoted to general education and law-related courses. 
The remaining fifteen hours should be devoted to legal specialty courses ; 

(c) Offered by a parent institution accredited or eligible for accreditation by 
an agency recognized by the National Commission on Accrediting, the U.S. Office 
of Education or an officially recognized State accrediting agency ; and 

( d ) An integral part of the parent educational institution. 

A. Post-secondary education is defined as education provided through in- 
stitutes, colleges, universities, schools or other institutions offering credentials 
primarily to persons who have completed their secondary education, satisfied 
equivalency requirements, or are beyond the compulsory high school attendance 
age. 

B. For programs offered at the post-baccalaureate degree level, the general 
education requirements may be assumed to have been satisfied. 

C. If the program is offei'ed by an institution eligible for accreditation but not 
yet accredited, that institution must be actively seeking accreditation. 

D. An institution devoted solely to the training of legal assistants may qvialitV 
under G-303 (d). 

FACULTY 
G-401 

The program director and instructors must possess education, knowledge and 
experience in the legal assistant field. 

A. The program director and instructors should be committed to the training 
and use of legal assistants, and competent in the areas in which they are pro- 
viding instruction. 

G-^02 

The program director shall be a full-time member of the faculty of the parent 
institution. 

A. The program director or coordinator should have sufficient authority and 
be allowed sufficient time to provide leadership in accomplishing the program's 
objectives. "Working cooperatively with involved faculty, he should provide leader- 
ship in the following areas : 

1. Defining, communicating, and implementing the philosophy of the legal as- 
sistant training unit. 

2. Identifying and responding to the occupational and educational needs of 
the community. 

3. Attracting, selecting, and retaining qualified staff. 

4. Promoting the progessional development of staff. 

5. Analyzing and presenting the needs for adequate program funding. 

6. Encouraging and providing for the interaction of the facility with those 
of other disciplines or other units of the institution. 

7. Selecting agencies and other institutions that can provide learning experi- 
ences supplemental to those provided in the parent institution and assuming 
responsibility for coordinating these experiences. 

41-375—74 6 



78 

G-m 

lu the program of education for legal assistants, the parent institution shall 
establish and maintain conditions adequate to attract and retain a competent 
faculty. 

A. In determining the adequacy of the faculty responsible for the legal assist- 
ant program, the following criteria should be applied : 

1. The size of the faculty should be commensurate with the number and type 
of courses offered and the number and needs of students served. 

2. The faculty teaching the legal specialty courses should be trained, expe- 
rienced, and capable of effective teaching in the various substantive areas of 
law. 

3. Definite measures should be employed to promote and encourage the pro- 
fessional growth of all faculty members. 

4. The faculty should have rank, status, salary, and other benefits comparable 
to faculty of other units in the institution. 

B. The faculty should be provided with essential clerical, technical, and other 
supporting services necessary to carry on an effective instructional program. 

ADMISSION AND STUDENT SERVICES 

G-501 

The admission policies of the pi-ogram of education for legal assistants shall 
be designed to enroll students qualified for and interested in careers as legal 
assistants. 

(a) A student admitted to the program must have a high school diploma or 
have passed an equivalency examination. 

(b) Students are selected on a basis consistent with the philosophy and ob- 
jectives of the program. 

(c) A number of admission criteria, both objective and subjective, should be 
used to reflect a rational process for selecting students so that success as legal 
assistants can be reasonably predicted. 

(d) Students may be admitted with advanced standing when their per- 
formance in parallel courses at other institutions or on special qualifying ex- 
aminations meets established achievement standards. 

A. The descriptive literature of the institution should state clearly and reflect 
accurately the objectives and capabilities of the program. This information 
should be inchided in all catalogues and promotional materials. Evidence that 
this objective is being complied with can be obtained by reviewing the following : 

1. Published statements of the school's aims and objectives ; 

2. Program descriptions or catalog-ues. bulletins, brochures, etc. ; 

3. Program proposals and statements of justification submitted to college 
committees, administrative officials, and funding agencies ; 

4. Statements by the administrative officers of the institution, the program 
director, the teaching faculty, and students and graduates of the program. 

B. Entrance requirements should not be so restrictive as to exclude students 
whose previous academic record may not truly indicate their potential for success 
in the legal assistant field. 

0. Within practical limits the program should accommodate students with 
diverse educational backgrounds. 

D. Consideration should be given to admission with advanced standing of those 
students who have satisfactorally completed appropriate academic requirements, 
whether i-elating to general or to technical parts of the curriculum, and of those 
students, who meet established achievements standards through special qualify- 
ing examinations. In permitting students to qualify by examination, consideration 
may be given to valid experience outside the classroom, or self-study. 
G-502 

Student services of the program shall provide for : 

(a) A well-organized plan for counseling and advising students and assisting 
graduates in securing suitable employment ; and 

(b) Student participation in areas of curriculum review and development, in 
course and faculty evaluation and in all other matters relating to conduct and 
improvement of the program. 

A. There should be a program for orienting new students to the legal assistant 
field including a realistic description of job requirements and opportunities. 

B. Througliout the program qualified counselors and advisors should be avail- 
able to assist students in assessing their strength and weaknesses and in 
planning their program. 



79 

C. Career guidance should be continuous, and at the conclusion of the pro- 
gram conscientious efforts should be made to assist graduates in securing 
positions for which they are personally and professionally prepared. 

D. Accurate placement records should be maintained for the legal assisitant 
program, and this information should be available to officials reviewing the pro- 
gram for approval. 

E. Students should have clear channels and frequent opportunities to express 
their views and make suggestions with the assurance that their proposals and 
opinions will be given fair consideration. Student participation in these matters 
can be encouraged through student organzatious, joint student faculty groups, 
and through membership on appropriate committees. 

G-oO.i 

Pursuant to an established policy, the parent institution, without requiring 
compliance with its admission standards and procedures, may permit the enroll- 
ment in a particular course or limited number of coui'ses, as auditors, nondegree 
candidates or candidates pursuing degrees in other areas. 

LIBRARY 

G-601 

The parent institution shall have available a library adequate for its program 
of education of legal assistants. 

A. A library should be available containing volumes and materials which are 
i-elevant to and adequate for the courses being taught. The content, location and 
physical adequacy of the library should be approved by the advisiory committee 
and should be developed and maintained with the supervision of the faculty. 

B. Students should be instructed, in the proper use of the library prior to being 
given library assignments. 

PHYSICAL PLANT 
G-701 

The physical facilities of the parent institution shall permit the accommoda- 
tion of varying teaching methods and learning activities. 

A. General and special purpose classrooms should be appropriate in design 
and size for the classes offered and study areas should be adequate for the 
number of students enrolled in the program. Equipment and other instructional 
materials should be available for specialized activities either in formal course 
work or for independent study. 

G-702 

Space, equipment and other instructional aids should be sufficient for the 
number of students enrolled in the program. 

A. Auxiliary services such as secretarial assistance and equipment mainte- 
nance and repair should be specifically provided. Other suppox'tive facilities such 
as storage and locker space, lunchrooms, and student and faculty lounges should 
be provided as deemed necessary or practical, 

G-703 

Faculty, administrative and other staff should have office and work areas 
suitable for performing their duties. 

Senator Tunney. Our next witness is Mr. Wilbur Allen, the manag- 
ing partner of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen, a professional association 
from Virginia. And he's accompanied by Sally Fairbanks, admin- 
istrative manager. 

Now we have a half hour. I had thought that, inasmuch as you have 
to leave by 1 :30, if you could please summarize your remarks so that 
I could ask you some questions, I would continue with you until 1 :15 
and make it equal time. And then spend the last 15 minutes, before 
I liave to recess, with Mr. Dickey. 

The statement of Wilbur Allen, Esq., of Allen, Allen, Allen & 
Allen. 

]Mr. Allen. All right, Senator. I'll try to make it even briefer than 
that if I may. 

I had already summarized the original talk, so I'll try to get right 
down to it. 



so 

We feel that the use of paralegals can increase the quality of legal 
services and, at the same time, substantially reduce the cost. The 
attorneys in the Richmond area have been in practice for 10 years or 
longer and are generally charging somewhere around $50 to^ $75 an 
hour. The work of paralegals is being billed at somewhere aromid $15 
an hour. It's easy, then, to see that, if a great deal of the routine work 
not requiring the services of a lawyer could be shifted to the paralegal, 
then the attorney could increase his own income and reduce sub- 
stantially the co.st to the client. In this day of rapidly rising costs, 
legal services are being priced beyond the ability of the average 
American to pay. The use of the paralegal could then reduce the cost 
of legal services to keep quality legal services within tlie financial 
means of almost everyone. 

Xow I thought I might take a moment here and show you the manner 
in which we use paralegals. And I made an office chart — which I don't 
know whether you can see up there, where you are. Maybe I can see 
it and you can see it. 

Our firm specializes in negligence work. We represent the claimants, 
or the accident victims. 

Now this orange you see here — this area is what we call the trial 
section. And these are the secretaries — or what we call the trial 
secretaries. 

I won't go into much detail, but generally their work is of high 
quality; but somewhat similar to what the average secretary would 
do for the average lawyer. 

Xow the blue section we call our processing section. And that's a 
section where we use our paralegals to the greatest extent. And this 
would be different from what most law firms do. 

In other words, in practice what we do, when an accident victim 
coines into the office, as an attorney, I might talk with him a couple of 
minutes. Then I take him down to one of the legal assistants who 
would get the facts and the medical information, make out the forms 
for the investigation to go into the investigation section, order medical 
reports, handle problems about getting the cars fixed, the total loss, 
getting the prices set up there, collecting medical pay, and that sort 
of thing. And I tell that client, when I take him down — I say : 

Now this legal assistant will be with you as lon^ as the case is in the otiiee. 
If you want any information about your case, don't call me; call the legal 
assistant. Because I'll be in court, out of town, or what-have-you. If she can't 
answer your question, then she can get in touch with me and I can get back 
with you. 

Now that way — ^you can see how we can increase the quality of the 
service by the use of legal assistants, by giving the client a type of 
service that I don't think most lawyers, for time reasons, can 
normally give. 

Our law firm also is a corporation. And this is our board of 
directors. And I'm the president of the corporation. And this yellow 
represents our administrative section through here. 

Our assistant office manager draws all of our pleadings for the entire 
office, for all of the lawyers. And we've got that down to certain forms. 
And we find that can be done very well by a legal assistant. There,, 
again, we think we can set up a better quality of pleadings by 
liandling it that way. Now that is under my direction. But I, as one 
person, am able to supervise her and do the pleadings for the entire 
office. 



81 

Now this purple here represents what we call the appointment 
secretary. The problem there was feeding the telephone calls from the 
receptionist on new cases and separating any work we don't handle, 
and also telling the people that call in who obviously don't have an 
accident claim to have the legal assistant tell them so an appointment 
is not made for those people to come into the office and take time up 
unnecessarily. And it's her job also to get them an appointment with 
the attorney. 

Then we have the research section here. And we have legal assistants 
woiking in that section under an attorney who handles the appellate 
work for the entire office. 

Generally speaking, that gives you an idea of what the legal 
assistants do. 

And, if you'll note here, we have 9 attorneys and we have 45 lay 
personnel. So, you see, 5 nonlegal to 1 legal. And you'll find in 
most offices, it's probably a 1-to-l ratio — something like that. 

Now the question comes up, though: will this work, say, for real 
estate, wills, or what-have-you ? 

Xow there are law firms that have developed in those areas, and it 
does work. In my opinion, there's no question about it. You train a 
girl to talk to a client on a will: get the information. In fact, Lee 
Turner is one of the lawyers from Kansas City who is pioneering this. 
Somebody asked him at a Virginia Bar meeting, "Well, can you get a 
doctor to give the information on a will to a legal assistant?" 

He said, "Well, I had a friend of mine come in, and I simply 
explained to him my time was $70 an hour; the legal assistant's time 
was $10 an hour". If he wanted me to do it, it was $500. If he was 
satisfied to give the information to the legal assistant and go through 
the process that I usually go through, it would be $150. There was no 
question of the choice he made. I thought that stated it up very well. 

In our own city of Richmond, we have one attorney who does a tre- 
mendous amount of real estate work. He has his legal assistants go into 
court and they check the titles, the liens, the taxes, and all of the things 
that an attorney normally does. The legal assistant is well-trained and 
can do that type of work, in my opinion, just as well as a lawyer. 

So I tliink the whole area of the use of legal assistants has a tre- 
mendous potential. And I think ultimately the public's going to be the 
beneficiary. 

I know the Senators are aware of the fact that minimum fee sched- 
ules have been stricken down as a violation of the antitnist law. So 
that's going to put the law firms in competition more with each other 
on legal fees. And. to my way of thinkino-, if you use 3'Our legal assist- 
ants and can lower your costs and still make more money yourself, 
you can be more competitive with your fellow law firm. And those who 
are not going to be doing it, then I think, in a sense, the costs are going 
to be higher, and they're going to fall behind. 

This might be an incidental benefit ; but today, almost every day, we 
have college girls who haven't jobs coming into the office applying. 
So there's a tremendous labor pool for this type of thing, and as I 
said the public will benefit eventually. If you're really going to get 
the most out of a secretary, then you've got to get her out from behind 
the typewriter and shorthand pad and put her brain to work. And 
that way, you can get the most benefit from her. And she will enjoy 
the work more too, because it will be more challenging to her. 



82 

Now this is my — our office manager and administrative manager 
who hires and trains all our legal paralegals. She would like, if she 
might have a moment, to say something. 

How's our time running ? 

Senator Tunney. Fine. Ms. Fairbanks. 

STATEMENT OF SALLY S. FAIRBANKS, ADMINISTRATIVE MAN- 
AGER, ALLEN, ALLEN, ALLEN & ALLEN CORP., RICHMOND, VA. 

Ms. Fairbanks. Thank you. 

I think you have a copy of my statement. I really cut a great deal 
of this out, but I would like to say just a few words. 

Our law firm, which is located in Richmond with a metropolitan 
population of approximately 500,000 peoj)le has for almost 20 years 
thrived to constantly upgrade the quality of legal services rendered to 
its clients, vrhile reducing the cost. 

We specialize, as Mr. Allen has told you, in personal injury loss. 
And, as the case volume multiplies, new attorneys have been em- 
ployed. But the real increase in office staff has been the area of paralegal 
personnel. 

Our lawyers, of course, make all legal decisions and set the neces- 
sary guidelines in every case. But the actual step-by-step processing of 
the case is performed by our legal assistants. 

Clients who come to us are usually those who have experienced 
emotional or physical trauma. Many of them have been deprived 
of their livelihood and their transportation. Many are uneducated, 
underprivileged, and unsophisticated. For these reasons, in order to 
determine the nature and extent of the client's problem, and then 
to assist him in doing something about it, our legal assistants fre- 
quently spend 5 to 10 times as much time with such a person as you 
would need to spend were one of you gentlemen involved in a similar 
accident. 

We undertake to find the client transportation, if his car has been 
so damaged that it is inoperable. And we attempt to obtain the best 
salvage value for him if his car is completely demolished. 

Our legal assistants will also accompany clients to the clerk's office 
of the proper court where necessary, to assist them in qualifying for 
administrators in death cases. In cases where infants are involved, 
either as injured parties or as beneficiaries, special steps are taken to 
aid them in investing their funds, and setting up trusts with reliable 
banks and investment counselors. Such safeguards prevent the un- 
necessary depletion of an infant's funds. 

The two areas most troublesome to our clients are recovery for 
automobile damage and medical payments, both first-party coverages. 
Insurance com]~)anies frequently dispute the value of autombile dam- 
age and often claim that certain medical treatment was unnecessary. 

Without legal assistance, the client would be reduced to accepting any 
offer the insurance company made in settlement, regardless of tlie 
actual value of the property or expenditures made by the client. Our 
legal assistants spend a great deal of time in securing substantiating 
documents evidence in order to justify the clients claims. 

Thus our legal assistants lielp us to meet a great human need at a 
time when the injured client has no one else to turn to. Investment 



83 

in good will, as well as human relationships, is very worthwhile. From 
a business viewpoint, those we have helped recommend us to friends 
and relatives. This is a major source of continuing business, since 
most people do not get hurt a second or third time in automobile or 
related cases. 

If the American Bar Association should endorse the teaching pro- 
grams of the various paralegal institutes which have sprung up 
throughout the country and on college campuses, I feel it is nfost im- 
portant that the bar, either on a local or national level, should closely 
supervise such programs to insure that the individuals are getting 
value received for their efforts and monetary expenditures. 

It would be best if these programs were made uniform so that a 
high level of competence on the part of each graduate throughout tMe 
country can be assured. Perliaps an examination of the type now given 
by the National Association of Legal Secretaries for the professional 
legal secretary's certificate should be administered to all candidates 
who wish to become legal assistants. 

A grandfather's clause might be incorporated to include those who 
have 5 or more years' experience as legal assistants. This could en- 
tail endorsements by local employers or bar associations. 

However, even in this event, we feel strongly that some type of ex- 
amination should be administered. Different lawyers require various 
levels of competence. And those persons not certified through ex-' 
amination might not measure up to the standards required by the 
law. To insure adequate supervision by bar associations, a system of 
licensing might be inaugurated. This would also foster a sense of pro- 
fessionalism. 

As regards our staff, we constantly strive to upgrade the caliber 
of the paralegal assistants. We hire people with superior intellectual 
f^apacity who will respond to the challenge of an oppoT'tunity to do 
above-average work. We try to provide dignity and challenge to each 
person's job and seek to reward, encourage and respect the capabilities 
and contributions of each employee. 

Lawyers, legal assistants, secretaries and all other personnel in 
our firm treat each other with respect, and all suggestions are carefully 
received and evaluated. Each person feels that he is a valuable con- 
tributing element to the overall welfare of the organization. 

All of our employees from laAvyers to mailroom assitants partici- 
pate in the many fringe benefits which the firm offers, such as hospi- 
talization, life insurance, disability insurance, bonuses, and profit- 
sharing. This overall approach has been extremely successful, and 
our turnover and absentee rates are far less than the national and 
local averages. 

It is interesting to note that, because a few of the firms that 
pioneered the legal-assistant concept were primarily personal injury 
specialists, the misconception spread that only such a practice lent 
itself readily to the use of paralegal help. Within the last few j^ears, 
however, such a notion has been largely dispelled. Currently, legal 
assistants are being employed to aid attorneys in the fields of corporate, 
tax. and real estate law. as well as in other areas. 

The use of such well-trained personnel in the law ofRce will help 
maintain reasonable legal costs, while preserving the quality of work 
produced. We feel this trend will greatly benefit the average consumer 



84 

client vrlio, until now, has feared seeking legal advice because of the 
prohibitive costs. But our ultimate goal is to furnish a necessary service 
to a strata of society formerly precluded access to legal help because of 
low income and poor education. 

Thank you. 

Senator Tunnet. Thank you very much. 

And I want to thank both of you for really excellent statements. 
I'm very impressed by the methodology that you've used in your firm, 
in order to provide a more efficient service to your clients at lower 
costs. 

Can you tell me : How many cases do you handle every year with 
jour nine lawyers ? 

Ms. Fairbanks. Approximately 1,200. 

Senator Tunney. 1,200. And what do you think the savings to 
jour clients is? 

]Ms. Fairbanks. Well, it is a tremendous savings for this reason. 
Over a period of 20 years, since we've pioneered this legal assistant 
concept, we have not changed our contingent fee which has been one- 
third. 

Since that time, as you well know, with the increases in cost of 
doing business and the rapid inflation, other firms have had to increase 
their charges and charge many of the services to the clients. We per- 
form innumerable services for which we make no charge. We go to 
traffic court with them. We handle property damage for them. We 
do all sorts of things to help them in many areas where the services 
are available and they have no concept how to go about securing the 
aid for themselves. 

And, in this way, we have been able to maintain a one-third con- 
tingent fee for over 20 years and, at the same time, render, I think, 
far greater services to the client each year, because as we go along our 
assistants become more sophisticated in offering these services to the 
public. 

Senator Tunney. You mentioned a copy of a booklet which yon 
give to your clients entitled "Your Case and How We Handle It." 

Could we have a copy of that ? 

Ms. Fairbanks. I don't have one here, but we'll be happly to mail 
one to you. 

Senator Tunney. Fine. 

]Ms. Fairbanks. I tliink that particular booklet sets forth many of 
the services which we do provi de for the client. 

]Mr. Allen. I think the point which Ms. Fairbanks is making — I 
would say that 90 percent of the clients we represent are uneducated 
and, really, when they come into the office, a lot of them don't liardly 
know where the accident happened. And they don't understand that, 
maybe, they have medical benefits under their medical pay, and insur- 
ance companies hassle them something awful about the car. And this is 
really Avorse in dealing with a collision carrier than it is in dealing 
witli the guilty parties carrier. And so the car is somewhere at a storage 
garage running $4 or $5 a day storage and maybe it's been there'2 
weeks before they get in the office. And you've got to get the car out 
of there and get it somewhere and get estimates on it. And it's a total 
loss. 



85 

Then usually tliej^ owe more at tlie bank on the car than they — than 
the car is worth. And the bank won't release the title. You get the 
title released and to get whatever money they're going to get on it- 
it's just on the fair price. It's a very time-consuming thing. And we 
make no charge. Our third contingency does not apply to any of those 
things. And so, through the legal assistants, w^e are able to see that 
those things get done — get a rental car where they don't have a car 
and all of those sort of things. 

Senator Tunney. Mrs. Fairbanks, are you in charge of the para- 
legal assistants ? 

"Ms. Fairbanks. Pardon ? 

Senator Tunney. Are you in charge of legal assistants ? 

Ms. Fairbanks. Yes. I hire these people and, as I said, I try to 
hire people with high intellectual capacity, because I find that they 
are able to make judgmental decisions which the average person W'Ould 
be unable to do. 

Mr. Allen. I might add to that, in those without secretarial skills^ 
so they can have a problem getting a job otherwise. In other wordsf 
no shorthand and typing — might be 20 or 30 words a minute, or none. 
And we find that we can teach them in a short time the little typing that 
would be required for the typing in their work. 

Senator Tunney, "Well^ I'm sure, if your testimony today is an 
indication of your ability, Ms. Fairbanks, to choose paralegals, you do 
a very good job. 

Ms. Fairbanks. Thank you. Senator. 

Senator Tunney. Thank you. We appreciate it very much. 

Thank you, Mr. Allen. 

[The prepared statements of Wilbur Allen, Esq., and Sally S. Fair- 
banks, of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen Corp., of Richmond Va., follow :] 

Statement of Wilbuk Alleis^, Esq., of Alxen, Allen, Allen & Allen 

re paralegal assistants 

The use of paralegals can increase the quality of legal services and, at the 
same time, substantially reduce the cost. The attorneys in the Richmond, Vir- 
ginia area who have been in practice for ten years or longer are generally 
charging from $50 to $60 per hour. The work of paralegals can be billed at about 
$10.00 an hour. It is easy, then, to see that if a great deal of routine work not 
requiring the services of a lawyer could be shifted to the paralegal, then the 
attorney could increase his own income and reduce substantially the cost to 
the client. In this day of rapidly rising costs, legal services are being priced 
beyond the ability of the average American to pay. The use of the paralegal 
could then reduce the cost of legal service to keep quality legal services within 
the financial means of almost everyone. 

A. Manner in tchich we use paralegals 

This chart that I have may help you to understand the manner in which we 
use the paralegals. 

1. Trial Section (Orange) 
These lawyers have private secretaries and their work is somewhat akin to 
what is done by usual secretaries to lawyers, although on a higher level. Fnr 
example, in our office, they prepare the Damage Statements, showing the los<^ s 
to our clients, obtain verification, and mall this information, along with copies 
of medical reports, photostatic copies of hospital records and so forth to the 
insurance adjuster in order to permit him to evaluate the case. They follow that 
up and arrange for a conference between the lawyer and the adjuster. They also 
summons witnesses for trials, make outlines of statements of witnesses, as a 
part of a trial brief, and so forth. 



86 

2. Processing Section (Blue) 

In this area, we would be quite a bit different from another law ofl3ce. Initial 
contact is made with the lawyer, then he takes the client down to the processing 
section, and a legal assistant is assigned to the client. The legal assistant then 
gets the factual information, medical information, and opens the file. She helps 
the client with the property damage, the medical pay, and with any problems of 
a financial nature which the client may be having because of the accident. Most 
of our clients are from the lower or middle income working classes. For the most 
part, they are ignorant and uneducated. Such details as getting their car moved 
from the storage garage where it was towed after the accident, to a repair 
garage to stop storage charges, getting estimates, renting a car for use and 
dealing with their collision carrier is beyond their capability. 

Handling the "total loss," including obtaining the title from the bank, in 
cases where the amount owed is larger than current value, and checking with 
their own company on value, is particularly diflBcult for most clients. The client 
is instructed to call the legal assistant rather than the attorney for these matters. 
The legal assistant then arranges to get the necessary investigation done through 
our investigation section ; orders medical reports, hospital records, and follows 
up the case with the client until the case is ultimately closed and at all times 
remains in close contact with the client. Of course, at any time the legal assist- 
ant can contact the lawyer for answers, or put the client in touch with the 
"lawyer, when necessary. 

3. Administration Section (Yellow) 

Here, our Assistant-Office-Manager draws all the pleadings for the entire 
office, such as filling suit. As you can see in the yellow section, this group works 
Tinder me, as President of our legal corporation and you can see the number 
of people working here, and the various jobs they fill, under this chart. 

Jf. Appointment Secretary (Purple) 
We have thirteen telephone lines coming into our office and the receptionist 
screens out all of the "new case calls" and funnels them in to the appointment 
secretary. She fills out a little form, which gives some background information 
for the attorney who will ultimately see the client, and then arranges an appoint- 
ment with the client. Cases which do not fall into our field of specialty are 
referred to a lawyer. Even in the area of accident cases, if it is obvious there 
is no claim possible, she screens out such cases. 

5. Investigation (Green) 

This department is headed by an investigator, with an assistant and one 
secretary. They receive from the processing section all of the investigation forms 
detailing the information necessary to be obtained in each case. They handle the 
investigation and return the completed work to the processing section. 

6. Legal Research Section (Pink) 

We have one girl, a college graduate, who handles our library and does legal 
research. She works under an attorney who heads up the Legal Research 
Section, which handles appeals. 

7. Docket 

We also have a Docket Clerk, w^ho is in charge of seeing that all casies for 
the office are set for trial, keeps track of the statute of limitations of all cases, 
In other words, she gives me a monthly report on all cases in which the statute 
of limitations will run within a ninety day period. 

8. Increase in Quality of Service Through Paralegals 

From the information I have already given you. you can see that we are in a 
position to give far greater service to our clients through the paralegals than a 
Wawver could possibly hope to, because of the limited amount of time he has 
available. 

I have shown you how this would work in a personal injury practice ; how- 
ever, this system can also be useful to a Firm specializing in real estate, or one 
involving wills and estates, or actually any field of the Law. 

The medical profession has relied on medical technicians for a number of years, 
and the lawyers have been very slow to follow suit. No one can possibly guess 
whnt the cost of medical services might be today if the doctor did everything 
that a Tiurse or technician normally does in his oflice, as most lawyers do. The 
reason the lawyer has been slow to avail himself of paralegals is because of: 



87 

1. The lack of training of tlie average secretary in tlie paralegal field. There 
is a lack of .schools available to train paralegals. 

2. Some lawyers are reluctant to shift a lot of the routine vpork from them- 
selves to a paralegal, being afraid tliat the paralegal may not do the work as 
well as possibly they would. We have found that intelligent college graduates 
with a nice personality can be quickly trained to perform all sorts of paralegal 
work. They enjoy the responsibility and the challenge. 

There is a ready pool of college graduates who are not trained for anything 
in particular, to go into paralegal work at the present time. The teaching profes- 
.sion is vastly overcrowded and, today, there is a large surplus of college 
graduates seeking jobs. The last ten people we have hired at our office were 
all college graduates. 

I think there should be some accreditation and licensing of paralegals. This 
would lend dignity to their profession and guarantee to the lawyer some mini- 
mum of training when he employs a paralegal. 

There is no question in my mind, but that there is a great need for legal 
services on the part of the poor and the middle-class that is not being met 
today because of the high cost of legal services. I think this Committee would 
be performing a great public service, both for the citizens and the legal pro- 
fession, in promoting the training and use of paralegals. 

PROCESSING A PERSONAL INJURY CASE WITH LEGAL ASSISTANTS 

For the past several years, the American bar has been concerned with freeing 
the lawyer to do more "effective legal work through the use of legal assistants. 
Our firm has been using this approach for approximately twenty years, working 
constantly to refine our procedures and techniques. The system has developed 
over this period of time with much trial and error in an attempt to achieve the 
greatest amount of productivity from our lay personnel as well as our lawyers, 
in order to keep our legal staff from becoming top-heavy, and to minimize our 
expenses of operation. In a sense, we are operating on an assembly-line principle 
lint we have managed to retain the essential atmosphere and dignity of a law 
ofl3ce. 

In an article written several years ago, I outlined the procedures then being 
used in our offices. Since that time, we have made many changes which we feel 
lend themselves to a more efficient and expeditious handling of the individual 
cases. In so doing, we have expanded our personnel by the addition of one 
lawyer and approximately seven or eight legal assistants. In fact, one depart- 
ment is completely staffed with legal assistants, including the supervisor who 
reports directly to management. 

When an individual calls our office for an appointment, the call is directed 
to our Investigation Co-ordinator, who gets a limited amount of information on 
liability and injury and gives the client an appointment to come into the office 
to be interviewed by one of the attorneys. When a final decision is made by 
the attorney as to whether or not the case will he accepted, the client is turned 
over to our Processing Department, where we have five legal assistants working 
under the guidance of a legal assistant trained as a medical-legal co-ordinator. 
Most of our legal assistants hold college degrees, and have a depth of under- 
standing which helps them to analyze quickly and competently the merits and 
problems of each case. Those without degrees have the equivalent experience, 
education and intelligence, as measured by various tests which we administer. 
The legal assistant.'* in the Processing Department detail all of the information 
jiecessary to the intelligent handling of the client's case and perform all the 
preliminary work necessary to a complete and detailed work-up of each case. 
This legal assistant remains with the ease until it is finally settled by the 
a.^.'dgned trial attorney. From time to time, she checks the file to be sure that 
certain procedures have been performed ; that necessary information has been 
securer! from variou.s government agencies ; that medical information is secured' 
periodically, and that the file is in order to be either settled or tried by the 
assigned trial attorney. 

When a case has been accepted by the initial interviewing attorney and turned 
over to the Processing Department, generally this section will prepare the file 
and brochure for the case, numbering and cross-indexing the same, secure factual 
and medical information from the client, and in so doing, will complete a 
number of forms which we have prepared for that purpose. The legal assistant, 
under supervision of an attorney, will advise the client on minor problems, 
liandle property claims with appropriate adjusters, take photographs of client 



88 

for identification and ptiotographs of visible injury. After tliis initial interview, 
which usually lasts anywhere from one to three hours, she will complete the 
file, order all accident reports and medical reports, and give the investigator an 
assignment sheet, including a brief description of how the accident occurred, 
names of witnesses, defendant (s), description of vehicles, etc., so that he can 
complete the investigation. She writes and sends out letters of representation to 
the defendant insurance company, notifying them of our firm's representation of 
the client. She also sends out medical pay letters to the client's insurance carrier, 
notifying that company of the firm's employment and the fact that we vrill pre^nt 
a medical pay claim within the client's coverage. 

After the Intake legal assistant interviews the client and completes the file, 
it usually takes about 30 days for all papers ordered to reach the file and then 
the same, in its entirety, is reviewed by our managing law partner who assigns 
the case to a trial attorney for further handling and negotiation. From that 
point on and during the entire tenure of the client's case in our files, the initial 
legal assistant, the assigned trial attorney and his secretary will handle all 
matters relevant to trial, damage statements, settlement sheets, etc. They are 
the three people whom the client will call for assistance with problems from 
time to time. However, a great deal of time is saved during the initial 30 days 
when the client experiences most of his problems and he can call the legal 
assistant directly so that the attorney is free to work on more urgent problems 
presented to him. 

Insofar as medical follow-up is concerned, this practice begins also in the 
Intake Department when the legal assistant completes a very thorough form 
which is analyzed and appropriate action taken. Thereafter, at regular intervals, 
the client is contacted for physical statements. When he has been the doctor or 
has an appointment for a specific date, we are alerted to write for a report at 
the proper time. This call to the client serves a dual purpose : it keeps him 
remin.ded of the importance of keeping his medical appointments and it makes 
him feel that we are constantly working on his case. Of course, information 
elicited at this time also alerts us to any new complaints or emergencies which 
may necessitate action on our part, such as being advised of specialists or 
hospitalization, of which we had no knowledge, etc., in order that we might elicit 
appropriate reports. 

The Intake assistants also maintain detailed check lists with all necessary 
;<form letters and applicable time tables, which prevents them from overlooking 
any of the many details necessary to a complete workup on the case. We also 
maintain a very extensive manual, which provides our legal assistants with 
detailed step-by-step procedures concerning the manner in which a case should 
be handled from its inception to its final disposition, and our clients are thus 
assured that essential steps are not overlooked in the press of a busy schedule. 
This manual is extremely explicit and detailed and insures that the individual 
working with the case can do so without constantly interrupting others for 
clarification. It consists of several hundred pages, and a sampling of the index 
indicates subjects devoted to Firm Policies, General Procedures, Investigation, 
Filing and Docketing Suits, Damage Statements, Depositions, Jury Lists, Inde- 
pendent Medical, Settlement Procedures, Interrogatories, and many other 
pi-ocedures. 

Also, a classification system has been set up by the lawyers whereby the Intake 
assistants can determine the nature of the case and whether or not that particu- 
lar case should get the so-called "deluxe" treatment, or a general routine treat- 
ment, whether or not investigation should be limited or investigation should 
only be done where specifically requested. This is very helpful in keeping our 
expenses to a minimum in a case where the potential recovery is minimal. 

We have prepared a little booklet entitled "Your Case and How We Handle 
It", which is given to each one of our clients by the Investigation secretary, and 
while she is preparing the file and getting her forms together and putting the 
necessary routine information on each sheet, the client is given an opportunity 
to read this booklet and to ask any questions. This pamphlet in simple layman's 
language, outlines to the client the manner in which his case will be handled 
by our firm, and he is advised whom to contact in the event of any problem. 
Over a period of time, we have found that certain questions will arise almost 
routinely, and we have attempted to answer these in simple and understandable 
terms. It explains items such as cash expense for which the.v are responsible; 
that they will be called from time to time by our legal assistants for up to date 
information ; they are requested to retain all exx)ense records, etc. An explana- 



S9 

tion is also given as to the functions of tlie various departments with whom 
he will (kill, !>uch as Investigation, Medical and Trial, and the need for inde- 
pendent depositions, and so forth. 

By having legal assistants working in specialized areas, under the direction 
of lawyers, with explicit written procedures, and a well organized system, we 
find a minimum of error and much more attention to detail than the average 
lawyer is able to devote to each and every case. As a means of illustration, I 
might add that although we handle a volume of personal injury cases per month, 
each one is thoroughly investigated, prepared, tried, if necessary, and concluded 
promptly and efiiciently with a staff of only 9 lawyers and our contingent of lay 
personnel. 

We believe firmly in the use of organized systems and procedures whereby 
we maintain a constant system of checks and counter-checks in order to avoid 
the overlooking of a statute of limitations, a trial date, or any other pending 
legal appointment. Every case in the office is listed on a Sched-U-Graph Board 
and a card for every client is placed on this board within 24 hours after the case 
is received. Each of the names is followed by a list of approximately 30 numbers 
and each number indicates a certain procedure to be followed, such an in- 
terviewing witnesses, police officer, taking photographs, filing, pleadings, etc. 
When a particular item has been completed, the person so doing places a colored 
tab over the number, the color indicating the individual assigned to that 
particular task. If the statute of limitations runs within a 6 month period, a 
red tab is placed beside the name. This alerts us as to the necessity of filing 
suit within the prescribed time. The cashes on the board which have not been 
filed are reviewed to determine whether a statute problem has arisen since the 
last review, and again, if the statute of limitations expiration date is within 
6 months, the case is red-flagged. From this board, a list is prepared periodically 
and given to each of the assigned trial attorneys. This points up immediately 
where cases have been allowed to lag and alerts the assigned attorney to re- 
view that particular case and attempt to bring it to a conclusion. 

In addition to a file, we maintain for each client a brochure, wherein is 
recorded the basic material which the trial lawyer will need for the preparation 
of a case for court, accident reports, photographs, investigation reports, medical 
reports, damage statements, loss of earning statements, etc. 

If a criminal hearing is to be held, one of the lawyers is alerted and he ar- 
ranges to attend with a court reporter so that any evidence adduced there will 
be available to the trial attorney when and if needed. 

The Docket Clerk makes arrangements with lawyers throughout the state to 
attend docket calls and set our cases for trial. To assist her in this, she maintains 
a docket board in her office where, at a glance, anyone can see when a case is 
set for trial and to whom it is assigned. She also keeps records indicating all 
cases set in various jurisdictions of the state. 

In general, these procedures were set up on a trial and error basis. In the 
beginning, we found that many of our foi'ms were becoming too complex and 
too detailed, and through a system of meetings and consultations, they were re- 
worked and revised until we achieved our present forms, which we find to be 
more or less ideal for our purposes. Of course, as the law changes, we have to 
make the necessary revisions to make them applicable. 

While it is my function to formulate the overall plans for office operation, 
individual units are given managerial responsibility when it is called for in 
their specific job. In this connection, many of the procedures and controls in 
various departments are initiated by the legal assistants working therein, but 
they are accountable to me for effective operation. However, each feels free to 
make suggestions for improvement in his department and gives recognition to 
the individuals working under him. 

Our Administrator holds weekly luncheon meetings with all lawyers and mem- 
bers of the Investigation Department and other management personnel, at 
which time problems that have arisen during the previous week and did not need 
to be settled on an emergency basis, are discussed and provisions made for like 
problems to be handled in the future according to a standard procedure. These 
standards are then incorporated in our Firm Manual. 

Also, bi-monthly meetings of all officers and bi-monthly meetings of the 
Executive Committee are held for the purpose of formulating procedural and 
financial policy. 

As Administrative Manager, with the help of an assistant, (who prepares 
drafts and processes almost all of the pleadings generated by our nine lawyers), 
we are responsible for all personnel, accounting, filing, mailroom and preliminary 
financial budgeting. 



90 

From time to time, we also hold meetings of all non-lawyer personnel, where 
grievances are aired and settled (although not always to eveiy one's satisfaction), 
and where new procedures are outlined and explained. Usually, this takes the 
form of an after-hours dinner meeting, for which the firm picks up the tab. 

Perhaps our most challenging management responsibility is that of developing 
our legal assistants. We try to hire people with an intellectually superior ca- 
pacity, who will respond to the challenge of a chance to do above average work. 
We try to enrich their jobs by giving them tasks that call for initiative and 
responsibility. We have found this program to be extremely successful and our 
tuni-over and absenteeism rate is far less than the national and local averages. 
We try to provide dignity and challenge to each person's job, to reward and 
encourage, and to respect the capabilities and contributions of each employee. 
Lawyers, legal assistants, secretaries and all other personnel treat each 
other with dignity and respect, and all suggestions are carefully received and 
evaluated. Each person feels that he is a necessary contributing element to the 
over-all welfare of the organization. 

Our lawyers, of course, make all the legal decisions and set the necessary 
guidelines. However, the actual step-by-step processing of a case from its 
inception to its conclusion is dealt with by our legal assistants. We feel very 
strongly that our method of operation has contributed greatly to the continued 
growth of our fii'm and the reputation which we enjoy in the community. 

Legal Assistants : A Means of Providing Quality Legal Services to the 
General Public at a Reasonable Cost 

(By Sally Fairbanks Administrative Manager of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen) 

Our law firm, which is located in Richmond, Virginia, with a metropolitan 
population of approximately 500,000 people, has for almost twenty years strived 
to constantly upgrade the quality of legal services rendered to its clients, while 
reducing the cost. As the case volume has multiplied, new attorneys have been 
employed, but the real increase in office staff has been in the area of paralegal 
personnel. We now employ nine lawyers and forty-five lay people. Such a five 
to one ratio is unusual in a law firm hut has permitted us to increase tre- 
mendously the services we are able to provide for our clients and at the same 
time significantly lower our costs. 

Until fairly recently, we were one of the few firms in the country to employ 
legal assistants to any great extent. There are a relatively few others like Lee 
Turner's firm in Kansas and Harris Morgan's firm in Texas, but these practi- 
tioners are definitely in the minority, although it is encouraging to see 
a trend in that direction. The average lawyer, we believe, is now beginning 
to recognize that if he wishes to render a high quality of service and do so 
without accelerating his expenses to a degree which is economically untenable 
both for him and his client, he must inevitably learn to depend more and more 
on legal assistants to bear the brunt of the myriad details which are a part of 
most legal cases, to say nothing of the hand holding necessary to make the client 
feel he is being represented to the best of the law firm's ability. 

The professions, in general, are now devising ways to maximize the efforts 
of the professional man and woman. Certainly, the medical field has provided 
an example in this area. Paramedical personnel new perfomi many supportive 
functions such as taking blood pressures or making preliminary physical exam- 
inations. The physician's load is consequently reduced, and he is free to take 
on the more urgent tasks required of him. In much the same way, paralegal 
heln can help reduce the attorney's burden. 

From the economic viewpoint of the individual, most personal injuries occur 
to a wage earner who can neither afford to miss a pay check or pay for ade- 
quate medical and hospital care. Without some form of assistance, such a wage 
earner will in many instances become a ward of the state. The enactment of 
financial responsibility laws which reflected society's concern over the destruc- 
tion wrought by the motor vehicle has led to imblic lialiility and proiierty dam- 
age insurance coverage on the great majority of motor vehicles. In a serious 
personal injury case, the plaintiff is generally in no physical condition to make 
intelligent decisions concerning his claim for some time after an accident. Most 
often he does not know the nature and extent of his injuries and neither does 
his doctor. He is certainly in no position to ascertain the true facts as to liability 
or to negotiate a settlement with an expert. He is usually aware, however, that 
the hospital, medical and other expenses will begin piling up and that it takes 



91 

money to pay them, and as time passes and the bills continue to accumulate, 
the Injured party certainly will not be in any better position to effectively 
negotiate without benefit of counsel. It was this need that gave rise to specialists 
on the plaintiff's side in personal injury litigation. 

Our lawyers, of course, make all legal decisions and set the necessary guide- 
lines in every case; that comes into the ofiSce. However, the actual step by step 
processing of a case from its inception to its conclusion is handled by our 
legal assistants. Clients who come to us are usually those who have just experi- 
enced emotional and physical trauma. Many of them have l>eeu deprived of 
their livelihood and their transportation. They are unable to pay their (hiily bills 
or purchase food and clothing. A majority are uneducated, underprivileged 
and unsophisticated. For these reasons, in order to determine the nature and 
extent of the client's problem and then to assist him in doing something about 
it, our legal assistants frequently spend five to ten times as much time with 
him as they would spend if one of you gentlemen were involved in a similai 
accident. 

We undertake to find the client transportation if his car has been so dam^ 
aged that it is inoperable, and we attempt to obtain the best salvage value for 
his automobile if it is completely demolished. We call pharmacies and physicians- 
as well as hospital credit departments and request that they wait until the case 
is concluded before presenting a bill. At that time, if there is any recovery, 
we will pay from the proceeds the costs of services rendered to the client.. 
Shoukl the client be totally destitute, we contact the welfare department and 
arrange for him to receive rent payments and food allotments until such time 
as he is able to return to work. We have had members of our staff take some 
of our clients to the doctors because they had no money and no means of 
transportation. If the client has an insurance policy which contains a medical 
pay provision, we try to collect this money for him so that he may use it 
for his day to day living expenses. All of these services are furnished to the 
client by our legal assistants, and no charge is made to the individual. 

Our legal assistants will also accompany clients to court, where necessary, 
and assist them in qualifying as administrators in death cases. In cases where 
infants are involved either as injured parties or beneficiaries, special steps are 
taken to aid them in investing their funds and setting up trusts through reliable 
banks and investment counsellors. Such safeguards prevent the unnecessary 
depletion of an infant's funds. 

The two areas most troublesome to our clients are recovery for property 
damage and medical payments, both first-party coverages. Insurance companies 
frequently dispute the value of damaged property and often claim that certain 
medical treatment was unnecessary. Without legal asisstance, the client would 
be reduced to accepting any offer the insurance company made in settlement, 
regardless of the actual value of the property or expenditures made by the 
client. Our legal assistants spend a great deal of time in securing documented 
evidence in order to justify the client's claims. 

We attempt to give the best advice to every individual who comes into onr 
offices. Sometimes this means explaining to him why we must decline to handle 
his case. Sometimes it means taking a case when we know we will make no 
profit. Although this sounds like an mii-ealistic policy, over a period of years 
we have found it to be the most profitable one for us. It is true that there are 
some cases that are not profitable from a monetary standpoint, and yet, the'^e 
are sometimes the cases which serve to establish a procedent so called land- 
mark cases — and over a period of years these precedents help to win many 
cases which follow. Under our contingent fee system, should a client have no 
case, he has the benefit of top flight legal assistance while incurring no obliga- 
tion to pay a legal fee. In any event, if there is any question, we always do a 
complete investigation of a case when the client comes to see us and determine 
whether if it is possible to effect a recovery. 

Because the legal assistants work so closely with the clients and are so 
familiar with their problems, they all take a personal interest in them. Fre- 
quently memoranda are circulated around the office to determine if we can 
collect outgrown clothing or other necessaries for needy families. We have 
legal assistants who periodically contact all of the clients whom we represent 
to determine how they are recovering and whether or not they are seeing 
their doctors and taking their medicine. Occasionally, we will find somebody 
who has stopped taking medication for the simple reason that he cannot afford 
to buy it. In these instances, we will contact cooperative drugstores and ask 
them to advance whatever medicines are needed and wait for the recoverv 



92 

at tlie outcome of the case. This contact serves a dual purpose. It keeps the 
client from continiTally telephoning the lawyer to aslv how his case is progres.s- 
ing, thus distracting the lawyer when he could l)e working on more urgent 
matters. At the same time, it gives the client the feeling that someone in this 
office is interested in his welfare, and is taking the time to contact him to 
make sure that he is getting along alright, and to bring him up to date on 
the status of his case. 

Thus our legal assistants help us to meet a great human need at a time whe'n 
the injured client has no one else to turn to. Investment in good will as well 
as human relationships is very worthwhile. From a business vie\^'point, those 
we have helped recommend us to friends and relatives. This is .a major source 
of continuing business, since most people do not get hurt a second or third 
time in automobile or related cases. 

From the inception of our specialization in personal injury cases up until the 
present time, we have charged a one third contingent fee. Because we operate on 
this basis, we are able to offer our clients immediate assistance with their 
problems without their having to worry about paying a retainer in advance. 
This one third contingent fee has never changed, but only because the volume 
of cases which we handle is so great and because so much of the work is per- 
formed by our legal assistants. For example, a lawyer whose charging rate is 
850 per hour is limited to eight to ten hours of work per day. At this rate, 
it is pos.sible that all of his time during this period would be devoted to one 
matter, if he were working alone. However, the same lawyer, with properly 
trained legal assistants, can organize the work to be performed on nine or ten 
matters so that lay personnel can do much of tlie groundwork, and the attorney 
can then review each matter. All of this can be done within the same eight or 
ten hour period. The paralegal aids perform the routine duties and research 
implicit in the completion of each matter, and the time can be charged at a much 
lesser rate than that of the supervising lawyer. 

If the American Bar Association should endorse the teaching programs of the 
various paralegal institutes which have sprung up throughout the country and 
on college campuses, I feel it is most important that the bar, either on a local or 
national level, should closely supervise such programs to insure that the indi- 
viduals are getting value received for their efforts and monetary expenditures. 
It would be best if these programs were made uniform so that a high level of 
competence on the part of each graduate throughout the country can be assured. 
Perhaps an examination of the type now given by the National Association of 
Legal Secretaries for the professional legal secretary's certificate should be 
administered to all candidates who wish to become legal assistants. A grand- 
father's clause might be Incorporated to include those who have five or jnore 
year.s' experience as legal assistants. This could entail endor.sements by local 
employei's or bar associations. However, even in this event, we feel strongly 
that some type of examination should be administered. Different lawyers require 
various levels of competence, and those persons not certified through examination 
might not measure up to the standards required. To insure adequate supervision 
by bar associations, a system of licensing might be inaugurated. This would also 
foster a sense of professionalism. 

As regards our staff, we constantly strive to upgrade the caliber of our para- 
legal assistants. We hire people with superior intellectual capacity who will 
respond to the challenge of an opportunity to do above average work. The tasks 
we give them call for initiative and responsibility. We try to provide dignity and 
challenge to each person's job and seek to reward, encourage and respect the 
capabilities and contributions of each employee. Lawyers, legal assistants^ 
.secretaries and all other personnel treat each other with respect, and all sug- 
gestions are carefully received and evaluated. Each person feels that he is a 
valuable contributing element to the overall welfare of the organization. All of 
our employees from lawyers to mail-room assistants participate in the many 
fringe benefits which tlie firm offers such as hospitalization, life insurance, disa- 
bility insurance, bonuses, and profit-sharing. This overall approach has been 
extremely successful, and our turnover and absentee rates are far less than the 
national and local averages. Coincidentally, INIrs. Fairbanks has just completed 
an article for tlie September is.sue of Trial ^Tagazine which lists in great detail 
the type of work which legal assistants perform in our offices. Although this 
article is too lengthy for us to discuss in depth, we are attaching a copy hereto 
in order to illustrate the extent to which legal assistants are being used in our 
office. 



93 

It is interesting to note that because a few of the firms that luoueered the legal 
assistant concept were primarily personal injury specialists, the misconception 
spread that only such a practice lent itself readily to the use of paralegal help. 
Within the last few years, however, such a notion has been largely dispelled. 
Currently, legal assistants are being employed to aid attorneys in the fields of 
corporate, tax% and real estate law as well as in other areas. The use of such 
well trained personnel in the law office will help maintain reasonable legal 
costs while preserving the qiuility of work produced. We feel this trend will 
greatly benefit the average consumer/client, who until now has feared seeking 
legal advice because of the prohibitive costs. But our ultimate goal is to furnish 
a necessary service to a strata of society formerly precluded access to legal 
help because of low income and poor education. 

YOUR CASE— AND HOW AVE HANDLE IT 

(Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen Professional Association, Richmond, Va.) 

This booklet was prepared for the client and, as far as he is concerned, we 
expect him to do certain things on his own behalf, as set forth therein. In actual 
practice, however, because of the overwhelming number of our clients who are 
underprivileged, we find that most of these problems must be taken care of by 
our Legal Assistants. We are now working on a revision of this booklet which, in 
several respects, is out-dated due to the fact that we have recently made a 
drastic revision in the manner in which our cases are processed (see copy of 
Article in "Trial" Magazine, which was written a few weeks ago, and is fairly 
current ) . 

To our clients : Realizing that this may be your first experience as a plaintiff 
in a personal injury case, we are setting forth the following in the hope that it 
may help avoid confusion on your part during the course of your association 
with us. 

This law firm is a professional association organized under laws enacted by 
the Virginia legislature. In no way does this form of organization affect the 
ability of the attorneys to give your case personal attention. 

We have been specializing in the personal injury field for many years, we have 
found that no personal injury case is routine, but we have worked out certain 
procedures that we may follow in each case. 

One 

Tour first contact with our office probably will be by telephone, at which time 
you will be referred to Mr. Wilbur Allen, or if he is not available, to one of the 
other lawyers in the office. 

Two 

When you are able to come in, you will probably see Mr. Wilbur Allen, who is 
in charge of taking in new cases. He also supervises the investiation department. 
He will talk with you at some length and if he is of the opinion that it will be to 
your best interest to continue, he will have you sign a contract of employment. 

This contract explains fully the attorneys' fee arrangement you have with this 
office, which is usually a percentage of the total amount collected. 

It will he necessary from time to time for this office to make cash disburse- 
ments on your behalf for investigation, preparation for trial, medical reports, 
court costs, costs of photographs, charges for long distance telephone calls, costs 
of cab fares for your trips to the doctor (if necessary), and other expenses. 
According to the Canons of Ethics of the legal profession, a lawyer may advance 
sums of money to take care of these costs but must look to the client for repay- 
ment. This usually is taken care of at the final disposition of the case. In event of 
recovery, such expenses are repaid in addition to the attorneys' fees. In event 
there is no recovery, there is no obligation to pay any attorneys' fee. but the 
client must make reasonable arrangements to repay the sums of money advanced 
to cover expenses. 

The C'avovs of Ethics of the legal profession are explicit in. forhidding an}/ 
nttorncys to make loans or sign notes for a client. Frequently, however, we can 
persuade creditors to withhold action for collecting liills pending disposition of 
the case. If you have any financial problems along these lines, please consult 
-us before your situation gets too critical. We may be able to help. 



41-375- 



94 

Three 

You will then be interviewed by our Investigation Department. Here detailed 
information will be obtained from you as to names of parties involved in acci- 
dent, what you know about how the accident happened, medical information in 
regard to your injuries, your personal history, etc. We cannot urge you too 
strongly to be entirely frank and candid in answei-ing all questions! All the 
information you give us will be confidential. The insurance companies have an 
index system on a nationwide basis which shows all of the people who have made 
claims for other injuries. If we don't find out first— the insurance company investi- 
gator will ! Please confide in us — and let us be the judge of whether or not 
it can hurt your case. 

Four 

Next you will be referred to our Medical Department headed by Mr. George 
E. Allen, Jr. Mr. Allen will discuss your injuries with you in detail, get the 
names of your treating physicians, etc. He will write a letter to each of your 
physicians and request hospital records and medical reports and all other 
information from medical sources to evaluate the nature and extent of your 
injuries. All during your case, the medical Department will be in touch with you 
from time to time to find out how you are feeling, when you saw your doctoi'S 
and what your specific complaints are in regard to your injuries. 

We have part time workers here who work each night from 5 to p.m. In 
addition to our regular employees, one of these part time workers may call you 
at night for a physical statement (questions about your injuries and complaints). 
If there is any doubt in your mind about the identity of the caller, ask him 
(or her) if you may call him back, hang up and dial our number. 

We wish to emphasize strongly the importance of keeping appointments with 
your doctors. Periodic reports from your doctors to this oflBce are vital to a proper 
evaluation of your case. 

In addition, Mr. Allen's department will give you certain forms which they 
will ask you to fill out and return to us periodically. He also wil ask you assist- 
ance in notifying his department of any canceled doctors appointments any change 
in your physical condition and will ask you to save all prescriptions, medicine 
bottles, etc. and bring them to our oflace. 

Five 

After the first interview in our office, the investigation department starts its 
investigation. The investigating police officer will be interviewed, along with all 
witnesses ; reports will be obtained from the Division of Motor Vehicles, and a 
thorough and exhaustive investigation of the facts will be made. The scene 
of the accident will be visited, diagrams drawn and pictures taken. After this 
investigation is completed, it will be decided by the attorneys in the ofiice 
whether or not we will be able to help you ; if a decision is made to accept your 
case, suit will be filed or negotiations started with the defendant's insurance 
company. You will be notified by personal contact or by letter if a decision is 
made that we cannot accept your case. 

Six 

When suit is filed (and sometimes before) your case will be assigned to one 
of the trial attorneys in our office. ( See last page of this booklet for list of trial 
attorneys). If you know one of them personally or have a strong preference, 
this will be considered when assigning your case to a trial lawyer, but the firm 
must reserve the right to assign work to the lawyer it selects. He will be in 
charge of your case from this point on to the conclusion. He will expect coopera- 
tion from you in keeping appointments. From time to time he will confer with 
other members of the firm about your case. 

A law suit may be a great inconvenience — there will be times when you will 
have to be off from work, but you may rest assured that we will arrange appoint- 
ments as conveniently as possible. Usually the first action the trial attorney takes 
when a case is assigned to him (after a thorough review of your file) is to contact 
the defendant's insiirance comj)any or the attorney for the company, in an 
effort to begin negotiations for a settlement out of court. However, before the 



95 

insurance company or its attorney can negotiate with us, tbcy must be furnished 
the fullowing information : 

Hospital records and reports from all of your treating physicians ; 
A detailed itemized list of all of the medical exi>enses and orlier expenses 
incurred by you, with substantiating evidence (original bills, receipts, can- 
celed checks, etc. ) ; 

A statement from your employer showing how much time has been lost 

from employment, or loss of salary ; An estimate or bill to show the amount 

of car damage involved. 

You can be of invaluable assistance to your attorney by forwarding copies of 

your medical bills promptly, keeping receipts for payment of such bills, promptly 

complying with any request for information, and by keeping all appointments 

that are made for you. 

In this connection, when you receive a lettter from this office I'equesting you 
to call us, please note the signature and ask for that person irhen you call. This 
"will save your time and ours in trying to locate the person who needs to talk 
to you. 

General Information 

In most of tlie local courts (Richmond and adjoining counties) it will be 
'approximately six months to one year from the time suit is filed before your 
case is actually tried. Even though most cases are settled out of court, this is. not 
usually accomplished until a few days before the trial date. It is important not 
to settle or try your case too soon, because in many cases the full effect of the 
injury is not apparent for some time. Whenever any settlement figure is dis- 
cussed by your attorney and the defense attorney, you will be contacted and the 
information developed passed on to you. 

Independent Medical 

After suit is filed in your case, the defendant has a right to have you examined 
by a physician of his choice. The insurance company will pay the cost of this 
examination and the doctor's report will be sent to the court with copies to us 
and to the defense attorney. Your lawyer will probably want to talk to you at this 
office before this examination. 

Interrogatories 

The defendant has a right to submit written questions through us, as your 
attorneys, to you about the law suit. These questions are called interrogatories 
and must be answered under oath. It is extremely important tliat your answers 
to these interrogatories be accurate. The trial attorney and his secretary will 
assist you with the preparation of these answers. 

Depositions 

The defendant has a right to take your deposition or that of any witnesses 
in the case. (We also have this right.) A deposition means that the defense 
attorney can question you orally before a stenographer about the accident and 
injuries. We will be present to assist you. It is important that you present 
a neat appearance, answer questions truthfully and lie brief. Don't volunteer 
information : don't estimate distances that you are unfamiliar with : and if you 
don't know the answoi-, simply say, "I don't know." Your lawyer will go over 
your testimony with you prior to the deposition. 

In tlie event the ease cannot be settled at a fair figure, we will proceed to 
trial. Before we go to trial, the two or three weeks leading up to the trial date 
are spent in detailed review and preparation of the case. All of the witnesses 
are interviewed again ; the photographs are enlarged if necessary ; confei-ences 
are held by the trial attorney witli each of the doctors : all of the medical bills 
and other expenses are brought up to date, and detailed conferences are held 
with you — the client. What you may expect at trial and what is expected of 
you will be explained to you in minute detail well in advance of going to court. 

We are frequently asked what to do about tiie property damage to your car. 
We usually suggested that you handle this with your collision carrier. Your 
carrier will then make a claim for reimbursement of the property damage 
against the guilty party. They will collect the property damage in full nnd return 
the deductible portion to you. By making the claim against your own collision 
carrier you will not cause your company to place any points against your policy 



96 

or in any way affect your good relations witli your own company. Also, this will 
not interfere with our handling of your personal injury claim against the 
guilty party. 

Conclusion 

It is impossible to call you on the phone every week or so and give you 
a report on your case or write you a letter that often. When something of im- 
portance happens in your case, we will advise you immediately ; otherwise, 
you can be assured that your case is following the normal course of preparation 
tiiat we have outlined here. But if you have a (piestion or need some advice or 
are concerned about some aspect of your case, do not hesitate to call the attorney 
who is handling your case. 

We hope this booklet will give you some idea of the way we handle your 
case and the length of time it will take before your case is concluded. 

Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen, 
Professional Association. 

Senator Tunney. Our next witness is Frank Dickey, executive 
director of the National Commission on Accrediting. 

The statement of Frank Dickey, executive director of the National 
Commission on Accrediting. 

Mr. Dickey. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. 
First of all, may I express my appreciation for your willingness to 
adjust the agenda of this hearing so that whatever the scheduling 
difficulties, they might be resolved. 

In the invitation of the subcommittee, it was suggested that the 
testimony presented by the National Committee on Accrediting might 
include responses to certain specific questions regarding the paralegal 
movement in the United States, as it relates to the responsibilities 
of the National Commission on Accrediting. 

I shall brief the statement that I have presented in writing and 
request that it be made a part of the record. 

Senator Tunney. Yes; your statement will be incorporated into 
the record as if read. 

STATEMENT OF FRANK G. DICKEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOE, 
NATIONAL COMMISSION ON ACCREDITING 

Mr. Dickey. I shall confine my testimony largely to responding to 
those specific questions that we raise for two reasons: 

First of all, I am not a qualified legal practitioner or legal educator 
and cannot speak for the legal profession either as to its present or 
future work force requirements, or specific training for that work 
force ; and 

Second, the National Commission on Accrediting is not an advocate 
of any professional organization, but an agent of some 1,300 accredited 
postsecondary institutions in helping the institutions to determine the 
ability and the appropriateness of professional bodies to accredit 
programs of instruction at the institutions. 

Briefly, my responses to the enumerated questions would be as 
follows: 

The first question: what efTect, if any, would accreditation of train- 
ing programs have on developments in the paralegal area? 

I think it's important to say that accrediting standards for any 
l)rogram of study should be ada])ted only after thorough analysis 
ajid validaiion, and should be subjected to continual analysis and 
review, to insure that thej^ are appropriate, consistent and sound for 
the purposes for which they are employed. 



97 

The policies, procedures and techniques of all accrediting agencies 
and organizations should be subject to the same analysis validation 
and review. And this latter is the primary business of the National 
Commission Accrediting, acting in behalf of the member institutions. 

If the paralegal movement in this country has been adequately sub- 
jected to all of the foregoing and the proposed minimum standards 
have been found by the profession, the institutions, and the general 
public to meet the basic requirements of quality for all three — then 
Ave feel the program is probably ready for accreditation. 

If, on the other hand, the program of education for this profession 
is still being experimented with to determine what elements it should 
contain to produce the best product, then it should not be separately 
accredited as a professional educational program. 

The second question raised was: Should institutions which train 
paralegals be accredited ? 

And the answer to this, in our opinion is "Yes."' The institutions 
delivering the education should be regionally accredited, or accredited 
by one of the agencies recognized by the National Commision on Ac- 
crediting or by the U.S. Commissioner of Education. 

This is diii'erent, however, from saying that the specific program 
or courses of paralegal training should be sejoarately accredited. 
Regional accreclitation bespeaks to the general public the minimum 
overall quality of an institution is sound. Specialized or programmatic 
accreditation usually meets the more stringent requirements of State- 
imposed or profession-imposed requirements leading to licensure or 
certification to practice a profession following completion of the 
jDrogram of instruction. 

Those institutions of a proprietaiy nature, which either are not 
eligible for accreditation through the above-mentioned channels, or 
who do not clioose to seek accreditation, should not be excused from 
some type of third-party evaluation. In my opinion, it behooves all of 
us in education to insist that State bodies responsible for authorizing 
operation of programs of education must be responsible for insuring a 
minimum of quality in those programs. 

A profession itself, in meeting its self-reg-ulation responsibility, 
should insist that education for that profession — whatever and where 
offered — be of at least minimum quality. 

The third question that was raised is: Who should control ac- 
crediation if it is done ? 

And I would have to say that I think "control" is a pejorative word, 
and I am not sure this question should be stated yviih such finality. 
The total concept of accreditation is based on voluntarism and co- 
operation. In the case of regional institution-wide accreditation, the 
responsibility for the process should, without a doubt, lie with the 
institutions themselves. 

For specialized accreditation, in which category paralegal would 
fall, control is a cooperative responsibility of the institutions and the 
profession. And the process should have sufficient injiut from students, 
faculty, the general public, and other professions and disciplines to 
insure its qualitj^ and its equitableness. 

I should also add that, if this question is meant who should be 
recognized to conduct paralegal accreditation, it becomes an un- 
answerable question at this time. Thus far, no professional organiza- 
tion has applied to the National Commission on Accrediting formalh', 



I 98 

to accredit such instructional programs. We have held, informal dis- 
cussions with representatives of the American Bar Association, the 
National Paralegal Institution, the Office of Economic Opportunity, 
and the director of one of the paralegal programs at a sizable eastern 
university. 

Of these, only the representatives of the American Bar Association 
have indicated an intent to file an application from National Commis- 
sion on Accrediting recognition to accredit legal assistants programs. 

I understand the training program proposed for legal assistants 
might dift'er somewhat in concept, as well as name, from paralegal 
education as defined by others; but our organization has not yet in- 
vestigated these differences. 

The nc?ct question that was raised is: Is this tlie proper time to 
implement such accrediting procedures ? 

And again, if the proposed programs have been in existence long 
enough and have been instituted at enough institutions under guide- 
lines cooperatively applied by the institutions. And the products of 
these programs are meeting the needs of society and the profession 
as determined by both, then the programs probably are ready to be 
evaluated via the accrediting mechanism. 

On the other hand, if the profession has not reached common agree- 
ment on the minimum competencies which should be imparted to 
students; and, if students enter the programs with false hojies of 
employability following completion, then the programs should be 
studied further before forcing them into somewhat more narrow chan- 
nels of accreditation. 

It would seem to the National Commission on Accrediting that a 
project such as that recently begun by the American Association of 
Community & Junior Colleges, in which paralegal programs will 
be instituted at a number of institutions and studied over a 4-year 
period, is the ideal way to establish both the reliability and validity 
of a program's comj^onents. 

Accreditation at the end of such a trial period usualh' contains far 
fewer unknowns with their concomitant problems than programs not 
given sufficient time to develop. 

If, however, there is an urgent, present, and increasing need for 
pai'alegal personnel, and a several-year delay for testing would create 
a disservice to the general welfare, both the profession and the insti- 
tutions would be derelict in not moving rapidly ahead with plans for 
accredited programs. 

Finally, what are the National Commission on Accrediting's plans 
in this area and by what standards would you make these cleter- 
minations? 

As I've indicated, the question is a moot one at this point because t)ie 
commission has not been pi-esented a formal application for recogni- 
tion to accredit or to recognize such programs. If and when such an 
application is presented, we will follow our stated procedure for all 
such applications. 

First, an ad hoc subcommittee, consisting of five members of the 
board of commissioners of the National Commission on Accrediting, 
will be convened to study the application and all written material 
presented with it. Representatives of the petitioning body will be 



99 

invited to appear before the subcoinniittee to present any new material 
and to answer questions from the reviewing body. 

Any official body or private citizen opposing the application may 
also present written material in advance of the review and also appear 
at the review hearing. The review body applies stated criteria for 
recognition in arriving at its recommendations. A copy of the stated 
criteria is attached and becomes a part of this testimony. 

The reviewing subcommittee reaches a consensus and drafts a report 
of its deliberations, including recommendations to be presented to the 
full board of the National Commission on Accrediting at his next 
regular meeting. The recommendations of the review committee may 
range from full recognition for a 5-year period, which is the maximum 
for any accredited body recognized by National Commission on 
Accrediting, to denial of recognition. 

Intermediate recommendations may include recognition for any 
period of time less than 5 years — in yearly increments — with stipula- 
tions that certain procedural, operational, or financial changes must 
be made within the organization during the period of recognition. The 
published status of the applicant is that of listing with the dates the 
organization was first recognized by the NCA and the date it was last 
reviewed. 

All agencies recognized by the National Commission on Accrediting 
must be totally rereviewed at the end of their recognition period with 
all of the actions applicable for initial recognition applying to the 
re review. 

Tlie full board of commissioners of the National Commission on 
Accrediting may accept, modify, or reject the recommendations of the 
review subcommittee. Applicants for recognition may be present 
during deliberations by the board of the subcommittee's recommenda- 
tions. All decisions of the board are without prejudice, and any appli- 
cant may appeal a decision as provided for in the bylaws which are 
attached or may reapply for recognition at the next annual meeting of 
the board. One-third of the membership of the 30-person board of 
commissioners changes each year. The current membership of the 
board of commissioners is attached and made part of this testimony. 
Presently, there are five unfilled positions on the board, 

Mr, Chairman, I hope I have responded as fully as possible to the 
questions posed in the letter of invitation to appear. If there should be 
further questions, I would be happy to respond to them. Thank you. 

Senator Tfxney, Well, you did reply very fully. And I appreciate 
the detail with which you responded to the questions. 

[Discussion off the record,] 

Senator Tuxxey. Do you have accredited programs where the train- 
ing is accomplished on the job ? 

Mr. Dickey. Actuallv. Senator, we do not accredit the program our- 
selves. The National Commission is a coordinating and monitoring 
bod}', recognizing the other agencies that do accredit. But there are 
agencies that are recognized by the National Commission on Accredit- 
ing, which do have some programs which encom.pass certain on-the-job 
training possibilities. But I know of no accredited program, accredited 
by any of our recognized agencies, that is totally based on an on-the- 
job approach. 



100 

For example, there are what are Imown as co-op programs, where 
you have some studies and some work, and the combination of the two 
would be accredi table. But, for a total on-the-job program, I do not 
know of any that are recognized agencies that accredit such programs. 

Senator Tunney. What role, if any, do you see for the Federal 
Government, if it seeks to insure that the paraprofessional movement 
bring down the cost of legal services? 

Mr. Dickey. I think the role of the Federal Government in this 
probably would, as you've already indicated earlier, be one of provid- 
ing assistance for individuals who are planning and who are going 
through the preparation program for legal assistants, or paralegal 
persomiel. And, if the Federal assistance is available to those persons 
taking such training, obviously, I think there would have to be certain 
eligibility requirements for the Federal assistance. And, at this point, 
I think the Federal Government would have a viable and rightful role 
to play in connection with this. 

Other than that, I would have to agree with the previous witness 
who indicated that probably, as an interested observer more than any- 
thing else. But it's only at the point that the Federal assistance is 
involved. 

Senator Tunxey. Several witnesses today have called for a com- 
prehensive study prior to implementing an accreditation program. 

Do you favor such a study ? 

Mr. Dickey. Yes. I think that is wise to have a sufficient amount of 
information and background about the variety of programs, variety 
of courses, of j)eop]e involved in them — ^be sure that the accrediting 
standards are sufficiently broad to cover all of the variety of pro- 
grams ; and also that the programs would then be of real value to the 
X:)ublic and the students themselves. 

Senator Tunney. Who do you think should conduct such a study ? 

Mr. Dickey. I think it should be a cooperative effort of the pro- 
fessions involved— the legal profession — perhaps with the American 
Bar Association, the American Association of Law Schools having 
some input into the study committee; the paralegal profession itself, 
the individuals perhaps, through one of the organizations, the 
National Institute or some other. And I would strongly favor having 
some lay participation on the committee that would make such a study. 

Senator Tunney. Isn't such a study presently contemplated — a 
broad-based study ? 

Mr. Dickey. So far as I know, no study has been brought to the 
point of a sufficient amount of planning for anyone to be able to out- 
line it and know exactly what it might encompass. 

Senator Tuxxey. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Dickey. We 
appreciate your testimony, and tliank you for reading your statement 
so quickly. It was a good statement. 

Mr. Dickey. Thank you. 

Statement by Frank G. Dickey, Exeoutia-e Director, Natioxat, CoM>risRiox 
ON Accrediting, Before the Subcommittee on Representation of Citizens 
Interests of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Tuesday, July 
23, 1974, 10 A.M. 

^Ir. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, my name is Frank G. Dickey 
and T am the Executive Director of the National Commission on Accrediting, a 
positiim which I have held since 1965. 



101 

I am presenting testimony on behalf of the Association which I serve as cliief 
executive and at the invitation of the subcommittee chairman. He asked that 
the testimony include responses to certain specific questions regarding the 
paralegal movement in the United States as it relates to the responsibilities of the 
National Commission on Accrediting. 

I shall conhne my testimony largely to responding to those specific questions 
for two reasons: 1) I am not a qualified legal practitioner or legal educator and 
cannot speak for the legal profession either as to its present or future work force 
requirements or specific training for that work force, and 2) the National Com- 
mission on Accrediting is not an advocate of any professional organization but 
an agent of some 1300 accredited postsecondary institutions in helping the in- 
stitutions to determine the ability and the appropriateness of professional bodies 
to accredit programs of instruction at the institutions. 

My responses to the enumerated questions are as follows : 

1. \Vhat effect, if any, would accreditation of training programs have on 
developments in the paralegal area V 

Accreditation, by its inherent nature of being an evaluative process, and 
evaluation by its nature, indeed by its definition, requiring some entity to meas- 
ure, mu.<t impose minimum standards or criteria as a measuring base. Such 
minimum criteria, usually promulgated and generally accepted by both educators 
for and practitioners of a profession, should not prevent nor inhibit innovation 
and exiierimentation above a minimum level. But, sometimes they do. 

Accrediting standards for any program of study should be adopted only after 
thorough analysis and validation, and should be subjected to continual analysis 
and review to ensure that they are appropriate, consistent, and sound for the 
purposes for which they are employed. The policies, procedures, and techniques 
of all accrediting agencies and organizations should be subject to the same 
analysis, validation, and review. The latter is the primary business of the 
National Conmiission on Accrediting. 

If the paralegal movement in this country has been adequately subjected to 
all of the foregoing and the proposed minimum standards have been found by 
the i>rofession, the institutions, and the general public to meet the basic requii'e- 
ments of quality for all three — then the program is probably ready for accredi- 
tation. If, on the other hand, the program of education for this profession is still 
being experimented with to determine what elements it should contain to produce 
the best product, then it should not be separately accredited as a professional 
educational program. 

2. Should institutions which train paralegals be accredited? 

The answer is yes, the institutions delivering the education should be region- 
ally accredited or accredited by one of the agencies recognized by the National 
Commission on Accrediting or the U.S. Commissioner of Education. This is dif- 
ferent from saying that the specific program or courses of paralegal training 
should he separately accredited, however. Regional accreditation bespeaks to 
the general public the minimum overall quality of an institution ; specialized 
or programmatic accreditation usually meets the more stringent requirements of 
state-imposed or profession-imposed requirements leading to licensure or certi- 
fication to practice a profession following completion of the program of instruc- 
tion. The absence of state requirements for licensure to practice a profession — a 
requirement incidentally that should be established solely to protect the public 
against incompetence and fraud — should be an evaluating principle in recogniz- 
ing professional organizations to accredit educational programs. Accreditation 
should not be an exclusive mechanism or requirement for membership into a pro- 
fessional organization or association nor the sole criterion for certification of 
competence by a profession. Neither the National Commission on Accrediting nor 
the U.S. Oflice of Education is absolutely pure in applying this principle but the 
Natioiml Commission on Accrediting has tried to contain the proliferation of 
specialized accrediting agencies by applying it. 

Those institutions of a proprietary nature which either are not eligible for 
accreditation through the above-mentioned channels, or who do not choose to 
seek accreditation, should not be excused from some type of third-party evalu- 
ation. In my opinion, it behooves all of us in education to insist that state 
bodies responsible for authorizing operation of programs of education must be 
responsible for insuring a mininumi of quality in those programs. A profession 
itself, in meeting its self-regulation responsibilit.v, should insist that education 
for that profession — -wherever offered — be of at least minimum quality. 

M.v personal bias, after a lifelong career in education, is that when we are 
dealing with a human product — which is the totality of education — we who are 



102 

shainng the product must periodically and voluntarily subject our "dealings" 
to a peer review and evaluation. Those purporting to practice the art but not 
willing to do this must then be subject to non-voluntary evaluation by a dif- 
ferently sanctioned body. No one should be allowed to "freelance"' with the minds 
(and, incidentally the funds) of other human beings under the guise of insti- 
tutionalism. 

3. Who should control accreditation if it is done? 

"Control" is a pejorative word and I am not sure this question should be 
stated with such finality. The total concept of accreditation is based on volun- 
tarism and cooperation. In the case of regional, institution-wide accreditation, 
the responsibility for the process should, without a doubt, lie with tlie institu- 
tions themselves. Institutional accreditation is a profession-oriented (education), 
peer-group, self-regulating mechanism and has worlied marvelously well in 
American higher education for more than one hundred years. With some up- 
dating of policies and px'ocedures which, incidentally, are taking place, and with 
continued experimentation and validation of new tools for measuring quality, such 
accreditation still stands as the most viable mechanism for protecting educa- 
tional consumers in a free society. 

As another aside, but substantiating tlie point just made, other nations now 
interested in instituting similar accrediting systems and with whose representa- 
tives we in NCA have met during the past year include Brazil, Korea, the 
Philippines, Germany, Canada, and Viet Nam. 

For specialized accreditation, into which category paralegal education would 
fall, "control" is a cooperative responsibility of the institutions and tlie profes- 
sion and the process should have sufficient input from students, faculty, the 
general public, and other professions and disciplines to insure its quality and 
its equitableness. 

If by Question No. ,3 is meant who should lie rccnynlzccl to conduct paralegal 
accreditation, it becomes an unanswerable question at his time. Thus far, no 
professional organization has applied to the National Commission on Ac- 
crediting for recognition to accredit such instructional programs. We have held 
informal discussions with representatives from the American Bar Association, 
the National Paralegal Institute, the Offiec of Economic Opportunity, and the 
director of one of the paralegal programs at a sizeable Eastern university. Of 
these, only the representative of the American Bar Association have indicated 
an intent to file an application for NCA recognition to accredit "legal assistants" 
programs. I understand the training program proposed for legal assistants 
might differ somewhat in concept as well as name from paralegal education 
as defined by others but the NCA has not as yet investigated the differences. 

4. Is this the proper time to implement such accrediting procedures? 

Again, if the proposed programs have been in existence long enough and have 
been instituted at enough institutions (20-25) under "guidelines" co- 
operatively applied by the institutions, and the products of these programs are 
meeting the needs of society and the profession as determined by both, then 
the programs probably are ready to be evaluated via the accrediting mechanism. 
Also, if the educational program is a popular one in terms of numiiers of students 
enrolling or wanting to enroll and numerous institutions Ijegin offering 
the program of instruction without there being any degree of consistency or 
evaluated quality in the programs, then again accreditation becomes nece.ssary 
to jirotect the student from inferior programs and the public from in- 
competent practitioners. 

On other hand, if the profession has not reached common agreement on the 
minimum competencies which should be imparted to students and students enter 
the programs with false hopes of employalulity following completion, then the 
programs should be studied further before forcing them into the somewhat more 
narrow channels of accreditation. 

It would seem to the National Commission that a project such as that recently 
begun by the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges in which 
paralegal programs will be instituted at a number of institutions and studied 
over a four-year period is the ideal way to establish both the reliability and 
validity of a program's components. Accreditation at the end of such a trial 
period usually contains far fewer unknowns with their concomitant problems 
than programs not given sufficient time to develop. 

If. however, there is an urgent present and increasing need for paralegal 
personnel and a several-year delay for testing would create a disservice to the 
general welfare, both the profession and the institutions would be derelict in 
not moving rapidly ahead with plans for accredited programs. 



103 

5. What are the National Commission on Accrediting's plans in this area and 
hy wliat standards would yon make these determinations? 

Tlie question is a moot one at this point because the Commission has not 
been presented a formal application for recognition to accredit such programs. 
If and when such an application is presented we will follow our stated pro- 
cedure for all such applications. An ad hoc subcommittee consisting of five 
members of the Board of Commissioners will be convened to study the application 
and all written materials presented with it. Representatives of the petitioning 
body will be invited to appear before this subcommittee to present any new 
material and to answer questions from the reviewing body. Any oflicial body or 
private citizen opposing the application may also present written material in 
advance of the review and also appear at the review hearing. The review body 
applies stated criteria for recognition in arriving at its recommendations. (A 
copy of the stated criteria is attached and becomes a pai't of this testimony.) 
The reviewing subcommittee reaches a consensus and drafts a report of its 
deliberations including recommendations to be presented to the full NCA 
Board of Commissioners at its next regular meeting. The recommendations of 
tlie review committee may range from full reco.gnition for a five-year 
period (maximum for any accrediting body recognized by NCA) to denial of 
recognition. Intermediate recommendations may include recognition for any 
period of time less than five years (in yearly increments) with stipulations that 
certain procedural, operational, or financial changes must be made within the 
organization during the period of recognition. The published status of the appli- 
cant is that of a listing with the dates the organization was first recognized by 
NCA and the date it was last reviewed. All agencies recognized by NCA must 
be totally re-reviewed at the end of their recognition period with all of the actions 
applicable for initial recognition applying to the re-review. 

The full NCA Board of Commissioners may accept, modify, or reject the 
n^commendations of the review subcommittee. Applicants for recognition may be 
l)resent during deliberations by the Board of the subcommittee's recommenda- 
tions. All decisions of the Board are without prejudice and any applicant may 
appeal a decision as provided foi- in the Bylaws (attached) or may reapply for 
recognition at the next annual meeting of the Board. One-third of the member- 
ship of the 30-person Board of Commissioners changes each year. (The current 
membership of the Board of Commissioners is attached and made a part of 
this testimony. Presently, there are five unfilled positions on the Board.) 

Mr. Chairman and subcommittee members, I hope I have responded fully to 
the questions posed in the letter of invitation to appear. If there are further 
questions I shall be happy to respond to them. Thank you. 



National Commission on Accrediting 

CRITERIA for recognized ACCREDITING ORGANIZATIONS 

The National Commission on Accrediting will recognize only one organization 
to acci-edit institutions in a defined geographical area of jurisdiction and one 
organization to accredit programs of study in any one field of professional spe- 
cialization. In seeking recognition by the Commission, and in order to maintain 
recognition, an organization engaged In accrediting will be judged on the fol- 
lowina; criteria : 

1. It is a voluntary, nonprofit agency serving a definite need for accreditation 
in the field of higher education in which it operates, and which is responsilde to, 
and controlled by, institutions, excent in special circumstances, that are — or are 
adjudged eligible to become — constituent memliers of the National Commission 
on Accrediting. 

?.. In the case of an organization concerned with a particular professional 
field of study, except in special circumstances, (a) it is engaged in accrediting 
programs of study offered primarily by institutions which are eligible for member- 
ship in one of the regional accrediting associations, (b) it makes continual and 
reasonnlile efforts to coordinate its accrediting procedures and information on 
visits with the several resrional accrediting associations, aiid (c) it limits itself 
in accrediting to those professional areas with which it is directly concerned 
and relies on the regional associations to evaluate the general qualities of insti- 
tutions. Willingness of organizations to communicate and share pertinent in- 
formation with other accrediting organizations is es.sential to continued rec- 
ognition. 



104 

3. Tlie organization lias an adequate organizational pattern and effective 
procedures, consistent with the Code of Good I'ractice in Accrediting in Higher 
Education, to maintain its operations on a professional basis and to make pos- 
sible the I'eevaluation, at fixed intervals, of the various programs of study. 
Accreditation decisions should be made l>.v groups having an appropriate balance 
of interests representing the institutional programs, the profession, and the 
pul)lic. 

4 The organization has financial resources necessary to maintain accredit- 
ing operations in accordance with its published policies and procedures. 

."). The organization publicly makes available: (a) current information con- 
cerning its criteria or standards for accrediting, (b) reports of its operations, 
and (c) lists of institutions with accredited prcjgrams of study. 

(5. The organization reviews at regular intervals the criteria by which it 
evaluates institutional programs of study, in order that the criteria shall both 
support constructive analysis and emphasize factors of critical importance. 

7. The decision making process regarding accreditation should he ade(piately 
descril)ed, and the appeals procedures should be clearly stated. Both of these 
proces.ses should be consistent with the Code of Good Practice in Accrediting. 

H. The organization jirovides a means whereby representatives of the National 
Commission ou Accrediting may review and consider with officials of the orga- 
nization all of its accrediting policies and practices. The recognized organization 
agrees to file such reports as the National Commission on Accrediting, at its 
discretion, may reipiire. 

0. Except within the stated limits of the Code of Good Practice in Accrediting 
an<l items listed under Criterion 5 (above), all data, reports, and actions are 
confidential information. 

10. The professional organization notifies the president of the institution 
when the organization plans to evaluate a program of study at an institution. 

(Adopted April 1,11)67.) 



National Commission on Acckediting 
code of good practice in acceediting in higher education 

Any organization conducting accrediting activities in higher education should 
follow the guidelines of the Code of Good Practice. Under this Code, the organ- 
ization agrees : 

(a) to evaluate or visit an institution or program of study only on the expi-ess 
invitation of the president or his officiall.v designated representative, or, when 
the action is initiated by the organization with respect to an institution already 
accredited by the organization, with the specific authorization of the president 
of the institution or his officially designated representative ; when an accrediting 
agency desires to visit and evaluate an accredited institution, failure by that 
institution to extend an invitation may be interpreted as an indication of lack 
of interest in a continuation of the accreditation ; 

(b) to permit the withdrawal of a requei^t for initial accreditation at any 
time (even after evaluation) prior to final action; 

(c) to recognize the right of an institution or program to be appraised in 
the light of its own stated purposes so long as those purposes demonstrably fall 
within, and adequately reflect, the definitions of general purpose established 
by the organization ; 

(d) to consider a program or programs of study at an institution, including 
its administriition and financing, not on the basis of a single pi-edetermined pat- 
tern but rather in relationship to the operation and goals of the entire institution ; 

(e) to I'ely upon the regional accreditation for evaluations of general quality 
of an institution ; 

(f) to state relevant quality criteria for accreditation with respect to the 
principle of institutional freedom ; 

(g) to use only relevant, qualitative and quantitative information in its 
evaluation process ; 

(h) to assist and stimulate improvement of the educational effectiveness of 
an institution, and to this end to be prepared to provide consultative assistance 
wliich wduld l)e separate from the accrediting process ; 

(i) to encourage sound educational experimentation and innovations; 



105 

(j) so to design questionnaires and forms as not only to obtain information 
for the visiting examiners but also to stimulate an institution to evaluate itself; 

(k) to conduct any evaluation visit to an institution by experienced and 
qualified examiners under conditions that assure impartial and objective judg- 
ment, including representation from the stall's of other institutions ofiering 
programs of study in the liekls to be accredited ; 

(1) to avoid appointment of visitors who may not be acceptable to an insti- 
tution ; however, the accrediting agency should have linal authority in the 
formation of committees ; 

(m) to cooperate with other accrediting agencies so far as possible in sched- 
uling joint visits when an institution so requests ; 

(n) to provide for adequate consultation during the visit between the team of 
visitors and the faculty and staff of an institution, including the president or his 
designated representative ; 

(o) to provide adequate opportunity for inclusion of students in the inter- 
viewing process during accrediting visits ; 

(p) to provide the president of an institution being evaluated an opportunity 
to become acquainted withe the factual part of the report prepared by the visiting 
team, and to comment on its accuracy before final action is taken ; 

(q) to consider decisions relative to accreditation only after an opportunity 
has been given to the president to submit comment,, as provided in (p), and when 
the chairman of the visiting team is present or the views of the evaluation team 
are otherwise adequately represented ; 

(r) to regard the text of the evaluation report as confidential between an 
institution and the accrediting agency, with the exception that it may be made 
available, by the agency which prepared it, only to other recognized accrediting 
agencies by which the institution has been accredited or whose accreditation it 
is seeking. 

(s) except as privided in (r) to permit an institution to make such disposition 
of evaluation reports as it desires ; 

(t) to refrain from conditioning accreditation upon payment of fees for pur- 
poses other than membership dues or actual evaluation costs ; 

( u ) to notify an institution as quickly as possible regarding any accreditation 
decisions ; 

(v) to revoke accreditation only after advance notice has been given to the 
president of an institution that such action is contemplated, and the reasons 
thei-efor, sufiicient to permit timely rejoinder and to provide established proce- 
dure for appeal and review. 
Adopted April 1, 1967. 

Bylaws 

ARTICLE V 

Other Committees 

Sec. 1. Such other committees as are necessary or desirable for the operation 
of this corporation may be appointed by the President with the approval of the 
Executive Committee, except that a Nominating Committee of three persons 
shall be appointed each year by the President at least thirty (30) days prior to 
the annual meeting at which meeting it shall make its nominations to the Board. 

Sec. 2. Inasmuch as one of the powers of the Board of Commissioners is that of 
considering and taking appropriate action on requests for recognition from 
various accrediting organizations, it is deemed appropriate to provide a procedure 
for appeal in the event an applying organization should desire to question the 
decision of the Board. In such an event, a special committee on appeals shall be 
appointed by the President of the Commission. This committee shall be composed 
of a representative from the governing board of each of the constituent member- 
ship organizations of the Commission, other than members of the Board of the 
Commission. The President of the Commission shall serve as chairman of this 
special committee on appeals. Any organization indicating its desire to appeal 
action of the Board shall present its case, with all supporting evidence, to the 
Boai'd within sixty (60) days after notification of action by the Board. Publica- 
tion or public announcement of adverse decisions of the Commissioners shall be 
withheld until the expiration of the period allotted for appeal. Decisions of the 
special committee on appeals shall be deemed to be final. 



106 

Board of Commissionees — National Commission on Accrediting 
< Terms extend through annual meeting of year indicated.) 

American Association of Community and Junior Colleges 

IDTo. — George L. Hall*, Executive Director, State Community College Board, 
Educational Building, Room 123, 1535 West Jefferson, Pheonix, Arizona 85507. 

1976. — Stuart E. Marsee, President, El Camiuo College, Via Torrance, California 
90506. 

1977. — Robert H. Parker*, President, Wesley College, Dover, Delaware 19901. 

American Association of State Colleges and Universities 

1975. — Norman A. Baxter, President, California State University, Fresno, 
Fresne, California 93710. 

1976.- — James Gemmell, President, Clarion State College, Clarion, Pennsylvania 
16214. 

1977. — Leo W. Jenkins*, Chancelloi', East Carolina University, Greenville, 
North Carolina 27834. 

Association of American Colleges 

1975. — Duncan Wimpress*, President, Triuitv University, San Antonio, Texas, 
7S2S4. 

1976. — ^Chaiies H. Watts, II, President, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, 
Pennsylvania 17S37. 

1977. — Glenn S. Dumke*, Chancellor, The California State University and 
Colleges. 5670 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90036. 

Association of American Universities 

1975. — Duncan Wimpress*, President, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, 
Washington. D.C. 20017. 

1976. — John Hubbard*, President, University of Southern California, Univer- 
sity Park, Los Angeles. California 90007. 

1977. — Charles LeMaistre, Chancellor, University of Texas System, Austin, 
Texas 78701. 

Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges 

1975. — Lloyd M. Cofer*. 202 Administration Building, Michigan State Univer- 
sity, East Lansing, Michigan 48823. 

1976. — John William Pocock, 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1103, Bethesda, 
Maryland 20014. 

1977. — Alexander M. Bracken, Ball Corporation, 1.509 South Macedonia 
Avenue, Muncie, Indiana 47302. 

Association op Urban Universities 

1975. — Robert H. Spiro, President, Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, 
Florida 32211. 

1976.^Philip G. Hoffman, President, University of Houston, Houston, Texas 
77004. 

1977.— Lloyd H. Elliott*, President, The George Washington University, Wash- 
ington, D.C. 20006. 

National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges 

1975. — Jolm C. Weaver, President, University of Wisconsin System, Madison, 
Wisconsin 53706. 

1976. — Willard L. Boyd*, President, University of lovpa, Iowa City, Iowa 
52240. 

1977. — Bruce Dearing*, Vice Chancellor, State Universitv of New York, Albany, 
New York 12201. 

Federation of Regional Accrediting Commissions of Higher Education 

Ex officio.— Jack K. Williams*, President, Texas A&M University, College 
Station, Texas 77843. 



107 

Council of Specialized Accrediting Agencies 

1976. — Thomas J. Giiiley, Secretary, Council on Dental Education, American 
Dental Association, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois GOijll. 

1[)77. — Kenneth G. Picha, Dean, School of Engineering, University of Massa- 
chusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002. 

107."). — John C. Spores*, Program Specialist, Division of Standards and Ac- 
creditation, Council on Social Work Education, 345 East Forty-sixth Street, New 
York, New York 10017. 

Senator Tunney. The next witness will be Prof. Thomas Qiiiiin, 
chairman of the Committee on Legal Assistants. Association of Ameri- 
can Law Schools. 

STATEMENT OF THOMAS M. QUINN BEFOEE THE SUBCOMMITTEE 
ON REPRESENTATION OF CITIZEN INTERESTS COMMITTEE ON 
THE JUDICIARY, U.S. SENATE, JULY 23, 1974 

Mr. Qt^iXN. My name is Thomas M, Quinn. I am a member of the 
New York bar and a professor of law at Fordham University in New 
York City. I am presently serving as chairman of the Committee on 
Legal Assistants of the Association of American Law Schools. It is the 
f miction of this committee to study, report and make recommendations 
regarding developments in the paralegal field. It is as chairman of this 
committee that I have been requested to appear and testify. 

At the outset I would note that I do not speak for the Association of 
American Law Schools. Only the Executive Committee is empowered 
to speak for the association and to date no official positions have been 
taken. The Executive Committee, however, has requested that its 
Committee on Legal Assistants survey developments in the paralegal 
field and develop a set of guidelines for the association and its member 
law schools. To this end, a comprehensive report is being prepared by 
this committee which is now in the final stages of drafting and will be 
submitted to the Executive Committee and to the deans of the various 
law schools. To this end, a comprehensive report is being prepared by 

In my testimony I shall confine myself to the questions suggested by 
Senator Tunney in his letter of July 2, 1974, which invited me to 
testify. I will attempt to reflect the opinions with which my colleagues 
on the Legal Assistants Committee are in general agreement and 
which will be articulated later in the final report of that committee. 

At the outset let me note one general observation. My committee 
colleagues strongly support the paralegal deA-elopment and feel that it 
holds promise of a wider and more efficient distribution of legal serv- 
ices. To this end the committee will encourage both the Association 
of American Law Schools and the individual law schools to lend their 
influence and assistance to this new and important development in 
the law. 

On the specific issue of accreditation, the first of the four issues 
suggested by Senator Tunney, the prime concern of our committee is 
that the training of paralegals remain flexible. If there were one 
dominating concern of the committee, it was that. Flesibilitj^ is needed 
to accommodate to the wide variety in types of paralegals to be trained 
and to accommodate to different pedagogical approaches that may be 
employed. There have been short term intensive training programs, 
continiiing legal education type training programs, a variety of on- 
the-job training programs and a large number of degree oriented 
2-year programs at the junior colleges, to name but a few. 



108 

There are tliose who favor the training of a legal general ist with 
the curriculum oriented to basic training in a variety of legal subjects 
with a view to turning out a highly adaptable paralegal. And there 
are those who favor the concentration of training on the deli^•ery of 
one or two very higlily sj^ecialized and very precise skills. Among 
those favoring specialization, in turn, there are a variety of quite 
different approaches. Some focus on one area of the law, such as 
bankruptcy or the corj^orate business structure, wliile others focus on 
the development of particular skills, such as interviewing or court 
calendar control. 

Also, there are different definitions of the role of the paralegal in 
the delivery of legal services. Some, for example, see the paralegal 
strictly as a support person for the lawyer with little or no client 
contact, while others see the paralegal as the point of fii*st contact, 
while others see the paralegal as the point of first contact with the 
client. 

The result is a variety of approaches to the problem of training the 
paralegal, depending on the objectives and sometimes the philosophy 
of the trainer. In view of the embryonic nature of the paralegal pro- 
fession this variety of approaches seems healthy and should be en- 
couraged. 

Accreditation, unfortunately, is a two-edge sword. On the positive 
side is the fact that it recognizes the paralegal as professional and 
that it acknowledges that an accredited program has value and is 
reasonably related to the tasks that will confront the paralegal later. 
Whether these assurances are grounded in fact presents a problem, to 
be sure, but where they are validated, accreditation does serve an 
important purpose. 

On the negative side is the fact that the accrediting process runs 
the risk of fixing the lines of development within the field in an 
overly rigid manner. Thus, in an effort to secure the benefits of accredi- 
tation, a paralegal program may forego innovative strategies and 
training programs. 

In the light of this, it is perhaps premature to consider establishing 
formal accreditation programs at this time. The paralegal develop- 
ment is still too recent and still too tentative to introduce factors that 
might reduce the flexibility so necessary to a healthy development. The 
American Bar Association in August 1973, promulgated the guidelines 
for the approval of legal assistant training programs. These guidelines 
are expressly designed to cover only one tye of paralegal training 
program — that is, the 2-year, full-time, postsecondary program. More- 
over, they ai'e designated as guidelines and do not purport to be ac- 
creditation rules. Yet these guidelines have had, in my judgment, a 
profoundly directive influence, with the result that the bulk of para- 
legal training is now taking the form of 2-year training programs in 
junior colleges. Whether this is a good thing or not is subject to some 
dispute. 

I am not prepared to enter that dispute but it does seem important 
to recognize the fact that even the best intentioned efforts to accredit 
one type of program cast something of a pall on other unaccredited 
programs — a result which is doubly unfortunate where there is no 
clear consensus on how paralegals are best instructed and where the 
situation requires a great deal of flexibility. 



1U9 

When accrediting becomes appropriate, we believe that the accredit- 
ing agency should contain representatives of all the constituencies 
involved : the bar for one, paralegals for another, the public, and 
legal educators. To this end, the committee will recommend to the 
Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools 
that it lend its influence to the establishing of a broad based paralegal 
accrediting organization. 

On Senator Tunney's second question regarding the law school's role 
in the training of paralegals, I would make two points. 

The first goes to the question of whether the law schools should 
themselves directly train paralegals. On this, the consensus at present 
would seem to be that they should not. There has been no strong 
movement of the law schools into the direct training area, regardless 
of the form that training may take. 

Some few law schools have been active in this field, to be sure, but 
their efforts have been of an experimental nature and as yet have 
found no strong resonances in the law school community. j\Iy general 
assessment of the situation is that the law schools are not eager to 
undertake the direct training of paralegals, at least at this time. 

My second point goes to the question of how the law schools should 
relate to those other agencies and individuals who are assuming the 
burden of the training of paralegals. Here there is little doubt that the 
law schools have an important role to play. On this point the com- 
mittee will suggest that the law schools and their faculties : 

1. Assist these agencies in dealing with the bar and other public 
agencies in the area of the law school. 

2. Encourage members to serve on advisory committees of these 
agencies. 

3. Assist in curricidum development, research and in the direct 
teaching of paralegals at these agencies. 

4. Monitor and contribute to legislative developments in the para- 
legal area. 

5. Open the law school facilities, especially the library, to paralegals. 

6. Where feasible, incorporate the paralegals into existing clinical 
training programs at the law schools. 

Senator Tunney's third inquiry goes to the role of the law schools 
in training lawyers to work with paralegals. 

There is little doubt that the law schools have serious responsibilities 
in this area, which can only increase with the growth and acceptance 
of paralegals as part of the law office team. How this obligation is to 
be discharged, however, is not so easy. 

A first step is to inform faculty and students of developments in the 
paralegal field. 

A second step will be to suggest, where feasible, the incorporation of 
paralegals into the law school's clinical programs with a view to 
teaching law students and paralegals how to work together in the 
context of a working law office situation. 

A third step will be to suggest to law faculty members, teaching in 
areas where there is recognized use for paralegals, to incorporate into 
their course instruction on the uses of paralegals. 

Beyond this, the committtee will suggest the formation of an agency 
within the Association of American Law Schools designed to advise 
the law schools and the executive committee of the association, on a 

41-375—74 8 



no 

continuinir basis, in this area and to serve as a clearinghouse for the 
exchange of information. It is lioped that this will serve to inform, 
CMicourage, and suggest approaches for tlie better instruction of faculty 
and students on how to best work with paralegals. 

Senator Tunney's fourth and final (luestion goes to the issue of how 
developments in the paralegal field should be coordinated. 
^ If coordination is understood not in the limited sense of voluntarv 
cooperation but means to connote a power to direct developments in 
the field, our committee has not discussed this as a possible develop- 
ment. I assume that members of my committee would he opposed to 
this type of nonvoluntary coordination, since it would have the in- 
evitable effect of introducing rigidities into the paralegal field where 
flexibility is considered to be of the utmost importance to a healthy 
development. 

However, if by coordination is meant simply communication and 
cooperation on a voluntary basis between those involved in paralegal 
developments, few would deny either its value or its current need. 

How this is to be accomplished is the hard problem. Our committee 
has not addressed itself to this problem beyond the suggestion that 
the association's executive committee seek out and work with those 
agencies involved in the movement to provide accreditation in this 
field with a view to assuring broad based representation of all con- 
stituencies in the accreditation process. However, I have little doubt 
that the committee which I chair and the AALS itself would welcome 
efforts leading to the better and voluntary coordination of efforts. 

"\^niat has agitated the committee has been the need for coordination 
on the level of the various law schools. To this end the committee will 
suggest the formation of a permanent and funded agency within the 
Association of American Law Schools to coordinate individual efforts. 
It will also suggest that each law school designate a faculty member 
to serve in a liaison capacity with the central committee. It is hoped 
that this mechanism will open lines of communication and coopera- 
tion within the law school community, which is something that is 
largely lacking at the present time. 

Thank you. 

Senator Tui^xey. Thank you. Mr. Quinn. 

The hearing will be adjourned. 

[Hearing adjourned at 1 :35 p.m.] 



APPENDIX 



(111) 



Office of Economic Opportunity, 
Executive Office of the President, 

Washington, B.C., July 18, 1974. 
Hon. John V. Tunnet, 
U.S. Senate, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Senator Tunney : The statement below is in answer to your request of 
July 3 that the Office of Economic Opportunity submit a written statement on its 
experience with the use of paralegals in the delivery of legal services and its 
views on the accreditation of training programs and licensing of paralegals. 

The Office of Legal Services of OEO utilizes the skills and services of over 
1100 paralegals including VISTA and other volunteers in the delivery of legal 
services to the poor. Under the supervision of an attorney, paralegal personnel 
perform a wide variety of job functions including outreach, particularly to the 
elderly, intake interviewing, legal research, investigation, preliminary negotia- 
tion and liearing advocacy before administrative proceedings where lay repre- 
sentation is permitted. 

Because of the increase in the demand for services without a matching addi- 
tion of resources, local legal services offices have increasingly turned to the use 
of paralegals for assistance in handling routinized legal services such as in bank- 
ruptcy and family separation cases and have placed greater reliance on a system- 
ized approach which makes use of standardized forms. Both training and super- 
vision of paralegals are structured to this approach. As a result of this experi- 
mentation, the number of paralegals has doubled in the past two years. 

In addition to providing more services without higher costs, the increased 
use of paralegals has had additional important effects. It has provided for better 
rapport between the attorneys and the client community. 

There is a shortage of minority and of bilingual attorneys. As sensitive as they 
are to the problems of clients created by their poverty, nevertheless, it is some- 
times difficult for clients to relate to attorneys who do not speak the language 
or come from the same backgrounds. Paralegals who come from the community 
and have more time to spend with clients are often able to establish an empathy 
and trust which increases both the effectiveness of the lawyer and client satis- 
faction. A constant problem faced by legal services programs is the turn-over of 
attorneys. Paralegals serve to ameliorate this problem by relieving the attorneys 
of much of the routinized non-legal work and thus prevent loss of attorneys 
caused by overwork. Because paralegals stay longer than attorneys they also 
provide much needed continuity to programs. 

Since the development of the paralegal movement is such a recent phenomenon, 
it appears that both the accreditation of training programs and/or the licensing 
of paralegals may be premature at this time. While it is necessary to prevent the 
development of fly-by-night institutions which falsely hold out promises of jobs 
for their trainees and to protect the public from the unauthorized practice of 
law, it is equally important that any action taken will not be so rigid as to dis- 
courage experimentation by responsible legal services programs and others just 
at a time when traditional views of delivering legal services in both the public 
and private sectors are being reevaluated. Legal Services is still in the process 
of testing and evaluating training programs which will best meet its needs. Since 
economy of limited resources is essential, the focus of training has been to pro- 
vide the necessary substantive knowledge and skills in very specialized areas. 
Rigid standardization which colud result from accreditation could impose on both 
programs and paralegals additional requirements that are irrelevant to the 
delivery of quality legal services, and retard neede<l ndditional experimentation. 

TTe feel, for example, that there has been insufficient testing of on-the-job 
training under close attorney supervision accompanied by Intensive skills train- 
ing related to specific needs of the job as contrasted with academic training. Our 
primary concern has been with maintaining necessary supervision of paralegals, 
with clear delineation of areas where a paralegal may function without attorney 
review as distinct from situations in which a paralegal can exercise discretion. 

(113) 



114 

We are finding that a work situation in wliicli consultation by paralegals with 
an attorney is a normal and routine occurrence is often more important than 
training programs divorced from a work situation. 

With the impending creation of the new Legal Services Corjwration, any deci- 
sion on accreditation should be left until it has had an opportunity to examine 
the problem and make recommendations since it will be a major user of para- 
legal services. 

If either an accrediting or licensing body is created it should be as broadly 
representative as possible of those with interests involved. The Community Ac- 
tion experience of maximum participation of all elements of the community in 
attacking problems and achieving goals for the poor has demonstrated the viabil- 
ity of the participation concept as evidenced by its adoption in other areas such 
as education and health. A body with accrediting authority for paralegals should, 
at the least have representatives from the paralegals, consumers of services such 
as religious and charitable organizations and unions, educators, and attorneys 
from both the public and private sectors. Any action on this question should also 
be reserved until the Corporation has had an opportunity to review the issue 
and make its views known. 

If this office can be of further help, please let me know. 
Sincerely, 

Alvin J. Aenett, 

Director. 



Paul D. Carrington. 
University of Denver, 

June 9, 197J,. 

I have been asked to speak about law school curricula and paraprofessionalism. 
I hope that you will indulge me if I enlarge the topic to include not only all 
law school programs, but others elsewhere in higher education. I suppose that 
this reveals a flaw in my professional competence. I am minded of T. R. Powell's 
observation that a lawyer is someone who can think of something that is 
inextricably related to something else without thinking about the something 
else. Try as I might, I have not been able to think about law schools without 
thinking about universities and colleges. 

In thinking about the role of higher education in the development of para- 
professionalism, I would first urge the importance of an appropriate modesty 
about what we can expect to achieve. It is, of course, very American to suppose 
that social problems, especially those involving social justice, will yield to an 
educational solution. But we do seem to be learning otherwise in recent years. It 
is increasingly apparent to all of us that we don't really know very much about 
learning or teaching. For example, we don't really know how to teach all children 
to read. ^lost of them do learn, but increasing the number who do is easier said 
than done. It would be paradoxical if, as we attain some modesty in our expecta- 
tions for primary education, we should launch new and unfounded expectations 
for the even more mysterious processes of higher education. 

Indeed. I would suggest that some of the travail of colleges and universities in 
the last decade has been caused, in some small part at least, by excessive claims 
for higher education. Perhaps there is some poetry in the fact that Clark Kerr, 
the leading exiwnent of the all-purpose multiversity, was one of the first casualtiei? 
of the turmoil. If we are to px'ofit from his experience, we should exercise some 
care in proclaiming high expectations as to the ability of higher education to 
restructure the system for the delivery of legal services. 

I believe that it will be helpful to our perspective on paraprofessionalism In 
higher education to consider first the experience we have had with legal profes- 
sionalism in the universities. A candid, long-viewed appraisal of tlie last century 
of legal professionalism will suggest. I submit, some <>f the reasons why we should 
not l>e too sanguine about the possibility of using higher education to promote a 
benign paraprofessionalism. I hope Ihat what I have to say will not be taken as 
a proclamation that law scliools and those who made them are malign. But I 
am about to suggest that all that has occurred in legal education in the last 
centur.v is not necessarily in the pul)lic interest. 

In order to tote up the costs and benefits of formal legal education as we now 
know it, it is necessary to contrast two alternatives which have been tried in this 
country and elsewhere. The direct method of providing for legal services is simply 
to allow anyone to perform any service he wants for whatever price he can com- 
mand without regard to training. This was characteristic of frontier America, 
at least in some places. It was the method, I believe, that was generally favored 



115 

by the Populists, and had the force of constitutional law in Indiana as recently 
us 1031. It is today the method favoied in China, except that sucli lay advocates 
are not usually paid. It is un-Chinese now, as during the dynasties, to intercede 
with officials for pay. While we Americans, committed as we are to the free 
market system, tend to be shocked by this approach, it is not all bad. It is cheap, 
it tends to keep the legal system simple, and to reduce the amount of social strife. 
I need not dwell on its disadvantages. 

A second alternative to professional higher education is the more familiar 
apprentice system. Brother Plncus and his minions, and many others are now 
striving to restore some elements of the apprentice system to legal education as 
we know it, and they may be making modest headway. Apprenticeship was prob- 
ably a fairly effective means of assuring minimal quality of services, and was 
cheap in the extent to which it permitted training with less foregone income. 
Again, I will not dwell on its limitations, which are quite well known. 

Early American University legal education was not organized with the purpose 
of displacing these alternatives. Early legal education here, as elsewhere in most 
of the world, was general education. Thomas Jefferson was the most effective 
exixment in the early nineteenth century of law as a liberal art. While it was 
certainly in Jefferson's mind that rigorous university training might lay a founda- 
tion for good governance and wise judgment by the political leaders of the society, 
he did not contemplate a narrow careerism for his university students, nor did 
he suppose that such high quality general education would be required of all 
who participate in the delivery of legal services. 

The idea of professionalized university training in law really took root at 
Harvard in mid-century and did not gain a firm hold until about one hundred 
years ago. The problem that we are here examining today is, in a sense, the result 
of the tremendous success in the marketplace of the concept of academic profes- 
sional credentials which emerged from that marriage of professionalism and 
higher education. The idea has grown steadily in two directions. First, Tuiiversity 
training in law has grown to require a commitment of seven academic years. 
Second, it has grown to become pre-emptive ; the commitment is required of 
virtually all of those who provide professional legal services. The reason that 
this expansion has occurred, almost inexorably, has been that it was to tlie mutual 
advantage of all the professionals involved, socially, economically, psychologically, 
and politically. But has it been, as we have hoped, beneficial to the public? 

There are certainly some apparent disadvantages. One is that by increasing the 
status and income expectations of the professionals, we have probably helped to 
increase the cost of their services. At the same time, we have had the unintended 
effect of screening out of the system the offspring of the poor and disadvantaged. 
This may have had some significant social and economic consequences with regard 
to the social mobility of some segments of the society, and it has probably been 
politically disadvantageous in creating a shortage of qualified voices to speak 
for the disadvantaged groups in the corridors of power. We are. of course, now 
striving to make some corrections in this regard by means of so-called ".special 
admission" programs. But, desirable and necessary as these programs are, they 
are a source of understandable indignation, and their necessity is an unfortunate 
consequence of the close relation between higher education and legal 
professionalism. 

Another kind of cost of professionalism in higher education is the impact on 
general education. This is speculative. But I think that few would deny that 
there is some tension between general education and specific professional goals. 
There is an unfortunate tendency of professional schools to discount the worth 
of other disciplines and law schools have, at times, almost consciously and 
deliberately advanced the idea that the humanistic concerns of the liberal arts 
have little or no place in professional work. In this way. we may actually have 
i-educed the benign effect of widespread higher education on our courts and 
l)ublic institutions. Particularly insofar as we have advanced and promoted the 
myth that law is the queen discipline and lawyers omnicompetent to solve public 
issues without regard for the learning of others, we have done harm. 

At the same time, however, it is possible that the elements of general education 
which have survived the professionalization of law have caused a different kind 
of harm to our students' clients. There is now some data and some literature 
which tend to confirm that elite higlier education can induce delusions of grandeur 
which unfits those who have experienced it from performing mucli of the world's 
work. Overtraining can, in short, produce job dissatisfaction, which leads to sloppy 
work. It is at least possible that some of the recent protests of judges about the 
quality of trial practice in the United States is owing, if it is based in fact, to 



116 

this phenomenon. For myself, I have no doubt that general education and special 
education can be reconciled. Indeed, Karl Llewelyn has taught us that this is 
the goal of legal education. But, I confess, it is a goal that it is ditlicult to 
achieve and we have not always achieved it. 

xVgainst these costs of connecting legal professionalism with higher education, 
what benefits can we weigh V They are imponderable, to say the least. Perhaps 
our government has improved significantly, or perhaps it is significantly better 
than it would be were it not for the professional law schools. INIore questionably, 
perhaps the quality of services delivered to individual clients may have been 
improved as a result of professional university training. But this would be 
impossible to demonstrate. We are essentially in the same position as the medical 
profession, although ours is less embarrassing. The fact embarrassing to university 
medical education is that, despite the vast investments of money and professional 
time invested in it, its quality does not seem to result in noticably improved 
public health. 

The medical analogue is frequently used in these discussions, and I think that 
the fact which I have just stated bears a little illumination. It does seem to be 
true that most of what can be done to lengthen life, reduce morbidity, and 
improve health, are things which public health officials do, not things which 
private physicians do. Cleaning up the water supply is at least half of what 
we know how to do that helps. European countries tend to spend significantly 
less on medical education and some of them, I believe, really do the job f)f 
training doctors on the cheap. But they seem to get just about the same results 
as far as longevity or morbidity is concerned. 

Indeed, to be harsh, one might say that American medical education has been 
a public disaster. Higher education in professional medicine has contributed to 
an appalling increase in the cost of health care. We have also created expecta- 
tions of income, and actual professional incomes, which have had a dehumanizing 
effect, our doctors now tend to be entreprenuers and executives, many of whom 
have lost much of their capacity for human relationships with the sick. Indeed, 
we can observe the phenomenon that economists describe as reverse elasticity : 
doctors are paid so well that they work shorter hours and provide fewer services 
than they would if the rewards were less handsome. And so many of our needs 
are left to be filled by imported doctors, trained at the expense of the governments 
of underdeveloped countries, who have very limited capacity to relate to the 
poorer Americans who are left to their care. Efforts are being made to correct 
some of these consequences by reducing the cost and length of medical training 
and increasing the number of doctors. But meanwhile I would proclaim a mora- 
torium on talk that holds up medical professional education as some kind of a 
model to be pursued for law. 

It is with these thoughts about professionalism in higher education that I turn 
to the consideration of the possible future of paraprofessionalism in the same 
precincts. Let me begin by listing several reasons, based on the experience just 
described, which suggest that higher education should stay away from para- 
professional training. I will then suggest some contrary reasons and describe one 
program which I have helped to design which, in my judgment, offers substantial 
promise of being useful. 

My first reason for not engaging colleges and universities in the development 
of paraprofessionalism is that the proposed benefit to the public in the improved 
availability of legal services is too speculative. The degree of uncertainty varies 
with the particular kind of training contemplated, but there are two general 
observations about the supposed benefits which can be made. 

One is that the increase in the supply of available services may not reduce the 
price significantly unless there is a free market at work. It is far from clear that 
the market for legal services is a free market. Indeed, to the extent that the 
consumers of legal services are paying for the status of the professionals, the 
force of market competition is largely neutralized by the invulnerability of a 
semi-monopolistic elite. In other words, the economic benefit conferred would not 
accrue so much to the clients, but would accrue in larger measure to the elite of 
the bar, who would be enabled to cut their production costs without reducing 
the price. Something like this may have happened in the limited or controlled 
market for medical services. Improved higher education for medical paraprofes- 
sionals does not appear to have notably diminished the cost or improved the 
quality of medical services, as much as it may have enhanced the incomes of 
doctors. In short, there is a danger that universities would be granting, from 
their scarce resources, a subsidy to prosperous law firms. 



117 

A second general observation is that a reduction in the price of legal services, 
if it were attainable, is a questionable goal for institutions of higher education. 
It is, after all, not the kind of goal that most such institutions were created to 
solve. Perhaps the opportunity to contribute to the solution of such a problem 
imi>oses an obligation on us to do so if we can. But at least we are obliged to ask 
whether this is the best use of public or private charitable resources. The AALS 
Study assumed, as most of us liere do, that the availability of legal services is a 
higli priority. But full candor would require us to acknowledge that reasonable 
observers can doubt the goal. Thus, one might ask whether the clients who are 
intended to benefit from the expenditure by getting cheaper service would not 
prefer to receive their share of the money invested in the form of cash in hand. 
It really is a little glib of us to assume tliat the widespread availability of cheap 
legal services would, like tlie gentle spring rain, bring a flowering of social justice 
and human satisfaction everywhere. 

Let me reinforce this question or concern about the goal by referring to what 
seems to me to be a quite interesting comparison between the very similar 
functions of the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration. 
Both of those agencies administer disability programs which are almost identical 
in their substantive legal provisions. But Social Security proceeds with a high 
level of professionalism ; there are many lawyers in the agency and many more 
who appear to represent clients. The V.A. on the other hand, is highly amateurish. 
There is little or no judicial review, little or no due process, and no professional 
representation. Such advocacy as there is is practiced by representatives of 
the American Legion or the V.F.W. who generally have no training at all, and 
their advocacy is entirely informal and off the record. Which of these systems 
is better for the clientele? I admit that I don't know for sure. Surely some 
clients benefit substantially from the kind of representation they receive in 
social security and attain benefits that some bureaucrat would otherwise deny. 
On the other hand, this costs money which might otherwise be distributed in 
the form of slightly higher benefits for all. And it is at least possible that the 
social security claimants who leave the field of litigation with hard-won benefits 
are more alienated by the impact of the adversary proceeding than are the 
veterans who are ratlier arbitrarily denied any benefits at all. At any rate, it 
is not clearly productive of human happiness to urge each disability claimant 
to fight for every last cent of benefit to which he may be entitled. Anyone 
experienced in litigation would agree that most litigants lose, in the sense that 
any benefit they obtain in the form of a favorable judgment is more than offset 
by the cost in money, time, and ego involvement. 

To the extent that the paraprofessional movement proceeds from the assump- 
tion that all advocacy is good, it is at the polar extreme from the ancient 
Chinese philosophy, which is not altogether lacking In wisdom. In dealing with 
questions like the one that is before us today, the Kianghsi Emperor expressed 
the oriental view thus : 

"Lawsuits would tend to increase to a frightful amount, if people were 
not afraid of the tribunals, and if they felt confident of always finding in 
them ready and perfect justice. A man is apt to delude himself concerning 
his own interests, contests would then be interminable, and the half of 
the Empire would not suflice to settle the lawsuits of the other half. I 
desire, therefore, that those who have recourse to the tribunals should 
be treated without any pity, and in such a manner that they shall be 
disgusted with law, and tremble to appear before a magistrate." 
The good subjects, the Emperor said, would settle any difficulties between 
them like brothers by referring them to an elder. As for those who are trouble- 
some, obstinate and quarrelsome, let them be ruined by the law courts — that is 
the justice that is due them. 

Doubtless the Elnperor would reject the idea of flooding the world with trained 
advocates, and, I suggest, he would not be entirely wrong to do so. 

A second concern which universities and colleges might share is a negative 
of the first. If we were to enjoy substantial success in driving down the price 
of legal services, this would tend to undermine the economic position of our law 
school graduates. Particularly for universities with law schools this would be a 
troublesome biting of the feeding hand. But even with those who are not troubled 
by loyalty to their own offspring might take pause to consider the consequences 
of economic insecurity for a large segment of the bar. One consequence would 
be to place even greater strain on professional standards of behavior. For those 
who have not read Jerome Carlin's little book about Lawyers On Their Own, I 
commend its insight into the relationship between income and ethics. The prob- 
lem is not one to be wholly ignored. 



118 

A third reason for contending tliat universities and colleges should not involve 
themselves in paraprofessioualism is also related to the first in that it bears 
on the financial cost of the training. In the foregoing discussion, I have expressed 
what might be described as macroeconomic concerns about the allocation of 
public resources. But there are also microeconomic concerns about the impact 
of formal paraprofessional training on the family budgets of prospective 
paraprofessionals. Formal training is costly, especially if the trainee is in 
re.sidence and is foregoing income. To the extent of these costs, there is a deter- 
rence to entry into such work. This deterrence will not be equally effective 
on all classes of citizens. The offspring of the poor will be more deterred than 
the offspring of the middle class. Thus, there would be a tendency, demonstrated 
by our experience with professional education, for formal training to make the 
para professions more a preserve of the middle class. There would be a brake on 
social mobility. A trend toward increased cost of access, credentialization, and 
middle class homogeneity, once set in motion, may have some tendency to accel- 
erate. Experience predicts that any identifiable group of paraprofessionals that 
may emerge will clamor for ever higher levels of protection in the form of 
increased academic credentials requirements. There is little in our experience 
to suggest that the creation of such requirements will serve the interests of the 
public at large. 

A fourth reason for possible opposition to the involvement of higher education 
in the development of legal paraprofessioualism pertains to the inteitiction 
between the institutions and the particular educational tasks which may be 
involved in developing paraprofessioualism. Simply stated, university training 
may be somewhat counterproductive. 

The dominant goal of many institutionsi of higher education, including most 
of those which maintain professional law schools, is to maintain an environ- 
ment which is supportive of inquiry. The idea of general higher education is that 
young adults can advance their maturity and increase their capacity to lead 
gratifying Lives by pursuing their curiosities, developing their sense of wonder, 
and enhancing the rigor of their thinking. This idea is simply not compatible 
with a very narrow careerism, which sei-ves the students' urge to acquire saleable 
skills by the most effec*tive and economic means possible. To l)e sure, as I have 
noted, some professional schools have enjoyed limited success in bridging the 
chasm between general and applied education. 

A major consequence of our inability to achieve greater success is that much of 
the socialization that occurs in the university setting does not relate to the 
training needs. In part, this is only a harmless expense. But, as suggested by our 
experience, it may be harmful in producing job dissatisfaction and bad work. 
It is reasonable to feel this concern more sharply with regard to less demanding 
paraprofessional work. Thus, I would suppose that it would be a bad idea to 
train auto assembly line workers in a university. Not only would it be unduly 
expensive, but our graduates would not be likely to be very good assembly line 
workers when we were done with them. Indeed, not only would they not })e im- 
proved in their work by reason of their exposure to the university environment, 
but they probably would not receive a very effective dose of the liberal arts tradi- 
tion, either. At the least, it would l»e a very great challenge to the teachers to 
present the human experience through the prism of assembly line training. With 
more particular regard for legal paraprofessioualism, William Statsky has noted 
that the tendency of law schools to insist on the notion that there are few final 
answers to qeustions about law may be prone to unfit their graduates, at what- 
ever level, orf the perorfmance of rote legal tasks. 

Related to this fourth concern is a fifth which also emerges from the awkward 
relationship between the goals of much higher education and the career goals of 
prosi)ective paraprofessionals. This has to do with the status of the paraprofes- 
sional students and their relationship to professional students, professionals, and 
others in the emerging social hierarchy. On the one hand, as the Columbia ex- 
perience demonstrates, there can be serious morale problems for the students, who 
may not accept the lines of class and status cheerfull.v. And, on the other hand, 
it may be difficiilt for the college or university to staff a program of paraprofes- 
sional training with individuals who are prepared to participate in the scholarly 
enterprise as academic peers. This is a problem that would be likely to grow over 
time as the novelty of the paraprofessional program declines. 

Finally, permit me to express a sixth concern about paraprofessioualism which 
is quite unrelated to the others. It is a concern that is not exclusively identified 
with the role of higher education, but it is a concern to which institutions of 
higher education should be especially keen. It is at least possible that the evolu- 



119 

tion of pai-iiprofessionalism will teucl to dehumanize our legal system and our 
public institution. It is certainly possible reasonably to believe that this has 
happened to medicine. And I personally look with much suspicion at the increased 
use of para-judges in our courts, and the delegation of judicial duties. Our judges 
are hnding it increasingly congenial to delegate the dirty work (dare we say the 
real work'/) of judging, as they acquire more the role of executives who marshall 
their staff resources. I fear that we may be losing something important in this 
development. And there could be some similar fear about the analogous develop- 
ment in law offices. I am not expressing merely the fear of dehumanizing client 
relations. 

The greater danger may be that we are dehumanizing the work. Not only is 
there a threat to the dignity of the paraprofessional, but we should wonder about 
the professional wisdom and judgment of the class of super-professionals who 
will never soil their hands or strain their tempers with the drudgery of routine, 
who think no thoughts but great ones. There is some truth, I suspect, in some 
assertions unearthed for us by Lester Brickman. He found the words of Thomas 
Jefferson's mentor, George Wythe that "It is only by drudgery that the exact- 
ness, accuracy, and closeness of thought so necessary for a food lawyer are en- 
gendered." And the words of Abraham Lincoln that "If anyone shall claim an 
exemption from the drudgery of the law, his case is a failure in advance." There 
is more than romance in the idea that the architect should also lay at least some 
of the brick. However much we architects might prefer to avoid such tediums, 
they are an important contact with the human condition, an important reality 
therapy, if you will. This is, to be sure, not an argument against the MTST 
typewriter, or other efficiencies in work assignments. But it is a question, an 
important question about the propriety of humanistic institutions embarking on 
courses of training which are designed to produce tight hierarchies in work. 
There are perhaps hierarchies enough without our deliberately trying to make 
more. 

All of these concerns are real ones, I believe. Together they make quite a 
strong case against a broad-guage, unselective effort by higher education to 
promote legal paraprofessionalism. But most of these concerns or objections are 
not applicable with equal force to all forms of training for paraprofessionalism. 

Thus, many of them are inapplicable to programs of training in what the 
AALS Study described as "allied professions," being those activities or services 
which are legal in character, but not conducted under the supervision of lawyers. 
In helping to develop such new professions, the institutions of higher education 
would be in less danger of subsidizing the rich. They would be in less danger 
of restricting access to work by establishing new credentials requirements where 
at present there are none. And they would be in less danger of creating new 
hierarchies of work and new servant classes. While the strain between general 
and specific education would not and cannot be avoided, it is minimized, at least, 
where the trainee aspires to work on his own. or at least to acquire the capacity 
to work on his own. without the direct supervision and narrow role definition 
which that supervision implies. Moreover, there is a more realistic chance that 
new professions may actually compete in price with lawyers or perform services 
that lawyers do not now perform at all. Thus new professions are a more promis- 
ing means to increase the availability of legal services, if that is the desired goal. 
And, indeed, new "allied profession" may create oppox'tunities for social mobility 
which do not now exist ; people who do not aspire to the lofty status of fully 
trained lawyers may aspire to the lesser but substantial dignity of new 
professions. 

Of coursp. the risk of creatina: jol) dissatisfaction remains. As does the in- 
evitability of relatively high training costs. And the inevitability that the new 
professionals will pursue tlie common course and soon find protective devices of 
their own. One can almost foresee the day when it would be necessary to develop 
more new professions to compete with the over-protected and over-priced old ones 
which we would create. 

A c;ise can be made for the proposition that colleges and universities have, in 
fact, an obligation to try to develop new professions. The arsrument rests essen- 
tially on the proposition that power gives rise to duty. I think that it is fair to 
assert th-it higher education did not .seek to become the gatekeeper to the Inhor 
market. While no one intended th.it re?:ult, it is a result which was forced on 
the institutions by the circnmstanoe arid psycliolosy of modern society. T foar 
that modern men cannot value a service unless its worth is cprtified by means of 
academic credentials. Indped. I fenr that modern men doubt their ability to per- 
form a useful service to others until they have been so certified to perform it. If 



120 

this is so, our fellow citizens can enjoy proper service at an appropriate price 
only with the cooperation and assistance of those who hold the keys to the 
credentials. Thus, it can be reasoned, we have the power to satisfy a need, and 
hence a duty to do so. The duty is, to be sure, not absolute ; it is one to be weighed 
against competing duties and obligations of institutions. But higher education 
cannot, in this view, turn a wholly deaf ear to the plea of those who seek help in 
launching new professions, after having played so integral a role in establishing 
the position and cementing the power of older ones. 

It is, in fact, with this latter view in mind that I have given some thought to 
the establishment of new professions. Thus, I commend to you the efforts of 
Sangamon State University in Illinois to establish a new legal profession in the 
area of what it rather euphemistically describes as Social Justice. Their gradu- 
ates would be prepared to deliver limited legal services in the area of welfare, 
police administration, prison administration, and probation and parole. And I 
also commend to your attention a kind of program which we are now contem- 
plating at the University of Michigan. Let me conclude by describing that 
program. 

The Michigan program, if it finds funding, would be located in the University 
of Michigan School of Education. Its purpose would be to elevate the legal com- 
petence of some school administrators and other school personnel, it enables 
them to deliver a variety of limited legal services to public institutions and to 
the consuming public. 

The program will not be costly to the students. Because school workers are not 
employed in the summers, it is possible to limit the loss of foregone income by 
concentrating much of the program in the summers. As presently contemplated, 
the program would consist of six courses. Two would be taken in a first summer] 
two in a second summer, and one each during the intervening semesters. The 
fall and winter instruction would be conducted on Saturdays. 

The six courses would focus each on one of the following topics : tort liability 
of educators and governmental agencies; administrative due process and the 
rudiments of judicial review ; separation of powers and the distribution of power 
and responsibility among the different levels and branches of governments ; equal 
protection and the several legislative programs designed to assure equality of 
educational opportunity ; employment contracts and public collective bargaining ; 
and, finally, public property and finance. A number of moot court and quasi- 
clinical experiences would be planned for the program. 

It would be expected that graduates of the program would be as well qualified 
as formal training can make them to participate in the handling of grievance.s 
against teachers or administrators, in the administration of school discipline,, 
in the drafting of school policies, and in collective bargaining. Most would be 
employed by local school districts as administrators, grievance officers, or student 
advocates, but some might be employed at other levels of government, by teach- 
ers' unions, or, imaginably, by private law firms representing schools, unions, or 
civil rights groups. 

The program will he taught by lawyers selected and supervised by law facidty 
serving in an adjunct role to the School of Education. Law students'will assist iii 
the instruction as tutors and examiners. Some of the summer classes would be 
conducted in the Law School. The Law Library would be available for the use of 
students in the program. The students will he limited in number and selected 
competitively. 

We do not believe that this program will conflict with the general education 
goals of the University of Michigan. Indeed, the program is likely to be more 
rigorous and more true to the goals of general education than is most of the 
program now conducted in the School of Education. 

We do not suppose that this program will significantly influence the price of 
legal services or the cost of delivery, but it may improve the quality and avail- 
ability in an area in which legal issues and legal rights are too frequently 
ignored or handled very crudely. For the most part, our new professionals would 
be providing a service that is now unavailable. 

We see little reason to fear that our graduates will be over-trained to the 
point of assuring job dissatisfaction, because the program will not be very grand. 
But, at the same time, we hope that it will be substantial enough that 'some of 
the humanistic tradition of inquiry will be transmitted to the candidates. 

In short, what we hope to do is to use the traditions and power of the Univer- 
sity to transmit to a number of school administrators the belief that they can, 
indeed, handle a range of delicate problems of a legal nature in a sensible and 
humane way without resort to the bulwark defense of ignorance which tradi- 



121 

tioually characterize bureaucratic beliavior, and to transmit to their employers 
a modest confidence that these people can be trusted to exercise judgment in 
appropriately limited situations. 

In substance, what we hope to create are some modem American legal ana- 
logues to the "barefoot doctors" who have practiced herbal folk medicine in 
China for several millennia. The Maoist regime has apparently rediscovered these 
citizens, steeped them in eulogies, provided them with a minimum of on-the-job 
training with the smallest dose of formal instruction, and made them the staple 
instrument of health care to almost a billion people. Our school law specialists 
or legists (what should we call them?) will not be barefoot, but they may, acting 
on their own, bring legal care into some precincts in which all caring has been 
long absent. 

Might such a program have revolutionary impact on the public schools or the 
legal system? I hardly think so. Revolutionary change in such institutions would 
be desirable, I believe, but it is not feasible by any means known to me. Only 
modest results can be hoped for. But that, I am afraid, is simply the human 
condition. We can achieve, but our achievements must be limited by our resources 
both of power and understanding. 

It is no more than barely possible that the creation and growth of twenty or 
thirty such programs in a variety of institutions of higher education could add 
a touch of grace, a touch of humanity, to many, if not all, of our public institu- 
tions. Success is not guaranteed. But the chance seems worth the effort. 



University of California, Los Angeles, 

University Extension, 
Los Angeles, Calif., July 17, 1974. 
Hon. Senator .John V. Tunney. 

Chairman. 8ubcofnmittce on Representation of Citizen Interests, U.S. Senate, 
Washington, D.C. 
Dear Senator Tunney : On behalf of the Attorney Assistant Training Pro- 
gram offered by University Extension, UCLA, in conjunction with tJie UCLA 
School of Law, we welcome an opportunity to submit this statement to the Sen- 
ate Judiciary Subcommittee on Representation of Citizen Interests. 

I. — University Extension, UCLA's Attorney Assistant Training Program 

By way of background, our's is a concentrated training program, averaging 
200 plus hours, leading to a specialization in a particular interest area, such as 
probate, corporations, or litigation. We are able to offer such a concentrated, 
high quality program because our admission requirements include a Bachelor's 
Degree or its equivalent in experience and/or education. We are currently plan- 
ning a new course in real estate law, and in addition will offer for the first time 
this Fall selected units from these courses, such as discovery and legal research, 
on a short-term basis. These modules are designed to make continuing education 
available to the graduates of our certificate programs and for others already em- 
ployed in the legal field. 

II. — Re : Availability of Legal Services and Lowering Cost 

Tlie question of the use of paralegals as means of increasing the availability 
of legal services and lowering the cost requires a two part response. 

A. — Availability 

The availability to the private sector of the legal profession of a pool of well- 
trained paralegals large enough to make a positive impact on the availability of 
legal services is becoming a reality. At UCLA, we are developing new programs 
and training these new careerists as rapidly as sound training principles permit 
and the employment market demands. Others appear to be doing likewise. 

It is our firm belief that if the concept of increasing the availability of legal 
services to a wider sector of the public is adopted as both a philosophical and 
an action goal by the legal profession, then the use of paralegals can make a 
major contribution toward the early attainment of that goal. 

An essential requirement is to stay open to the possibility of using paralegals 
in new vi-ays — expansion into new ai-eas rather than restricting their use to ways 
presently conceived. For the few who hear this as threatening to some in the 



122 

If'gal profession, we would urge that study of other professions be made toward 
the end of determining whether the use of paraprofessionals may not, in fact, 
actually increase the demand for the professional by bringing more persons with- 
in the ambit of those services which only the professional can provide. This line 
of inquiry seems particularly appropriate in the legal profession. For example, 
many lay persons simply function without benefit of a level of counsel that would 
make a difference. They, too, often don't even know there is a question which 
can be raised regarding a course of action. Most certainly are without knowledge 
that there are options, legal options, available to them. Only the attorney is in a 
position to effectively aid the person in selecting appropriate courses of action ; 
but the paraprofessional, under the direction and supervision of an attorney can 
be a major factor, laying the foundation for expeditious, effective interaction 
at the point of attorney-client interface. 

B.— Cost 

Whether utilization of paralegals will, in fact, result in lowering the cost of 
legal services is a question that ought to be asked. Adequate documentation is 
available demonstrating that the informed, systematic use of legal assistants 
(paralegals) can produce substantial cost savings. Whether these savings are 
being or will in the future be passed on to the public is less clear. 

It is important to delineate those situations for which the question of cost 
savings is appropriate : 

The use of legal assistants will have less bearing on costs in situations 
where there is a statutory fee structure, e.g. probate. 

Their use does have a bearing on costs in those firms in which the client's 
total bill reflects a lower charge for those tasks actually performed by the 
paralegal rather than the attorney. From personal experiences with some 
of our faculty who are practicing attorneys, and from our graduates work- 
ing in law firms we have found that actual cost reductions are being insti- 
tuted based on the use of paralegals. Because of the complexity and the long 
range importance of this issue we feel it merits significant attention. 

In situations where the use of paralegals facilitates the creation of insti- 
tutions which can provide legal services to persons who would otherwise be 
without access to such assistance, the question of lowering cost is secondary 
to the question of availability. 

III. — Accreditation and Certification 

A significant contribution to consumer protection can be made by carefully 
drawn and administered accreditation and certification requirements. 

The student attempting to select a training course is at that point a consumer. 
Accreditation may be the only meaningful guide he or she has in making that 
selection. 

Law oflSces, firms, institutions, agencies or individuals who hire the parapro- 
fessional are consumers of that person's skills. Certification requirements not only 
provide an obvious additional incentive for serious study on the part of the stu- 
dent, they also provide the employer-consumer with at least minimum guarantees 
of competency. 

We feel it important to be even more specific regarding both issues : 

A. — Accreditation 

At UCLA, where quality is an internal mandate, we have no fears of ex- 
ternal tests as such. We do have three major concerns with the process itself. 

First, if the standards are too low then the ultimate goal of providing 
consumer protection becomes a farce. 

Secondly, if the standards are too narrow (and they can be if developed 
by persons or boards lacking in practical experience or vision), then ex- 
perimentation, innovation and creativity are constricted at the very time 
these qualities are needed most. 

The growth of a new field of specialty, like that of a young child, requires 
fresh air and open space. To lock the direction of paralegal ti-aining into 
some fixed mold derived from limited views of what that training should 
look like is to determine not only what the training will in fact be, but also 
what the new career itself will be. 

Further, since today's truth may become tomorrow's lie, we urge that any 
accreditation standards or approaches as may be adopted by appropriate 



123 

bodies be subject to review and revision within a fixed period of time. It 
perhaps would not be facetious to recommend a self-destruct system which 
could only be renewed upon proof of its then current validity. 

B. — Certification 

Our major concern is that certification not be used either Ity de.sign or 
inadvertance to discriminate unfairly against persons who will be able to 
perform competently on the job. 

The oltvious way such discrimination can occur is through the use of 
screening devices or procedures which are unreliable or invalid. The less 
obvious but perhaps more insidious way is in the employment of tho.se de- 
vices or procedures which possess built-in cultural biases. 

IV. — Administration 

Without taking a position on the question of who should do the accrediting or 
certifying, we simply urge that opportunity for inputs from those most affected 
by such requirements be provided for at every stage of development and at 
every level of decision making. 
Sincerely, 

YoLANDE H. Chambers, J.D., 
Director, Deixirtment of Human Development and Services. 



Humphreys College, 

Stockton, Calif. 
To : John V. Tunney, Chairman, Subcommittee on Representation of Citizen 

Interests, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate. 
From : Gladys G. Humphreys, Chairwoman, secretarial and paraprofessional 

programs, Humphreys College, Stockton, Calif. 
Re training of paralegals and impact on legal profession. 

Humphreys College is pleased to reply to your letter of July 1 regarding the 
training of paraprofessionals in the legal profession. We have, for the past 
two years, been developing a specific program related to this subject. This 
program has been developed in cooperation with a committee comprised of 
practicing attorneys, highly trained legal secretaries, and members of the 
faculty of the law school which is administered by the Board of Trustees of 
Humphreys College. 

The potential for lowering the cost and increasing the availability of legal 
services would, in my estimation, be related to the number of practicing attorneys 
in a given area. It is clear that there has been a rapid increase recently in the 
number of students who matriculate in law schools ; but it is not clear that the 
number of practicing attorneys is keeping pace with an ever-increasing popula- 
tion and an even greater increase in the demand for legal services. California's 
population continues to grow, thus making legal service more difficult to procure 
for the average citizen, and consequently, more costly. Accordingly, it is our 
belief that a highly trained paralegal individual is a definite asset to the lawyer 
or law firm for whom he or she works and also to the public. 

With the services of a competent and certified legal assistant, an attorney 
is enabled to use his time for higher levels of legal practice by delegating many 
of his routine duties to a paraprofessional in the office. 

Pai-alegal students are trained in a number of aspects of the practice of law : 
They are able to manage the business and personnel functions of the law 
office, delegate responsibility among the non-legal staff, train and supervise 
new office employees, and handle or supervise financial responsibilities for the 
attorney. In a large legal firm, office management is time consuming and must 
be conducted by one who is familiar with the practice of law. 

Other paraprofessionals are used as legal research and analysis assistants, 
litigation assistants, probate assistants, and as intermediaries in inter-law-office 
communications and procedures. In fact, the legal assistant can be trained to 
handle much of the preliminary work of litigation, thus freeing the attorney 
for more time with the client and more time to prepare his case or vvhatever 
other work requires his legal expertise and knowledge. 

Whether or not the availability of good paralegal service would effect a 
reduction of the cost of legal services to the client, it would at least provide the 
client with more timely availability of legal services and, probably, more 
thorough consideration and better legal advice regarding his case. 



124 

From the standpoint of one who is responsible for providing valid educational 
programs for paraprofessional legal workers, the problem of accreditation is 
important. A basic criterion for educational excellence which has been used 
l)y many respected accrediting agencies over a long period of time has been 
that of determining whether or not the institution (in the judgment of peers) 
is achieving its own stated educational objectives. 

It is clear that in paraprofessional training a school which offers such train- 
ing would necessarily have to include within its objectives the ofCering of what- 
ever examination subjects or educational requirements are specified by the 
law of the jurisdiction under which the examination is given. The institution's 
reputation with responsible professional associations, including the State Bar. 
local Bar associations, and local associations of paraprofessionals also have a 
definite bearing on the accreditation of an institution. (In the training of para- 
professionals, I might add that it is a definite advantage to be in the environ- 
ment of a law school. Access to a law library is of great help to paralegal 
students). 

Tlie United States OflSce of Education provides a long list of accrediting 
agencies which it views as sound authority for the quality of education. These 
criteria for "accrediting" accrediting agencies are bureaucratic and monopolistic 
and fall short of fully serving the educational needs of the people and the pro- 
fessional needs of the citizenry. Accreditation, in my estimation, should not 
limit the number of paraprofessional training institutions qualified to provide 
this service for the public by any means other than evaluation of peers that 
the institution reasonably does or does not achieve its objectives in this field. 
Humphreys College is accredited by the Western Association for Schools and 
Colleges, a regional accrediting agency. This agency accredits the institution 
as a whole, including all its programs of education. 

It would seem to be undesirable to create still another bureaucratic accredit- 
ing agency to accredit paralegal education. 

The California Legislature now has under consideration AB 1814-Willie 
Brown. As amended on June 24, 1974, this bill provides that paralegal (Certified 
Attorney Assistants) services may be conducted only under the direct control 
of a member of the Bar. However, the control of licensing or certification, as 
provided in the bill, is under the authority of the "Certified attorney assistant 
board." The composition of the proposed Board is as follows : "Nine members, 
three to be appointed by the Board of Governors of the State Bar, two of 
which shall be members of the State Bar and the other shall be a public member ; 
three members to be appointed by the Judicial Council, of which two may be 
members of the State Bar and the other one shall be a public member; three 
members to be appointed by the Legislature, two by the Speaker of the Assembly, 
both of whom shall be persons engaged in paralegal work or be certified attorney 
assistants or persons engaged in the training of paralegals or certified attorney 
assistants ; and one public member to be appointed by the Senate Rules Com- 
mittee. . . ." 

The above quotation illustrates the importance the Legislature attributes to 
membership on the proposed board of "lay" or "public members." 

Another consideration in planning licensing or certification would be provid- 
ing recognition to the many highly trained legal secretaries who are now work- 
ing in a paraprofessional capacity ; also law clerks who are deserving of certifi- 
cation through experience (they could be required to take an examination, but, 
for them, it should not be difficult to l)ecome certified) . 

Humphreys College is a small private non-profit college. It has been offering 
educational services to this community since 18S8, and is now under the man- 
agement of the second and third generations of the Humplireys family. It is 
through recognizing and skillfully serving the changing educational and pro- 
fessional needs of the communit.v that we have found a significnnt place in 
California's higher education for so long a time. Consequently, official reco.gni- 
tion of status for worthy paralegal students and the opportunity to j)rovide 
appropriate paralegal education is considered a welcome challenge because we 
see a definite need for this type of service. We have been training lawyers for 
almost twenty -five years; and court reporters and legal secretaries for many 
more than twenty-five years. Humphreys College has a large and successful 
alumni who are working in the legal field (more lawyers in the county have 
been educated at Humphreys law school than any other law school). 



125 

Ventixra County Community College District, 

District Administration Center, 

Ventu7-a, Calif., July 15, 197-^. 
Senator John V. Tunney, 
U.S. Senate, 
Washington, D.G. 

De,\r Senator Tunney : This is in reference to your request of July 1 that we 
provide our views ou different aspects of paralegal training programs. We feel 
the public community college system can provide excellent training for paralegals 
at low costs and increase the availability of legal services for particularly the 
economically disadvantaged persons in our society. 

Our District is considering the development of a paralegal program and we 
feel our costs would he approximately $1,000 per full-time student per academic 
year. This would be training for a person who is not currently employed in any 
aspect of paralegal activities and would be what we call "pre-service" training. 
It would take two years of training or costs of $2,000 for a person to be trained 
for direct employment in the paralegal occupation. We know that in our state 
similar training by a four-year college or university would be at least 50% to 
100% more expensive for the same two years of work. 

The crucial question to us is that of licensing and accreditation of these train- 
ing programs. The necessary Federal and/or state legislation must be enacted 
as well as receiving the active cooperation of the Federal, state, and local bar 
associations for paralegal training and employment to become a continuing 
reality. 

At the present time, a paralegal professional who could be of great help to 
economically disadvantaged persons is severely limited because he must serve 
under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney, usually in a private practice. 
If the disadvantaged are to be provided with the aid which they need, there 
should be some legislation enacted which will aflow the paralegal to become 
licensed in order to provide limited legal services. 

The state bar associations would appear to be the most logical organizations 
to provide thhe licensing service — perhaps through a testing process similar to 
that currently being used for certifying attorneys to the state bar. 

Accreditation of individual college paralegal programs by state bar associa- 
tions, however, would appear to be so burdensome as to be impractical. It is 
suggested that a better approach would be to have the state bar certify the 
curriculum of learning institutions so that the institutions could refer potential 
candidates to the state bar associations, after sufficient course preparation with 
suflBcient academic achievement, to go through the state bar testing process 
necessary for certification as a paralegal. 

An additional point is that licensing of the paralegal would be an enticement 
to many potential students for this type of program. It is the type of incentive 
that encourages many students to become registered nurses, psychiatric tech- 
nicians, inhalation therapists, real estate persons, and similar occupations 
requiring licensing by the state. 

In summary, we feel strongly that the nearly 1.200 public community colleges 
in the United States have a major role to play in the training of paralegals. We 
hope that the necessary legislation and grant "seed" monies will be made avail- 
able to rapidly expand this training. There is no question in our minds that equal 
treatment under the law can only occur when the economically disadvantaged 
have legal services available to them at lower cost and in a convenient manner. 
Sincerely, 

William H. Lawson. 
Assistant to the Superintendent, Instruction/ Services. 



Law Offices. Richard A. Stone, 
Beverly Hills, Calif., July 18, 1974. 
Senator John Tunney, 

Chairman, Suhcomniittee on Representation of Citizens Interest, U.S. Sen<ite, 
Washington, D.C. 
Dear Senator Tunney : Thank you and the Committee for your letter dated 
July 1, 1974 inviting my views on the potential value of paralegals. 

Let me start out by saying that there are two separate paralegal collectives 
developing in California. Those are public sector paralegals and private sector 

41-375 — 74 9 



126 

paralegals. Public sector paralegals are comprised of those persons working 
for Legal Services, public law firms, government regulatory agencies, and con- 
sumer groups. Private sector paralegals are employed by private law firms 
and sole practitioners. 

While the two factions may not always be distinct, for the present they are 
engaged in different activities, receive different training, and have different 
goals. For the past two years I have been involved in training and super- 
vising paralegals for a Legal Service Office in Southern California. Therefore, 
most of my comments will be directed towards the potential value of public 
sector paralegals. 

PARALEGALS AS A POTENTIAL FOR LOWERING LEGAL COSTS AND INCREASING 
AVAILABILITY OF LEGAL SERVICES 

There is no doubt in my mind that paralegals, if trained properly and utilized 
to their fullest capacity, can expand the availability of legal services, provide 
higher quality services in some areas of the law, and lower the costs of such 
services. The area of administrative law is a good example of where paralegals 
can extend client representation and do so at a minimal cost. 

Expanded government involvement in the lives of citizens has resulted in an 
increase of agencies that an individual comes in contact with. Such agencies 
as the Social Security Administration, Welfare Departments, State Unemploy- 
ment Insurance Dpartments, Licensing Boards, Department of Motor Vehicles, 
School Administrations, etc. touch upon every citizens' life at one time or an- 
other. When a conflict arises between an individual and one of the above- 
named agencies, the individual usually needs help in resolving the problem be- 
cause of the complexity of the regulations affecting him. This is especially 
true for millions of senior citizens wiiose existence depends upon the funds 
they receive from the Social Security Administration. 

These same individuals if they can afford an attorney have a hard time 
finding one who is familiar enough with the voluminous regulations promul- 
gated by the agency to provide the kind of qualified representation required. 
After all, how many private attorneys are going to represent an indigent 
client before the Social Security Administration to argue against a decrease of 
$20,000 in their monthly allotment? Virtually none, because the amount is too 
small to warrant the effort of researching the applicable regulations let alone 
investing the time to prepare the case. Yet the $20.00 means as much to the re- 
cipient in terms of survival as does the $100,000.00 to a commercial litigant. 

Many Legal Services Oflices faced with growing administrative law caseloads 
and shrinking budgets started to investigate the use of paralegals to represent 
clients before administrative agencies. Fortunately most administrtaive bodies 
allow a qualified lay person to appear on behalf of a claimant. The Legal Aid 
Program I was associated with made a concerted effort over the past three years 
to switch the administrative law caseload from the attorneys to the paralegals. 
The cost analysis of such an undertaking in the area of welfare law can be 
found in Appendix No. 1 to this letter.^ 

In addition to the conclusion that the paralegals were providing more services 
at a lower cost than the attorney they replaced, several other benefits were 
realized. 

First, the paralegals were able to devote more time to clients with the result 
that the clients felt better about the services they were receiving. Second, para- 
legals became specialists in certain administrative law areas. As a result, they 
were able to service a greater number of clients in less time than an attorney 
whose caseload comprised only a small amount of administrative law matters. 
Third, because the paralegals viewed these cases with the same gravity and 
concern an attorney views a case involving large figures or weighty issues, the 
quality of their representation surpassed that of the attorneys handling ad- 
ministrative law ca.ses. Finally, by utilizing paralegals to relieve attorneys of 
certain areas of their caseload and certain time-consuming ministerial functions 
the attorneys wei-e able to : 

1. Expand their services to a greater number of clients ; and 

2. Exercise the skills they were trained to utilize to resolve disputes. 

Stretching these observations by an analogy, I don't think it is too far-reach- 
ing to conclude that the same benefits can be realized in other areas of the law. 
What is necessary to realize the benefits of utilizing paralegals is a commitment 
of resources by the government and other concerned parties to training of para- 



1 Excerpt from "The Development and Integration of a Paralegal StafiC and System in a 
Legal Services Setting." (1973) Lerner, Marc unpublished. 



127 

legals and the development of innovative systems for the expanded delivery of 
quality legal services. 

By way of passing, I should like to point out that while in public law all cost 
savings are passed onto the client because there is little or no profit motive, 
this is not altogether true for the private sector. There is no mechanism in the 
private sector for seeing that lower costs are realized by the consumers of legal 
services. The profit motive is a prime incentive in this ai'ea. Whether lower costs 
will be passed onto the consumer or whether lower costs means higher profit 
margins for the provider of services depends, in private sector law, upon the 
motives and goals of the provider. 

ACCREDITATION AND LICENSING 

As you know, California is the first state attempting to license paralegals 
and accredit the institutions that purport to offer paralegal training curric- 
ulums. It is my feeling that these efforts are coming too soon. No one will 
quarrel with the fact that regulation will be needed at some point. Yet Itecau.se 
paralegals are a developing profession, the techniques of training, education and 
curriculum design are still in their infancy stage. To try and regulate this pro- 
fession at this time can he potentially restrictive because the paralegal roles 
are still for the most part not defined. 

As I mentioned earlier in this letter, there is a difference between the roles 
of the public and private sector paralegals. Around these rules have grown dif- 
ferent training methods and curriculums. For example, a paralegal in my ofiiee 
would among other things, interview applicants for legal assistants, research 
the law, negotiate settlements with administrative agencies, advocate on be- 
half of clients at administrative heai'ings, draft correspondence, engage in legal 
and brief writing and counsel clients in a variety of quasi legal areas. For these 
functions the paralegal's training included : 

1. Attending a week long intensive advocacy training course covering inter- 
viewing, investigation, research writing and lay advocacy skills ; 

2. Attending seminars where substantive and procedural law were discussed ; 

3. Attending daily meetings with attorneys ; 

4. Working under the supervision of staff attorneys and 

5. Reading materials especially prepared to learn Legal Service paralegals. 

A private sector paralegal may specialize in an area such as probate law. The 
training is usually an intensive ten week course at a university. Upon comple- 
tion of the course they might spend five days in a large law firm specializing in 
estate inventory and accounting. It is clear that there are diverse skills necessary 
in this profession. Therefore, the training will have to be different and should 
relate to the job skill whenever possible. 

One of the problems with legislating in this area is the tendency of State 
Bars to promulgate one written exam as the measuring device for obtaining 
a credential. The model is predicated upon the Bar exam for lawyers, an exam 
that has come under fire for its inadequacy in testing job related skills and 
discrimination against minorities. If not carefully monitored legislation in this 
area can have an exclusionary effect against minorities and others who do not 
do well on written exams. Setting uniform entrance and performance criteria 
to test persons entering a profession where skills are varied can prevent those 
who don't perform well on tests from qualifying when perhaps they are in fact 
the best qualified in their area of expertise. 

While I recognize this may always be a problem in a profession requiring 
various skills, I can only stress that in order to avoid the pitfalls in designing 
licensing and accrediting systems that have already restricted the amount of 
professionals and paraprofessionals available to the public, the matter deserves 
a careful inquiry prior to legislating. It seems to me that the purpose of licensing 
and accrediting is to : 1. Protect the consimier of the service ; and 2. Protect 
the student training to serve. 

I feel confident that nothing will be sacrificed by delaying legislation governing 
paralegals because in most, if not all, states paralegals are required to work 
under attorneys who are themselves governed by existing regulations. Therefore, 
because an attorney is responsible for the work done by his paralegals the 
public has existing remedies for the harm caused by untrained or unsupervised 
paralegals. As for the concern expressed that various proprietary schools are 
defrauding prospective paralegals, I suggest that it is easier and less costl.v 
to amend state education codes governing these schools than to create a new 
body of law governing paralegals. 



128 

utilizing existing state regulation schemes as mentioned above will protect 
the interests concerned and allow for a careful inquiry into the licensing and 
accrediting. For it is only through a careful inquiry into those matters that 
we are going to arrive at the innovative delivery systems and curriculums that 
can lead to realizing the full potential of paralegals. 

That a hasty inquiry into these matters can result in legislation that is 
potentially exclusionary and restrictive in its intent can be seen by a careful 
reading of the history of California Assembly Bill 1814. (See Appendix No. 2.) 
The bill introduced by the State Bar of California was vigorously opposed by 
Legal Services, consumer groups, public and private sector paralegals because 
its wording (copy amended August 6, 1973) was vague and it didn't reflect the 
concerns of the public sector. Though the Bar stated that its intent for intro- 
ducing the bill was to authorize the State Supreme Court to expand the 
activities which paralegals could engage in,- their first draft indicated that they 
had little or no knowledge of the needs of the consumers of public law services. 
Through a series of negotiations with the State Bar, we were able to have 
some of our interests represented and to delete or change some of the more 
potentially restrictive clauses. The result (copy amended Senate — June 24, 1974) 
is a bill that is palatable but neither the State Bar nor the public sector advocates 
are entirely happy with the result. 

The two main issues of contention that remain are: 1. Paralegal education 
prior to certification; and 2. The amount and source of control over the pro- 
fession. 

The State Bar wants to have total control over the profession including the 
content and format of education as well as over the disciplinary proceedings. 
While they claim the control will be over the "Certified Attorney Assistants" 
only and not all paralegals, in reality the bill will probably set the standards 
for all paralegals interested in making the profession a career. The result 
will be that job availability will strongly favor those who can obtain a credential. 

While I think that State Bars have a vital interest in paralegals and their 
development, they alone should not control accrediting and licensing. State Bars 
should not alone control accrediting because they may not be the best qualified 
to set the standards. Without guaranteed input from educators, consumers 
and both public and private paralegals, there is little chance that innovative 
paralegal curriculums and delivery systems will be proposed. 

Offering themselves as the sole judge of accreditation standards is contrary 
to current education theory in this area. Numerous education authoi-ities have 
drawn the conclusion that accreditation is a slow process that should strive 
to achieve some uniformity in the field and avoid fragmented standards. (See 
Appendix No. 3, New York Times, January 28, 1973). 

State Bars should not alone control the licensing of paralegals because it may 
be a conflict of interests for them to control paralegals. To have the employers 
who pay salaries promulgating rules that govern the profession may amount 
to anti trust violations. When the time for licensing and accrediting is proper, 
control should rest in boards, appointed by legislatures, whose members comprise 
the broadest possible representation of the interests concerned. 

If I may be of any further assistance in this inquiry, please contact me. 
Sincerely, 

Maro Lerner. 
Appendix No. 1 

These systems are valuable in that they give paralegals an appioach to handling 
recurrent client problems with minimal amount of attorney supervision. 

THE CHANGE IN CASELOAD DISTRIBUTION AND COST FACTORS AS A RESULT OF THE 
IMPLEMENTATION OF A PARALEGAL SYSTEM 

As indicated above, the primary emphasis for the improvement and expansion 
of the paralegal systems was in the main ofiice and the downtown ofl3ce. The 
effort to improve and expand the system began in about May, 1972. It was 
anticipated that one of the benefits derived from the expanded paralegal system 
would be a redistribution of cases. This result was projected on the basis of 
the caseload review done in February which showed thei*e were many attorneys 
handling matters which could have been quickly disposed of by a trained para- 
legal. 



* 'Jhose activities proposed included appearance in court on uncontested ex parte mo- 
tions and taking depositions, among otber things. 



129 

The statistics over a twelve month period of time verify the projectecl results. 
As indicated in Table 1, in the two offices where the paralegal system was 
expanded and improved, the number of cases handled by paralegals increased 
substantially from the first of the year to the latter part of the year. In the office 
where the paralegal system remained essentially an intake system, there was 
no expansion of the number of cases handled by the paralegal. 







TABLE 


n 










Downtown 




Central 




San Pedro 






Attorney 


Paralegal 


Attorney 


Paralegal 


Attorney 


Paralegal 


January 


200 


57 

109 
128 
129 
151 
141 
189 
190 
177 
186 
149 


72 
60 
81 
83 
101 
75 
64 
74 
61 
71 
73 
40 


34 
24 
47 
30 
30 
69 
84 
74 
51 
67 
62 
64 


140 

95 

116 

110 

187 

128 

74 

106 

98 

94 

92 

79 


41 




178 


58 


March 


198 


53 


April 

May 


157 
216 
190 


40 
37 

45 


July_ 

August- 

September 

October,.. 

November 


210 
207 
183 
197 
146 
132 


62 
39 
41 
53 
32 
35 









« Total caseload breakdown by categories is attached hereto as exhibit. 

While there is any substantial increase in the number of cases referred to 
attorneys only in the last two months in the downtown office and the last month, 
in the c-eutral office, the ratio between the eases referred to attorneys and those 
retained by paralegals begins to change significantly as early as August. From 
the statiscics of the first part of the year, and from the San Pedro office, it ap- 
pears correct to say that had the paralegal system not been expanded and im- 
proved there would have been an ever increasing number of cases referred tO' 
attorneys. 

The statistics for the twelve month period appear to verify the assumptions 
that have recently been made by such people as the Legal Services Training Pro- 
gram regarding the composition of attorney caseloads in legal service offices. One 
of those assumptions has been that attorneys carry and get involved in matters 
which do not need the attention of an attorney and that artificially inflate an 
attorney caseload figure. In addition, such cases tend to keep attorneys from in- 
volving themselves in major litigation or impact type litigation. As is clear from 
Table One, as the paralegals became more and more experienced and trained, 
the number of matters they were able to handle greatly increased. The theory 
that an operating and well developed paralegal system will allow attorneys time 
to handle major litigation and other cases requiring close attorney attention and 
at the same time provide representation for a number of individuals with minor 
matters is, we feel, supported by the experience of the system described herein. 



THE COST FACTORS OF A PARALEGAL SYSTEM 

Given that a paralegal system appears to increase the efficiency of an office, 
we must examine the costs involved to determine if the increased efficiency cover 
all aspects of the office. The method of cost record keeping utilized by most legal 
service offices makes it difficult, if not impossible, to accurately determine any 
cost figure for paralegals which is meaningful. This problem, of course, is not 
unique to a paralegal system, since even the best managed legal service office 
finds it is difficult to establish an accurate cost for each case handled. The prob- 
lem becomes particularly acute however when an attempt is made to determine 
the cost of a system in which all clients are initially interviewed by paralegals 
and some of those eases are handled entirely by those paralegals, as is done in 
the system described above. 

The costs which are discussed with regard to the system described herein 
were determined by apportioning overall costs, adding paralegal salaries actually 
paid, and setting a salary for those not paid. The apportionment was made in 
various ways, depending on the cost involved. Essentially, the costs were deter- 
mined in the following way : 



130 

Rent : By square footage necessary for paralegal facilities ; 

Telephone : Prorata share of the overall bill, individual long distance calls billed 

separately ; 
Supplies : Monthly cost figure based on material used ; 
Xerox : Actual cost ; 
Travel : Actual cost ; 
Equipment: Prorata share; 
Postage : Prorata share. 

It was not possible to determine the cost for cases in which advice only was 
given as opposed to those in which the paralegal made an appearance at an ad- 
ministrative hearing or in some other manner participated in advoccy with the 
exception of the welfare cases. In those cases we were able to do an accurate 
cost analysis and to compare attorney and paralegal costs. 

There are a variety of accounting methods which could be used to determine 
the cost of a paralegal program. However, the relatively simple method used 
with the system described herein meets most of the needs of a legal service pro- 
gram in terms of being able to determine where resources are allocated and the 
ibenefits received from the resource allocation. Even this rather simple system 
gives legal service programs some idea of the costs involved in the development 
and operation of a paralegal system and should be helpful in making decisions 
regarding the implementation of a paralegal system. 

iTable Two shows the cost per case for each case handled by an attorney as 
compared to the cost for each case handled by a paralegal. The immediate ob- 
jection will undoubtedly he made that it costs more to have the attorney handle 
the case because the cases in the attorney caseload are more complex and difii- 
cult than those in the paralegal caseload. In some legal service programs such 
a statement will be true. However, that factor does not detract from the fact 
that even in the bes programs attorneys handle cases which could be handled 
by paralegals for a reduced cost. In addition, the figures would seem to show that 
more clients can be represented for less cost, at the same time insuring attorneys 
are able to provide competent representation on major matters. 

TABLE 2 

Downtown Central San Pedro 

Overall cost for attorneys 114,930.64 

Overall cost for paralegals.... 23,478.26 

Average cost per case for attorneys 51.91 

Average cost per case for paralegals 13.89 

In the Harbor OflBce, where the paralegal staff has not been exposed to the same 
training program as in the other ofiices, the paralegal cost remains high com- 
pared to the other offices. One of the reasons for this seems to be the inability of 
the paralegal to utilize the systems introduced in the other oflices and, as a 
result, the inability to handle the cases assigned as efiiciently as the paralegals 
in the other offices. 

iln the area of welfare fair hearings we are able to draw a very accurate com- 
parison of the cost difference as between representation by paralegals as com- 
pared to attorneys. For some period of time there was an attorney employed 
in the downtown office who was responsible for the bullv of the fair hearing cases. 
We have determined the costs for that attorney as compared to the costs "for the 
trained paralegal handling the same caseload. Not only is the cost for the para- 
legal substantially lower than the cost for the attorney, there has been absolutely 
no change in the results achieved, i.e., the win-loss record has remained the same. 
Table Three indicates the results obtained by comparing the attorney-paralegal 
costs for handling fair hearings. 

TABLE 3 

Attorney Paraiega 

Total 12 mo cost _.. $14,069.85 $7,895.74 

Percentage of time on fair hearings 0.40 0.65 

Cost of time spent on fair hearings $6,331.43 $5,132.23 

Fair hearings handled 35 55 

Cost per fair hearing $180.89 $93.31 

All information relating to the costs of a paralegal system tends to support 
the concept of the integration of trained paralegals vaithin a legal service office. 
Not only can improved service be provided the general community, but the im- 



60,257.48 


82,716.51 


7, 659. 40 


11,121.03 


70.47 


62.71 


12.04 


20.74 



131 

proved service can be provided at a reasonable cost to a program. Perhaps 
even more importantly, the make up of the attorney caseload should, in many 
situations, change significantly. The primary change should be to eliminate 
from already overburdened attorneys cases for which an attorney is not neces- 
sary. In addition, the paralegal can significantly reduce the nonproductive time 
of the attorney by undertaking investigation and similar functions now per- 
formed by attorneys. Based on our statistics, we are convinced that greater 
overall efficiency exists for a legal service office when paralegals are integrated 
within the office, efficiency not only in terms of money and time, but in terms 
of client service as well. 

PARALEGAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FOUNDATION 

Most writers dealing with the siibject of training paralegals agree that at- 
torney cooperation is necessary to maximize paralegal training and contributions 
to a legal services office. We have also found this to be true and we are fortu- 
nate in that our attorneys have cooperated and shown an interest in developing 
our paralegal staff. On March 20. 1973, we conducted a survey among the at- 
torneys as to their feelings about paralegal performance at the foundation. 
The attorneys were asked to rate performance in certain areas on a scale of 
1 to 5. Five being the highest and greatest rating possible. The attorneys were 
asked the following questions : 

1. Quality of jobs paralegals are doing re : 

Scale 



A. Interviewing - 

B. Presenting short cause problems to attorney - 

C. Asking informative questions 

1. Issue spotting --. - 

2. Completeness with presentation -- - 

3. Conciseness. _. - 

4. Writing style ..- 

Appendix No. 2 

[California Legislature — 1973-74 Regular Session, Assembly Bill No. 1814] 

INTRODUCED BY ASSEMBLYMAN BROWN, APRIL 26, 1973, REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON 
GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION 

An act to add Article 11 (commencing with Section 6201) to Chapter 4 of Division 3 of the 
Business and Professions Code, relating to certified attorney assistants 

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST 

AB 1814, as introduced. Brown (Gov. Adm.). Certified attorney assistants. 
Enacts the Certified Attorney Assistant Act. 

Vote : majority. Appropriation ; no. Fiscal committee : no. State-mandated 
local program : no. 

The people of the State of California do enact as folloivs: 

Section 1. Article 11 (commencing with Section 6201) is added to Chapter 4 
of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, to read : 

Article 11. Certified Attorney Assistant Act 

6201. This article is known and may be cited as the "Certified Attorney Assistant 
Act." 



Appendix No. 2 

[Amended in Assembly August 6, 1973, California Legislature — ,1973-74 Regular Session, 

Assembly Bill No. 1814] 



INTRODUCED BY ASSEMBLYMAN BROWN, APRIL 26, 1973, REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON 
GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION 

An act to add Section 6032, and Article 11 (commencing -with Section 6201) to Chapter 4 o£ 
Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to certified attorney assistants 



132 

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST 

AB 1814, as amended, Brown (Gov. Adra.). Certified attorney assistants. 

Enacts the Certified Attorney Assistant Act. 

Requires Board of Governors of State Bar to estahlish criteria for rerfiflrntion 
of attorney assistants, including standards for training programs and accredita- 
tion of educational institutions offering such programs. 

Permits board, subject to approval of Supreme Court, to adopt rules among 
other things, perm,itting certified assistants to perform, legal services otherwise 
prohibited. Makes other provisions relating to such certified attorney assistants. 

"Vote : majority. Appropriation ; no. Fiscal committee : yes. State-mandated 
local program : no. 

The people of the State of CaUfornia do enact as follows: 

[Section 1. Article 11 (commencing with Section 6201) is added to Chapter 4 
of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, to retad : 

[Article 11. Certified Attorney Assistant Act 

[6201. This article is known and may be cited as the "Certified Attorney 
Assistant Act."] 

Section 1. Section 6032 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read: 

6032. Nothing contained in this chapter shall preclude any person not an active 
member of the State Bar from serving as an etnployee of, assistant to, or certified 
attorney assistant to an active member of the State Bar or a partnei'ship com- 
posed of active members of the State Bar or a law corporation ivhich has a 
currently effective certificate of registration from the State Bar; provided, how- 
ever, that such services must be under the control, supervision and compensafion 
of an active member of the State Bar ; and provided further, however, that such 
employee, assistant or certified attorney assistant shall not, unless otherwise 
speoifically authorised by this chapter or any rule or regulation established by 
the board of governors pursuant to this chapter, engage in any activity or con- 
duct in violation of this chapter or any rule or regulation which the board of 
governors from time to time may establish under this chapter. 

Sec. 2. Article 11 {commencing ivith Section 6201) is added to Chapter If of 
Division S of the Business and Professions Code, to read: 

Article 11. Certified Attorney Assistant Act 

6201. As a means of assisting members of the State Bar efficiently to provide 
more of the publie with quality legal services, the Legislature intends to esitnb- 
lish in this article a framework by lohich men- and women who have acquired 
specified skills can obtain recognition as certified attorney assistants. It is the 
purpose of this article to encourage the more effective utilization of the services 
of memhers of the State Bar by providing for innovative development of pro- 
grams for the education, training, certification and use of certified attorney 
assistants. 

6202. As used in tliis article: 

(a) "Board" means the Board of Governors of the State Bar. 

(b) "Approved program" means any program for the education and training 
of certified attorney assistants irhich has been formally approved by the board 
under standards to be adopted by the board. 

(c) "Aeeredited institution" means an institution offering approved programs, 
which institution has been accredited by the board, under standards adopted by 
the board. 

(d) "Certified attorney assistant" means a natural person who has been cer- 
tified by the board pursuant to this article. 

6203.' (a) The board: 

(/) Shall establish criteria, for certification of certified attorney assistants 
which s-hall include being of good moral character and passing an examination 
approved, by the board ; 

{2) Shall adopt standards for approved programs for the education and 
training of certified attorney assistants ; 

(3) Shall have authority to accredit institutions offering approved programs; 
and 

(4) Shall establish procedures for recerification and for continuing education 
of certified attorney assistants. 



133 

{!)) In developing criteria for approved programs, the board shall give con- 
sideration to and encourage utilization of equivalency and proficiency testing 
and other mrchunisms ivherehy credit is given for past education, ^perience 
and on-the-job training in law offices. 

(c) In accrediting institutions, the board shall take into consideration such 
criteria as the board may specify including, without limitation, the quality of 
the curriculum; facilities, and facvUu, and shall issue certificates of accredita- 
tion to institutions meeting the standards adopted by the board. 

(d) The board, at such times as it deems necessary to determine compliance 
with purposes of this article, under rules and procedures established by the 
board, may review accredited institutions and approved programs and may 
withdraw approval of programs or accreditation or impose probation on any 
accredited, institution not maintaining such standards. 

620/f. The board may adopt rules, regulations and procedures, subject to the 
approval of the Supreme Court: 

(a) Authorizing certified attorney assistants to perform acts otherwise pro- 
hibited by Section 6126; 

(b) Governing the professional activities and conduct of certified attorney 
assistants; 

(c) Providing for discipline of certified attorney assistants, including but 
not limited to revocation or suspension of certification for violation of any rule, 
regulation or statute now or hereinafter in effect. 

6205. Any person other than one who has been certified by the board who 
holds himself out as a "certified attorney assistant" or who uses any other 
term indicating or implying that he is a certified attorney assistant, is guilty 
of n misdemeanor. 

6206. The board may adopt and publish such rules and regulations and impose 
such fees pursuant to this chapter and such other fees and charges as are reaso'n- 
abhj necessary to carry out the purposes of this article. The board shall issue 
an appropriate certificate to applicants who qualify under this article. 

6207. Nothing in this article shall be construed as affecting or impairing the 
disciiilinary powers and, authority of the Supreme Court or the State Bar in 
re-<pect of conduct of members of the State Bar nor modifying the statutes and 
rules governing such conduct, except as expressly provided in this article. 



[Amended in Assembly Jannarv 24, 1974, Amended In Assembly Angrust 6. 1973, California 
Legislature — 1973-74 Regular Session, Assembly Bill No. 1814] 

INTKODUCED BY ASSEMBLYMAN BROWN, APRIL 26, 1973, REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON 
GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION 

An net to add Section 60S2, and Article 11 {commencing xoith Section 6201) to Chapter i 
of the Business and Professions Code, relating to certified attorney assistants, and 
making an appropriation therefor 

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEIL'S DIGEST 

AB 1814, as amended. Brown (Gov. Adm.). Certified attorney assistants. 

Enacts the Certified Attorney Assistant Act. 

Creates a certified attorney assistant board, tvith three members appointed 
by Board of Governors of the State Bar, three by the State Judicial Council, 
and three by the Legislature, as specified. 

Requires the certified attorney assi.^tant board, rvith the approval of the Board 
of Governors of State Bar, to establisli criteria for certification of attorney 
assistants, including standards for training programs and accreditation of edu- 
cational institutions offering such programs. 

Permits board, subject to approval of Board of Governors and Supreme Court, 
to adopt rules amons other things, permitting certified assistants to perform 
legal services otherwise prohibited. Makes other provisions relating to such 
certified attorney assistants. 

Appropriates an unspecified, amount to the State Controller for allocation and 
disbursemrnt to local agencies for costs incurred by them pursuant to this act. 

Vote: [majority] %. Appropriation: [no] yes. Fiscal committee: yes. State- 
ma ndn ted local program [nol yes. 

The people of the Statr of California do enact as follows: 

[Section 1. Section 6032 is added to the Business and] 



134 

Section 1. Section 6032 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to 
read: 

6032. N9tJiing contained in this chapter shall preclude any person not an active 
memher of the State Bar from scrvinc; as an employee of, assistant to, or 
certified attorney assistant to an active member of the State Bar or a partnership 
composed of active members of the State Bar or a latv corporation which has 
a currently effective certificate of registration from the State Bar. Hoicever, any 
person rendering such services must be under the control and supervision of 
an active member of the State Bar. A certified attorney assistant shall not, 
unless otherwise specifically authorized by this chapter or any rule or regulation 
established by the board of governors pursuant to this chapter, engage in any 
activity or conduct in violation of this chapter or any rule or regulation which, 
the board of governors from time to time may establish under this chapter. 

No compensation shall be paid directly to any person 7iot a member of the 
State Bar by the client to whom the services are rendered except where such 
person is a permanent employee of the client and the compensation of such person 
for services rendered is with the consent of the member of the State Bar. 

Any rules, regulations or procedures issued pursuant to subdivision (a) of 
Section 620'/. defining acts which may be performed by a certified attorney 
assistant shall not be used to determine what acts are prohibited by Section 
6126 for other persons. 

Sec. 2. Article 11 {commencing with Section 6201) is added to Chapter ^ of 
Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, to read: 

Article 11. Certified Attorney Assistant Act 

6201. As a means of assisting members of the State Bar to provide the public 
with quality legal services more efficiently, the Legislature intends to establish 
in this article a means by which men and women who have acquired specified 
skills can obtain recognition as certified attorney assistants. It is the purpose of 
this article to encourage the more effective utilization of the services of mem- 
bers of the State Bar by providing for innovative development of programs for 
the education, training, certification and use of certified attorney assistants. 

6202. As used in tMs article: 

(a) "Board of Governors" means the Board of Governors of the State Bar. 

(b) "Certified attorney assistant board" means that board of nine persons ap- 
pointed in the manner and for the term provided in Section 6209. 

(c) "Approved program" means any program for the education and training 
of certified attorney assistants which has been formally approved by the certified 
attorney assistant board with the approval of the Board of Governors under 
standards adopted as hereinafter provided. 

(d) "Certified, attorney assistant" means a natural person tvho has been cer- 
tified by the certified attorney assistant board pursuant to this article. 

6203. (a) The certified attorney assistant board after public hearings and sub- 
ject to approval of the Board of Governors shall: 

(1) Establish and publish criteria for certification of certified attorney assist- 
ants ichich shall provide: 

{A) That an applicant for certification pass an examination established by the 
certified attorney assistant board with the approval of the Board of Governors ; 

(B) That no applicant for certification shall be deemed unfit by reason of race, 
color, creed, seas, national origin, or social or economic status; and 

(C) That no applicant for certification or certified attorney assistant shall be 
denied certification or have such certification suspended or revoked for lack of 
good moral character or moral turpitude for a criminal conviction, except when 
there has been a conviction of a criminal offense arising from conduct in the 
course of the operation of a business enterprise or in the course of one's previous 
employment, and such offense, occurred within five years before the date of ap- 
plication for certification or the date of certification, or if final discharge from 
parole or probation supervision arising from, such an offense occurred less than 
three years before the date of application or certification, then the board may 
take such a conviction into consideration when deciding ichether to certify an 
applicant or to suspend or revoke the certification of a licensee. 

(2) Adopt and publish standards for approved programs for the education and 
training of certified attorney assistants ; 

(3) Establish and publish procedures for recertification and for continuing 
education of certified attorney assistants. 



135 

(6) In approving programs, the certified attorney assistant hoard and the 
'board of governors shall give consideration to, and encourage utilisation of, 
equivalency and proficiency testing and other techniques tvhereiy credit is given 
for past education, experience and on-the-job training in law offices as ivell as 
the quality of the curriculum, facilities, and faculty. The certified attorney as- 
sistant board with the approval of the board of governors shall issue certificates 
of approval to such programs. 

(c) The certified attorney assistant boai'd shall review any approved program 
upon the consent of the Board of Governors, at such times as the former board 
deems necessary to determine compliance with the stated purposes of this article, 
pursuant to the rules and procedures established as herein provided, and may 
withdraw approval or impose probation on any program not maintaining requisite 
standards. 

620Jf. The certified attorney assistant board after public hearing may adopt 
rules, regulations and procedures, subject to the approval of the Board of Gover- 
nors and the Supreme Court: 

(a) Authorizing certified attorney assistants to perform acts otherwise pro- 
hibited, by Section 6126; 

(&) Governing the professional activities and conduct of certified attorney 
assistants. 

6205. The Board of Governors after public hearing may, subject to the approval 
of the Stfi)reme Court, adopt rules, regulations and procedures providing for dis- 
cipline of certified attorney assistants, including but not limited to revocation or 
suspension of certification for violation of any rule, regulation or statute now or 
hereafter in effect. 

6206. Any person other than one icho has been certified binder this article who 
holds himself out as a ''certified attorney assistant" is guilty of a misdemeanor. 

6201. The certified attorney assistant board after public hearings and with 
approval of the Board of Governors may adopt and publish such rules and regu- 
lations and impose such fees upon certified attorney assistants, and institutions 
or persons seeking program approval pursuant to this article as are reasonable 
and necessary. License fees for certified attorney assistants shall not exceed 
ticenty-five dollars ($25) per annum. The certified attorney assistant board with 
approval of the Board of Governors and the Supreme Court shall issue an appro- 
priate certificate to applicants who qualify under this article. 

6208. Nothing in this article shall be construed, as affecting or impairing the dis- 
ciplinary powers and authority of the Supreme Court or the State Bar in respect 
to conduct of members of the State Bar nor modifying the statutes and rules 
governing such conduct, except as expressly provided in this article. 

6209. The certified attorney assistant board shall be composed of nine persons: 
three members to be appointed by the Board of Governors of which only two may 
be m,embers of the State Bar; three members to be appointed by the Judicial 
Council of which only two may be members of the State Bar; three members to 
be appointed by the Legislature, two to be appointed by the Speaker of the 
Assembly and one to be appointed by the Senate Rules Committee, none of whom 
may be members of the State Bar and only two of whom, may be persons engaged 
in paralegal tcork or be certified attorney assistants. 

Members of the certified attorney assistant board shall be appointed for a 
term of three years. However, with respect to the three initial appoi)itment.<i made 
by each appointing body, one appointment shall be designated by the appointing 
body to be for a term of two years, one for a term of three years, and one for a 
term of four years, except that the appointee of the Senate Rules Committee 
.shall be designated to serve for a term of four years. No person may be appointed 
to a successive term. 

6210. The certified attorney assistant board shall, within 90 days of its first 
meeting, appoint an advisory committee or committees composed, of representa- 
tives from the various dii^erse organisations utilizing paralegals. Representatives 
from urban and. rural organisations shall be included, and special consideration 
shall be made to insure a suitable distribution of appointees with regard to age, 
sex, race and natimial origin. The functions of the advisory committee or com- 
mittees shall include, but not be limited to, a revietc of the impact of examina- 
tions approved program standards, actual utilisation certified attorney assistants 
and certification criteria with regard to exclusion of minorities and access to the 
profession by members of the communities being served. The advisory com- 
mittee or committees shall also consider the impact of this act in providing more 
of the public icith quality legal services and in promoting employment of certified 



13G 

attorney assistants. The advisory committee or committees shall periodically re- 
port its findings to the certified attorney assistant hoard and the California 
Legislature. 

•Sec. 3. The sum of dollars ($ ) is hereby appropriated from 

the General Fund to the State Controller for allocation and disbursement to lo- 
-cai agencies pursuant to Section 2231 of the Revenue and Taxation Code to re- 
Hmhurse such agencies for costs incurred by them pursua/nt to this act. 
X^Professions Code, to read: 

6032. Nothing contained in this chapter shall preclude any person not an ac- 
tive member of the State Bar from serving as an employee of, assistant to, or 
certified attorney assistant to an active member of the State Bar or a partnership 
composed of active members of the State Bar or a law corporation which has a 
currently effective certificate of registration from the State Bar; provided, how- 
ever, that such services must be under the control, .'supervision and compensation 
of an active member of the State Bar ; and provided further, hoiccver, that such 
employee, assistant or certified attorney assistant shall not, unless otherwise 
specifically authorized by this chapter or any rule or regulation established by 
tlie hoard of governors pursuant to this chapter, engage in any activity or eon- 
duct in violation of this chapter or any rule or regulation which the board of 
governors from time to time may establish under this chapter. 
ZSec. 2. Article 11 {commencing with Section 6201) is added to Chapter 4 of 
DiiHsion 3 of the Business and Professions Code, to read: 

^Article 11. Certified Attorney Assistant Act 

C6201. As a meaus of assisting members of the State Bar efficiently to provide 
more of the public with quality legal services, the Legislature intends to establish 
in this article a framework by which men and women who have acquired speci- 
fied skills can obtain recognition as certified attorney assistants. It is the purpose 
of this article to encourage the more effective utilization of the services of mem- 
bers of the State Bar by providing for innovative development of programs for 
the education, training, certification and use of certified attorney assistants. 

[0202. As used in this article : i 

[(a) "Board" means the Board of Governors of the State Bar. 

[(b) "Approved program" means any program for the education and train- 
ing of certified attorney assistants which has been formally approved by the 
board under standards to be adopted by the board. 

[(c) "Accredited institution"' means an institution offering approved pro- 
grams, which institution has been accredited by the board, under standards 
adnjited by the board. 

[(d) "Certified attorney assistant" means a natural person who has been 
certified by the board pursuant to this article. 

[6203. (a) The board: 

[(1) Shall establish criteria for certification of certified attorney assistants 
which shall include being of good moral character and passing an examination 
approved by the board ; 

[(2) Shall adopt standards for approved programs for the education and 
training of certified attorney assistants ; 

[(3) Shall have authority to accredit institutions offering approved pro- 
grams ; and 

[(4) Shall establish procedures for reoertification and for continuing educa- 
tion of certified attorney assistants. 

[(b) In developing criteria for approved programs, the board shall give con- 
sideration to and encourage utilization of equivalency and proficiency testing 
and other mechanisms whereby credit is given for past education, experience 
and on/the/.1ob training In law offices. 

[(c) In accrediting institutions, the board shall take into consideration such 
criteria as the hoard may specify including, without limitation, the quality of 
the curriculum, facilities, and faculty, and shall issue certificates of accreditation 
to institutions meeting the standards adopted by the hoard. 

[(d) The board, at such times as it deems necessary to determine compliance 
with purposes of this article, under rules and procedures established by the 
board, may review accredited institutions and approved programs and may 
withdraw approval of programs or accreditation or impose probation on any 
accredited institution not maintaining .such standards. 

[6204. The board may adopt rules, regulations and procedures, subject to the 
approval of the Supreme Court : 



137 

[(a) Authorizing certified attorney assistants to perform acts otlierwise pro- 
hibited by Section 612G ; 

[(b) Governing the professional activities and conduct of certified attorney 
assistants ; 

t(c) Providing for discipline of certified attorney assistants, including but 
not limited to revocation or suspension of certification for violation oi any 
rule, regulation or statute now or hereafter in effect. 

t(>205. Any person other than one who has been certified by the board who holds 
himself out as a "certified attorney assistant" or who uses any other term 
indicating or implying that he is a certified attorney assistant, is guilty of a 
misdemeanor. 

[6206. The board may adopt and publish such rules and regulations and im- 
pose such fees pursuant to this chapter and such other fees and charges as are 
rea.sonably necessary to carry out the purposes of this article. The board shall 
issue an appropriate certificate to applicants who qualify under this article. 

[6207. Nothing in this article shall be construed as affecting or impairing the 
disciplinary powers and authority of the Supreme Court or the State Bar in 
respect of conduct of members of the State Bar nor modifying the statutes and 
rules governing such conduct, except as expressly provided in this article. 

[Amended in Assembly January 29. 1974, Amended in Assembly January 24, 1974, 
Amended in Assembly August 6, 1973, California Legislature — 1973-74 Regular Ses- 
sion. Assembly Bill No. 1814] 

INTRODUCED BY ASSEMBLYMAN BROWN, APRIL 26, 1973, REFERRED TO COMMITTEE 
ON GOVERNMKAT ADMINISTRATION 

An act to add Section 6032, and Article 11 (commencing with Section 6201) to Chapter 4 
of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to certified attorney as- 
sistants, and making an appropriation therefor 

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST 

AB 1814, as amended, Brown (Gov. Adm.). Certified attorney assistants. 

Enacts the Certified Attorney Assistant Act. 

Creates a certified attorney assistant board with three members appointed by 
Board of Governors of the State Bar, three by the State Judicial Council, and 
three by the Legislature, as specified. 

Requires the certified attorney assistant board, with the approval of the 
Board of Governors of State Bar, to establish criteria for certification of attorney 
assistants, including standards for training programs and accreditation of edu- 
cational institutions offering such programs. 

Permits board, subject to approval of Board of Governors and Supreme Court, 
to adopt rules among other things, permitting certified assistants to perform 
legal services otherwise prohibited. Makes other provisions relating to such 
certified attorney assistants. 

[Appropriates an unspecified amount to the State Controller for allocation and 
disbursement to local agencies for costs incurred by them pursuant to this act.] 

Provides that no reinibvrsemcut nor appropriation is made by this act for 
costs incurred by local agencies. 

"Vote : [%] majority. Appropriation : [yes] no. Fiscal committee : yes. State- ■ 
mandated local program : [yes] no state funding. 

The people of the State of California do enact as follows: 
. Section. 1. Section 6032 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to 
read : 

00.32. Nothing contained in this chapter shall preclude any person not an active 
member of the State Bar from serving as an employee of, assistant to. or certified 
attorney assistant to an active member of the State bar or a partnership composed 
of active members of the State Bar or a law corporation which has a currently 
effective certificate of registration from the State Bar. However, any person 
rendering such services must be under the control and supervision of an active 
member of the State Bar. A certified attorney assistant shall not, unless otherwise 
specifically authorized by this chapter or any rule or regulation established by 
the board of governors pursuant to this chapter, engage in any activity or conduct 
in violation of this chapter or any rule or re.gulntion which the board of gover- 
nors from time to time may establisii under this chapter. 

No compensation shall be paid directly to any person not a member of the 
State Bar by the client to whom the services are rendered except where such 



138 

person is a permanent employee of the client and the compensation of such per- 
son for services rendered is with the consent of the member of tlie State Bar. 

Any rules, regulations or procedures issued pursuant to subdivision (a) of 
Section 6204 defining acts which may be performed by a certified attorney assist- 
ant shall not be used to determine what acts are prohibited by Section 6126 for 
other persons. 

Sec. 2. Article 11 (commencing with Section 6201) is added to Chapter 4 of 
Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, to read : 

Article 11. Certified Attorney Assistant Act 

6201. As a means of assisting members of the State Bar to provide the public 
with quality legal services more efficiently, the Legislature intends to establish 
in this article a means by which men and women who have acquired specified 
skills can obtain recognition as certified attorney assistants. It is the purpose 
of this article to encourage the more effective utilization of the services of mem- 
bers of the State Bar by providing for innovative development of programs for 
the education, training, certification and use of certified attorney assistants. 

6202. As used in this article : 

(a) "Board of Governors" means the Board of Governors of the State Bar. 

(b) "Certified attorney assistant board" means that board of nine persons 
appointed in the manner and for the term provided in Section 6209. 

(c) "Approved program" means any program for the education and training 
of certified attorney assistants which has been formally approved by the certified 
attorney assistant board with the approval of the Board of Governors under 
standards adopted as hereinafter provided. 

(d) "Certified attorney assistant" means a natural person who has been certi^ 
'fied by the certified attorney assistant board pursuant to this article. 

6203. (a) The certified attorney assistant board after public hearings and 
teubject to approval of the Board of Governors shall : 

(1) Establish and publish criteria for certification of certified attorney 
assistants which shall provide : 

(A) That an applicant for certification pass an examination established by the 
certified attorney assistant board with the approval of the Board of Governors ; 

(B) That no applicant for certification shall be deemed unfit by reason of 
race, color, creed, sex, national origin, or social or economic status ; and 

(C) That no applicant for certification or certified attorney assistant shall be 
denied certification or have ,such certification suspended or revoked for lack of 
good moral character or moral turpitude for a criminal conmction, except when 
there has been a conviction of a criminal offense arising from conduct in the 
course of the operation of a business enterprise or in the course of one's previous 
employment, and such offense, occurred with five years before the date of appli- 
cation for certification or the date of certification, or if final discharge from 
parole or probation supervision arising from such an offense occurred less than 
three years before the date of application or certification, then the board may 
take such a conviction into consideration when deciding whether to certify an 
applicant or to suspend or revoke the certification of a licensee. 

(2) Adopt and publish standards for approved programs for the education and 
training of certified attorney assistants ; 

(3) Establish and publish procedures for recertification and for continuing 
education of certified attorney assistants. 

i(b) In approving programs, the certified attorney assistant board and the 
board of governors shall give consideration to, and encourage utilization of, 
equivalency and proficiency testing and other techniques whereby credit is given 
for past education, experience and on-the-job training in law oflSces as well as the 
quality of the curriculum, facilities, and faculty. The certified attorney assistant 
board with the approval of the board of governors shall issue certificates of 
approval to such programs. 

(c) 'The certified attorney assistant board shall review any approved program 
upon the consent of the Board of Governors, at such times as the former board 
deems necessary to determine compliance with the stated purposes of this article, 
pursuant to the rules and procedures established as herein provided, and may 
withdraw approval or impose probation on any program not maintaining requisite 
standards. 



139 

6204. The certified attorney assistant board after public bearing may adopt 
rules, regulations and procedures, subject to the approval of the Board of Gover- 
nors and the Supreme Court : 

(a) Autborizing certified attorney assistants to perform acts otherwise pro- 
hibited by Section 6126; 

(b) Governing the professional activities and conduct of certified attorney 
assistants. 

6205. The Board of Governors after public hearing may, subject to the approval 
of the Supreme Court, adopt rules, regulations and procedures providing for dis- 
cipline of certifled attorney assistants, including but not limited to revocation or 
suspension of certification for violation of any rule, regulation or statute now or 
hereafter in effect. 

6206. Any pei-son other than one who has been certified under this article who 
holds himself out as a •'certified attorney assistant" is guilty of a misdemeanor. 

6207. The certified attorney assistant board after public hearings and with 
approval of the Board of Governors may adopt and publish such rules and regu- 
lations and impose such fees upon certified attorney assistants, and institutions 
or persons seeking program approval pursuant to this article as are reasonable 
and necessary. License fees for certified attorney assistants shall not exceed 
twenty-five dollars ($25) per annum. The certified attorney assistant board with 
approval of the Board of Governors and the Supreme Court shall issue an appro- 
priate certificate to applicants who qualify under this article. 

6208. Nothing in this article shall be construed as affecting or Impairing the 
disciplinary powers and authority of the Supreme Court or the State Bar in 
respect to conduct of members of the State Bar nor modifying the statutes and 
rules governing such conduct, except as expressly provided in this article. 

6209. The certified attorney assistant board shall be composed of nine persons : 
three members to be appointed by the Board of Governors of which only two may 
be members of the State Bar ; three members to be appointed by the Judicial 
Council of which only two may be members of the State Bar ; three members to 
be appointed by the Legislature, two to be appointed by the Speaker of the Assem- 
bly and one to be appointed by the Senate Rules Committee, none of whom may 
be memi>ers of the State Bar and only two of whom may be persons engaged in 
paralegal work or be certified attorney assistants. 

Members of the certified attorney assistant board shall be appointed for a 
term of three years. However, with respect to the three initial appointments 
make by each appointing body, one appointment shall be designated by the ap- 
pointing body to be for a term of two years, one for a term of three years, and 
one for a term of four years, except that the appointee of the Senate Rules 
Committee shall be designated to serve for a term of four years. No person may 
be appointed to a successive term. 

6210. The certified attorney assistant board shall, within 90 days of its first 
meeting, appoint an advisory committee or committees composed of representa- 
tives from the various diverse organizations utilizing paralegals. Representa- 
tives from urban and rural organizations shall be included, and special consider- 
ation shall be made to insure a suitable distribution of appointees with regard 
to age. sex, race and national oi'igin. The functions of the advisory committee 
or committees shall include, but not be limited to, a review of the impact of 
examinations approved program standards, actual utilization certified attorney 
assistants and certification criteria with regard to exclusion of minorities and 
access to the profession by members of the communities being served. The 
advisory committee or committees shall also consider the impact of this act in 
providing more of the public with quality legal services and in promoting em- 
ployment of certified attorney assistants. The advisory committee or committees 
shall periodically report its findings to the certified attorney assistant board and 
the California Legislature. 

[Sec. 3. The sum of dollars ($ ) is hereby appropriated from the 

General Fund to the State Controller for nllocation and disbursement to local 
agencies pursuant to Section 2231 of the Revenue and Taxation Code to reim- 
burse such agencies for costs incurred by them pursuant to this act.3 

Sec. 3. NoHvith standing Section 2231 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, there 
shall l)e no reimbursement pursuant to this section nor shall there he an appro- 
priation made hy this act because the Legislature recognizes that during any 
legislative session a variety of changes to laios relating to crimes and infractions 
may cause both increased and decreased costs to local governmental entities 
which in the aggregate, do not result in significant identifiable cost changes. 



140 

[Amended in Senate June 24, 1974, Amended In Assembly January 29. 1974, Amended in 
Assembly January 24, 1974, Amended in Assembly August 6, 1973, California Legisla- 
ture 1973-74 Kegular Session, Assembly Bill No. 1814] 

INTEODUCED BY ASSEMBLYMAN BROWN, APRIL 26, 1973, REFERRED TO 
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION 

An act to add Section 6032, and Article 11 {commencing with Section 6201) to Chapter 4 
of Division 3 Of the Business and Professions Code, relating to certified attorney 
assistants 

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST 

AB 1814, as amended, Brown (Gov. Adm.). Certified attorney assistants. 

Enacts tlie Certified Attorney Assistant Act. 

Creates a certified attorney's assistant board with three members appointed 
by Board of Governors of the State Bar, three by the State Judicial Council, and 
three by the Legislature, as specified. 

Requires the certified attorney assistant board, with the approval of the 
Board of Governors of State Bar, to establish criteria for certification of attorney 
assistants, including standards for training programs and accreditation of educa- 
tional instructions offering such programs. 

Permits boai'd, subject to approval of Board of Governors and Supreme Court, 
to adopt rules among other things, permitting certified assistants to perform 
legal services otherwise prohibited. Makes other provisions relating to such cer- 
tified attorney assistants. 

Requires the board to appoint an advisory committee, as specified, and 7'e- 
quires such comnvittee to submit a written report to the board and the Legisla- 
ture every tico years. 

Appropriates an unspecified amount from the General Fund to the Certified 
Attorney Assistant Board for specified expenditures. 

Provides that ,no reimbursement nor appropriation is made by this act for 
costs incurred by' local agencies. 

Vote : [majority! %. Appropriation : Cno3 yes. Fiscal committees : yes. State- 
mandated local program : no state funding. 

The people of the State of California do enact as follows: 

Section 1. Section 6032 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to 
read: 

6032. Nothing contained in this chapter shall preclude any person not an ac- 
tive member of the State Bar from serving as an employee of, assistant to, or 
certified attorney assistant to an active member of the State Bar or a partner- 
ship composed of active members of the State Bar or a law corporation which 
has a currently effective certificate of registration from the State Bar. However, 
any person rendering such services must be under the control and supervision 
of an active member of the State Bar. A certified attorney assistant [shall not, 
unless otherwise specifically authorized by this chapter or any rule or regulation 
established by the board of governors pursuant to this chapter, engage in any] 
shall not engage in any activity or conduct in violation of this chapter or any 
rule Cor regulation which the board of governors from time to time may estalv 
lish under this chapter.] or regulation established tinder this chapter. 

No compensation shall be paid directly to [any] such person [not a member 
of the State Bar] by the client to whom the services are rendered except where 
such person is a permanent employee of the client and the compensation of such 
person for services rendered is with the consent of the supervising member of 
the State Bar. 

Any rules, regulations or procedures issued pursuant to subdivision (a) of Sec- 
tion 6204 defining acts which may be performed by a certified attorne.v assistant 
shall not be used to determine what acts are prohibited by Section [6126 for other 
])ersons] 6125 for other persons. This section and Article 11 {commencing with 
Section 6201) are not intended to establish or change criteria for appearing be- 
fore administrative agencies. 

Sec. 2. Article 11 (commencing with Section 6201) is added to Chapter 4 of 
Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, to read : 

Article 11. Certified Attorney Assistant Act 

[6201. As a means of assisting members of the State Bar to provide the public 
with quality legal services more efficiently, the Legislature intends to establish 
in this article a means by which men and women who have acquired specified 
skills can obtain recognition as certified attorney assistants. It is the purpose 



141 

of this article to encourage the more effective utilization of the services of mem- 
bers of the State Bar by providing for innovative development of programs for 
the education, training, certification and use of certified attorney assistants.] 

6201. It is the intent of the LcyiaLature in vnacllny tlds article to promote and 
encourage the delivery of more efficient, comprehensive and quality legal services 
to California residents hy: 

(a) Encouraging the development of new career opportunities consistent with 
provision of these services; 

(b) Encouraging more efficient utilization of services of members of tlie State 
Bard- 
ic) Encouraging innovative development of program,8 for the education, train- 
ing, certification and use of certified attorney assistants ; and 

(d) Extending public recognition to persons who have certified attorney as- 
sistant skills. 

6201.5. This article shall be known and cited as the Certified Attorney Assistant 
Act. 

6202. As used in this article : 

(a) "Board of Governors" means the Board of Governors of the State Bar. 

(b) "Certified attorney assistant board" means that board of nine persons ap- 
pointed in the manner and for the term provided in Section 6209. 

(c) "Approved program" means any program for the education and train- 
ing of certified attorney assistants which has been formally approved by the 
certified attorney assistant board with the approval of the Board of Governors 
under standards adopted as hereinafter provided. 

(d) "Certified attorney assistant" means a natural persons who has been 
certified by the certified attorney assistant board pursuant to this article. 

(e) "Public hearing" means a hearing in accordance vyith Chapter 5 {comr 
mencing nHth Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Govern- 
ment Code. 

6203. (a) The certified attorney assistant board after conducting public hear- 
ings i7i the Cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Fresno and 
subject to approval of the Board of Governors shall: 

(1) Establish and publish criteria for certification of certified attorney 
assistants which shall pro^ ide : 

(A) That an applicant for certification pass an a job-functions-related exam- 
ination established by the certified attorney assistant board with the approval 
of the Board of Governors. In the development of such examination the certified 
attorney assistant board and the Board of Governors shall utilise whenever 
feasible equivalency and proficiency testing; 

(B) That no applicant for certification shall be deemed unfit by reason of 
race, color, creed, sex, national origin, or social or economic status, age citizen- 
ship, or physical or mental handicap, except as such physical or mental hand- 
icap adversely affects the ability to perform the function of the certified attor- 
ney and assi.it ant; and 

C(C) That no applicant for certification or certified attorney a.'ssistant shall 
be denied certification or have such certification suspended or revoked for lack 
of good moral character or moral turpitude for a criminal conviction, except 
when there has been a conviction of a criminal offense arising from conduct in 
the course of the operation of a business enterpri.se or in the course of one's 
previous employment, and such offense, occurred within five years before the 
date of application for certification or the date of certification, or if final dis- 
charge from parole or probation supervision arising from such an offense oc- 
curred less than three years before the date of application or certification, then 
the board may take such a conviction into consideration when deciding whether 
to certify an applicant or to su.spend or revoke the certification of a licen.see.3 

(C) That an applicant for certification as a certified attorney assistant may 
be denied certification, or the certificate of a certified attorney assistant may be 
revoked or suspended on the ground of lack of good moral character but only 
after due notice and hearing resulting in written specific findings on tvhich the 
determination icas based. For the purpose of this article, lack of good moral 
character shall be defined as having lack of good moral character shall be 
defined as having 

(i) Been convicted of a crime; or 

(ii) Done any act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit icith the intent to 
benefit himself or another, or injure another; 

(Hi) Done any act which if done by a certified attorney assistant contrary to 
rules. recivJations. and procedures promulgated pursuant to Section 6205 icould 
be grounds for suspension or revocation of certification. 
41-375— T4 10 



142 

(iv) Knowingly made a false statement of fact required to be revealed in an 
application for certification. 

Subparagraphs (i), {ii) and (iv) shall be applicable only if the crime or act 
or false statement is substantially related to the functions and duties of the job 
for u'hich certification is sought and the crime occurred within five years before 
the date of application for certification, or final discharge from a correctional 
institution or final discharge from parole or probation supervision arising from 
such an offense occurred within three years of the date of application for 
certification. 

The Certified Attorney Assistant Board, under the provision of this code and 
pursuant to the provisions of subdivision {a), shall develop specific criteria to 
aid in determining whether a crime or act or false statement is substantially 
related to the functions and duties of the job for which certification is sought 
or received and any denial, suspension or revocation of certification shall be 
based only on the specific criteria developed by the Certified Attorney Assistant 
Board. 

(2) Adopt and publish standards for approved programs for the education and 
training of certified attorney assistants ; 

(3) Establish and publish procedures for [recertification] reapplication and 
for continuing education of certified attorney assistants. 

(4) Have the authority to establish and publish procedures for recertification 
of certified attorney assistants. 

(b) In approving programs, the certified attorney assistant board and the 
Cboard of governors shall give consideration to, and encourage utilization ofj 
Board of Governors shall utilise, whenever feasible, equivalency and proficiency 
testing and other techniques whereby credit is given for past education, experi- 
ence and on-the-job training [in law ofiices] as well as the quality of the [cur- 
riculum, facilities] course content, and faculty or training staff. The certified 
attorney assistant board with the approval of the [board of governors] Board 
of Governors shall issue certificates of approval to such programs. 

(c) The certified attorney assistant board shall review any approved program 
•upon [the consent] its oivn, initiative or at the request of the Board of [Gover- 
nors, at such times as the former board deems necessary] Governors to determine 
compliance with the stated purposes of this article, pursuant to the rules and 
procedures established as herein provided, and may withdraw approval or im- 
pose probation on any program not maintaining requisite standards. 

6204. The certified attorney assistant board after public hearing may adopt 
rules, regulations and procedures, subject to the approval of the Board of Gover- 
nors and the Supreme Court : 

(a) Authorizing certified attorney assistants to perform acts otherwise pro- 
hibited by Section [6126] 6125 and regulating the conduct of a certified attorney 
assistant in the performance of duties authorised pursuant to this section and 
regulations promulgated thereunder ; 

(h) Governing the professional activities and conduct of certified attorney as- 
sistants in their capacity as certified attorney assistants. 

(c) Except as provided, in this section and in Sections 605 and 6206, nothing in 
in this article shall be construed, to prohibit or authorise regulation of the ac- 
tivities of the persons engaged in conduct not prohibited by section 6125 of this 
code. 

620.5. The Board of Governors after public hearing may, subject to the ap- 
proval of the Supreme Court, adopt rules, regulations and procedures providing 
for discipline of certified attorney assistnnts, including but not limited to revoca- 
tion or suspension of certification for violation of any rule, regulation or statute 
now or hereafter in effect. 

6206. Ay person other than one who has been certified under this article who 
'knowingly holds himself out as a "certified attorney assistant" is guilty of a 
misdemeanor. 

6207. The certified attorney assistant board after public hearings and with 
approval of the Board of Governors mny adopt and publish such rules and regula- 
tions and impose such fees upon certified attorney assistants, and institutions 
or persons seeking program approval pursuant to this article as are reasonable 
and necessary. [License fees! Fees for certified nttorney assistants shall not ex- 
ceed [twenty-five dollars C$2."')3 fifty dollars (.$50) per annum. The certified at- 
torney assistant board with approval of the Board of Governors and the Supreme 
Court shall issue an appropriate certificate to applicants who qualify under this 
article. 



143 

6208. Nothing in this article shall be construed as affecting or impairing the 
disciplinary powers and authority of the Supi'eme Court or the State Bar in re- 
spect to conduct of members of the State Bar or modifying the statutes and 
rules governing such conduct, except as expressly provided in this article. 

6209. The certified attorney assistant board shall be composed of nine persons : 
three members to be appointed by the Board of Governors of which only two 
may be members of the State Bar and the other one shall 'be a public numher; 
three members to be appointed by the Judicial Council of which only two may be 
members of the State Bar and the other one shall be a public member; three mem- 
bers to be appointed by the Legislature, two to be appointed by the Speaker of the 
Assembly, both of whom shall be persons engaged in paralegal work or be certified 
■attorney assistants or persons engaged in the training of paralegals or certified 
attorney assistants, and one public member to be api)ointed by the Senate Rules 
Committee, none of whom may be members of the Senate Bar and only two of 
whom may be persons engaged in paralegal work or be certified attorney 
assistants. 

Members of the certified attorney assistant board shall be appointed for a 
term of three years. However, with respect to the three initial appointments 
[makel made by each appointing body, one appointment shall be designated by 
the appointing body to be for a term of two years one for a term of three years, 
and one for a term of four years, expect that the appointee of the Senate Rules 
Committee shall be designated to serve for a term of four years. No person may be 
appointed to a successive term. 

6210. The certified attorney assistant board shall, within 90 days of its first 
meeting, appoint an advisory committee or committees composed of representa- 
tives from the various diverse organizations uitlizing paralegals. Representatives 
from urban and rural organizations shall be included, and special consideration 
shall be made to insure a suitable distribution of appointees with regard to age, 
sex, race and national origin. The functions of the advisory committee or 
committees shall include, but not be limited to, a review of the impact of 
examinations approved program standards, actual utilization certified attorney 
assistants and certification criteria with regard to exclusion of minorities and 
access to the profession by members of the communities being served. The 
advisory committee or committees shall also consider the impact of this act in 
providing more of the public with quality legal services and in promoting 
employment of certified attorney assistants. The advisory committee or com- 
mittees shall periodically report its findings to the certified attorney assistant 
board and the California Legislature. 

The advisory committee or committees created by the Certified Attorney 
Assistant Board shall have a none-years term and shall thereafter be terminated 
nt any time by a vote of tico-thirds of the members of the Certified Attorney 
Assistant Board. 

An advisory committee shall submit a report in ivriting to the Certified 
Attorney Assistant Board and the Legislature at least every tivo years. The 
report shall include such information and opinions or recommendations as the 
Certified Attorney Assistant Board has requested in the initial appointment oj 
the advisory committee as tvell as such other relevant comments as the com- 
mittee believes will further the purpose of the Certified Attorney Assistant 
Act. 

6211. {a) Each member of the Certified Attorney Assistant Board and advisory 
committees shall receive a per diem of twenty-five dollars ($25) for each day 
actually spent in the discharge of official duties, and shall be reimbursed for 
traveling and other expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of such 
duties. Such payments in each instance shall be made only from the fund from, 
which the expenses of the agency are paid and shall be subject to the availability 
of money in that fund. 

(b) The sum of dollars ($ ) is hereby appropriated, without 

regard to fiscal year, from the General Fund to the Certified Attorney Assistant 
Board for expenditures required in fulfilling the board's powers and duties. 

When revenues received by the board from certification fees under the 
Certified Attorney Assistant Act arc suffiGicnt, the board shall repay to the 
General Fund the revenues allocated therefrom to the board. 

Sec. 3. Notwithstanding Section 2231 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, 
there shall be no reimlnirsement pursuant to this section nor shall there be an 
appropriation made by this act because the Legislature recognizes that during 
^any legislative session a variety of changes to laws relating to crimes and 



144 

infractions may cause both increased and decreased costs to local govern- 
mental entities which in the aggregate, do not result in significant identifiable 
cost changes. 

Appendix No. 3 

[The New York Times, Sunday, Oct. 28, 1973] 
Study Panel Urges Curb on Groups That Control Admission to Professions 

(By Evan Jenkins) 

Washington, Oct. 27. — A Federal study group on education urged today that 
the Government "adopt a more vigilant anti-trust posture toward professional and 
occupational groups that exert control over who works in their fields of activity." 
Acknowledging that "standards of training and competency in many occupa- 
tions are essential for consumer protection," the group's report adds. "All too 
often, however, such stndards become the means for limiting entry to careers." 

That happens, the report asserts, with practitioners ranging from doctors and 
lawyers to "morticians and dancing school instructors." 

The call for efforts to curb such control is one of more than 30 recommenda- 
tions in the final report of the study group, which was assigned by the Department 
of Health, Education and Welfare in 1971 to examine the Federal role in higher 
education. 

The group, headed by Frank Newman, director of university relations at 
Stanford, also made the following proposals in the area of student aid and 
financing : 

A nonmilitary "G.I. bill for community service" that would provide Federal 
aid for education to those who have served in selected national, regional and 
local programs that are deemed to be of benefit to society. 

Increased emphasis on aid to individual students and less to institutions, a 
controversial concept already espoused by the Government and such groups as 
the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. 

Efforts to narrow the tuition gap between public and private colleges to improve 
the competitive position of the private institutions, another proposal made fre- 
quently of late and sharply debated. 

Throughout the report, the emphasis is on flexability and competition in 
higher education — diversity in the kinds of schooling that society requires and 
the Government should encourage; openness, of ease of access, to schools re- 
gardless of age or economic status; incentives for change to meet society's 
needs, with the "harsh but necessary concomittant" that some institutions may 
die in the process because they are ineffective. 

It is in extending the doctrine of "openness" beyond school to the world of work 
that the study group assails the control exercised by occupational groups over 
career opportunities for individuals. 

Speaking of the proliferation of licensing and certification laws over the last 
three decades, it declares : 

"Such laws are sought not only to provide for regulation of entry into the 
field, but to provide the group in question with a primary role as regulators, 
so C.P.A.'s sit on the state board of public accountants, and the architect, li- 
cense future architects, all in the name of the state. 

"The standards employed ofen bear only a tenuous relationship to the com- 
petencies needed for successful practice and instead often reflect more the pro- 
fession's image of itself." 

A parallel exercise of control can be found in the accreditation of institutions, 
the report says. It notes as one example that 39 states require that i)ersons 
taking bar exams be graduates of a law school accredited by the American Bar 
Association, "which, not coincidentally, also writes the exam and evaluates the 
'moral fitness' of the prospective members of the bar." 

FOR CLARIFICATION 

As a beginning of "a more vigilant antitrust posture relative to the activities 
of the organized professions," the report calls for clarification of law and regu- 
latory responsibility among arms of government concerned with professional 
groups. 



145 

It also urges an investigation of requirements for graduation from profes- 
sionally accredited institutions and of "requirements unrelated to the profi- 
ciencies needed to protect consumers and successfully practice one's profession." 

Asked at a press bi'ieling yesterday if he could foresee government lawsuits 
against occupational organizations, Mr. Newman replied, "Yes, although that 
would be a long way down the road." 

Besides Mr. Newman, the study group's members were Robert Andringa and 
Christopher Cross of the minority staff of the House Education and Labor Com- 
mittee; William Cannon of the University of Chicago; Don Davies, a former 
Office of Education oflScial and now a senior research fellow at Yale; Russell 
Edgerton of the Government's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Edu- 
cation; Martin Kramer of the Health, Education and Welfare Secretary's office 
and Bernie Martin of the National Institute of Education. 



The Legal Clinic of Jacoby & Meters, 

Los Angeles, Calif., July 15, 197-'f. 
Senator John Tunney, 
r.S!. Senate, 
Washinffton^ D.C. 

Dear Senator Txjnney : I am the Vice-President of the American Paralegal 
Association, and Deborah Larba.lestrier and Linda Bever, our Executive Direc- 
tor and President, have shown me a letter you sent to them concerning your 
study on making legal services more available to the public. 

I do not know if you have heard of The Legal Clinic of Jacoby & Meyers. I 
liave been working here as a paralegal counselor, and during that time, have 
been extremely happy with the way they are able to make their services avail- 
able to the public at rates that are much lower than that of the average attorney 
in Los Angeles County. 

Our firm woud not be able to offer the services that it does at such low prices 
were it not for strong utilization of paralegals. The paralegals interview clients, 
draft documents and handle the follow-up work on the files before each case 
goes to Court. This way, we save quite a bit of time for the attorneys, which 
.saves a lot of money for the firm. 

The concept of The Legal Clinic is to help people who do not qualify for 
Legal Aid services but can not afford a private attorney. We charge $100.00 for 
an extremely simple divorce. The normal fees charged for this in Los Angeles 
are $350-$400.00. We charge 25%. rather than one third, for personal injury 
cases. We also make sure to do a thorough job and be fair with our clients. I 
have been working for attorneys for nine years next month, and this is the first 
firm I have worked for that does not let clients sign documents in blank and 
does not let the lay staff sign the client's or attorney's name on documents to save 
time. There is also less pressure on the client to retain us when he comes in for 
his first appointment. With every other firm I have worked for, a person can rarely 
escape the office without signing a retainer agreement. We are only too happy to 
have them think about it for a few days before deciding what they want to do 
ai'ter they have been advised of their rights, what courses of action they can 
take, and how much it will cost them. 

Naturally, the attorneys in the community are none too happy about the 
competition offered by this firm. Messrs. .Tacol)y and Meyers are having a disci' 
plinary hearing on September 24 with the State Bar of California. They are be- 
ing charged with advertising, which is aganst our code of ethics. The firm has 
never advertised, but it had a lot of publicity when it opened, due to the un- 
usual nature of the practice. Many other attorneys in the Los Angeles area have 
granted interview to the press and appeared on the news for various reasons 
and have not been subject to disbarment or suspension, but then they charge 
what other attorneys charge, so that is apparently not considered advertising 
by the State Bar of California. 

As you know, there is a bill now in our State Legislature which will certify 
paralegals to perform duties which now constitute the practice of law. Tlie reason 
for the bill is to provide quality legal services to more people for less money. 
The liill is excellent, and our association has supported the bill vigorously. 
However, I think it is a shame that the State Bar is sponsoring a bill with this 
intent in mind, but tries to put men out of business because they are carrying 
through the same intent. This sets a terrible example for attorneys who want 



146 

to carry on a practice to help people for reasonable prices and utilize para- 
legals. We bad boiled tbat tbe concept of tbe Legal Clinic would be carried out 
by many attorneys after passage of tbe bill. 

If your Committee would like any further information on the Clinic concept 
of practicing law and the utilization of paralegals to carry out said concept, let 
me know what information you would like to have, and I would be happy to 
furnish it. The American Paralegal Association thanks you for the interest you 
have taken in our profession and our goals of providing legal services to the 
public. 

Sincerely, 

Frances Longmike. 



Chicago Association of Paralegal Assistants, 

Chicago, III., July 18, 1974. 
Hon. John V. Tunney, 

Chairman, Suhcommittee on Representation of Citizen Interests, Dirksen Office 
Building, Washington, D.C. 

Dear Senator Tunney : It has been said that while the rich can afCord private 
fees and the poverty-stricken are eligible for Legal Aid, the middle and low- 
income levels have the least access to legal counsel. Tbe legal profession has a 
continuing obligation to seek ways and means of furnishing quality legal services 
to all segments of the public at reasonable cost. Attorneys over the years have 
spent more and more time on paperwork and other routine matters which do not 
involve legal judgment. Such work can be and in ever-growing numbers is being 
performed by trained non-lawyer personnel (often called paralegals, legal assist- 
ants, or attorney assistants). By following the basic management principle of 
delegating down as far as possible, efficient and effective use of such personnel 
frees the attorney to meet tbe demands of the public for his most valuable 
commodity — his time and advice. It also results in lower cost to his client in 
that, while this work is skillfully and efficiently accomplished, paralegal time 
is billed at a fraction of the cost of attorney time. 

You specifically pose the following questions: What effect, if any, would ac- 
creditation of training programs and licensing of individuals have on the develop- 
ments in the paralegal area? Should institutions which train paralegals be ac- 
credited? Who should control the accrediting if it is done? Should individual 
paralegals be licensed? Who should control the licensing if it is done? Because 
certification/licensing and accreditation have only recently become an issue in 
Illinois, CAPA's Committee on Standards has now turned its attention to these 
very questions. It has been reviewing proposals and advisory opinions of com- 
mittees of various state bar associations as well as books, articles and the pro- 
posed California legislation dealing with such questions. The general feeling is 
that many of the foregoing have the clear intent of restricting in a fundamental 
way the kinds of service which paralegals are now competently and properly ren- 
dering to the legal profession (and therefore would have the effect of increasing 
the cost and decreasing the availability of these services to the general public). 
Some also seem to contemplate severely limited avenues of entrance into the 
paralegal profession. Still others, while possibly trying to guard against the idea 
of total self-regulation, seem to have resorted to the other extreme of disallow- 
ing paralegals a meaningful voice in the determination of their own professional 
destinies. A formal policy statement dealing with these issues is scheduled to 
be completed by the Committee on Standards this fall. If at tbat time your 
Subcommittee is still in session, it will be available for submission. 

Attached is the recently published Report of the Committee on Standards 
entitled "The Legal Assistant: A Self-Statement". This report is based on the 
results of an in-depth survey condiicted in the Chicago area in September of 
1973. It covers education, paralegal training, working conditions, opinions on 
certification/licensing, areas of specialization, including probate, real estate, 
litisation, corporate, employee benefits, trademarks and copyrights, and the gen- 
eralist. This report will familiarize you with the functions now being performed 
by paralegals in the Chicago area. 
Very truly yours, 

Sheila J. Moolenaak, President. 



147 

The Legai. Assistant : A Self-Statement 

(By The Commitee on Standards, The Chicago Association of Paralegal 

Assistants) 

The Committee on Standards wishes to express its appreciation to the follow- 
ing people : 

1. The Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, especially Mr. George 
A. M. Heroux, for assistance in the distribution of the Survey ; 

2. The countless members of CAPA who donated miscellaneous time and 
services to the activities of the Committee ; 

3. Ms. Phyllis Koral, who assisted in the final preparation of this report ; and 

4. The law firms and corporations with which the Committee's members are 
associated, vrithout whose cooperation this report would not have been possible. 

I. INTRODUCTION 

The following report on legal assistants has been compiled and written by the 
Committee on Standards of the Chicago Association of Paralegal Assistants 
(CAPA). It is an attempt by working legal assistants to define who they are 
and what they do, and to provide concrete information that will aid in considera- 
tion of standardization and certification of this relatively new profession in the 
legal field. The report is based on an analysis of responses obtained from approxi- 
mately 225 Surveys distributed randomly to working legal assistants. 

The Chicago Association of Paralegal Assistants had its beginning as small, 
relatively informal gatherings of legal assistants in the fall of 1972. As the pro- 
fession and interest in it has grown, so has CAPA. It was incorporated as a not- 
for-profit Illinois corporation in September, 1973. Its membership as of April 
15th, 1974, numbers 153: 138 regular dues-paying members (full-time legal 
assistants working in the State of Illinois) and 15 associate dues-paying members 
(persons enrolled in formal courses of study in Illinois which lead to a position 
as a legal assistant). Additionally, any person, firm, or institution interested in 
supporting the purposes of CAPA may become a sustaining member upon pay- 
ment of annual dues; as of April 15th, 1974, CAPA has 12 such sustaining 
members. 

The Committee on Standards is one of several standing committees of the 
Chicago Association of Paralegal Assistants. It was established to define _who 
and what the legal assistant is now, and to provide concrete Information for 
the definition and/or standardization of the legal assistant in the future. The 
Committee's members work in the areas of law represented in the Survey: 
that is, probate, real estate, litigation, corporate, employee benefit plans, and 
trademarks and copyrights. As a whole, the Committee compiled Sections I 
through V of the Survey (see Appendix A), dealing with general backgrounds 
and working conditions of legal assistants. Subcommittees composed of legal 
assistants specializing in each area then compiled Sections A through F (see 
Appendix A), attempting to formulate questions pertinent to job definitions 
for each specialty. 

In some specialties, the legal assistant works only in certain stages of a 
proceeding. Where possible, therefore, questions in Sections A through F of the 
Survey were arranged in sequence to indicate at what point the legal assistant 
is introduced into a proceeding and at what point he or she ceases to participate. 

In the summer of 1973, fifteen (15) sample surveys were distributed at a large 
Chicago law firm to test both form and content of the Survey. Ample room 
was provided for personal opinions. The results of these samples have not been 
included in this report (unless othervrise indicated) because the anonymity of 
the participating firm could not be guaranteed. (See Appendix C.) 

In the fall of i973, approximately 225 Surveys were distributed to legal assist- 
ants working in and around Chicago. To insure random distribution of the 
Survey. Standards Committee members called all Chicago law firms listed in 
the 1973-1974 edition of Sullivan's Law Directory showing more than five 
attorneys, as well as major banks, corporations, and government agencies. Addi- 
tionally, Surveys were distributed upon request to legal assistants in attend- 
ance at the "Seminar on How to Use Non-Lawyers," presented by the Illinois 



148 

Institute for Continuing Legal Education in conjunction with CAPA in Oc- 
tober, 1973. 

The Surveys were returned anonymously. Of the 225 questionnaires distributed 
originally, approximately 95 of those returned (plus the 15 sample surveys) 
were able to be tabulated. 

II. GENEEAL INFORMATION 

The results of this section are based upon the responses contained in ninety- 
five (95) Surveys, returned anonymously by mail to the Committee on Stand- 
ards. While certain similarities of background and experience may be noted, 
it seems clear from these results that there is by no means a stereotypical legal 
assistant. 

The vast majority of the responding legal assistants (84.2%) ar female; 
9.5% are male, and 6.3% did not respond. They range in age from 20 to "over 
40," though 77.9% cluster in an age range of from 20 to 30 years of age. 

A. Education 

Only 3.2% of the legal assistants responding have only a high school diploma ; 
of these, nearly all have had some additional non-coilege training (business col- 
lege, secretarial school, or technical training). An additional 1-5.7% attended 
college but did not receive a bachelor's degi'ee. (2.1% received associate or junior 
college degrees.) Of those respondents not having a four-year college degree, 
91% have had either formal training or previous related experiences: 14.7% 
have had formal paralegal training of some sort, and 76% have had previous ex- 
perience. Only 2.1% of responding legal assistants, therefore, lack formal train- 
ing, previous related experience, and a college degree. 

The remaining 81.1% of responding legal assistants hold at least a four-year 
college degree. More than half of all those responding (51.6%) holds the 
Bachelor of Arts degree (in such areas as history, political science, sociology, 
social work, and economics) or the Bachelor of Science degree (mostly in mar- 
keting, accounting, business administration, mathematics, and political science. 

Of tbose respondents not yet accounted for, 7.4% liave some graduate school; 
5.3% have a graduate degree (5 Masters degrees) ; and 9.5% are currently en- 
rolled in law school. Additionally, of the 90 persons re.sponding to this question, 
(and excluding the 9.5% now enrolled in law school). 20% are currently pur- 
suing further education at all levels from technical and undergraduate education 
through the Ph.D. 

B. Paralegal training 

Forty percent (40%) of legal assistants responding to the Survey have had 
formal paralesral training. Thirty percent (30%) attended the Institute for 
Paralegal Training (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). The remaining 10% received 
formal training at such places as the Paralegal Institute (New York City), 
"William Rainey Harper Junior College, governmental agencies, and a major 
Chicago bank. Of tho.se persons having formal paralegal training, 77.5% believe 
it to have been necessary to the performance of their jobs. Of those remaining, 
10.0% think such training unnecessary ; and 12.5% are unsure or have no 
opinion. 

Sixty percent (60%) of the total respondents have had no formal paralegal 
training. Of these, 46% believe such training to be necessary or useful ; 31% 
believe it to be unnecessary, and 23% are unsure or have no opinion. 

Of those having no formal training as legal assistants, however, .57% do have 
prior related work experience. Nearly two-thirds of those having prior related 
work experience (and 1.5.S% of all respondents to this Survey) began a.s legal 
.secretaries. Many who began as legal secretaries have had lengthy experience 
in that position (e.g., 14, 16i^, 10 and 12^/^ years). Other related experience in- 
cludes work as a tax and audit staff accountant, university and government 
financial administrator, administrator for the American Arbitration Associa- 
tion, legal investigator, research assistant for a municipal corporation, a("Count- 
ant's assistant, bank administrator (tax and probate department), and law clerk. 

Of those expressing an opinion regarding the necessity of paralegal training 
(69 respondents'*, a majority favored it to some extent. 

Tliose expressing an unqualified opinion in favor of formal training offer such 
rea.sons as: 

"Provides better general instruction and background, and allows more 
flexibility. Informal training . . . may tend to he more specialized and limited 
to the needs of the firm." 

"One needs to know theory, as well as technical knowledge." 



149 

"Aids the reputation of the profession ; it can assume a certain standard." 
"Employers now need trained help ; offices do not have time to train on- 
the-job." 

'•Less training would be required by an attorney ; a position would be 
immediately more responsible." 
A number of those offering opinions in favor of training of some sort have 
qualified those opinions : 

"In general, yes, because on-the-job training may be simplified. The training 
required, however, depends on the nature of the job and the amount of 
college, experience, and educational backgroiuid." 

"Formal training familiarizes the paralegal with legal terms and general 
matters in a specific field; particulars must be taught by each law firm, 
as they vary." 

"A frame of reference is required, even if training in specific tasks is 
not." 

"The mechanics of the job are easy to pick up; but some law courses 
would be helpful." 
A significant number of respondents (35.8%) were unsure about the need 
for formal paralegal training : 

"Depends upon the area [of specialization], level of intricacy and diffi- 
culty of work, the use to which the paralegal is to be put, and the eventual 
degree of responsibility the paralegal will be given . . ." 

"Not necessary with a college degree in a related field, but suggested 
if no college degree or one in a totally unrelated field." 

". . . [Ulntii the jobs we perform are better defined, I would say it is 
not necessary for a paralegal position." 

"One should have the option to train within the fii*m or as an apprentice." 

"Training should include on-the-job training for someone already familiar 

with legal procedures . . ." 

Some 80.6% of the respondents do not see the position of legal assistant as 

an intermediate step to becoming a law office and/or personnel manager. Of 

the 10.5% who see management of some sort as a future possibility, opinions 

expressed suggest that the experience as a legal assistant is often seen as a 

contribution to job expertise in areas outside the law ; as, for example : 

"I'll form my own company." 
Many legal assistants, hov^ever, do perform some supervisory duties in addi- 
tion to actual paralegal duties (see Areas of Specialization) : 

"I do not see this [office management] for the future as a full-time posi- 
tion, but do so indirectly now." 

C. Working covditions 

Although only 65.3% of legal assistants began their work at law firms (others 
started in banks, iirivate corporations, and governmental agencies), as of the 
summer of 1973. 94.7% of the Survey respondents were employed by law firms. 

Legal assistants appear to be employed in almost every size law firm in and 
around Chicago. The size of the legal assistant staff is not necessarily propor- 
tional to the total size of the firm in which it operates. Those responding to this 
Survey who currently work in law firms appear to be employed by a spectrum of 
firms varying in size from fev.er than 10 attorneys to over 150 attorneys. (Note: 
The 15 sample Surveys were distributed in a firm of over 150 attorneys and have 
not been included in this tabulation. (See Appendix B). The vast majority 
(18.1%) feels that the attitude toward the legal assistant among the lawyers in 
their firms is generally favorable ; only 5.3% feel it to be unfavorable.) 

A large 84.2% majority of legal assistants had held only one such position as 
of the time of this Survey. Only 10.5% had changed jobs once, and 3.2% t^ice. 
(None had changed jobs more than twice at that time.) This is. in part, due to 
the relative newness of the profession : some 87.4% of respondents to this Survey 
had worked fewer than 3 years as of last summer. The results suggest, however, 
that the legal assistant does not take this position unseriously. jumping frivo- 
lously from one staff to another. This is further borne out by the fact that nearly 
half of all legal assistants responding to this Survey consider the position to be 
a long-range career : 

"Yes, I believe I can be of continuing service and be worth more, and more 
helpful, as time goes on." 

"My job responsibilities have steadily increased since I began almost three 
years ago. The attorneys have grown to trust my thinking ... as responsible 
and logical. . . ." 



150 

"I perform functions . . . normally done by law clerks in some firms; clerks 
are temporary employees, while I am permanent." 
Another 4.3% are, as yet, undecided as to their futures as legal assistants. Most 
feel the decision will depend upon the ultimate definition and recognition given 
to the job : 

"Provided salary increases are sufficient to maintain a family, and if para- 
legals are accorded status as professionals, I will stay." 

Of those who do not consider the position of legal assistant to be a long-range 
career possibility, most cite dissatisfaction with a lack of possibilities for ad- 
vancement and continuingly increased responsibilities within the job. Although 
a porton of these look to law school as a possible alternative to this, many of 
the most qualified are considering leaving the legal world altogether as of 
result of what they see to be significant limitations of this profession. 

Assignments are distributed to the legal assistant in a variety of ways accord- 
ing to Survey results, although none receives such assignments from a clerical 
supervisor or other non-legal personnel. Assignments to 27.4% of legal assistants 
come from the attorney in charge of associate assignments ; and another 18.9% 
legal assistants receive assignments from an attorney specifically in charge 
of paralegal assignments, who often works in conjunction with the associates' 
assigning attorney. A significant percentage (38.9%) receives assignments di- 
rectly from individual attorneys, while 6.4% receive them from an attorney 
or group of attorneys to whom they are specifically assigned as legal assistants. 

At least 80.0% of respondents to the Survey bill clients for their services. 
Although fees for paralegal services appear to vary widely (and are often un- 
known to the legal assistant), on the average they bill slightly more than 6 
hours per day to clients and/or intra-offiee duties. 

Some 86.3% of responding legal assistants work independent of direct super- 
vision, but under the general direction of an attorney or group of attorneys. 
Completed assignments appear always to be reviewed by an attorney, accord- 
ing to Survey data. Most legal assistants appear to enjoy this relative independ- 
ence, and 77.9% feel that they are encouraged to use their own initiative before 
submitting their final work product for review. 

Although 43.2% of the responding legal assistants believe that their overall 
work performance 'may currently be evaluated formally on a regular basis, an 
over^vhelming 88.4% believe it should be so evaluated, in the same way that 
work of associates and other professional persons is evaluated. 

(Note: No discussion of salary has been included in this report, despite the 
lengthy portion of the Survey devoted to it, for the following reasons : 

1. Inconsistent policies regarding overtime, bonuses, and other remuneration 
mode accurate comparison difficult, if not impossible. 

2. Because many firms reviewed salary nt the time the Survey was being 
returned, or shortly thereafter, it was felt that any statement regarding salary 
based on pre-review data would inaccurately reflect current compensation 
levels. 

3. An attempt to compare in some general ways the compensation of the legal 
assistant with other persons of similar training and experience could not be 
completed because the most recent statistics available from the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics dated from 1969, or somewhat prior to the time most legal assistants 
began in such positions. 

It is the Committee's hope that sub-reports, devoted to more specific questions 
such as compensation, will be compiled and published in the future. Detail in 
the area of salary was, however, deemed impossible and irrelevant to this report, 
for now. 

D. Certification and/or licensing 

Of the 95 Surveys returned, a significant majority (64.2%) of legal assistants 
believes the legal assistant should be certified in some way. The respondents are 
widely divided, however, as to what institutions (or combination of institutions) 
should do such certification. (See Appendix C, Table 2). A majority agree how- 
ever that the American Bar Association and/or a State bar association should 
participate in such certification. 

Opnioins in favor of certification include : 

"Certification would give the profession the professional status and respect 
it warrants ; and secondly, it would protect the professional reputation of 
paralegals from disrepute brought on by incompetent persons calling them- 
selves 'paralegals'." 



151 

"[Certification] would foster professionalism and have great impact on 
other States now considering the definition and use of paralegals." 

"[Certification] would help to foster continuing expansion of responsibili- 
ties and growth into a career profession." 

"To give us all (firms and paralegals) some sense of identity, and to 

insure that only qualified and capable people will be paralegals, thereby 

supporting the image of the paralegal as a responsible and able person." 

A substantial number of respondents to the Survey (358%) is, however, either 

undecided about or opposed to such certification of the legal assistant. Opinions 

expressed in this regard include : 

"Fields of specialization are so numerous that general licensing would be 
impractical." 

"Paralegals should not be licensed until the profession is fully developed, 
defined, and accepted by the legal community — otherwise, the whole idea of 
professionalism may be killed by conservative restrictions." 

"Paralegals should not be certified at present. Many paralegals are now 
overqualified for the work they do. The present jol) market created the para- 
legal. If we set rigid standards at this point, we will not let the natural level 
of paralegal competence be established by itself. As paralegals are a new 
thing, this will take several more years to develop. Creating artificial stand- 
ards at this point will cause discontent among both those qualified to do the 
work but unable to meet the standards, and those too highly qualified for 
the work they are given to do." 

III. AREAS OF SPECIAXIZATION 

The following portion of this report has been divided into seven (7) sections. 
The first six (6) sections correspond to the areas of specialization in which, 
according to the membership list of the Chicago Association of Paralegal As- 
sistants, legal assistants in and around Chicago currently work. These areas 
are sections A through F of the Survey. In addition, a seventh category, the 
"Generalist," was created to provide for the legal assistant who works in three 
(3) or more of these specialty areas. 

The results reported per section are taken from Surveys in which the re- 
spondent listed one area as a specialty to which he/she devotes most of his/her 
time and activities (rated as "3" on a sliding scale from "0 — never performed" 
to "3 — usually performed"). Some secondary areas of activity (listed as "1" or 
"2" on the sliding scale) are also indicated. 

"Within each area, each respondent was asked to rate various specific tasks 
on a scale of to 3 as to (a) how often and with what emphasis she or he per- 
forms specific tasks at present ; and (b) an experienced paralegal assistant hopes 
to perform those duties in the future. In each section below, the number of non- 
zero scores for each activity was counted for both present and proposed practice. 
An average of the non-zero scores was computed for each activity ; these averages 
can be interpreted as weights of the relative emphasis on each duty. Since no 
attempt was made to determine the nature of the practice of the law firms with 
which the legal assistants are associated, or if there are divisions of labor 
within the areas described in the Survey, it is not possible to discern the meaning 
of a zero- response. 

A. Prohate 

A total of sixteen (16) legal assistants responding to the Survey designated 
probate as their primary area of responsibility or "specialty." Their responses 
were tabulated to yield the following results. Another 7 legal assistants listed 
this specialty as one to which they devoted some portion of their time ; these 
results are not included below. 

Of the 16 respondents in this area, 13 had at least a bachelor's degree : of 
these, 3 have had some graduate school training, including 2 who have attended 
law school. Nine (9) of these persons have had formal paralegal training, in- 
cluding one (1) of the 2 who attended law school. Two (2) respondents are 
currently enrolled in courses of further education: one (1) in paralegal training 
and one (1) in graduate school. 

All 3 of the remaining respondents have had some college. Of these, one (1) 
has also attended business college and has previously worked as a legal secretary 
for 14i{. years. Only one (1) other respondent in this section indicates prior 
related experience : a college graduate who had worked in a bank probate and 
tax department. 



152 

Nine (9) of the respondents in the probate area indicate a formal paralegal 
training l)aekground (seven (7) at the Institute for Paralegal Training; one 
(1) at William Rainey Harper Junior College; and one (1) in a training pro- 
gram at a large Chicago bank). Each respondent showed an average of 3 account- 
ing or bookkeeping courses and an average of 4 math courses. Bookkeeping, 
math and notarizing were indicated as useful skills in this job. Also, nearly 
every respondent in this area indicated frequent client contact by phone, letter, 
and/or conference. 

The majority of legal assistants who had formal probate training (6 out of 9 
respondents) believes that it is necessary in the specialty; the remaining 3 are 
unsure or said it is not. 

Of the 7 legal assistants in probate who were not formally trained, 3 believe 
such formal training might have been useful or necessary to the performance of 
their jobs ; the remaining 4 said it is not necessary or are unsure. Of these legal 
assistants in probate who believe formal training to be unnecessary or who are 
not sure (7 respondents of the total of 15), all seem to feel that on-the-jol» 
experience plus a good background in mathematics would be suflScient training 
for the work they perform. 

Better than two-thirds of the legal assistants in probate responding to this 
Survey indicate current performance in every one of the thirteen (13) task cate- 
gories, with an average score of 2.44 of non-zero responses. Those assignments 
most frequentl.v performed by legal assistants in probate include preparing court 
pleadings, individual inheritance and estate tax returns, inventories, valuing 
and transferring assets, preparing current and final accounts, and keeping estate 
accounting records. 

This same proportion of respondents also indicates that the legal assistant in 
probate is usually brought in to work on the estate at the initial stages and his/ 
her duties are contiguous. A few state, however, that they rarely work through 
an entire estate and are unhappy with this segmentaiton of the work. 

Only eleven (11) respondents completed the future section as to job expecta- 
tions. However, there is an increase in the average response to 2.63. Responses 
in the following categories indicate future expectations of greater frequency of 
taslv performance: drafting wills and trust instruments, preparing estate plan- 
ning computations and organizing the results of the same into summaries for 
the client, obtaining information directly from the client, filing forms with the 
Clerk of the Probate Court, and keeping estate accounting records. 

There appears to be a strong correlation between formal training and/or 
several years of related work experience and the importance/complexity of tasks 
performed, such as preparing court pleadings and drafting wills and trust agree- 
ments. Diversity and frequency of task performance are related to formal train- 
ing or three to four years work experience. 

The most frequently used skill, listed by 13 out of 16 respondents, was client 
contact by telephone, letter, and/or conference (#15). Accounting was listed by 
2 respondents as frequently used, and training and supervising of non-attorney 
staff ( #13 & #14) was mentioned by 2 others. 

The overall performance of 9 of the 16 respondents to this section is formally 
evaluated. Five (5) are unsure of such review, one (1) legal assistant says he/ 
she is not formally evaluated, and one (1) did not respond. An overwhelming 
majority, 14 out of 16 respondents, believes their performance should be so 
evaluated, however. 

Only 5 legal assistants in probate see their current jjosition as a long-range 
career possibility. The remnining 11 do not or are unsure, citing unclear defini- 
tion of their job responsibilities and potential for advancement as reasons for 
considering other positions. Many opinions cite a lack of job definition as a defi- 
nite drawback to the profession, and 62.5% (as opposed to an overall response 
of 35.8% ) believe some sort of certification to be necessary. 

B. Real estate 

Nine (9) legal assistants working in the field of real estate law responded to 
the survey. (Nine (9) also listed it as an area of secondary activity). Of these, 
7 work for law firms, and 2 work for corporations. The size of the law firms 
varies, although there are not any respondents working in the smallest nor the 
largest firms. Three (3) respondents work in law firms which have 76-100 at- 
torneys: two (2) work in law firms which have 26-50 attorneys; and two (2) 
work in law firms which have 10-25 attorneys. 

Five (5) out of the 9 respondents attended the Institute for Paralegal Training 
in Philadelphia. One (1) respondent has a college degree and no related job 



153 

experience or formal training. One (1) has a college degree and has been a 
legal secretary. The remaining 2 respondents have some college and have been 
legal secretaries. Six (6) of the 9 respondents favor formal training programs ; 
four (4) of those 6 favoring formal training have completed such programs. 

Three (3) of the responding legal assistants in probate do not see a paralegal 
position as a long-time career. They cite boredom, lack of room for creativity, 
and not enough potential for economic advancement as reasons for someday 
seeking another career. Two (2) of the respondents see the position as a long- 
time career; one of these qualified that statement by adding, "If the salary 
continues to increase." Two (2) respondents are undecided about their future 
as legal assistants. 

The real estate section of the Survey was divided into six parts : purchase- 
sale transactions, lease matters, mortgage transactions, partnership matters, 
surveys and easements, and tax matters. The respondents work frequently in 
all areas except lease matters, although the majority expressed interest in work- 
ing with lease matters in the future. The area in which the legal assistant most 
frequently works is purchase-sale transactions. Within this category, the major- 
ity enters the work at the stage of drafting the closing documents and follows 
through to the point of attending the closing. Four (4) of the respondents fre- 
quently accompany an attorney to the closing, and 3 often attend alone. The 
remaining 2 respondents rarely attend closings, but when they do so, they are 
accompanied by an attorney. 

A large majority (8 out of 9 respondents) is often involved in the drafting, of 
various documents, which will be discussed later in more detail. However, one 
(1) respondent's job is atypical, and most of her answers do not fit into the 
categories established in the Survey. She does not draft any documents for 
mortgage loans but examines them to determine errors and insutBciencies. 

Eight (8) of the 9 respondents are usually involved with drafting deeds. 
Six (6) usually draft proration statements. Five (5) respondents frequently 
draft trust agreements and directions, and 4 usually draft beneficial interest 
assi.gnments. 

Tlie majority rarely drafts contracts for purchase-sale transactions. Those 
who do draft them however do so more often for residential property than 
for commercial or industrial property. 

Six (6)' of the responding legal assistants are usually involved in drafting 
title insurance and Torrens forms. Seven (7) are usually involved in title 
clearance, and 5 frequently do tract searches. 

Only one (1) respondent frequently works in most areas of mortgage transac- 
tions, although 2 others sometimes draft mortgages and notes. One (1) legal 
assistant sometimes drafts supplements, amendments, and modifications, secu- 
rity agreements, chattel mortgage documents, guarantees, and UCC statements. 

Only one (1) respondent regularly drafts partnership agreements, certificates 
of partnership agreements, amendments to partnership agreements, and amend- 
ments to certificates of partnership agreements. None of the respondents drafts 
and files assumed name certificates regularly, although 3 respondents may do 
so on occasion. None of the Survey respondents computes profits or losses. 

Surveys are frequently examined by 5 respondents, and one (1) drafts ease- 
ments on a regular basis. 

(3) With regard to tax matters, 4 out of 9 respondents check tax records. Three 
are often involved in the payment of general and special taxes. 

Although many of the responding legal assistants who specialize in real estate 
law do not frequently work in some of the Survey categories, it must be pointed 
out that, at the time the Survey was distributed, 4 respondents had been work- 
ing as legal assistants less than six months, 4 had been working six months to 
a year, and one (1) had been working two to three years. 

C. Litigation 

Of the 95 respondents to the Survey, 35 persons, or 36.8%, listed litigation as 
the area in which they "usually perform" the majority of their activities. 
(Another 4 listed it as an area in which they "sometimes perform.") The 
respondents were distributed among all sizes of firms from fewer than 10 to 
over 150 lawyers. 

As among all legal assistants responding, 30 out of the 34 responding to the 
Survey are female (4 are male and 1 did not respond). Seventeen (17) consider 
the position a long-range career, 16 do not, and 2 are unsure or give no answer. 

Only 3 legal assistants in litigation have only a high school diploma. Of these, 
2 out of 3 have had some additional training in business college/secretarial 



154 

school/technical training, and all 3 have had extended experience as legal secre- 
taries. Three (3) of the remaining 32 respondents attended college but did not 
receive a degree ; 2 of these 3 attended some business school in addition. All 3 
of these persons also have had previous experience as legal secretaries, one 
(1) for over 16 years. 

Of the remaining 29 out of 30 respondents, 15 have received a bachelor's 
degree only, 5 have had some graduate school, and 5 hold Master's degrees. 
Six (6) legal assistants in litigation are curi*ently enrolled in law school. 

Only 10 of the 35 respondents have received some sort of "formal" paralegal 
training for their current positions : 25 did not^ or received such training on-the- 
job. They are about equally divided as to whether or not such training would 
be necessary or useful to the performance of their jobs in litigation : 17 said 
yes. and IS said no or are undecided. 

Of those 10 respondents who received formal paralegal training, 6 said they 
feel it has been useful to them in their careers: one (1) said it has not been, 
and 3 are unsure or gave no response. Of the 25 legal assistants in litigation 
not formally trained, 11 said they believe such training would be useful or 
helpful to them ; seven (7) do not think so, and 7 are unsure or give no response. 

Of those 4 who have had previous related work experience, only 2 have also 
had additional formal paralegal training. Of those without previous related 
work experience (21), 6 have had some formal paralegal training. Among the 
correspondents in this area who have had neither previous related work experi- 
ence nor formal paralegal training, all have at least a bachelor's degree, and 
6 have some graduate school, a graduate degree, and/or law school. 

Most respondents seem to feel that a lack of training in this particular spe- 
cialty may be less crucial than in others, since there is less work with forms 
and in procedural matters: "Not for litigation, but would be useful in other 
fields." A large amount of their work may be classified as research-oriented, 
as described in the table below : 

TABLE A 



Average nonrero responses 



1. Nonlegal research 

3. Investisatinns and factual discovery 

14. Bibliop.raphical research 

22. Interview of witnesses 

24. Interview of experts and consultants 

29. Preparing memoranda on nonle?al research 



Present 


Future 


2.39 


2.75 


2.10 


2.67 


1.84 


2.58 


2.00 


2 69 


1.67 


2.33 


2.08 


2.70 



Most are anxious, as shouni above, to have such non-legal research become 
a larger part of their jolis in the future. 

In an effort to deal with the question of non-authorized practice of law with- 
in this specialty, a few questions were inserted in the job description possibilities 
to test this, as described in the table below : 

TABLE B 



Average non-zero responses 



Present 



Future 



9. Draft briefs 

10. legal research 

20. Appear for client in court on routine matters. 

28. Prepare memos on legal research 



1.67 
1.38 
1.77 
1.6S 



2.25 
2.38 
2.33 
2.34 



The persons responding to the present section of the above table correspond 
almost perfectly to the persons currently enrolled in law school (6) or preparing 
to attend law school in the near future (5). These persons may perhaps be more 
analogous to what has traditionally been termed the law clerk (or "summer 
lawyer") than to the le.sal assistant. A considerable increase in the numlter 
of persons answering the future section in these areas suggests a sub.'^tantial 
desire among legal assistants in litigation to learn such in-firm legal skills. 



loo 

Currently, legal assistants in litigation appear to spend most of their time doing 
document search in response to Motions for Production or Interrogatories 
(No. 5) ; cite checking and shepardizing (No. 12 & No. 13) ; indexing documents 
(No. 15) ; preparing digests, abstracts, indices, and/or summaries of tran- 
scripts (No. 17) ; and to a varying extent the research jobs included in Table A 
of this section. 

Of the possible skills listed in the Survey, only reception/switchboard work 
was not answered by legal assistants in litigation. By far, the skill listed as 
used most often (2.5 out of .S5 resix)ndents) was client contact by telephone, 
legal assistant and to a certain alai-m that the legal assistant does a great deal 
more "legal practice" than he or she apparently does as indicated in the 
letter, and/or conference. This, no doubt, has contributed to the visibility of the 
results of this Survey. Other duties listed with some regularity (between .5 and 10 
out of 35 respondents) included typing (8 persons), office filing (4 persons), 
maintain library (5 persons), prepare memoranda re office procedure (8 persons), 
train nnn-attorney staff (5 persons), and supervise non-attorney staff (7 perscms). 
Skills not listed but included by respondents include garnishments (1 person) 
and interviewing job applicants (1 i)erson). 

Fifteen (15) of the 35 respondents in this section are formally evaluated. 
Seven (7) believe they are not; nine (9) are unsure, and two (2) gave no 
response. Here, as in general, there is frequent complaint as to a lack of 
feedback regarding the quality of the work performed, although the finished 
product appears always to be approved by a lawyer. An overwhelming 30 out of 35 
respondents want some sort of regular, formal evaluation, however ; only 5 did 
not or gave no answer. There is an apparent feeling that such feedback would 
improve productivity in every aspect of job performance. 

Finally, legal assistants in litigation are divided nearly as are legal assistants 
in general (see Appendix A. Table 2) as to the necessity of certification. Overall, 
35.8% of respondents to the Survey were unsure about or opposed to any 
sort of certification. Among legal assistants in litigation, the similar response was 
34.3%. Again, various combinations of institutions doing such certification are 
proposed. (See Appendix B. Table 2.) Many of those who do not see the 
profession as a permanent career possibility frequently cite a "lack of definition" 
as an important reason for considering leaving the profession. 

D. Corporate 

Ten (10) respondents who work primarily in the corporate area completed the 
section in a way such that the results could be tabulated. Four (4) respondents 
returned Surveys which indicated generally that respondents worked in this area 
but which could not be tabulated for various reasons. (In addition. 13 persons 
listed this specialty as an area of secondary activity. These, plus one (1) respond- 
ent who listed "corporate" as his/her specialty, work in municipal honds. None of 
these is included in the results below.) 

The respondents who completed this section work exclusively for law firms. 
Four (4) of the respondents work in firms with more than 75 attorneys, and only 
one (1) works in a firm with less than 10 attorneys. Nine (9) of ten (10) respond- 
ents continue to work at those firms with which they began. One (1) has worked 
in the corporate area for 3 years, and one (1) for less than six months. The re- 
maining eight IS) have between one and two years' experience. 

None of these respondents looks upon the position as a long-term career 
possibility. 

Of those responding who work primarily in the corporate area, all had attended 
college. Nine (9) have received college degrees, and three (3) have done post- 
graduate work. None was engaged in part-time legal study at the time of the 
Survey. 

'Seven (7) of the respondents have obtained formal training from the InstitiTte 
for Paralegal Training in Philadelphia. Two (2) of those with no training have 
had related work experience, including one (1) who worked as a legal secretary 
for ten years. Only one (1) respondent has had neither formal training nor prior 
related working experience. 

Of those respondents who received formal training. 6 feel such training neces- 
sary in the corporate area. Two (2) commented generally that formal training is 
necessary in such specialized fields as corporate and probate work, while 4 others 
merely noted that formal training "speeds up one-the-job training" and enables 
the new legal assistant to become fully useful to the law firm sooner and with 
less effort by the firm. The 3 respondents without formal training are divided as 



156 

to its necessity. One (1) feels formal training necessary, one (1) feels it unneces- 
sary, and one (1) is uncertain. 

There appears to be no pattern to the way in which corporate legal assistants 
receive assignments. Two (2) receive assignments from an attorney in charge of 
associates' work, 2 receive assignments from an attorney in charge of paralegal 
work, and the remainder receive assignments randomly from various attorneys. 
All of the respondents in the corporate area indicate that they work independent 
of direct supervision, but under the general supervision of an attorney with that 
attorney reviewing only completed work. 

Results of the Survey indicate that corporate legal assistants as a group are 
widely experienced. Of the 49 categories in this section of the Survey, there were 
only two (2) categories in which no one at the time of the Survey had had any 
experience : preparation of corporate income tax returns and participation in 
negotiations for acquisitions. 

At present, the majority of legal assistants in the corporate area work on in- 
corporations and other Secretary of State filings, prepare other short documents 
such as promissory notes, powers of attorney and bills of sale, do corporate 
reviews and blue sky research, and prepare closing docmnents and binders. 

In addition, corporate legal assistants as a whole are engaged in drafting 
shareholders' stock option and stock purchase agreements, responding to com- 
ments on blue sky application, and preparing closing documents. 

The following tahle summarizes the diversity of the practice of the corporate 

legal assistant at present : 

Niimher of 
Number of Activities (total 49 activities) : respondents 

Less than 10 3 

Less than 20 2 

Less than 30 1 4 

Less than 40 1 

In fact, the respondents who have been engaged in fewer than 10 activities 
have been engaged in fewer than five (5). Tw^o (2) of these individuals only 
organized corporations (preparation of charters, by-laws, subscriptions and 
minutes) and one (1) only does securities work. Judging from other responses 
on their Surveys, it is possible that two (2) of these individuals work in the 
same firm, implying a division of labor within the corporate department. 

The diversity of activities in which corporate legal assistants have participated 
appears to be somewhat related to experience and number of hours billed. To 
some extent, the responses also reflect the nature of a particular firm's corporate 
law practice. 

The responses to the Survey indicate that legal assistants feel themselves under 
utilized at present both in terms of the diversity of work they expect to do and 
the frequency wih which such activities are performed. Eight (8) individuals 
completed this section. Although there were at least 3 people who foresaw some 
opportunity in all of the categories listed, the majority (5 or more) who completed 
this section did not. Most do not foresee working in the areas of uniform com- 
mercial code research, public offerings (except proofreading registration state- 
ments), and responding to comments on blue sky applications. These areas are 
those in which the greatest potential liability for law firms exists. In addition, 
most corporate legal assistants do not expect to become involved* in negotiations, 
preparation of documents under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, cor- 
porate reviews, or most drafting assignments. However, respondents as a whole do 
anticipate doing less in the future of the more routine activities such as in- 
corporations and preparation of Secretary of State filings. 

E. Employee 'benefit plans 

With 5 legal assistants responding to the Survey in the Employee Benefit 
Plans area, the .«:ample is not large enough to draw conclusions about the field as 
a whole. However, these trends may be seen. 

None of the 5 works exclusively in EF>P, although 1 does predominantly. Most 
do mainly corporate work with EBP as a secondary activity. 

All 5 respondents have attended college: one (1) has done some graduate 
work, 3 have a bachelor's degree, and one (1) has attended college but did not 
complete a degree. 

Four (4) of the respondents are female, and one (1) is male. Four (4) have 
been legal assistants for six months to two years, although one (1) has worked 
in this capacity for over 10 years in conjunction Avitli his work as a legal investi- 
gator. All 5 respondents work in firms with fewer than 50 attorneys. 



157 

Three (3) of the 5 had formal training as a legal assistant, and 4 believe It 
to be necessary in view of the complexity of the field and its tax-related aspects. 
The respondents believe useful skills would include a knowledge of tax law and 
business, and training in mathematics. 

EBP legal assistants prepare drafts of pension and profit-sharing plans and 
related trust agreements, as well as forms for submission to the Internal Rev- 
enue Service relating to the plans. Gathering and transmittal of factual informa- 
tion leads to much contact with clients, accounts, actuaries, and others outside 
the firm. Additionally, EBP legal assistants may also be in charge of keeping 
updated files of plans of firm clients. They may also do some work in the field of 
tax law. 

All of the respondents work more or less independently rather than under 
close supervision by an attorney or attorneys. Four (4) respondents believe their 
work should be formally evaluated. Two (2) are sure their work is currently so 
evaluated, and the other 3 are not sure. All feel that greater feedback during 
their work would improve both quality and eflSciency. 

The number of legal assistants specializing in Employee Benefit Plans is at 
present small. Since the date of distribution of the Survey, however, 3 legal 
assistants in EBP have come to Chicago from the Institute for Paralegal Train- 
ing in Philadelphia. A later distribution of this Survey may therefore be more 
helpful in the description of their professional activities. 

F. Trademarks and copyrights 

Of the 4 legal assistants re.sponding who work in the trademarks and copy- 
rights specialty, only one (1) works primarily in that field. One (1) works pri- 
marily in probate, another works mainly in corporate law and litigation, and 
the third works primarily in litigation. 

All 4 of the legal assistants working in this specialty have bachelor's degrees. 
One (1) was trained at the Institute for Paralegal Training, and one (1) intends 
to begin law school shortly. 

The legal assistant in the trademark and copyright field performs and would 
like to continue to perform the following services, in descending order of fre- 
quency : correspondence with other firms doing research, preparation of applica- 
tions, determination of class, preparation of copyright forms, renewals, dealing 
with foreign correspondents, and summarizing research reports. Generally, future 
responses show that the legal assistant now performing in the speciality of trade- 
marks and copyrights would like to become more involved in those duties in 
the future. 

"the generalist" 

Seventeen (17) legal assistants responded in 3 or more specialty categories and 
have been classified as "generalists." They account for 17.9% of legal assistants 
answering the Survey. 

The majority are female (88.2%). Predominant age groups are 20-25 (47.1%?) 
and 31-35 (23.5%). 

Those with only high school diplomas account for 11.8% ; however, all have 
had some business school training and at least 10 years of legal secretarial 
experience. 35.3% have had some college, and all of this group have had previous 
legal secretarial experience or formal paralegal training. Over thirty-five i)ercent 
(35.3%) have bachelor's degrees, and half have had additional formal paralegal 
training. Over seventeen percent (17.6%) have had some graduate or law 
.school education. None is currently enrolled in law school. Seven (41.2%) of the 
17 generalists are currently enrolled in undergraduate or technical studies. 

Of the 17 generalists 35.3% have received formal paralegal training at the 
Institute for Paralegal Training in Philadelphia (17.6%). Paralegal Institute in 
New York (5.9%,), or Harper College in Palatine. Illinois (li.8%,). Most of 
these formally-trained legal assistants feel this training is necessary or useful ; 
one ( 1 ) expressed no opinion. 

The ma.iority (64.7%) has had no formal training. Of these legal assistants 
11.8% have high school diplomas, business school education and at least 10 years 
of legal secretarial experience : 5.9% hold bachelor's degrees only ; 11.8%" hold 
bachelor's degrees and have had some legal secretarial experince : 29.4% have 
had some college and legal secretarial or accounting experience ; 5.9%, have at- 
tended law school. Of this group 47.1% feel formal training is necessary or 
useful: 11.8% feel it is unnecessary: and 5.9% expressed no opinion. 

Virtually all began their work in law firms and continue to work in law firms 
(82.4% have remained with the same firm.) Size of their employing firms varies 

41-^7.5—74 11 



158 

from under 25 attorneys (58.8%), to 25-100 attorneys (41.2%). The vast major- 
ity (88.2%) feels the attitude of attorneys in their firms toward legal assistants 
is generally favorable, with the remaining 11.8% unsure. Eleven (64.7%) of the 
17 generalists consider their position as a permanent career ; 35.3% do not. 

Assignments are distributed in all eases by attorneys. Billing of clients for 
paralegal services occurs in 88.2% of these instances at an average of 5% hours 
per day. Fourteen (82.4%) work independent of direct supervision, but under the 
general direction of their supervising attorneys, and initiative is encouraged. 
Although only 41.2% are aware that their performance is evaluated on a regular 
basis, an overwhelming 88.2% feel they should be so evaluated. 

JOB RESPONSIRILITIES 

A. Prohate 

Fifteen (88.2%) of the generalists answered the Probate section. Their general 
background includes courses In Mathematics (1 to 3 courses, 35.3%; over 4 
courses, 47%) and bookkeeping or accounting (1 to 5 courses, 41.2%; over 5 
courses, 5.9%). Duties within an estate are contiguous for 52.9%, and isolated 
for 17.6%. Over seventy percent (70.6%) feel they should be given the oppor- 
tunity to follow an estate through all stages of administration, rather than 
being assigned specific tasks in a piecemeal fashion. 

The present frequency of activities performed in Probate (see Appendix A) 
by the average generalist is 1.33. It is hoped that this frequency of Probate 
activities for the average generalist will increase in the future. 

The activities presently performed with the highest frequency are obtaining 
pertinent information directly from clients, preparing pleadings (court papers'), 
preparing inventories and current and final accounts, and filing forms. The 
least frequently performed activities at present are drafting wills and trust 
instruments, preparing estate planning computations and organizing results 
thereof into summaries for clients. 

B. Real estate 

Sixteen (94.1%) of the generalists answered the Real Estate section. The 
present frequency of activities performed in Real Estate (see Appendix A) 
by the average generalist is .49. It is hoped that the frequency of Real Estate 
activities the average generalist will perform in the future will increase to 1.14, 
developed from the following table : 

Present Futurt 

I. Purchase — Sale transactions 

II. Lease matters - 

III. Mortgage transactions - 

IV. Partnership matters. 

V. Survey and easements 

VI. Tax matters. 

The activities presently performed with the highest frequency are drafting 
closing documents (deeds and proration statements), drafting trust papers 
(trust agreement, directions, beneficial interest assignments), drafting title 
insurance and Torrens forms, title clearance, and tract searches, and paying taxes 
(general and specials, redemptions). The least frequently performed activities 
at present are drafting joint order, opening an escrow at escrowee's oflice alone, 
property inspection, drafting subordination agreements, surety and guarantee 
agreements, insurance matters, and computation of profits and losses. 

Activities which at present are not performed by any of the generalists are 
drafting moneylender escrows, and drafting attarnment and non-disturbance 
agreements, and tenants estoppel agreements. 

C. Litigution 

Thirteen (76.5%) of the generalists answered the Litigation section. The 
present frequency of activities performed in Litigation (see Appendix A) by the 
average generalist is .91. It is hoped that the frequency of Litigation activities 
the average generalist will perform in the future is 1.49. 

The activities presently performed with the highest frequency are preparing 
court filings such as Complaints, Answers, Interrogatories, Notices, Summonses, 
etc., non-legal research, investigations, factual discovery and preparation of 
memoranda thereon ; document search in response to Motions to Produce or Inter- 



3.64 


1.33 


.33 


1.05 


.35 


1.08 


.62 


1.48 


.41 


1.07 


.57 


.84 



1.19 


1.34 


1.41 


1.43 


1.06 


1.16 


.69 


.84 


.88 


.94 


.06 


.30 


.07 


.27 


.10 


.41 


.22 


.43 



159 

rogatories; search and check public records (such as court files, indices, and 
dockets) ; file motions and papers; cite cheek; and arrange for publication of 
legal notices. The activities presently performed with the least frequency are 
interviewing experts and consultants, drafting briefs, writing Statements of 
Fact, preparation of witnesses, and preparing memoranda on legal research. 

D. Corporate 

Thirteen (76.5%) of the generalists answered the Corporate section. The 
present frequency of activities performed in Corporate (see Appendix A) by the 
average generalist is .63. It is hoped that the frequency of Corporate activities the 
average generalist will perform in the future is .79, developed from the 
following table : 

Present Future 

1. Organize corporations - 

2. Dcatt corporate resolutions _ 

3. Ser,retary ol State filings 

4. Draft agreements 

5. Miscellaneous 

6. Exchange Act of 1934 

7. Public offerings 

8. Blue Sky 

9. Acquisitions 

The activities presently performed with the highest frequency are all activities 
in the Organization of Corporations section ; drafting of Corporate Resolutions ; 
all activities in the Secretary of State filings section ; use of power of attorney ; 
preparation of bill of sale or transfer of assets, and stock transfers. The least 
frequently performed activities at present are all activities in the Exchange Act 
of 1934 section, the Public Offerings section, the Blue Sky section, and the 
Acquisitions section. 

E. Employee benefit plans 

Only 35.3% of the 17 generalists answered this section (see Appendix A). 

The present frequency of activities performed by the average generalist is 
.60. The increase in the future to .71 does not indicate a great interest in increasing 
these duties. 

F. Trademarks and copyrights 

Only 17.6% of the 17 generalists answered this section. 

The present frequency of activities performed by the average generalist is .10 
which remains constant as to future activities. 

CONCLUSIONS 

As was stated at its outset, the intention of this resport is not to recommend 
for or against the certification of legal assistants, nor to suggest standards for 
such certification. Legal assistants are not by this report attempting to certify 
themselves. The results of the Survey and this self-statement do however, sug- 
gest certain conclusions about whom the legal assistant is and what he or .she 
does which ought to be kept clearly in mind in considerations of definition and/ 
or standardization. 

1. There seem to be two separate but equally strong parallel definitions of 
the legal assistant. One such definition may be termed the para-profes.?ional 
legal assistant, a resource of applicable non-legal expertise vrtthin the practice 
of law. In addition to functioning in more routine matters such as filling out 
forms, filing papers, and indexing and abstracting, this para-professional brings 
such expertise as accounting, translation, business management, and extensive 
factual research background to the practice of law. 

Concurrent with this, there appears to be another definition of the legal 
assistant which may be termed the para-clerical legal assistant. This legal 
assistant brings to more routine matters a knowledge of ofiice procedures and 
an ability to apply certain clerical skills to efficient and relatively independent 
completion of routine matters, subject to an attorney's review and signature. 
By this definition, intelligent, experienced, and trusted legal secretaries have 
functioned as para-clerical legal assistants for many years. 

As the practice of law grows more complex, both the para-professional and 
the para-clerical legal assistant perform important tasks. It is crucial, however, 



160 

In any consideration of definition and/or certification of tlie legal assistant that 
the differences noted above be kept clearly in mind. 

2. The results of this Survey suggest that there is little or no unauthorized 
practice of law among legal assistants. Indeed, nearly anything that resembles 
the research and/or writing of legal materials within an ofiice is restricted 
almost exclusively to those persons now in law school or about to enter law 
school. "Without exception, the work of the legal assistant is subject to final 
review by a practicing attorney. 

Mention of client contact among those "skills" which legal assistants use 
most frequently suggests that communication by a legal assistant that a legal 
procedure is in process or has been completed has contributed to apprehension 
that procedures were, in fact, done independently by the legal assistant. As 
noted earlier, the results of this survey in no way suggest this is true. 

3. Lack of guidelines, if not of actual job definition, is mentioned by many 
qualified legal assistants as a significant reason for leaving tlie field. This in- 
cludes especially those persons who may be termed para-professional legal 
assistants, that is, those persons with special training and/or college degrees. 
If, as one respondent suggests, the profession is allowed to "seek its own level," 
many of thee extremely qualified persons may leave it before any guidelines 
are offered. 

4. Finally, we, as working legal assistants, believe firmly in the importance 
of the professional we have chosen. We look forward to participating, in any and 
every way possible, with those persons and institutions engaged in the definition 
and/or certification of this new and vital profession within the practice of law. 

Appendix A 

PARALEGAL SURVEY STANDARDS COMMITTEE CHICAGO ASSOCIATION OF 
PARALEGAL ASSISTANTS 

I. Personal profile 

Age 

Under 20 

20-2.5 

26-30 

31-35 

36-10 

over 40 



Marital status 

Single 

^Married 

Divorced 

. "Widowed 



Sex 



-Female 
-Male 



//. Educational background 

A. Formal training 

1. High school 

2. Some college 

3. Associate degree 

4. College degree 

5. Some graduate school 

^6. Graduate degree 



-7. Some law school 

-8. Business college/Secretarial school/Technical training 



B. "What degree(s) do you hold and in what area(s) (e.g. B.A. Sociology) ? 

C. Did you have formal paralegal training yes no 

D. If yes, 
— . Institute for Paralegal Training (Philadelphia, Pa.) 

—Other (Please specify ) 



E. Should paralegals have formal traiing? yes • 

F. "Why or why not? 



161 

///. Worh experience 

A. When did you begin working as a paralegal? 

month year 

B. How long have you been a paralegal? 
Less than 6 months 

6 months to 1 year 

1 year to 2 years 

2 years to 3 years 

3 years to 4 years 

i years to 5 years 

5 years to 7 years 

7 years to 10 years 

-over 10 years 



C. Number of job changes as paralegal 

None 

One 

Two 

Three 

D. Length of time at first paralegal position 

Less than 6 months 

6 months to 1 year 

1 year to 2 years 

over 2 years 

E. Type of organization you originally worked for as a paralegal 

law firm 

bank 

corporation 

government 

other (please specify) 

F. Type of organizatiton you presently work for as a paralegal 

law firm 

bank 

corporation 

government 

other (please specify) 

G. Related job experience 

1. No related experience 

2. Legal secretary 

3. Other ( please specif y ) 

4. Length of previous experience 

H. Special skills used in your present job 

1. Typing 

2. Sh'orthand 

3. Court reporting 

4. Ofl5ce filing 

5. Ofiiee bookkeeping 

6. Reception/switchboard 

7. Docket control 

8. Notarizing 

0. Prepare fee and disbursement statements, etc. 

10. Maintain library 

11. Translation 

12. Prepare memoranda re : ofl5ce procedure 

13. Train non-attorney staff 

14. Supervise non-attorney staff 

In. Client contact (e.g. by telephone, by letter or by conference) 

16. Other (please specify ) 

IV. Worhing conditions 

A. Starting salary as a paralegal 

1. Below $7,000 

2. $7,000-57.499 

3. 7,500- 7.999 

4. 8,000- 8,299 

n. 8,300- 8.599 

6. 8,600- 8,999 



162 

• 7. 9,000- 9.499 

8. 9,500 & over 

B. Present salary 

1. Below $7,000 

^ 2. $7,000-$7,499 

■^ 3. 7,500- 7,999 

4. 8.000- 8,299 

5. 8,800- 8,599 

6. 8,000- 8,999 

7. 9.000- 9,499 

8. 9.500- 9,999 

9. 10,000-10,999 

10. 11,000-11,999 

■ 11. 12,000 & over 

C. Do you receive a cash bonus in addition to salary? 

yes no 

D. Are you paid overtime? yes no 

E. Should paralegals be paid overtime? yes no 

F. Fringe benefits 

1. Insurance 

(a) Life 

(b) Medical 

2. Annual vacation after first year 

(a) 1 week 

• (b) 2 weeks 

(c) 3 weeks 

(d) 4 weeks 



2(a). Maximum annual vacation 

(a) 1 week ; 

(b) 2 weeks 

(c) 3 weeks 

(d) 4 weeks i 

(e) more (Please specify ) ' 

2(b). Years of service required to reach maximum annual vacation. 

(a) to 1 year 

(b) 2 to 5 years 

(c) 6 to 10 years 

(d) 11 to 15 years • 

(e) 16 to 20 years 

(f) over 20 years 

3. Sick leave/personal days 

(a) Unlimited 

(b) 0-5 

(c) 6-10 

(d) 11-15 

4. Oflice space 

( a ) Private oflBce 

(b) Semi-privateofl5ce (2per ofBce ) 

( c ) More than 2 per office 

5. Secretarial help 

(a) Private secretary •■ 

( b ) Secreta ry shared 

( c ) Tyi^ing pool 

(d) None 

G. If you work in a law firm, how many attorneys in the firm? 

(1) Under 10 

(2) 10-25 

(3) 26-50 

(4) 51-75 

(5) 76-100 

(6) 101-150 

(7) Over 150 

H. What is the general attitude of the attorneys in your firm toward the use of 

paralegals ? 

favorable 

unfavorable 

don't know 



163 

I. Billing and supervision 

1. Supervision 

(a) Do you work under the close supervision of an attorney? Or, 

Do you work independently under the general direction of an attorney 

with only your completed work reviewed? 
( b ) Should paralegals be closely supervised ? Or, 

Should paralegals work more independently? 

(c) Why ? 

(d) Are you encouraged to use your initiative rather than adhere strictly 

to instructions given by an attorney? yes no 

(e) Should paralegals assume responsibilities not formally assigned by 

an attorney? yes no 

(f) If yes, what type of responsibilities? 

(g) Is your overall performance formally evaluated? 

yes no don't know 

( h ) Should your performance be formally evaluated? 
yes no 

2. Assignment of Work 

Who assigns your work to you? 

(a) An attorney in charge of associates' work 

(b) An attorney in charge of paralegals' work 

(c) Another paralegal (supervisor) 

(d) Non-attomey supervisor (e.g. office manager) 

(e) Random 

3. Billing 

(a ) Bill clients for time yes no 

(b) If yes, average time daily billed to clients ^hours 

(c) Average hourly billing rate, if applicable : 

$ per hour 

V. Personal Opinions 

A. Do you see a paralegal position as a long-range carer for yourself? 

jes no 

B. "VVhy or why not? 

C. Should a paralegal be certified or licensed by : 
1. American Bar Association 

2. State bar association 

3. Chicago Association of Paralegal Assistants 

or other similar organization 
i. State 



-5. Not at all 
Why? __. 



D. Are yo a degree candidate in law school? yes ^no 

E. Do you intend to go to law school ? yes no 

F. Do you intend to go to law school? yes no 

yes no 

G. Are you currently enrolled in any course or program to further your formal 

education ? yes no 

H. If yes, what level program : 

1. Technical training 

-2. Undergraduate 



-3. Graduate 
-4. PhD 



I. If yes, what area of concentration (e.g. business, education, etc) ? 

J. If yes. are your presently planning to complete the program? 

yes no 

or other similar organization 

Yes no • 

Why ? 

K. What additional training or skills (other than paralegal training), if any, 
would help you to perform your job as a paralegal? 

1. Math 

2. Bookkeeping 



164 

3. Research Methods 

4. Other (Please specify ) 

Complete this section as follows : On a scale of to 3 — never per- 
formed 1 rarely performed 2 sometimes performed 3 usually 
performed 

Indicate in the first column how often and with what emphasis you perform 
the specific tasks listed in relation to your overall duties. In the second 
column please indicate on the same scale of to 3 how often and vdth 
what emphasis an experienced paralegal assistant should perform those 
duties in the future. Complete the questions in the area(s) in which youi 
do paralegal work. 

Department: In which area(s) do you work? (Use to 3 scale) — 

(a) Probate (e) Trademarks and Coprights 

( h ) Real Estate rights 

(d) Corporate (/) Employee Benefits 

■ (g) General 

(h) Other (Please specify, e.g. 

library, personnel )' 

A. PROBATE 

I. Job Activities : 

1. Preparing pleadings (court papers) 

2. Keeping estate accounting records 

3. Drafting wills and trust instruments 

4. Keeping tickler files on upcoming deadlines 

5. Preparing individual and estate tax returns 

6. Preparing inventories 

7. Preparing current and final accounts 

8. Preparing estate planning computations • 

9. Organizing results of No. 8 into summaries for 

clients. 

10. Obtaining pertinent information directly from 

clients. 

11. Transferring assets 

12. Filing forms with Clerk of Probate Courts 

13. Valuing Assets 

II. Job Description : 

(A) Indicate with the number of the task as listed in Part I, at what point 

you are generally brought into work with an Estate : 

(B) Indicate whether, in general, your duties within an estate are contig- 

uous, or if you are given isolated assignments : Con- 
tiguous Isolated 

(C) In regard to Section B above, how would you prefer your assignments 

to be handled? 

' — ^Be given the opportunity to follow an estate through all stages 

of administration 

Concentrate on one specific task in various estates (e.g. Final 

Accounts, Federal Estate Tax Returns) 
III. Training: 

(A) Indicate how many mathematics courses you completed at high school 

and post high school level : None 1-3 

4r-5 over 5 

(B) Indicate how many courses in bookkeping and accounting you received 

at any educational institution. Cour.^es. 

(C) Do you feel the above-indicated training is sufficient in regard to the 

demands of your job as a probate paralegal? Yes No 

If you answered "Yes" above, what level of training would you con- 
sider to be basic for the Job : Introductory Ad- 
vanced Thorough 

B. REAL ESTATE 

Present Future 
I. Purchase-Sale Transactions : 
1. Drafting contracts : 

(a) Purchase-sale 

(b) Exchange 



165 

(c) Residential property 

(d) Commercial property 

(e) Industrial property 

2. Escrows : 

(a) Drafting deed and money 

(b) Drafting moneylenders 

(c) Drafting joint order 

(d) Drafting construction 

(e) Opening an escrow at escrowee's office 

(1) alone 

(2) accompanying your firm's 

attorney 

3. Drafting closing documents : 

(a) Deeds 

(b) Proration statements 

4. Drafting trust papers : 

(a) Trust agreement . 

(6) Directions 

(c) Beneficial interest assignments 

5. Drafting title insurance and Torrens forms 

6. Title clearance 

7. Tract searches 

8. Attending closing : 

(a) alone 

(6) accompanying your firm's attorney 

9. Property inspection 

II. Lease matters : 

1. Drafting leases : 

(a) Residential property 

(&) Commercial property 

(c) Industrial property 

2. Drafting subordination agreements 

3. Drafting attainment and non-disturbance agree- 

ments 

4. Drafting tenants estoppel agreements 

'5. Drafting surety and guaranty agreements 

6. Drafting assignments 

7. Scheduling leases 

8. Examination of leases 

III. Mortgage Transactions : 

1. Drafting mortgage and note : 

(a) Permanent Loan 

(&) Construction loan 

2. Drafting supplements, amendments and modifica- 

tions. 

3. Drafting security agreements 

4. Drafting chattel mortgage documents 

5. Drafting guarantees 

6. UOC statements : 

(a) Drafting 

(6) Filing 

7. Default matters 

8. Foreclosure matters 

9. Insurance matters 

IV. Partnership Matters : 

1. Drafting partnership agreements 

2. Drafting certificates of partnership agreements 

3. Drafting amendments to partnership agreements 

4. Drafting amendments to certificates of partnership 

agreements. 

5. Assumed name certificates 

(a) Drafting 

(&) Filing 

6. Computation of profit and losses 

V. Survey and Easement.s : 

1. Examination of survey 

2. Drafting easements 



166 



VI. Tax Matters: 

1. Division 

2. Re-assessment 

(a) Appraisals 

(6) Computations 

3. Checking tax records 

4. Pay taxes 

(a) General and specials 

(&) Redemptions 

5. Tax injunctions 

(a) Drafting 

(6) Filing 

6. Specific objections 

(a) Drafting 

(6) Filing 

C. LITIGATION 

1. Non-legal research 

2. Write Statements of Facts 

3. Investigations and factual discovery 

4. Seai-ch and check public records, such as court files, indices 

and dockets. 

5. Document search in response to Motions for Production or 

Interrogatories. 

6. File motions, papers 

7. Serve papers 

8. Prepare court filings, such as Complaints, Answers, Inter- 

rogatories, Notices, Summonses, etc. 

9. Draft briefs 

10. Legal research 

11. Select and compile legal citations 

12. Cite check 

13. Shepardize 

14. Bibliographical research 

15. Index documents 

16. Set up depositions and hearings 

17. Prepare digests, abstracts, indices and/or summaries of — 

transcripts 

18. Preparation of graphs, charts, etc 

19. Preparation of exhibits 

20. Appear for client in court on roiitine matters 

21. Conduct intervievs^ with client 

22. Witness interviewing 

23. Preparation of witnesses 

24. Interview experts and consultants 

25. Review of drafts of briefs, etc., for clarity and accuracy 

26. Arrange for printing of briefs, etc 

27. Arrange for publication of legal notices 

28. Prepare memoranda on legal research 

29. Prepare memoranda on non-legal research, investigations, 

factual discovery. 

Corporate : 

1. Organize corporations (charter, by-laws, subscrip- 

tions, minutes). 

(a) Profit 

(h) Not-for-profit 

(c) Professional 

2. Draft corporate resolutions (minutes and consents) : 

3. Secretary of State filings. 

(a) Annual reports 

(&) Dissolutions 

(c) Qualification to do business as a foreign 

corporation. 

(d) Other (please specify) 



167 

4. Drafting Agreements 

(a) Employment agreements 

(&) Shareholders' agreement 

(c) Underwriting agreement 

id) Merger plans and agreements 

(e) Acquisition agreements 

(/) Escrow agreement 

iff) Voting trust agreement 

ill) Stock option 

(i) Stock purchase 

5. Miscellaneous : 

(a) Power of attorney 

ib) Fromsisory notes 

(e) Bill of sale or transfer of assets 

id) Assumed name certificates 

(e) Tax exemption applications 

(/) Prepare corporate income tax return 

(*7) IJCC research 

'(//) Stock traosfers 

(i) Stock exchange listing applications 

(;■) Coi-porate review 

6. Exchange Act of 1934 : 

(a) Proxy statements in compliance with 1934 Act_ 

(6) 10-K 

(c) 10-Q 

id) 9-K 

(e) 8-K 

(/) Rule 144 stock transfers 

7. Public Offerings : 

(a) Investigation 

ib) Drafting 

(c) Proof reading 

, id) Prepare and review officers' and directors' ques- 

1* tionuaires. 

(e) Prepare and review underwriters' question- 
naires. 

8. Blue Sky (other than public offerings) : 

(o) Research 

ib) Filings for security registration 

(c) Respond to comments 

(., (d) Preparation of applications for broker-dealer 

and investment adviser licenses. 

9. Acquisitions : 

ia) Participate in negotiations 

(6) Prepare closing documents 

i(c) Closing lists 

id) Closing binder 

(e) Closing certificate 

(/) Drafting opinion 

iff) Attend closing 

E. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS 

If your major area is EBP, go through the Corporate Section 
carefully and indicate those tasks which are presently signifi- 
cant in your work, and those which you feel should be sig- 
nificant. 

In addition, please rate the following items : 

1. Pension and profit-sharing plans : 

ia) Drafting 

(&) Amending and restating 

2. Trust Agreements : 

ia) Drafting 

ib) Amending and restating 

3. Prepare IRS submission, including preparation of forms 

(4573, 2848-D, etc.). 



168 

F. TRADEMARKS AND COPYRIGHTS 

1. Trademarks : 

(a) Determination of class 

(&) Correspondence with the firm doing the research 

<e) Summarize research report 

id) Preparation of application 

(e) Renewals 

(/) Dealing with foreign correspondence 

2. Copyrights : 

(a) Preparation of forms 

Appendix B 

TABLE l.-SIZE OF LAW FIRMS OF SURVEY RESPONDENTS 
Size Number Percen 



12 


12.6 


16 


16.8 


21 


22.1 


11 


11.6 


25 


26.3 


4 


4.2 


4 


4.2 



Less than 10 attorneys 

10 to 25 attorneys 

26 to 50 attorneys 

51 to 75 attorneys 

76 to 100 attorneys 

101 to 150 attorneys 

More than 150 attorneys 

Total 93 97.8 

1. Two (2) of the 95 respondents did not work in law firms. 

2. The 15 sample surveys were distributed to a law firm of more than 150 at- 
torneys and are not included here. See Appendix C. 

Table 2. — Institutions tliat legal assistants feel should participate in 

certification 

Institution Number 

American Bar Association 32 

State Bar Association 32 

CAPA or similar organization 23 

State 12 

Not at all 25 

No answer and undecided 9 

The sum of responses is greater than 95, due to combination responses show- 
ing more than one institution as proposed certifying agencies. 

Appendix C 

About the Sample Surveys 

The 15 sample Surveys were filled out by legal assistants working at a 
Chicago law firm having more than 150 attorneys. Five (5) of these paralegals 
have been trained at the Institute for Paralegal Training while the other 10 have 
either been in law school or graduate school, or have been promoted after several 
years as a legal secretary. Of the 15 respondents, all but 3 had college degees. 
Three (3) people held Master's degrees and 4 had some law school background. 

On the issue of training, only 3 legal assistants felt that it is necessary to have 
formal training while the other 10 waivered between a definite no or tlie qualifi- 
cation that it depends upon the employer and the field of law involved. A majority 
of the respondents were satisfied with their responsibilities on the job and they 
unanimously agreed that this responsibility should increase progressively. How- 
ever, in terms of a long-range career, eleven (11) said the career of legal as- 
sistants is currently too limited and unchallenging, and offered no future. Still, 4 
people envisioned the job as a long-range career. 

Appendix D 

About the Committee on Standards 

.Jean Knoll Marengo, Chairperson, has worked as a legal assistant in litigation 
in a law firm of 76 to 100 attorneys since 1972. She attended Vassar College 



169 

and received an AB/MA from Princeton University in 1971. She has served 
on the CAPA Board of Directors and as Committee chairperson since early 
1973. 

Ruth E. Copeland has worked as a legal assistant in employee benefit plans 
in a law firm of 76 to 100 attorneys since 1973. She received a BA from the 
University of Illinois in 1973 and attended the Institute for Paralegal Training. 

Linda M. Dougherty has worked as a legal assistant in corporate and employee 
benefit plans in a law firm of 50 to 75 attorneys since 1972. She received a BA 
from St. Mary's College in 1972 and attended the Institute for Paralegal Training. 

Janet M. Fronczak has worked as a legal assistant in litigation in a law firm 
of from 50 to 75 attorneys since 1973. She received a BA from St. Mary's 
College in 1972, attended the Institute for Paralegal Training and is currently 
enrolled in Loyola Law School's Special Legal Research Course for Legal Assist- 
ants. She is currently a member of CAPA Board of Directors. 

Randi K. Lowenthal worked as a corporate legal assistant in a law firm of 
firm of from 100 to 150 attorneys and as a legal assistant in real estate in a 
law firm of 10 to 2.'> attorneys until she became Coordinator of the Lawyers' 
Assistant Program, Roosevelt University, in 1974. She received a BA from the 
University of Colorado in 1971, attended the Institute for Paralegal Training, 
and is currently studying for an MBA. She has served as a director and president 
of CAPA. 

Mary Alice Lightle has worked as a corporate legal assistant in a law firm 
of over 150 attorneys since 1971. She received an AB from Bryn Mawr College 
in 1970, attended the Institute for Paralegal Training, and is currently studying 
for an MBA at the University of Chicaiio. She has served on the CAPA Board 
of Directors and as corresponding secretary for the Association. 

Sheila J. Moolenaar has worked as a legal assistant in litigation in a law 
firm of 50 to 75 attorneys for three years after three years of prior experience 
as a legal secretary. She attended the University of Illinois for two years and 
is currently enrolled in Loyola Law School's Legal Research Course for Legal 
Assistants. She has served on the CAPA Board of Directors and as its vice 
president. She is currently the president of the Association. 

Ann Marie Powers has worked as a legal assistant in probate since 1973. 
She received a BA from the University of Notre Dame in 1973 and attended 
the Institute for Paralegal Training. 

Sally Louise Steinberg worked as an administrator for the American Arbitra- 
tion Association before becoming a legal assistant in litigation in a firm of 
75 to 100 attorneys in 1973. She received a BA from the University of Wisconsin 
in 1969 and an MA from New York University in 1972. 

.Janet L. Svoboda has worked as a legal assistant in real estate in a private 
corporation for one year. She received a BA from the University of Northern 
Colorado, attended the Institute for Paralegal Training and is currently enrolled 
in Loyola Law School's Legal Research Course for the Legal Assistant. She 
has served on the CAPA Board of Directors and the Publicity and Information 
Committee. She is currently corresponding secretary of the Association. 

Rocky Mountain Legal Assistants Association, 

Denver, Colo., July 18, 1974. 
Re Paralegals. 

Senator John V. Tunney, 

Chairperfton, Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Representation of Citizen In- 
terests, Washington, B.C. 

introduction 

Dear Senator Tunney : This letter is submitted by me on behalf of the Rocky 
Mountain Legal Assistants Association for the hearings of the Subcommittee 
which will be held on July 23. 1974, concerning paralegals and their potential 
for lowering the cost of legal representation and increasing the availability of 
legal services. In connection with this topic, you also asked for views on the 
accreditation of training programs and certification, or licensing, of paralegals. 
I would like to express the appreciation of the Association for having this op- 
portunity to present its views to you. 

THE lowering OF FEES AND INCREASING AVAILABILITY OF SERVICES 

The questions here are basically how the services of a paralegal fit into the 
performance of a task for a client and what effect the utilization of the services 



170 

of the paralegal has on the ultimate cost to the client. When an attorney takes on 
a project for a client, the job more often than not involves initial foundation 
work, editing, and legal analysis. Traditionally, there has been no separation of 
these tasks. For the most part, the attorney did all of the work. Occasionally, 
his or her secretary would prepare certain forms, which would he classified as 
foundation work, but rarely did she do more. It was not until three or four years 
ago that attorneys came to realize that only legal analysis really required the 
skills acquired in law school. Foundation work and editing can be performed by 
someone who is bright and has acquired some knowledge of legal terminology and 
methods. 

In the two years that I have worked as a paralegal in Denver, it has become 
clear to me that the basic issue in the use of paraprofessionals is the efficient 
allocation of economic resources. Clients are charged a fee for a task performed 
by a lawyer, usually arrived at by multiplying the number of hours it took to 
complete the task by the hourly rate charged for the performing attorney's time. 
A paralegal's time is also usually billed out at an hourly rate. In Denver, the 
average paralegal hourly rate is $15. The highest attorney rate ranges from $60 
to $100 per hour. If an attorney is open enough to the idea of the separability of 
tasks, and recognizes in a project those tasks which can l)e delegated and those 
which cannot, the performance of certain tasks by a paralegal will result in the 
ultimate reduction in cost to the client because of the difference in hourly rates. 
The quality of the product produced will not be lessened because it was done by 
a paralegal, for two reasons. The first reason is that a ]>aralegars work is 
always reviewed by the attorney responsible for the project and, therefore, the 
work will be subject to the attorney's standards. The second reason is that the 
more often a product is produced, the higher the quality which will be attained 
in less time. This means less of an attorney's time Avill be involved in reviewing 
the matter, and the savings to the client will be Increased. 

At this time, paralegals are employed more frequently by private law firms 
than public agencies. The economic advantages which come from the use of 
paralegal services by a law firm should also, however, apply to public agencies. 
There is a great deal of time spent at Legal Aid, for example, on the intake 
of information and the analysis and organization of that information. These 
tasks would fit into the foundation work and editing classifications of tasks. 
For the most part, attorneys are now performing those tasks. Le£::al Aid here 
in Denver has about five or six pai'alegals working in its six oflfices. Neither 
the District Attorney nor the Public Defender has a separate position for para- 
legals. It should be noted that some of the federal agencies, .such as the Equal 
Employment Opportunity Commission, have included paralegals when setting 
up new oflSces. 

If a paralegal is being used efficiently, either by a law firm or a public agency, 
the attorney will be able to take on more work, helping more people. The lower 
costs of legal services will mean that those people who could not previously 
afford the luxury of legal representation will be ablf to get the help they need. 

The use of paralegals by both law firms and public agencies should be vigor- 
ously encouraged, as it will lower the cost of the services to the client, lower 
the cost of running public agencies as well as law firms, and allow attorneys to 
reach more people more often while providing better services. 

ACCREDITATION OF PARALEGAL TRAINING PROGRAMS 

The accreditation of training programs and the licensing of paralegals is an 
area of great concern to all paralegals. In August of 197.3. the House of Dele- 
gates of the American Bar Association ("ABA") approved "Guidelines for the 
Approval of Legal Assistant Education Programs" ("Guidelines") as presented 
by the Special Committee on Legal Assistants ("Special Committee") of the 
ABA. Prior to their presentation to the House of Delegates, the Guirlelines were 
presented at a meeting in Denver to a group of people who have been partic- 
ipating for a number of years in the paralegal movement, either as attorneys 
using paralegals or as directors of paralegal training programs. I am told by 
several of the participants that the general reaction at that meeting to the 
Guidelines was that they were inadequate and totally premature. The Special 
Committee went ahead anyway and presented the Guidelines to the House of 
Delesjates. apparently without reporting the sentiments of the Denver group 
to the House of Delegates. The Guidelines were approved, criteria explaining 
the Guidelines have been prepared, and the ABA expects to be.Jrin accepting 
applications for approval this fall. In May of 1974, there was another meeting 



171 

in Denver sponsored by the Special Committee for directors of paralegal pro- 
grams from all over the country. At that meeting, the Guidelines vpere discussed 
at length. The general reaction of this meeting was that the Guidelines exclude 
many very effective training programs from qualifying for accreditation, and 
that this is an unacceptable situation. 

There is no adequate definition for the term "paralegal", vs'hich also encom- 
passes the terms "legal assistant", "lay assistant", and "legal worker". It has 
been defined as ". . . one who is not a lawyer nor under the direct supervision of 
a lawyer, but who needs some legal knowledge to do his job well." ^ It has also 
been defined as one who can do everything a lawyer can do except give legal 
advice or appear before the court on behalf of a client. As you can see, both 
definitions are so vague that they say nothing. One can talk in terms of 
services provided by paralegals but, again, the discussion usually lacks the 
specificity necessary for definition. The variety in tasks performed which 
exists stems from the differences in the law practiced in different offices and 
agencies, and from the particular needs of each office. Not every office will need a 
probate paralegal if the amount of probate work is not great. Not every ofl5ce 
has the volume of work to warrant specialized paralegals ; agencies usually 
need individuals with specialized skills. Even paralegals specialized in the 
same areas of law perform different tasks from office to office. The effectiveness 
of the ABA Guidelines will depend upon a certain amount of uniformity in the 
paralegal profession which does not exist at this time. 

The variety of services provided by paralegals has affected the development 
of paralegal programs and how they are structured. Some, such as the Institute 
for Paralegal Training in Philadelphia, recruit only college graduates, train them 
intensively for three-and-one-half months in one speciality area, and place them 
primarily in private law firms. Other programs are geared toward public sector 
law and do not deal at all with probate law or corporate law. Still other programs 
recruit high school graduates, require that the students take typing and book- 
keeping as well as courses in all areas of private sector law, and then 
graduate them with the equivalent of a two-year college degree. 

The Guidelines state that "While the Committee is aware that a variety of 
educational programs may provide an opportunity for the education of legal 
assistants, it has determined that standards should be developed for the 
accreditation of programs not less than sixty semester nor ninetly quarter 
hours." ■ The Guidelines do state that there are other programs wliich can train 
paralegals and the Guidelines do limit themselves to sixty semester or ninety 
quarter hour programs ; however, it is generally felt by directors of programs 
and paralegals themselves that once the ABA starts accrediting paralegal pro- 
grams only graduates of those accredited programs will be employed by law 
firms. Those graduates of other programs which have been developed to fill the 
needs of the areas in which they are located will be at a serious disadvantage 
when seeking employment, even though their program was as good as, and in 
many cases better than, the accredited program. Up until recently, most 
paralegals were trained on the job. The Guidelines will exclude entrance into 
the field by this method and by any means other than completion of an 
accredited program. This exclusion is one of the main problems of the Guidelines. 
But the root of the problems with the Guidelines lies with the lack of definition 
for the term "paralegal". If paralegals are providing such a variety of services, 
then there will he, and is, a wide variety of programs. In accrediting only one 
kind of program, the potential for losing that variety is great. The loss of 
variety in the types of services provided by paralegals would restrict the 
paralegal to a point of restricting the availability of legal services. It has been 
felt by many paralegals that accreditation of paralegal programs cannot be 
effectively done until the paralegal profession has become more established and 
definitions more clear. 

It should also be noted that the Guidelines provide for an accrediting board 
composed totally of members of the ABA (i.e., attorneys). This is unacceptable 
to paralegals. Paralegals ought to-be on the accrediting board. The Guidelines 
do provide that paralegal programs have advisory boards composed of lawyers, 
paralegals and other members of the public, and yet they did not take that require- 
ment the one logical step further and allow paralegals to sit on the accrediting 
body. 



^ Tegge and Jarmel, ed., American Bar Association Sppcial Committee on Learal As- 
sistants. "New Careers in Law : II". Chicajro : American Bar Association. June. 1971. p. 4. 

* American Bar Association Special Committee on Lecrnl Assistants. "Guidelines for the 
Approval of Legal Assistant Education Programs", American Bar Associations, 1973, p. 2. 



172 

CERTIFICATION OF LEGAL ASSISTANTS 

The inevitable extension of the accreditation of paralegal training programs is 
the certification, or licensure, of paralegals. It is impossible to discuss certification 
on any meaningful level unless you are discussing the particular criteria which 
will be used to certify paralegals. The Rocky Mountain Legal Assistants As- 
sociation (the "Association") has taken the position that certification of para- 
legals should be approached cautiously and slowly. The Association feels it can- 
not be either in favor of or opposed to certification until it is proposed how 
paralegals will be certified. We do not know of a viable program of certification 
that has been proposed. The need for certification usually arises out of a need 
to protect the public from incompetence, fraud or dishonesty. There is no need 
to protect the public from paralegals as the paralegal, unlike many other licensed 
paraprofessionals, does not deal directly wtih the public. The paralegal is hired 
by, and all of his work is performed under the direction and subject to the 
review of, an attorney, and attorneys are subject to the prohibition of the un- 
authorized practice of law. 

A proposal for certification has been made in California in Assembly Bill 1814 
("AB 1814"), the Certified Attorneys' Assistant Act. The bill creates a board 
which would, among otlier things, adopt standords for licensing paralegals and 
then enforce the regulation of licensed paralegals. This board would be under 
the supervision of the Board of Governors of the State Bar Association and, when 
first submitted to the Assembly, was to be comprised totally of attorneys. At this 
time, liowever. I have been told that the bill now allows for paralegals and other 
members of the public to sit on this board. The editors of the Newsletter of the 
D.C. Metropolitan Area Paralegal Association reviewed this bill. They state in 
part that : 

Legal assistants have worked in conjunction with attorneys, complement- 
ing the attorney's legal knowledge with parallel specialties on a consultancy 
basis. That firms have indeed hired personnel to conduct substantive non- 
legal research in areas such as economics and industrial psychology is an 
indication of the necessity to retain fluidity and mobility among legal assist- 
ants. The editors fail to understand legislation attempting to create artificial 
boundaries, limiting a profession that is now highlighted not by its homo- 
geneity but instead by its heterogenity. The bill acts as a deterrent to people 
who cannot pass an examination based on an arbitrarily defined minimum 
standard. . . . The profession, as it now stands, is not limited in scope or 
variety. Minority races and women are well represented. Creating a profes- 
sional guild organization, with the traditional limitations suffered by guilds, 
would indeed be irresponsible. 

The Business and Professions Code of the State of California forbids 
the practice of law by persons who have not met certain criteria within 
California (the Unauthorized Practice Statutes). AB 1814 is not aimed 
at the unauthorized practice of law. It appears, however, to be aimed at 
the unmithorlzed praotice of paralegalism. Since paralegals are not recog- 
nized as being directly respon.sible to clients, and do not receive fees from 
same, the prohibitions in the bill are unnecessary.^ 
As is the case with accrediting paralegal training programs, the main threat 
of certification to paralegals is the loss of the flexibility and diversity which now 
exist in the profession. The problems which exist in determining how to certify 
paralegals stem from that diversity. Again, until the paralegal profession has 
become more established and definitions become clearer, certification is an unreal- 
istic and, in fact, a potentially dangerous route. The restrictions which would 
occur if certification were to take place now would far outweigh the advantages. 
Both accreditation of paralegal programs and certification of paralegals them- 
selves are premature ideas. Both are intended to protect the judicial system, but 
actually both may inhibit severely the development and use of paralegals and 
their skills. But if these two ideas are to be considered, paralegals must be 
consulted on every facet of accrediting and certification, as they are the ones 
who have to live with whatever results. 
Very truly yours, 

Jenniteb T. Moulton, President. 



3 FarjjTihar and Metellts, ed.. Newsletter of the D.C. Metropolitan Area Paralegal Associa- 
tion, "Editorial", Vol. I, June 15, 1974, p. 2. 



173 

Paralegal Pbogram in the Office of the Solicitor of Labor 

The Office of the Solicitor initiated a paralegal program iu its National and 
Field Offices in January of 1974. This in-house program (presently consisting 
of 20 employees) was established to train experienced clerical employees of the 
Office of the Solicitor to enable them to advance from a nonprofessional to a 
professional status. 

Program eligibility is limited to employees of the Office of the Solicitor who 
have at least three years experience in legal, quasi-legal or clerical examining 
work requiring a knowledge of general law or a specialized knowledge of par- 
ticular laws or regulations. Our paralegal trainees are required to attend a 
one-week formal training session in Washington, D.C., which encompasses the 
basics of the legal system, especially with respect to laws administered by the 
Department of Labor, legal research and Federal Court procedures. Upon com- 
pletion of the formal training, paralegals receive 11 months of intensive on-the- 
job training acquiring skills to understand and utilize the processes of the legal 
system as they relate to work of the Office of the Solicitor. In addition, individ- 
uals selected for the program are required to complete successfully at least 
three semester hours of an appropriate college-level or law school course related 
to their paralegal responsibilities, without cost to the individual. 

The bulk of our program is on-the-job training. The paralegals' supervising 
attorneys by preparing positive performance evaluations, in fact certify the 
paralegals' proficiency. Therefore, accreditation of training programs and 
licensing of Individual paralegals would probably not Impact on the Office of 
the Solicitor in terms of those paralegals which we require. Conversely, such 
accreditation and licensing requirements could work to the detriment of those 
paralegals w^hlch we develop who might seek employment with other Govern- 
ment agencies or private law firms. The relative youth of the paralegal field 
combined with the diversity of training for such individuals, e.g., on-the-job 
training, formalized year of study, etc., does not lend Itself to standardization 
for purposes of licensing at this time. Finally, the expense of establishing a 
licensing authority or authorities could negate those reductions in legal costs 
which you are hoping to accomplish. 

Evaluation of our paralegal program to date Indicates that the paralegal 
trainees have assumed many routine duties formerly performed by attorneys. 
These include shephardizlng. preparing petitions for modification of abatement,^ 
preparing complaints and interrogatories, and maintaining court calendars. 
This has enabled our attorneys to devote a greater percentage of their time 
substantive legal matters, thereby increasing their productivity. 



Ventxtra College of Law, 
t Ventura, Calif., July 26, 191 Jf. 

Hon. JOHX y. TlTNNEY. 

Chairman, Suhcomwitee on Representation of Citizen Interests, U.S. Senate, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Seisjator Ttjnney : I understand that the Subcommittee on Representa- 
tion of Citizen Interests is investigating Into the paralegal concept, particularly 
with reference to lowering legal costs. With a background of five years as 
Director of the OEO-funded legal service organization in Ventura, I have had 
an overriding concern with the general area. When I became Dean of the law 
school here. I brought the interest in the paralegal concept with me. I hope I 
am not being presiim])tuous in passing my thoughts along to you. 

We attempted to get such a pro.ei-am off the ground two years ago (see en- 
closed bulletin). Most of the Interest we did generate came from legal secre- 
taries. The main problem — our program did not have sufficient numbers to 
begin- — seemed to be the position of the employing attorney. The prospective 
students already employed as secretaries could not see the education enhancing 
their careers within the present stnicture of the law office. Which brings me 
to licensing. 

Until the paralegal Is recognized as a separate profession, designed specifically 
to let the attorney utilize his or her time to the best advantage, the concept will 
not work. It seems to me the best way to achieve his recognition Is In some kind 
of licensing provision. Moreover, the licensing should be done by the State Bar 
Associations. In this way the Bar will be directly involved in establishing stand- 



41-375—74 12 



174 

ards, and will more readily accept these persons into the profession. 

I have very little doubt that licensing will attract many students to this field, 
also. 

Offering a curriculum for this area, where there are no standards, may very 
well offer a disservice to the student. With licensing pi-ovisions, the schools 
would be better able to offer courses that would cover the proper areas, leaving 
room for innovation outside the areas covered for licensing. 

Furthermore, it seems to me that some sort of control over the program, 
content and quality of any particular school should be exercised. Whether you 
call this accreditation, or whatever, there is too great a possibility of enticing 
students into a program strictly from the money-making potential, without 
really training these people to function as a paralegal. It is one thing to license 
the paralegal. It is quite a different matter to offer, for tuition, a course and 
then not train the bulk of the students sufhciently to be become licensed. Proba- 
bly, with cooperation, the Bar Associations could best exercise some control 
over schools that wish to offer a paralegal program. 

There is no doubt that something miist be done regarding legal fees. The 
OEO structure, inadequate as it was in funds, could offer only minimal service 
to the lowermost income group. Group legal services will never reach all persons. 

It appears to me that the paralegal offers a hope of serving that middle level 
of income that cannot afford to pay the fees at the present level. Looking back 
on my years in private practice I find the time that I wasted on tasks any trained 
person could do to be incredible. 

Because of the above, I was gratified to learn of the subcommittee and its 
work. I would appreciate being kept abreast of further developments. 
Yours truly, 

Feed J. Olson, Dean. 

Drv'isiON OF Paralegal Studies, Ventura College of Law, Bulletin 1972-73 

President and Dean, Fred J. Olson 

Vice President, Gerhard W. Orthuber 

Director, Thomas K. Haney 

Director, Kenneth D. Cleaver 

Director, Richard E. Erwin 

Faculty : Fall Quarter, 1972 

ENGLISH IN law 

Barbara A. Derryberry, B.S., M.S. 

U.S. in Business Administration, San Fernando Valley State College; M.S. in 
Business Administration, San Fernando Valley State College ; past instructor of 
Business Communications and Records Management at SFVSC ; presently in- 
structor at Ventura Community College. 

INTEODUCTION TO LAW AND LEGAL ADMINISTRATION 

Jack Doherty, B.B.A., A.B., J.D. 

B.B.A. in Business Management. Woodbury College : A.B. in Liberal Arts. Stan- 
ford University ; J.D., Stanford University : presently head of contracts depart- 
ment at Santa Barbara Research Center and in private practice. 

LAW AND society 

Fred J. Olson, A.B., M.A.. .T.D. 

A.B. in Political Science, Stanford University : M.A. in Government, California 
State College at Los Angeles ; J.D,, Stanford University ; instructor of Torts and 
Contracts at Ventura College of Law, Business Law at Ventura Community Col- 
lege ; Dean, Ventura College of Law. 



175 

School Calendar — 1972-1073 

fall quarter 
Classes begin — July 31. 
Labor Day — September 4. 
Final exams — October 9-October 13. 
Quarter break— October 16-October 20. 

WINTER QUARTER 

Classes begin — October 23. 

Thanksgiving — November 23. 

Christmas vacation — ^December 25-January 5. 

Final exams — January 15-January 19. 

Quarter break — January 22-January 26. 

SPRING QUARTER 

Classes begin — ^January 29. 

Final exams — ^April 9-April 13. 

Quarter break/Easter vacation — April 16-ApriI 20. 

SUMMER QUARTER 



Classes begin — April 23. 
Memorial Day — ^May 28. 
Final exams — July 2-July 6. 

PUBPOSE OP PARALEGAL STUDIES 

The purpos'e and goal of this certificated program is to train persons who will 
be able to function within the framework of law and legal institutions as 
paraprofessionals. 

The graduates of this program will be skilled technicians in the law. They will 
be experienced in all of the areas in which they may be of service to practicing 
attorneys. They will be knowledgeable in research, pleading, the drafting and 
interpretation of Instruments and investigation. Additionally, they will be pre- 
pared to participate in the solution of accounting and, tax problems, and they 
win be qualified to act as managers of law offices. 

In order to achieve these skills, the graduate will learn of the practical and 
theoretic? 1 aspects of the major areas of the law, the legal basis of both local 
government and business organizations, and the background of legal institutions 
and jurisprudence in this country. 

Tt'aehing in the paralegal study division of the College of Law will be varied. 
A combination lecture, case-study method will be used. Most courses will be 
problem-oriented so that the student will apply the cases he studies and the rules 
he learns to realistic factual situations. In this manner the graduate will master 
the basis of legal reasoning and its application to the practice of law. Further- 
more, through faculty review of his work, he will be knowledgeable in the 
drafting and preparation of a multitude of legal documents. 

Of course, the certificated legal assistant or administrator will not be able to 
practice law as such. But, since he will perform an increasingly important role in 
the legal profession under the supei'vision of a licensed attorney, his career will 
be very rewarding, both to society and himself. 

OPPORTUNITIES 

In August of 1968, the American Bar Association's Committee on the Avail- 
ability of Legal Services, in its report to the House of Delegates, recommended : 

"that the legal profession recognize that freeing a lawn^er from routine detail, 
thus conserving his time and energy for truly legal problems, will enable him 
to render his professional service to more people, thereby making legal services 
more fully available to the public." 

Subsequent to this a special committee of the ABA concluded that the Ameri- 
can Bar is receptive to paralegal concepts and that the services of paralegal 
professionals will permit lawyers to serve much larger than normal clienteles in 
the hours available to them. 

In May of 1971, the ABA made preliminary curriculum recommendations for 
paralegal studies. It is also recommended that the professional positions of Legal 



176 

Assistant and Legal Administrator be certificated through the use of nationwide 
examinations. 

The Ventura College of Law, in conjunction with a private firm engaged in 
education, has developed the curriculum which appears in the following pages. 
This curriculum closely follows the coxirses recommended by the ABA. 

It appears that numerous opportunities soon will be available to paralegal 
professionals, and that these opportunities will increase significantly in the years 
ahead. 

The Ventura College of Law has pledged itself to educate and train highly- 
skilled persons to assist in the field of law. In addition, they will form a special- 
ized placement service. Though no guaranty of individual placement can he- 
made, this placement service will be dedicated to the creation of suitable voca- 
tional opportunities for paralegal graduates. 

LEGAL ADMINISTRATION COURSE OF STUDY 

Leffal assistants 

A student who successfully completes 45 specified quarter units will be 
awarded a "Legal Assistant" certificate. This goal may be achieved in five 
academic quarters, each consisting of three evenings per week of class attend- 
ance. All of the courses in the 401^15 curriculum series are required for this 
certificate. 

Legal administrators 

A student who has received a "Legal Assistant" certificate will be eligible to 
receive a "Legal Administrator" certificate upon the successful completion of 15 
additional quarter units of specified courses. This additional goal may be 
achieved in two additional academic quarters, one consisting of 'two and the 
other of three evenings per week of class attendance. All of the courses in the 
501-505 curriculum series are required for this additional certificate. 

B.8. in legal administration 

A student who enters this program with 60 undergraduate college units or 
more and with an undergraduate grade itoint average of 2.0 or more may be 
eligible for a B.S. degree in Legal Administration upon the successful comple- 
tion of all of the above-mentioned courses (see Requirements for Admission) . 

REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION 

The Paralegal Division does not consider an applicant's sex, race, national 
origin or religion in determining eligibility for admission. 

The l)asic minimum entrance requirements for both the Legal Assistant Certi- 
fication Program and the Legal Administrator Certification Program are the 
same, as set out below. 

LEGAL ASSISTANT/LEGAL ADMINISTRATOR CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS 

An applicant may apply for admission only under one of the following three 
categories. 

Category one : High School Graduate : No Secretarial Experience 

The admissibility of high school graduates with no secretarial experience and 
less than one year college work is dependent upon their cumulative high school 
grade point average. Applicants with a GPA of 2.80 or higher are eligible for 
admission ; applicants with a GPA under 2.00 are ineligible. 

Applicants with a GPA falling between 1.09 and 2.80 must submit all high 
school and college transcripts and the scores obtained on the Scholastic Aptitude 
Test (SAT), and must have an interview with the Dean or Associate Dean of the 
College. (The verbal score of the SAT will be weighed heavily in considering 
ellgibity of the applicant.) 

Each applicant's eligibility will be determined by the College. 

Category Two : Applicants with Secretarial Experience 

An applicant with at least two years experience as a secretary may be eligible 
for admission without reference to school transcripts or SAT scores. There must 
be written verification of the exi)erience by employers, and an interview with aa. 
administrator of the College. 

Category three : Applicants with College Credits 



177 

An applicant having successfully completed at least one year of college (30 
semester or 45 quarter imits) with, a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better, and 
having been in good standing at the time of departure from the last college 
attended, will be eligible for admission. 

Degree program 

An applicant for a B.S. in Legal Administration having successfully com- 
pleted at least two years of college (60 semester of 90 quarter units) with a cum- 
ulative GPA of 2.(X) or better, having been in good standing at the time of depar- 
ture from the last college attended, will be eligible for admission. 
Audit-non credit 

An applicant who qualifies under any of the above-mentioned categories may 
take any class on an audit (non credit) basis. 

ADMISSION PROCEDURES 

1. Submit a completed Application For Admission form, accompanied by the 
$10.00 application fee. 

2. Submit the documents that are required in the category for admission under 
which you are applying : 

a. Official transcripts of the last three years of high school. 

b. The scores from the Scholastic Aptitude Test 

c. Proof of two years employment as a secretary. 

3. Have official transcripts from all colleges and high schools attended sent 
directly from the issuing institution to the Ventura College Law. 

4. Submit at least two letters of reference attesting to the good moral character 
and the scholastic ability of the applicant. 

5. Arrange for an interview with an Administrator if required or requested. 

A deposit of $50.00 (applied toward tuition) is required of each applicant upon 
notice of acceptance. Acceptance may be cancelled if the deposit is not paid when 
due. The deposit will be refunded only in exceptional instances (induction into 
military service, death, etc.). 

PAYMENT OF TUITION 

Tuition is due in full and payable at the time of registration for each quarter. 

Students may defer two-thirds of tuition over each quarter, but the balance 
must be paid in full at least three weeks prior to the end of that quarter. A 
charge of .$2.00 per unit will be incurred for such service. 

Students previously placed on probation, or students registering for their 
first quarter of study, must pay tuition in full when they register. 

Checks should be made payable to Ventura College of Law. 

TYPING REQUIREMENT FOR GRADUATION 

Typing proficiency at a fifty words per minute level is a requirement for 
graduation in Legal Administration. Each candidate must pass an examination 
or furnish the College with evidence of this level of proficiency at least four 
weeks before graduation. One year's experience in the past ten years as a clerk- 
typist, stenographer or secretary will fulfill this requirement if evidenced by a 
letter or letters from employers that the candidate has served in a typing 
capacity. 

Expenses 
Fees (Non-refundable) : 

Application .$10, 00 

Registration deposit (applied to tuition) 50.00 

Paralegal students association (per quarter) 2.00 

Late registration 5.00 

Change of program 5. 00 

Special examination 15. 00 

Reexamination 4.5. 00 

Transcripts 1. 00 

Graduation 3.5. 00 

TUITION 

The tuition charge is $30.00 per unit. The same charge is made to those 
students attending on an auditor basis. 



178 

REFUND POLICY 

Tuition will be refunded on the following schedule if a student withdraws at 
any time after registration and prior to the end of : 

Percent 

First week NO 

Second week 40 

Third week 2U 

No tuition will be refunded after the third week. 

BOOKS 

It is estimated that the cost of books and supplies is approximately $100 per 
year. 

CURRICULUM 

401 Introduction to Law and Legal Administration (3 units) : A basic in- 
troductory course to give the student an insight on the method of studying law 
and cases ; the broad application of law, its development and its institutions ; the 
legal ethics of the law profession and the relationship of legal assistants thereto. 

402 Law and Society (3 units) : A survey course of some of the social prob- 
lems of the times and their legal aspects : Consumer protection ; ecology and law ; 
poverty and law ; creditor-debtor and other areas of major issue today. 

403 English in Law (3 units) : The fundamental application of the English 
language in law ; the reduction of legal principles and reasoning to the written 
word ; legal writing and its particular problems. 

404 Wills and Trusts (3 units) : A study of the disposition of property by 
will ; by intestate succession ; and by trust, both inter vivos and after death by 
will. The basics of estate planning will be encompassed. 

405 Family Law and Community Property (3 units) : A basic course on mar- 
riage, dissolution, annulment, separation, children — paternity, custody, adop- 
tion and support ; includes community and separate property and selected prob- 
lems in this area of the law. 

406 Business Law (3 units) : Relates mainly to a study of contracts, their in- 
formation and breach, and defenses thereto. The law of sales and title to goods is 
included. 

407 Personal Injury Practice (3 units) : A study of the law of negligence and 
strict liability with emphasis on fact-gathering and investigation techniques ; 
includes pre-trial and discovery procedures. 

408 Law Office Management I (3 units) : The techniques and practice bf the 
legal assistant or administrator in the private practitioner's office ; filing systems 
and maintenance ; library and its upkeep ; research memos, briefs and forms and 
their indices ; billing procedures, bookkeeping and accounting ; organization of 
the law office. 

409 Pleading — Writing and Research (3 units) : A problem-oriented course, 
with selected areas of the law presented for the drafting of complaints, answei-s, 
legal memoranda and briefs ; research and writing techniques. 

Prerequisite : English in Law (or instructor's permission) . 

410 Law in Government (3 units) : A survey of the practice of law in local 
government in various agencies such as the Public Defender, District Attorney, 
County Counsel and other county and city offices ; special emphasis on the place 
of legal assistants and legal administrators in local government. 

411 Law in Business (3 units) : A survey of the practice of law within the 
fields of commerce and industry ; house counsel ; legal aspects of administration ; 
taxes. Course will emphasize the place of legal assistants and legal administra- 
tors in business. 

412 Evidence and Discovery (3 units) : A study of the law of evidence as it 
relates to preparation for trial ; how the legal assistant may aid the lawyer both 
in preparation of a file and in pre-trial discovery. 

413 Probate Administration (3 units) : The practical aspects of probate ad- 
ministration will be presented in this course ; problem-oriented with hypothetical 
case problems solved by the student. 

Prerequisite : Family Law and Community Property. 

414 Creditor-Debtor Relationships (3 units) : A study of the more common 
areas of consumer credit ; conditional sales contracts and chattel mortgages, the 
law and documents. Bankruptcy, procedure and practice. 

415 Business Finance (3 units) : The organization and continuation of busi- 
ness enterprises, including management of finances. Capital structure, budgets, 
sources ad nature of capital and problems encountered in financial operation. 



179 

501 Law in Business II (3 units) : A continuation of Law in Business I, with 
concentration on typical areas of interest to Legal Assistants and Legal Admin- 
istrators. 

Prerequisites : Law in Business I ; Business Finance. 

502 Law in Government II (3 units) : A continuation of Law in Government 
I, with concentration on typical areas of interest to Legal Assistants and Legal 
Administrators, 

Prerequisite : Law in Government I. 

503 Law Office Management II (3 units) : A continuation of Law Office Man- 
agement I ; however, the course will concentrate on specific areas of law and 
how they are handled in private practice. 

Prerequisites : Law Office Management I ; Probate Administration. 

504 Law Office Organization (3 units) : A study of the law of agency, part- 
nerships and corporations ; the legal aspects of formation and management as 
it relates to shareholders, officers and directors. 

505 Real Property (3 units) : A study of the legal aspects of real estate; 
transfers and sales ; estates ; escrows ; recording statutes ; security instruments 
and methods. 

SAN FRANCISCO ASSOCIATION OF LEGAL ASSISTANTS— ANN AL 

SURVEY, 1973 

Index 

Section : 

A. The Survey 

B. Profile of the Averages 

C. Job Descriptions 

I Litigation 

II Corporate and Real Estate 

III Probate and Tax 

D. Complaints and Praise 

I Responsibility, Position, Job Content 

II Education and Training 

- Ill Working Conditions 

IV Salary and Benefits 

E. Salaries 

Appendixes 

The Suevet 

The following survey was conducted by the San Francisco Association of Legal 
Assistants between January and March of 1973. The responses by and large re- 
flect the state of the profession in the larger downtown San Francisco law firms, 
although a few assistants working in corporations and government agencies re- 
spondend as well. 

The survey did not successfully reach even all assistants in the larger firms, but 
it is clear from the resT)nnses received that there are well in excess of 100 legal as- 
sistants presently employed in downtown San Francisco alone. 

The survey was conducted on an anonymous basis, therefore it is not possible 
to state with accuracy how many different firms are represented in the results. 
From the information provided however, it is possible to categorize by extrapola- 
tion the respondants in terms of numbers employed by various sized firnis^ and 
the distribution of practice areas engaged in. Those figures are as follows : 

Total With 

Firm size assistants litigation Corporate Probate 

Attorneys 

50 plus 

30-49 

20-29 . . 

10-19 

5-9 

Less than 5 



41 


30 


3 


5 


27 


14 


2 




21 


8 


4 


5 


15 


14 






2 




1 




2 


1 




1 


108 


67 


10 


1 



180 

[Blank spaces and discrepancies between totals and the area breakdowns are 
reflective of the fact that while firm totals were reix>rted, area breakdowns were 
not available in every case.] 

As might be expected, the larger the firm, the more legal assistants employed. 
But it is interesting to note that it is not only the very large firm who utilizes 
assistants. There are in fact practices in this City operating on a 1 to 1, or almost 
1 to 1, ratio between attorneys and assistants. 

Basis 

The survey was conducted in two parts. The first dealt with job descriptions, 

and criticisms and praise of the profession, and the second with .^^alary levels 

and billing rates. The second iwrtion of the survey was updated in Sei>tember of 

this year in order to obtain the most current figures available prior to publication. 

The first portion of the survey has the following foundation : 

Responses received 70 (Not all questions answered for all responses.) 

Age Breakdown : 

40 plus 5 

35 to 39 2 

30 to 34 3 

25 to 29 19 

Under 25 17 

Distribution of those responding, to firm size : 

'Number of 

Individuals 

Firm size (Attorneys) : Responding 

50 plus 35 

30 to 49 8 

20 to 29 13 

10 to 19 4 

IjCss than 5 2 

The basis of the second portion will be detailed in Section E. 
Profile of the Averages 

The average legal assistant in downtown San Francisco is female, between 
22 and 29 years of age, with a college degree in a liberal arts field and little or no 
prior legal experience or training. She is employed by a firm of twenty or more 
attorneys, to work in litigation. The bulk of those assistants presently employed, 
have held their positions between 9 months and II/2 .Tears. Virtually none of these 
assistants handle their own typing or clerical tasks. 

The picture changes somewhat in two particular cases, first in the smaller 
firm, and second in the probate area. In the smaller firm, the assistant/secretary 
combination is more often found. The economics of practice make many attorneys 
in smaller firms opt for this combination, especially when first instituting a 
legal assistant program. 

Therefore also, a higher percentage of the full-time assistants in the smaller 
firms are former secretaries. 

Similarly, a higher proportion of former legal secretaries are found among 
the assistants working in the probate area — not so much for the economic 
factors, but because of the nature of the work itself. Probate practices have 
utilized non-lawyers as "clerks" and ^assistants for some time. These same 
people are now being designated as legal assistants. Since probate is a more 
technical area than many others, attorneys have also often found it advantageous 
to utilize former probate secretaries, already familiar with the terms, forms and 
procedures of the field, as legal as-^istants. Thus, there is also a higher percentage 
of formally trained assistants employed in the probate area. 

In the remaining practice areas, however, there is a small percentage of both 
former secretaries and formally trained legal assistants. The lack of formal 
training stems basically from the lack of such training programs in the Ba.v 
Area. Several such programs have begun however in the last year, and while 
the lack of training available heretofore does indicate that local attempts at 
on-the-job training have met with considerable .success, it is expected that the 
proportion of formally trained legal as.sistants employed locally will be increasing 
in the near future. 



181 

The following sections detail the range of comments made in response to several 
areas of questioning. An attempt was made to select responses reflecting the 
entire range of opinions expressed. In some cases responses reflecting similar 
thoughts were edited into a single entry. 

Job Desceiptions 

Below are lists of functions performed by legal assistants in the various 
practice areas as indicated by their responses to the survey. Alongside each 
function is a rating, indicative of the frequency with which the task appeared 
in the job descriptions of all respondents in that practice area. (This is only 
an estimate and not a sjiecific statistics.) The functions are rated 1 to 5, 1 indi- 
cating a task performed by few legal assistants, and 5 indicating a function 
performed by nearly all. 

For additional information on job descriptions, please refer to the appendices 
and bibliography attached to this report. 

Litigation Function : Frequency 

1. Preparation of interrogatories and answers to same 3 

2. Organization of files, including establishing and maintaining index 

systems 4 

3. Summarization of trial transcripts and depositions 4. 9 

4. Preparation of deposition questions 2. 5 

5. Preparation of witnesses prior to their depositions or testimony at 

trial 2 

6. Client and witness interviews for factual information 2. 5 

7. Factual investigation, including : background information on 

parties to the case, financial data, medical information in per- 
sonal injury, case chronologies, newspaper archives, prior suits, 
background of experts and other witnesses, investigation of acci- 
dent scene, correlation of evidence, etc 5 

8. Draft complaints, answers, requests for admission, simple mo- 

tions, etc 3 

9. Assist in document production by determining information avail- 

able, inspecting documents produced, etc 3 

10. Calendaring 2 

11. Attend and report on hearings in related cases 2 

12. Billing and bookkeeping 2 

13. Preparation of graphs and charts for trial exhibits 3 

14. Attendance at trial to assist in coordination of witnesses and docu- 

ments. Also in some cases to work with trial attorney on witness 
examinations. 1. 5 

15. Prepare wage loss statements, life expectancy charts, and other 

similar damages calculations 2 

16. Proofreading 2 

In addition to the general tasks listed above, many respondents described 
more specific functions which pertained to the practice of law in their particular 
firms, and did not appear often enough to rate as above. Some of these were : 

1. Analysis of maps in connection -with, property litigation. 

2. Processing bankruptcy claims for unsecured creditors. 

3. Develop original backup for damage sections of subrogation cases. 

4. Price studies for anti-trust litigation. 

5. Checking compliance with fair trade regulations. 

6. Anatomical drawings for trial exhibits in personal injury. 

7. Foreign language translation. 

8. Supervise document encodation on a computer project. 

9. Statistical studies. 

10. Investigate location of witnesses for process service. 

11. Trace corporate successors of a given firm, research holdings, assets, 
liabilities, etc. 

12. Editing briefs. 

13. Prepare summary memoranda on discovery to date, further discovery 
needed, factual strengths and weaknesses, etc. 

14. Finding transcript references for Findings of Fact. 

15. Summarize information from pleadings. 

16. Research jury verdicts. 



182 

17. Prepare profiles of prospective .iiirors from ^uvy book and evaluate. 

IS. Research medical issues and diagnostic procedures. 

Unfortunately, there were not enough responses in either the categories of 
Corporate and Real Estate or the category of Probate to make frequency rat- 
ings meaningful. Therefore, functions from the job descriptions in these prac- 
tice areas have been simply listed. 

CORPOEATE AND RELAL ESTATE 

1. Draft closing papers, Estoppel Certifications, Articles of Incorporation, By- 
Laws. Minutes, Assignments of Contracts, Fictitious Name Statements, Substitu- 
tion of Trustee. 

2. Handle all documentation for Real Estate closings, including correspondence 
with Title Companies. 

3. Assist in the preparation of stock transfers, permit applications, Board and 
Shareholder proceedings, maintain stock certificates. 

4. A.ssist with corporate name protection in foreign states, and qualification^ 

5. Blue Sky. 

6. Ongoing corporation review and record management, including maintenance 
of questionnaire for each corporate client, and minute book. 

7. Assistance in mergers and dissolutions. 

8. Maintain a calendar of all filing requirements of foreign corporations and 
file all annual reports. 

9. Do background investigation of potential investments. 

PROBATE AND TAX 

1. Controlling work flow. 

2. Docketing. 

3. Factual investigation from clients, clerks, referees, newspapers, trust offi- 
cers, etc. 

4. AVork with clients in assembling assets, preparing stock evaluations, charts 
and accountings. 

.5. T^rafting petitions, inventories, judgments, estate tax returns, inheritance 
tax affidavits, and court accountings. 

6. Draft wills. 

7. Drafting pension and profit sharing plans. Preparing needed tax and cor- 
porate forms required for adoption of plans. 

5. Preparation of gift tax and fiduciary returns. 
9. Drafting inter-vivos trusts. 

30. Preparation of final accounting upon final distribution. 

11. Preparation of creditors claims for estates. 

12. Mailing notices to remaindermen and beneficiaries. 

l.S. Dealings with bank officers in connection witli trust administration. 
14. Preparation of inventories and appraisements for estates. 
1.5. Collect data in connection with 706 audits. 
Ifi. Collection of insurance proceeds. 
17. Opening of safe deposit boxes. 



A few assistants in San Francisco have jobs or perform tasks which do not 
fall easily into the above categories. They are : 

1. Assist attorney engaged in work on federal legislation by researching 
proposed legislation, attending committee hearings and Board meetings, and 
performing functions of a lobbyist. 

2. Handling collection matters from complaint to satisfaction, including execu- 
tions and garnishments. 

3. Work for a government agency involving state and local coverage under 
Social Security. In this connection the legal assistant performs the following: 
examination of all documents for determination of legal clearance or require 
additional factual information, reviews all documents for appropriateness of legal 
format, date of execution and signature: determines whether entities to be 
covered by modifications qualify as political subdivisions under existing legal 
precedents ; whether effective date of coverage and controlling date are permitted 
by Federal law as interpreted in manuals and legal precedents, and whether 
all required certifications supporting documents and information have been 
furnished. Determine whether the State statutes cited as a basis for the disso- 



183 

Intion on their face are pertinent and support the State's position. When a case 
is referred to an attorney for legal review, the assistant assembles and presents 
with the incoming documents the relevant State statutes and precedent legal 
opinions, as well as preparing an analysis and draft recommendation of the 
dissolution of the case. 

With respect to the Federal Medical Care Recovery Act, the assistant performs 
the following : establishes internal controls, determines file status ; develops nec- 
essary factual information; determines whether recovery action is warranted 
and proceeds with developing the action with notices of claim, etc. ; answers 
inquiries directed to the office from insurance companies and others in all but 
the most difiicult of questions ; prepares correspondence for signature of responsi- 
ble attorney ; prepares draft referral letters to the United States Attorney. 

In certain cases has also been given the authority to negotiate with plaintiff's 
attorney to affect offer in compromise or waiver of the Government's claim. In 
instances of this nature, is given a negotiating range prior to the conference. 

In general, relieves the attorney to the fullest extent possible, including the 
examination of legal documents which are presented, preparing necessary legal 
instruments for execution by the Regional Attorney ; and providing the responsi- 
ble attorney with an analysis of the case. 

COMPLAINTS AND PRAISE 

The survey also provided the legal assistants responding with the opportunity 
to express their personal opinions on several issues relating to their work. Some 
comments were repeated almost unanimously by the respondents, and others 
revealed rather unique experiences. I have selected some of the most repre- 
S(-ntative, and some of the most unusual comments for inclusion into this section 
which are grouped into broad sections. 

/. Responsibility, Position Within the Firm, Job Content 

Generally, the biggest complaints in this category lay with poor job definition 
and lack of effective communication. The assistants are split with regard to the 
extent to which their jobs are felt to be boring and repetitious, as opposed to 
varied and challenging, but the majority seem to be on the "varied and challeng- 
ing side." There is a similar split between those who are given their work on a 
"piece-meal" basis with little or no coordination with the case whole, and those 
wlio are actually assigned to a case start to finish. All agreed, however, that their 
work is much more meaningful, both intrinsically, and, in the sense of having 
offered a contribution when they are allowed to follow a case from commence- 
ment to resolution. Some of the comments : 

(1) There is insufficient feedback, I see neither the end products, nor the 
rewards of my work. 

(2) Attorneys still have not learned how to delegate their work effectively 
. . . they still have not grasped fully the part the legal assistant can play in a 
given case . . . 

(3) There is a reliance on assistants for boring assignments only ... we do 
only those things the attorneys don't want to do . . . "If you like law, but not the 
dull parts, you should become an attorney and hire yourself a legal assistant." . . . 
There is not much to my job that is not repetitious routine. 

(4) The best thing about my job is the variety and the scope of duties ... I feel 
I am definitely required to use my intelligence and judgment . . . challenging . . . 
extremely interesting. 

(5) Attorneys as individuals, and the office as a whole are not organized enough 
to (a) spot the work that needs to be (or could be) done; and (b) delegate it 
before the last minute. Lulls between the panics . . . 

CB) One of the biggest problems is still poor job definition. 

(7) Only occasionally is a full description of the case I am working on pro- 
vided, it really stifles my ability to work well. 

and similarly — 

I wish we could get off the "piece work" system, and allow legal assistants to 
be assigned to cases just as attorneys are. It would mean so much more if I could 
stay with a case from start to finish. 

(8) I have no chance to discuss improvements with the persons who could effect 
the changes. 



184 

(9) The attorneys are willing to let us try anything we think will work ; they 
also give good constructive criticism. The work is also made meaningful by the 
fact that we know they are going to rely on our work and respect our opinions, 

( 10) There should he more opportunities for client contact. 

'<11) The firm as a whole is not committed to the use of legal assistants, and 
some attorneys will not use us at all. 

(12) Some attorneys cannot see that there is a real distinction between secre- 
taries and legal assistants. 

(13) It seems like we are constantly reminded that we are not very important, 
yet the caliber of the work performed is that of an associate. 

(14) I am still asked to do secretarial jobs. The attorneys do not seem to be 
aware of my abilities. 

(15) Hopefully, assistants will be given more responsibility in the future. Be- 
cause of the overabundance of educated people, the profession is able to find highly 
qualified personnel ; they should be treated accordingly as educated and intelli- 
gent professionals. 

(16) The attorneys have a condescending attitude toward us, which is not 
helped by the fact that the majority of the people currently in the profession are 
female. 

(17) Much more responsibility could be given to us. 

(18)' Unqualified people are coming into the field, lowering its "professional"^ 
standards. 

(19) We have independence and the freedom both to be largely self-supervising, 
and work at our own pace. 

(20) I am very much in limbo between secretaries and attorneys, which makes 
the job rather isolated at times. 

(21) It seems to me that the larger the firm, the more one dimensional and 
routinized the legal assistants' tasks. In a small firm, there is much less of a rigid 
hierarchical attitude, communication is better, and people tend to be recognized 
according to ability, rather than "position". Hence, the pay at smaller firms tends 
to be better also. 

(22) I think the best course for a legal assistant is to become as involved in as 
many different aspects of one case as possible. As this happens, you become a 
resource regarding the facts for the attorneys. Consequently, you also become 
more valuable to the firm, and not so easily replaceable. Doing this, however, does 
take initiative, if not also a bit of aggressiveness to overcome the attorney's 
initial reluctance to both delegate meaningful work and confide in you. 

(23) Paralegals are invaluable to the law. They should have greater oppor- 
tunities for stimulating work in smaller firms where they could substitute for 
associate attorneys. They are not so fortunate in larger firms where there are 
many associates, which relegates the less stimulating work to the paralegals. 

(24) There is a definite lack of willin,gness to delegate responsibility from 
the attorneys. This could be remedied by training the lawyrrn. Some legal 
assistants I know are doing final drafts of legal briefs with only perfunctory 
review from the attorneys. 

(25) There is a failure to rely on our nonlegal research findings, and respect 
our opinions. 

(26) They waste our time in clerical functions that do not utilize our 
abilities and could be easily done by a secretary or clerk. 

(27) We are still fighting the "legal assistant-super secretary" mentality. 

(28) There is a definite problem getting the attorneys to overcome their 
skepticism of the capability of a non-.T.D. doing things which involve respon- 
sibility. I really wonder if we can get away from the dead-endedness of our work 
without a law degree. 

(29) The primary problem in the field is job definition. The attorneys and 
assistants need to get away from a monolithic conception of the legal assistant 
where he or she does only so many things in a certain way, to one which is 
multi-leveled and multi-faceted in approach and in al)ility. Continuity will 
have to be established also between assistants who have been in-house trained 
and those who have been through some sort of course trainine. 

(30) I like the independence of this position — no one is constantly looking 
over my shoulder. 

(31) Most of the time the job is extremely boring with next to no intellectual 
stimulation. The variety is ostensibly there, but in fact provides a poor range 
of activities. 



185 

(32) Because there is little hope of alleviating the boredom of the job within 
firms, a partial solution might be to create a "job pool". On a confidential basis 
paralegals could arrange to "switch" jobs with equally qualified paralegals from 
other firms desiring a change. Innovations could be transferred from one oflice 
to the other, thereby leveling off .some of the duty discrepancies that now exist 
between firms. Employers would probably like this system because it would mean 
a minimum of time and money lost in training a new assistant. 

(33) Regular meetings should be held between attorneys and assistants to 
discuss successes and failures of the program, and generally bridge the com- 
munication gap. This would also help make as.signments and expectations more 
clearly defined. 

(34) Attorneys are not willing to accept the fact that legal work can be 
done by someone with no law school, and who has not passed the Bar. Speaking 
generally, their opinion of themselves is a little too exalted. 

(35) It would help if legal assistants were allowed more client contact 
particularly in the initial stages of interviewing. 

(36) Attorneys need to be made aware of what a legal assistant can do. [Note : 
This statement was repeated in one form or another on at least 98% of the 
responses.] But before this can happen, they have to want to use them. Among 
the "older guard" attorneys, there is a reluctance to even acknowledge legal 
assistants. 

(37) Hopefully, as more attorneys "try it" they'll "like it". 

(38) In smaller firms there seems to be a lack of definition of duties ("Never- 
Never Land" syndrome) and resistance from some attorneys to delegate their 
work. Built-in distrust has to be overcome before more responsibility will be 
delegated to the assistant. I think it is largely a matter of trial and error and 
some kind of evolution, but I can speak only for my small firm. The larger 
firms seem to have things more organized. [Note: Not apparently true from 
the tone of the responses.] 

(39) Generally, I think we need greater recognition for the contributions we 
are making to our firms, including more adequate pay. Job duties could also )>e 
expanded, and training made less haphazard. 

(40) The job cannot be viewed as a career because there are no steps to be 
taken up. The job was created with self-defined limitations and purposes in mind. 

(-^1) I see a large discrepancy between people's legal needs and the way the 
legal profession is meeting those needs — e.g., accessibility of lawyers at reason- 
able fees. I think there will be an increasing demand for paralegals to handle 
things one does not really need to pay an attorney to do. 

[Note : The "lay advocate" approach being pursued in the public law sector 
is aimed at this problem.] 

(42) I get extremely upset by attitudes such as that portrayed at the ABA 
convention in the summer of "72. The whole emphasis of their legal assistant 
program was not on how the utilization of legal assistants can help bring costs 
dowTi for the client, but how they can free the attorney to have more time to 
play golf ! This kind of remark was made several times. 

(43) I wish the Bar would approach us as an entity existing to their ad- 
vantage, rather than as a necessary evil. 

(44) Minus points of the job: low pay, low status, "professional" stuffiness 
and the patronizing attitudes of some of the attorneys. 

(45) This seems to be a promising and perhaps very interesting career. But 
guidelines for breadth of work are clearly in order as attorneys are inclined to 
dump everything short of conducting the trial into the laps of the assistants — • 
particularly those things which are least enjoyable. Some of that is inevitable 
due to the nature of the profession ; but why should paralegals who are generally 
as intelligent as most lawyers, be relegated to entirely clerical tasks such as 
proofreading or tabbing documents. 

(46) There is a problem at the hiring end in that those who do the hiring 
know very little of the realities of the job. I think this has been overcome in 
firms who allow the assistants to screen the assistant applicants themselves. 

(47) If I have any ill feelings about my job, training, communication, etc., 
the attorneys prefer just not to hear about it. 

//. Education and Training 

Some of the assistants had comments or suggestions with respect to both in- 
house training and the value of academic courses in legal assisting. While 



186 

opinions on the value of academic courses in legal assisting varied, almost all 
assistants expressed the desire to have some form of meaningful "continuing 
education" made available to them. Virtually all respondents who participated in 
the six week course in legal research given by the Morrison, Foerster firm last 
summer had high praise for the course, and cited it as an example of the kind of 
program they would like to see more of. Some comments : 

(1) There is no effort in this firm to teach me specific tasks that I can then 
develop to exi^ertise uver a number of cases. 

(2) It would be most beneficial if the attorneys would consider my duties 
within the scope of the entire case. If I were allowed to observe, for example, 
procedures that affected the case, even if they did not bear on my duties in par- 
ticular they would help me understand the framework within which I was work- 
ing and perhaps also to make more of a contribution. It would be most helpful if 
I were allowed to sit in on client interviews, depositions, hearings on motions, 
settlement conferences, and the like — at least occasionally. It would also help 
tremendously if the attorney remembered to inform me when important aspects 
of the case developed. This could be as simple as forwarding important pleadings 
or pieces of correspondence. Otherwise I have no way of being kept abreast, other 
than constantly inquiring of the attorney. 

(3) Training programs and specialized degrees could certainly help the profes- 
sional image of our positions. But it is also true that in a more generalized 
practice area, such as litigation, the most valuable skills are learned on the job, 
rather than in the classroom. I have heard graduates of the Philadelphia In- 
stitute say that while the Probate and Corporate courses provided meaningful 
job skills, the Litigation course proved of little utility in the actual performanc-t^ 
of their jobs. Therefore, the value of specific pre-job training is debatable, at 
least in some areas. 

I personally have found more value in concurrent, or continuing type education. 
Once training is placed in the context of a specific job it is much easier to decide 
what particular skills aid areas of knowledge are still needed, and it is also 
generally more meaningful. [This was one of the respondents also praising the 
Morrison course.] 

(4) If lengthy post-B.A. education becomes the requisite for legal assisting 
positions, it will discourage intelligent people from choosing a paralegal career, 
since in that event they might as well put in the time attending law school. If, 
on the other hand, legal assisting curricula are made available at the under- 
graduate level in respected universities, it might go a long way towards making 
this field much more a profession. I am discouraged by the fact that most of the 
undergraduate-level efforts at this time are being made by junior colleges, as I 
think this dilutes the standards of academic achievement we should be striving 
for. as well as diminishing the professional image. 

(5) My firm actively encourages the development of my education by paying 
for courses I take outside the office. I do not know how many other firms have the 
same policy, but I know that it has been a great help to me. 

Cfi) It would be very valuable if the attorneys took a little time to suggest out- 
side reading for me. As it is, I pursue extra reading on niv own, but I do not 
really know the best sources for the kinds of things I should know. 

(7) The job of a legal assistant at its best requires responsibility and a free 
ranging intelligence, attributes of a professional. It should be treated as a 
profession and not a job in limbo. At its best, it also requires a minimum of a fout 
year education. While classes in technicalities might be useful adjunct, they 
cannot substitute adequately for a broad education. 

(<S) Most of the work of a legal assistant involves judgment and intelligence 
rather than experience. 

(9) I think there is too much emphasis on training. The work is simply not 
very diflfioult, either to learn or to perform. T do not know what th*^ answer is. 
Basically, there is dull work that has to be done by someone. If you like law but 
not the dull part you should probably be an attorney — and hire a lesal assistant-. 
Someone is going to have to do that work, and creating a corps of highly trained 
paralegals is not going to change the fact. Personall.v, working as a paralegal 
has taught me what I don't want to become — I am going to attend medical school 
next fall. 

(10) As it is now, the field does not seem to be much of a profession, I suppose 
until there is a more precise job definition with standards or certification, the 
duties cannot really expand too far. As things stand, it seems unnecessary to 
have too much in the way of formal training because the educational standards 



187 

are so high at hiring, and learning the job as it is now is a simple process. Person- 
ally, I look at this job as an interim position that provides a way to earn money 
without being a secretary while I am pursuing my Ph.D. I really cannot see it as a 
profession someone with my training would be willing to pursue. 

///. Working Conditions 

The still rather imdefined status of legal assistants poses further problems for 
some in terms of their working conditions, i.e., office space, secretarial assign- 
ments, and the like. From the responses received, it appears that situations are 
quite variable in this category. Some assistants have private offices and specific 
secretaries assigned to do their work. At the other end, some assistants sit In 
large rooms with several others, and have their clerical work handled on an 
"whomever is available" basis. Clearly, some of this problem is due to the physi- 
cal limitations of certain office buildings and staffing difficulties. But some as- 
sistants have expressed resentment over the fact that their firms have materially 
changed their space available, or moved to new quarters, giving them the oppor- 
tunity to afford better working conditions for the assistants, and have still 
placed the assistants in secretarial carrels or in large rooms together. Some of 
the comments : 

(1) We have the same amoimt of desk work, we dictate, we interview cli- 
ents — in short we have the same need for privacy and quiet as the attorneys. Yet 
we are expected to work in a large room together. This provides many distrac- 
tions, no privacy, and greatly impairs efficiency. 

(2) I could be much more productive if given adequate secretarial assistance. 
Not only is it time consuming to have to keep on top of several secretaries at once 
to make sure my work is getting done, it is also a burden to have to explain to 
each of several different people how my work should be done. With one particu- 
lar secretary, I could both order priorities effectively, as well as be sure that I 
had a person who understood the particular forms and requirements of my 
assignments. 

(3) The attorneys seem to forget that I fight deadlines too ! 

(4) There is a problem of professional jealousy on the part of some of the 
secretaries. These persons are either "too busy" to do my work, or relegate it to 
the bottom of their work load, or do it poorly because they do not think it '"mat- 
ters" as much as the work of the attorneys. This could be solved if the legal 
assistants had a specific typist assigned to them. 

(5) There is a definite need for a quiet area within which to work. 

(6) There is a tendency for management to give paralegal secretarial needs low 
priority. Their implied attitude is that since we are women we really could do 
our own typing if we had to. 

(7) I find resentment from the secretaries in the office if I ever ask them to 
do anything. I think it stems from the fact that the attorneys themselves have 
not shown that they think of my position as anything much higher than the 
secretaries. The secretaries also know I get substantially the same salary and 
benefits that they do, and they see that my working conditions are not much 
better, so they themselves see no reason for treating me any differently. 

(8) I do not find the same problems in terms of delegation of clerical work and 
respect from staff or attorneys that I hear other assistants complaint of. I 
believe this is becaiise our office is organized on a team basis. I work for two 
specific attorneys, and share their two secretaries. This means that we all work 
together on the same cases, and all feel like integral parts of the process. From 
what I have seen, more offices could benefit from organizing themselves this way. 

IV. Salarij and Benefits 

Not surprisingly, the single comment seen on virtually every questionnaire was 
a complaint regarding salary levels. The general consensus was that legal as- 
sistants are put in positions of "professional" responsibility, but are not receiv - 
ing "professional" level salaries. The same dichotomy was felt to extend to 
fringe benefits and, to some extent, working conditions. Some of the cmments : 

(1) There is a tendency on the part of attoreys to consider us "professionals" 
when it comes to working overtime without compensation, and "non-profession- 
als" when it comes to everything else. 

(2) I had to take a decrease in pay when I moved "up" from being a secretary 
to a legal assistant. 

(3) We are told we do not get overtime because we are treated just like at- 
torneys, yet salaries and bonuses are not reaUy above what a good secretary 



188 

receives. As an example, last year I put in 11 days unpaid overtime, but I was 
still docked three days pay for exceeding my alloted vacation. This is not con- 
sistent or fair. 

(4) Although we are given a great deal of responsibility, and are expected 
to be as devoted as an associate, our pay and treatment are nowhere near 
comparable. 

(5) Experienced legal assistants with proven value to their firms should be 
able to expect a salary equal to, or greater than, the beginning associates. 

(6) Legal assistants in this City are by and large both well educated and 
quite intelligent. These are the attributes of a professional, and are compen- 
sated as such in other fields. It is discouraging that the legal community, at least 
in San Francisco, has not really recognized this. Locally, the problem is due 
at least in part to the overabundance of persons qualified for the position, which 
does drive down the "marketplace" value. By the same token, however, there 
is a definite shortage of experienced legal a.ssistants. Over time, the firms who 
are not willing to pay for the benefit of this experience will be losing their 
most talented people to other legal concerns, geographic locales, and /or other 
professions, where the promise of monetary advancement is greater. The salary 
outlook as it stands now in San Francisco simply does not encourage the more 
capable people to think of their present positions as careers with long term 
promise, despite the inherent rewards of the work. 

(7) The split in the ofiice between those attorneys who are for assistants and 
those who are against them has made progress, including salary increases, 
difficult. 

(8) Attorneys should be willing to pay legal assistants enough to prevent the 
rofession from becoming a "stopping off" job for the liberal arts graduate. The 
pay should be high enough to attract people who are qualified to do research. 

(9) Advancement is a joke. Paralegal work is considered "women's work" in 
this firm, and advancement means only slightly more money for the same quality/ 
quantity of work. If we do not want this to continue we must, for one thing, 
be able to attract more men in to the profession. 

(10) Chauvinism exists even within our profession. We have a male legal 
assistant in our firm who is making more money than I am. 

(11) The legal assistant profession cannot be defined very easily because very 
few assistants do exactly the same things, even within a given area. The status 
of assistants also varies from firm to firm, some giving the assistant a very pro- 
fessional status (like that of a new attorney) and others giving them no status 
at all. Both the definition and the status will change when attorneys become 
more aware of the areas of responsibility that an educated assistant can handle. 

(12) As far as compensation, San Francisco is under paid compared to Los 
Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc. Even within the City the salary 
of a competent legal assistant varies greatly from firm to firm, and in many cases 
is less than that of the legal secretary. 

(13) One of the weaknesses of the field is the reluctance of the lawyer to 
acknowledge to the right hand what the left Irand doeth. This, combined with 
male chauvinism results in the attitude that atiyone who has not gone through 
law school is not sufficiently educated to deserve a salary much above the secre- 
taries. Not enough advancement potential is offered to those who stick with the 
job. Fringe benefits are frugal also. 

(14) Some attorneys, especially suburban ones, but also some old-time city 
men as well, take the attitude that "Women (God bless them . . .) want to use 
their pretty little brains because they've gone and gotten an education. Well, 
maybe we can use them — let them think a little and take away some onerous 
work off our hands, and they'll be satisfied. But frankly, a good secretary \s 
probably worth more . . . she makes good coffee and brings cakes from home, 
and phones me if I sleep too long, and pages me on the golf course, stays until 
all hours for a rush job when I stayed at the club too long — ^you can't beat that !" 
Recommendation: Keep plugging away with NOW. 

E. SALARIES 

The follovdng pages detail the results of salary surveys taken this year. Pro- 
files of individual salaries contrasted with billing rates and other factors, ratios 



189 

•of experience to salary levels, and averages for experience categories have been 
provided. In addition, an overview of the salaries reported in response to the 
January-March ciuestionnaire has been included for comparison. 

SAN FRANCISCO LEGAL ASSISTANTS SALARY PROFILES, SEPTEMBER 1973 







Experience as 


Average client 






Legal Assistant 




hours per Overtime 


Firm size and 


Practice area 


Yearly gross 


(months) 1 


Billing rate 


month compensation 


type' 


Environment 


$12,700 


12 


(') 


(3) Time off 


A-G 


Litigation 


12,350 


36 


$20 


0) 


D-P 


Do 


12,300 


32 


20 


(*) Time and H-- 


D-P 


Business ... 


12, 000 


48 
24 


20 
20 


+100 

(0 Time and H- 


D-P 


Litigation 


11,120 


D-P 


Do 


10,800 


42 


25 


120 do 


D-P 


Do.... 


10,800 


12 


15 


110 


C-P 


Do 


10,625 


42 


22 


130 


E-P 


Probate. 


10,560 


12 


(«) 


0) Time and }^.. 


E-P 


Litigation 


10,437 


6 


20 


(0 


C-P 


Do 


10,400 


7 


25 


(0 Time and ]4-- 


A-P 


Probate 


10, 187 


42 


15 


(0 do 


, C-P 


Litigation 


10,000 


32 


20 


130 


C-P 


Do 


10,000 


5 


0) 


125 Time and M.. 


. E-P 


Do 


10, 000 


24 


0) 


120 


. D-P 


Probate 


9,875 


12 


15 


120 


. E-P 


Litigation 


9,840 


7 


15 


C) Time and j'^.. 


. B-C 


Do 


9, 687 


14 


13 


0) do. 


. C-P 


Do 


9,685 


18 


15 


(0 .-..do 


. C-P 


Probate 


9, 600 


6 


20 


(*) 


. B-P 


Do.... 


9,459 


12 


20 


130 Time and J^.. 


. E-P 


Litigation 


9,310 


15 


20 


0) do 


. D-P 


Do 


9,310 


6 


20 


0) do 


. D-P 


Do.. 


9,000 


18 


15 


«--- 


. D-P 


Corporate 


9,000 


4 


20 


+100 Time and K- 


. C-P 


Litigation 


9,000 


9 
6 


15 
20 


130 do 

68 do 


. E-P 


Contracts... 


9,000 


. E-P 


Corporate 


8,600 


12 


(0 


W do 


. E-P 


Litigation 


8,400 


1 


15 


150 


. C-P 


Do. 


8,040 


5 


20 


(0 Time and ^. 


. D-P 


Probate. 


8,000 


6 


15 


120 


. D-P 


Litigation 


8,000 


12 


20 


150 


. C-P 


Do 


8,000 


7 


15 


150 


. C-P 


Do.. 


8,000 


1 


15 


130 Time and J^. 


. E-P 


Do 


7,500 


1 


C) 


(4) do 


. E-P 


Do 


6,096 




0) 


140 Time off 


. E-P 



1 Figures include prior experience as a legal assistant. 

2 Firm size code: A, 5 or less attorneys; B, 6 to 14 attorneys; C, 15 to 24 attorneys; D, 25 to 49 attorneys; E, 50 or more 
attorneys. Firm type code: P, private firm; G, government agency; C, corporation. 

3 Not available. 
* Unknown. 

Note: The above yearly gross figures include Christmas or other annual bonuses where those figures were provided. 
To most accurately compare your own salary with these figures, it is necessary that you add the bonus increment to vour 
computations. 

September 1973 responses — Ratio of experience as a legal assistant to salary 

Experience (months) : Salary 

1 __ _ __ $8,400 

1 8,000 

1 _ _ _ 7,500 

2 6, 096 

4 1). 000 

5 _ 10,000 

5 8, 040 

6 10,437 

6 9, ttOO 

6 9,310 

6 9,000 

6 8,000 

7 10,400 

7 9, 840 

7 8,000 

9 9,000 

12 12,700 

12 10,800 

12 10,560 



41-375—74- 



-13 



190 

ScptemT)cr 1973 responses — Ratio of e.rpericncc as a legal 

assistant to salary — ^Continuecl 

Experience (months) : f^ainri/ 

12 $ 9, 875 

12 t). 459 

12 S, 600 

12 8.000 

14 9,087 

15 9,310 

18 9,685 

24 11,120' 

24 10.000 

32 12,300 

.32 10,000 

36 12,350 

42 10,800 

42 10,625 

42 10.387 

48 12,000 

[Note : To obtain tlie practice area, billing rate, etc., of the persons listed 
above, match the salary and experience figures to the chart on the preceding 
page.] 

OVERVIEW OF LEGAL ASSISTANT SALARIES-FALL 1973 



Experience 
imonths) 



Average 



Year 



Month 



High 



Year 



Month 



Low 



r.'UTiber 
Month responding 



48 

42 

36 

32 

24 

14 to 18_ 

12 

9 

7 

6 

5 

4 

2 

1.. 



$12,000 


$1,000 


10,537 


878 


12,350 


1,029 


11,150 


929 


11,024 


918 


9,560 


796 


10. 000 


833 


9,000 


750 


9,413 


784 


9,269 


772 


9,020 


751 


9,000 


750 


6,096 


503 


7,966 


663 



$10,800 


$900 


10, 187 


848 


12,300 
11,120 
9,687 
12,700 


1, 025 
926 
807 

1,058 


10, 000 
10, 000 
9,310 
8,000 


833 
833 

775 
666 


10,400 
10,437 
10, 000 


866 
866 
833 


8,000 
8,000 
8,040 


666 
666 
670 





,400 



700 



7,500 



625 



Total. 



I 

1 
2 
2 
3. 
7 
1 
3 
5 
2 
1 
1 
3 

34 



OVERVIEW OF LEGAL ASSISTANT SALARIES IN SAN FRANCISCO— SPRING 1973 



Experience 



Average 



High 



Number 
responding 



5 years or more.. 

4 years 

36 to 47 months. 
30 to 35 months. 
24 to 29 months. 
18 to 23 months. 
12 to 17 months. 
9 to 11 months.. 

6 to 8 months... 
3 to 5 months... 
1 to 2 months... 



$920 


$1, 065 


$775 


2 


900 ... 






1 


730 


825 


740 


3 


795 


815 


775 


2 


833 


900 


775 


.^ 


800 


825 


725 


R 


752 


850 


650 


Ifi 


692 


850 


600 


18 


706 


850 


675 


9 


727 


835 


650 


10 


650 


650 


600 


4 



Total. 



72 



Appendices 



The following pages contain information with respect to additional job duties 
that can be performed by legal assistants in the various practice areas. Many 
of you will be already familiar with this material as it was originally produced 
in connection with the S.F. Bar Association panel on legal assisting which was 
held in May of this year. The material has been duplicated here for the benefit 
of those of you who have not previously received copies. 



191 

USB OF LEGAL ASSISTANTS IN A BUSINESS LAW PRACTICE 

(By Kris Hoffman of Miller, Groezinger, Petit & Evers, 650 California Street, 
20th Floor, San Francisco, Calif. 94108) 

[A panel discussion at the Bar Association of San Francisco Lounge, 

May 17, 1973] 



1. "Draff means the legal assistant would normally write the first and interim 
drafts of the document ; "prepare" means the legal assistant would complete 
preprinted or MT/MS forms ; "assist" mean the attorney would be the principal 
drafter of the document and the legal assistant would only draft selected para- 
graphs or sections. In all cases, the final draft of the document or work product 
must be reviewed and approved by the responsible attorney. 

2. Legal research is conducted on a restricted basis. Legal assistants will re- 
search only well-defined issues and will provide the responsible attorney with 
both a memorandum of law and xerox copies of the critical statutes, cases and 
treatises. 

A. OKGANIZINQ A COBPOEATION 

1. Determine availability of and reserve corporate name. 

2. Draft Pre-Incorporation (or Post-Incorporation) Subscription Agreements. 

3. Draft Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws. 

4. Record Articles of Incorporation. 

5. Order corporate supplies. 

6. Draft Waiver of Notice and Minutes of the First Meeting of Board of 
Directors and Shareholders. 

7. Prepare Minute Book. 

8. Prepare Notices of Issuance of Securities and draft Applications for QuaU* 
fication of Securities (including exhibits and amendments). 

9. Prepare Stock Certificates. 

10. Draft Letters of Non-Distributive Intent. 

11. Prepare Stock Transfer Records. 

12. Draft Buy-Sell (or Buy-Out) Agreements between stockholders and cor- 
poration. 

13. Prepare and file Subchapter "S" Tax Election documents with the I.R.S. 

14. Prepare, file and publish Fictitious Business Name Statements. 

1.5. Provide client with appropriate forms for (or arrange for) issuance of 
I.R.S. Employer Identification No., Human Resources Department No., Sales 
Tax No. and similar special purpose licenses and permits. 

B. ORGANIZING AND ASSISTING PARTNERSHIPS 

1. Draft Pre-Organization Agreement. 

2. Draft General or Limited Partnership Agreements. 

3. Draft and file Statements of Partnership and Certificates of Limited Part- 
nership. 

4. Prepare, file and publish Fictitious Business Name Statements. 
,5. Draft minutes of partnership meetings. 

6. Draft Non-Competition Agreements for Selling Partners, Assignments of 
Partnership Interests, Approval of Substituted Partner, and appropriate amend- 
ments to the Partnership Agreements and Certificates of Limited Partnership. 

7. Draft Agreements for Dissolution of Partnership. 

8. Draft and file Termination of Fictitious Business Name Statements. 

9. Draft and publish Notice of Termination of Partnership (or Continuation 
of Successor Business). 

C. ASSIST EXISTING BUSINESSES 

1. Draft notices, agendas, resolutions and minutes of meetings for Board of 
Directors, shareholders, associations and partnerships. 

2. Draft resolutions for adoption by unanimous written consent. 

3. Draft Certificates of Amendment to Articles of Incorporation, Restated 
Articles of Incorporation, and amendments to By-Laws. 



192 

4. Draft Promissory Notes, Bills of Sale, Assignment and Assumption Agree- 
ments, Powers of Attorney, Profit Sharing Plans, Pension Plans and Stock Option 
Plans. 

T). Draft Employment Contracts, Covenants Not To Compete, and Deferred 
•Compensation Agreements. 

6. Draft Research and Development Agreements, Patent and Trade Secret 
-Licensing Agreements, and Non-Disclosure Agreements. 

7. Draft Equipment and Real Property Leases. 

8. Draft Security Agreements, Pledge Agreements, Loan Agreements, Guar- 
anties and Indemnification Agreements. 

9. Prepare and file UCC Financing Statements, UCC Change Notices, UCC 
Information Requests and Notices of Bulk Sale. 

10. Prepare Proofs of Claim in Bankruptcy. 

11. Draft applications for Licenses or Certificates of Authority to do business 
In a foreign state (and thereafter file annual reports). 

D. ISSITANCE AND TRANSFER OF SECURITIES 

1. Research Blue Sky laws to determine qualification requirements and ex- 
emptions ; draft Blue Sky memoranda and letters confirming exemptions from 
registration. 

2. Draft Subscription Agreements. 

3. Draft Applications for Qualification of Securities and prepare Notices of 
Issuance of Securities. 

4. Draft Letters of Non-Distributive Intent. 

5. Draft Promotional Stock Agreements. 

6. Prepare Requests for Consent To Transfer, Transferee Statements and 
Assignments Separate From Certificate. 

7. Prepare Stock Certificates, Debentures, Warrants, Stock Options, and other 
securities. 

8. Maintain Stock Transfer Records. 

9. Draft Stock Option Plans, Employee Stock Purchase Plans, and Phantom 
Stock Plans. 

10. In connection with public offerings, assist in drafting Letters of Intent, 
T lulerwriting Agreements, Dealers' Agreements, questionnaires, transmittal 
letters and filing state registration forms. 

11. In connection with public corporations, assist in drafting i>ortions of Re- 
ports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K, Registration Statements, Proxy Statements, 
Schedule 13D, and shareholder Forms 3 and 4. 

12. Draft documentation in connection with old Rule 133 and Rule 144 
transactions. 

E. ASSIST WITH ACQUISITIONS AND MERGERS 

1. Draft Letters of Intent. 

2. Draft notices, agendas, resolutions and minutes of meetings of the Board 
of Directors and Shareholders. 

3. Draft Agreements and Plans of Reorganization, Merger Agreements and 
Purchase and Sale Agreements (including certain related exhibits). 

4. Draft Escrow Agreements, Employment Contracts, Covenants Not To Com- 
pete and Letters of Non-Distributive Intent. 

5. Draft Closing Memoranda and obtain various closing documentation (in- 
cluding Good Standing Certificates and telegrams, Franchise Tax Board Clear- 
ances, UCC Filing Clearances, and Unemployment Tax Clearances). 

(?. Draft, file and publish Notices of Bulk Sale. 

7. Draft other closing documentation such as Bills of Sale, Promissory Notes, 
Debentures, Assignments of Assets. Assumptions of Liabilities, Receipts, Certifi- 
cates of OflScers, Certificates of Incumbency and Signatures, Estoppel Certificates, 
Shareholder Indemnity Agreements and Escrow Receipts. 

8. Review, summarize and index various exhibits, such as contracts and leases. 

9. Assist at acquisition closings. 

10. Index and prepare a bound book of acquisition documents. 

F. DISSOLUTION OF CORPORATION 

1. Draft notices, agendas, resolutions and minutes of meetings of the Board 
of Directors and Shareholders. 



193 

2. Draft Plans of Complete Liquidation (and arrange for timely filing with 
I.R.S.). 

3. Draft and file Certificates of Election to Wind Up and Dissolve. 

4. Draft Notices to Creditors. 

5. Obtain Franchise Tax Board Clearances, including Assumptions of Tax 
Liability and Certificates of Net Worth. 

(>. Draft Withdrawals of Qnalification from foreign states. 

7. Compile and prepare Creditor and Shareholder Asset Distribution Schedules. 

8. Cancel Stock Certificates. 

9. Draft Shareholder Liquidating Trusts under I.R.C. § 337. 

10. Draft and file Certificates of Winding Up and Dissolution. 

USE OF LEGAL ASSISTANTS IN REAL ESTATE PRACTICE 

1. Gathering or verifying essential data, including correct names, legal form 
of title, and legal descriptions. 

2. Review, summarize and index recorded title documents. 

3. Assemble tax receipts, request and review preliminary and final title insur- 
ance certificates or policies. 

4. Allocation of property taxes, rental payments, insurance premiums, com- 
mii^sions, down-payments, and interest. 

5. Prepare and record Deeds, Promissory Notes, Bonds. Mortgages, Deeds of 
Trust, UCC Financing Statements, other security instruments, collateral instru- 
ments. Notices of Default, Assignments of Deed of Trust, Reconveyances, and 
Reviuests for Full Reconveyance. 

0. Draft Land Contracts, Options, Leases, Memoranda of Leases, Lease As- 
signments, Easements. Licenses and Escrow Instructions. 

7. Assist in the preparation of applications for zoning, building occupancy and 
similar governmental permits. 

8. Draft Partnership and Joint Venture Agreements. 

9. Assist in the organization of Real Estate Syndicates and Real Estate In- 
vestment Trusts, including drafting documents and obtaining necessary real 
estate or securities permits. 

10. Assist at real estate closings. 

11. Index and prepare a bound book of real estate documents. 

32. Draft Building Construction Contracts. Subcontracts, General and Spe- 
cial Conditions, Owner-Architect Agreements; Architect-Engineer Consultant 
Agreements. 

j3. Prepare (preprinted) A.I.A. Agreements and Forms. 

34. Draft Purchase Agreements. Mortgage Bond Indentures, Construction 
Trust Deeds, Security Agreements and Working Capital Agreements. 

l~j. Prepare and file Preliminary Notice for Subcontractors, Notice of Non- 
Responsibility, Stop Notice, Claim of Mechanics Lien, Notice of Cessation of 
Work and Notice of Completion. 

10. Record Payment Bonds and file Construction Contracts. 

USE OF LEGAL ASSIST.\NTS IN GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS 

A. Maintain calendar of appeal and brief due dates and Court and Appeals 
Board appearance dates. 

B. Prepare Claims. 

1. Gather, review, summarize and index client files. 

2. Assist in drafting contract claim. 

3. Conduct preliminary research of selected legal issues. 

C. Prepare for Appeal Hearing. 

1. Draft and answer Interrogatories and requests for production of 
documents. 

2. Summarize and index Answers to discovery. 

3. Assist in drafting Appeal. 

4. Prepare questions for witnesses and summarize prior testimony. 

5. Maintain documents during Hearing. 

D. Prepare Post-Hearing Briefs. 

1. Summarize and index Transcripts. 

2. Assist with analysis of Government's brief. 

3. Conduct preliminary research of particular issues. 

4. Assist in drafting the Post-Hearing Brief. 



194 

"LEGAL ASSISTANTS IN PROBATE PRACTICE" 

(A Ten-Minute Introduction) 

(By Alan D. Bonapart, Bancroft, Avery & McAlister, 240 Stockton Street, 
San Francisco, Calif. 94108) 

LEGAL ASSISTANTS 

[A panel discussion at the Bar Association of San Francisco Lounge May 17, 
1973] 

1. Consider the experience of English solicitors 

Anyone interested in the emerging career referred to as the legal assistant, 
should become acquainted with the history of managing clerks (now called Legal 
Executives) in English law oflBces. Chapter 12 of Lnwyers and Their Work (an 
analysis of the legal profession in the United States and England), written by 
Quintin Johnston and Dan Hopson, Jr., published by Bobbs-Merrill, 1967, de- 
scribes the very important role of the managing clerks, especially in solicitors' 
offices, in England. 

"One conservative estimate is that there is about a one-to-one ratio between 
principals (solicitors who are partners or sole proprietors) and unadmitted man- 
aging clerks in the private practice of law. . . ." In addition, "for every managing 
clerk in private practice, there is an average of about one junior clerk. . . ." — at 
page 401. 

"The larger firms are departmentalized, and managing clerks are assigned 
exclusively to one department. In one big firm we [the authors] found that its 
probate and conveyancing departments were operated entirely by unadmitted 
personnel, the two departments together employing 16 clerks, plus secretarial 
help, and each was headed by a managing clerk." — at page 410. 

"The unauthorized practice implications of solicitors' unadmitted clerks per- 
forming lawyers' tasks has never caused much concern in England. The generally 
accepted theory apparently is that because clerks are employees or agents of a 
solicitor responsible for their acts, the acts are those of a qualified person, the 
solicitor."— at pages 411 and 412. 

2. To leant from the ideas of others one needs to know a'bont the setting in which 

the ideas developed 
There are not very many unvarying formulae for the effective organization 
and administration of one's law practice. We can learn from the experience of 
others, but the utilization of that learning depends to a very large extent on one's 
existing organization and personnel. For that reason, the successes and problems 
any of the speakers have experienced with legal assistants can only be useful to 
others if one knows at least a little of the context in which those experiences 
occurred. It probably is not necessary to advise lawyers to be skeptical. 

S. A very selective Wbliographj/. 

A summary of a very lively discussion and series of debates appears in IVeto 
Careers in Laiv: TI, Conference Report June 1971, published by the American 
Bar Association Special Committee on Legal Assistants (156 pages, including a 
12-page bibliography). It is available from the Special Committee at: 

1155 East 60th Street, Chicago. 111. 60637. 

"Estate work — A Happy Hunting Ground for the Paralegal" in 10 The Prartieal 
Latcyer (March 1973) at page 73, written l>y Chester S. Grove of the Lockport 
New York Bar. contains many good examples of what an experienced probate 
assistant can do. (Loeki^ort, New York, by the way, has a population of ap- 
proximately 25.000. Tlie author's law firm includes three lawyers.) 

4. What do they (Legal Assistants in Prohate and Estate Planning practice) do? 
The following are generalized descriptions of the responsibilities and duties 
of two of the legal assistant positions in one law firm : 

LEGAL ASSISTANT — ^PROBATE 

Special ResponsiMilties and Duties: 

Responsihilities include performance of assigned work related to the following 
areas of the Firm's practice : administration of decedents' estates ; creation and 
administration of inter vivos trusts, administration of testamentary trusts, guard- 



195 

ianships. conservatorships, and individual agency accounts ; the determination 
•of gift and death tax liabilities ; estate planning. 
Duties include, but are not limited to, the following : 

(a) Gather and investigate facts on assigned matters. 

(b) Determine and communicate deadline dates, sequence of work, and 
allocation of duties among those within and outside the Firm. 

(c) Initiate and control work flow and client information, including, 
but not limited to, the use of filing and billing memoranda and calendar 
system requests. 

(d) Draft and dictate opinion memoranda and letters for attorney's sig- 
nature ; also requests for opinion memoranda and materials for lawyers, 
accountants, legal assistants and research personnal. 

(e) Prepare pleadings, judgments, orders and other court documents. 

(f) Prepare, check, review and transmit tax estimates, tax returns and 
reports, valuation schedules, appraisals, inventories, fiduciary accountings 
and reports. 

(g) Prepare applications to collect statutory and contractual payments, 
including, but not limited to, death benefits, survivor benefits, life, property 
and other insurance policy proceeds. 

(h) Establish and maintain savings, commercial investment and other 
accounts with banks, savings and loan associations, investment counselors, 
stock brokers, mutual funds and others. 

(i) Analyze time and cost information and prepare proposed billing to 
clients. 

LEGAL ASSISTANT — ESTATE PLANNING 

Special ResponsfbiUties and Duties: 

RcsponsiMlities include performance of assigned work primarily in connec- 
tion with the Firm's estate planning practice. 

Duties include, but are not limited to, the following : 

(a) Gather and investigate facts, for example : review clients' papers and 
records, recording significant data, summarizing existing documents, and 
meeting with clients to ask questions eliciting factual information. 

(b) Analyze, review and summarize documents providing for contractual 
payments, including, but not limited to, life and accidental death insurance 
policies, death benefit agreements, and other insurance policies. 

(c) Determine and communicate deadline dates and sequence of work, 
fd) Initiate and control workflow and client information, including, but 

not limited to, the use of filing and billing memoranda and calendar system 
requests. 

(e) Draft, chocli:, proofread, produce and oversee the production of forms, 
form pages, guide pages, drafting guides, procedural guides, checklists and 
other materials used in providing estate planning services. 

(f) Draft estate planning documents, including, but not limited to, wills, 
codicils to wills, trust instruments, amendments to trust instruments, nom- 
inations of guardians and conservators, powers of attorney, and designations 
of beneficiaries of life and other insurance policies. 

(g) Draft and dictate opinion memoranda and letters for attorney's sig- 
nature, including, but not limited to, letters transmitting drafts of docu- 
ments, and copies of signed documents, letters requesting information, letters 
.summarizing the contents of documents, letters explaining recommended 
changes in plans and documents : also requests for opinion memoranda and 
drafting ad\ice and materials from lawyers, accountants, legal assistants 
and research personnel. 

(i) Assist clients to properly sign documents. 



Los Angeles Paralegal Associatiott, 

JtilU 29, 197Ji. 
Re hearing on lesral assistants. 
Senator .John V. Thnney. 

dhairman. Senate Suicomtnittec on Representation of Citizen Interests, Wash- 
in fjton. D.C. 

Dear Senator Tunney : Thank you for the opportunity to speak regarding the 
effective use of legal assistants. 



196 

The Los Angeles Paralegal Association (LAPA) represents paralegals working- 
within the private sector of the Los Angeles legal community. Our membership 
includes legal assistants trained in such speciality areas as litigation, probate, 
corporations, entertainment, domestic relations and real estate. Through our 
organizational activities, we have established communications with paralegals in 
the public law sector, such as California Rural Legal Assistance and the Western 
Center on Law and Poverty. The LAPA also maintains close contact with the 
San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants (SFALA), an organization whose 
membership and professional goals are similar to our own. Recently, in Chicago, 
the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) was formed to repre- 
sent paralegals in both the private and public law sectors across the country. 
The Federation's charter members are : the Chicago Assoc, of Paralegal Assist- 
ants, Minnesota Assoc, of Legal Assistants, Philadelphia Assoc, of Paralegal 
Professionals, D.C. Metropolitan Area Paralegal Assoc., Rocky Mountain Legal 
Assistant Assoc, San Francisco Assoc, of Legal Assistants, Atlanta Assoc, of 
Legal Assistants, and the Los Angeles Paralegal Assoc. 

This organizational growth, on the local, state and national level certainly 
indicates that the use of legal paraprofessionals is widespread. The problem 
remains, however, as to the definition of the following aspects of the legal 
assistant : 

(1) Educational requirements; 

(2) Range of job duties and responsibilities ; 

(3) Place within the legal community ; 

(4) Certification/licensing standards. 

Definition of these four areas will do much to provide new careers for college 
educated people interested in the law ; lend assistance to an over-burdened legal 
community ; and to open up legal services to millions of people who previously 
could not afford them. There are, however, many opinions as to the form any 
such definition should take. In my communications with other members of tlie 
NFPA, I have found that local legal communities have many dissimilar problems 
regarding the use of legal assistants. I am not convinced, therefore, that defini- 
tive standards can be set by a national agency. It is imperative, however, that 
representative viewpoints be heard and considered before any such standards 
are set. 

You may be aware that the Certified Attorney Assistant Act (AB 1814) is now 
before the California Senate and set for hearing on August 6, 1974. Many months 
of negotiation have gone into this bill but basic problems still exist. I have at- 
tached for your consideration, the material recently sent by the LAPA and the 
SFALA to all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee; the author of AB 
1814, Willie Brown of San Francisco ; and the members of the California State 
Bar Committee on the Economics of Law Practice. This material sets forth the 
important issue of paralegal participation in any attempt to set standards regu- 
lating the profession. 

Legal assistants, although not new in concept, are new on the job market. Al- 
though a well trained paralegal is capable of producing a sophisticated work 
product, we have been met with some suspicion by members of various legal 
communities. Many of us recognize that the only way to establish our profes- 
sion is to educate the legal community as well as the public. Until lawyers make 
effective use of legal assistance, the goal of lower legal cost to the public will not 
be achieved. 

The LAPA looks forward to reviewing the progress of your Committee's in- 
vestigation. I have read the reports submitted to you by the SFALA. the D.C. Met- 
ropolitan Area Paralegal Assoc, and the Chicago Assoc of Paralegal Assistants. 
The areas of inquiry set forth in these reports must be investigated before any 
professional standards can be developed. I am hopeful that the other reports 
and testimony you receive will be of similar high quality. I also hope the en- 
closed discussion of AB 1814 will be of use to you in considering future national 
certification of legal assistants. I will be happy to report to you the results of 
the August hearing on the Bill. 

Thank you again for the invitation to submit this report. 
Very truly yours, 

Victoria Waten maker. 
President, Los Angeles Paralegal Association. 



197 

The Los Angeles Paealegal Association, 

Beverly Hills, Calif. 
The San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants, 

San Francisco, Calif., July 24, 1974- 
He AB 1814. 
Members of the California Senate J luliciary Committee. 

I>eab Committee Member: We, the San Francisco Association of Legal Assist- 
iints and the Los Angeles Paralegal Association, collectively represent over 200 
persons engaged in paralegal work in California. Together we urge you to con- 
sider the enclosed modifications to Assembly Bill 1'J14, the Certitied Attorney 
Assistant Act. 

Throughout tlie preparation of AB 1814, our membership, in the private sector, 
has been concerned that Paralegals be allowed a meaningful degree of par- 
ticipation in establishing the Bill's guidelines. Similarly, representatives of 
Paralegals in the public sector, where the use of paraprofessionals is essential to 
th edelivery of low cost legal services to the public, have sought to ensure that the 
Interests of their constituents be protected. 

history of negotiations 

Several months of intense meetings and negotiations have gone into AB 1814. 
The focus of the ensuing controversy has been Section 6209 of the Bill, which 
defines the composition of the Certified Attorney Assistant Board, the rule-making 
body. The original Bill contemplated that this body would be composed solely of 
members of the iState Bar, a proposition which we found unacceptable. Com- 
promises have broadened the scope of the Board membership, but agreement still 
lias not been reached. 

Midway through negotiations, the public sector representatives proposed that 
all appointments be designated with specificity so that each primary interest 
group would have some representation on the Board. It was suggested, for 
example, that not only four attorneys be appointed to the Board, but that a 
certain number of them be designated as from the public sector of practice. 
Similar designations were suggested for the Paralegal appointees. We supported 
this suggestion, as we believed their concern to be valid, and their suggestion 
assured that our constituents would have adequate representation. This sugges- 
tion, however, met with resistance from the State Bar and was not implemented. 

Compromises have now been made by both sides — most recently in a meeting 
held last ]\Iay. At that time it was concluded that the participants had arone as 
far as possible in obtaining a concensus and that the remaining issues would have 
to be mediated by the Judiciary Committee. 

the problem 

The Bill, as amended in the Senate on .June 24, 1974, is an attempt to con- 
form to the desires expressed at the May meeting. While we appreciate the good 
intentions and cooperation of the Bill's author, we strongly believe that the 
amendments made to Section 6209 concerning the composition ef the governing 
Itody have moved us farther away from, not closer to, the goals expressed at 
that meeting: representation of different sectors of practice and adequate rep- 
resentation of Paralegals themselves. 

As it is now written, the Bill permits only two possible Paralegal appoint- 
ments to a nine person Board. It is also stated that those two positions may go 
to either paraprofessionals or to Paralegal educators. If the Speaker, who is 
the designated appointer of these positions, seeks to be as representative as pos- 
sible, the most likely outcome is that one of each will be appointed, having only 
one Paralegal on the nine person Board. Because of the diversity of the Legal 
Assistant's roles, we do not believe a single voice can adequately represent our 
varied interests and concerns. We cannot, therefore, accept this Section as 
currently worded. 

proposal 

Realizing that compromise will be necessary if this Bill is to pass, we have, 
by the following suggested amendments, tried to reach a middle ground. We have 



198 

not continued to promote the concept that positions be designated with specifity 
as proposed by the public sector interests, although we are not opposed to that 
concept. 

We offer two alternative modifications to Section 6209. The first is that thfr 
Board be increased to eleven members, allowing the appointments of three 
Paralegals and one educator. We believe there would be many advantages to 
this expansion, as outlined on page 3 of the attachment to this letter. We urge 
serious consideration of this proposal. 

If, however, it is not possible to expand the Board, we offer a second proposal 
which would meet the minimum requirements of equitable representation. This 
modification permits the appointment of three Paralegals to the existing nine 
person Board, and is detailed on page 5 of the attachment. 

At the very least, this minimum representation is imperative. Paralegals have 
evolved in many substantially different directions, each legitimately "Paralegal" 
in function, but each having very different concerns and interests. We cannot 
overemphasize how important it is that at least the suggested minimum repre- 
sentation be implemented, so that if these interest groups cannot be guaranteed 
representation, at least the likelihood that they will be excluded shall be 
diminished. In addition, since we are the persons most familiar with the capa- 
bilities of, and the functions performed by, Paralegals, we believe that the 
Board would be greatly benefited by the addition of our experience and edu- 
cation. 

We would like to stress that ample precedent exists for the appointment of 
members of a profession to the Boards which govern them. A large number of 
these Boards not only include members of their professions, but those members 
constitute a majority of positions held. (Copies of illustrative sections of the 
Business and Professional Code are enclosed for your review.) We are not 
asking you to change this Bill to that extreme. We value the contributions and 
guidance that the State Bar and Judicial Council are sure to provide. We simply 
ask for appointments suflicient to assure our fair representation. Because we 
are the persons performing the work to be governed and because we are the 
persons whom this Bill will most directly affect, we believe that implementation 
of one of our proposed changes is essential. 

V/e would be happy to speak before you when this matter is taken up on 
August G, 1974 if you wish amplification of our views. 

Thank you for your attention. 
Sincerely, 

Caela Berg, 
President, The San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants. 

ViCTOEIA WATENMAKEB, 

President, The Los Angeles Paralegal Association. 
AB 1814 
Applicants Who Qualify Under This Article. 

6208. Nothing in this article shall be construed as affecting or impairing the 
disciplinary powers and authority of the Supreme Court or the State Bar in 
respect to conduct of members of the State Bar nor modifying the statutes and 
rules governing such conduct, except as expressly provided in this article. 

6209. The certified attorney assistant board shall be composed of nine persons- 
three members to be appointed by the Judicial Council of which only two may 
may be members of the State Bar and the other one shall be a public number; 
three members to be appointed by the Judicial Council of which only two may 
be members of the State Bar and the other one shall be a public member; three 
members to be appointed by the Ivegislature. two to be appointed by the Speaker 
of the Assembly, both of whom shall be persons engaged in paralegal work or 
be C( rtificd attorney assi infants or persons engaged in the training of paralegals 
or certified attorney assistants, and one public member to be appointed by the 
Senate Rules Committee, none of whom may be members of the State Bar and only 
two of whom may be persons engaged in paralegal work or be certified attorney 
assistants. 

Members of the certified attorney assistant board shall be appointed for a 
term of three years. However, with respect to the three initial appointments 
[make] made by each appointing body, one appointment shall be designated by the 
appointing body to be for a term of two years, one for a term of three years, and 
one for a term of four years, except that the appointee of the Senate Rules Com- 
mittee shall be designated to serve for a term of four years. No person may be 
appointed to a successive term. 



199 

6210. The certified attorney assistant board shall, within 90 days of its first 
meeting, appoint an advisory committee or committees composed of repi-esenta- 
tives from the various diverse organizations utilizing paralegals. Representa- 
tives from urban and rural organizations shall be included, and special consid- 
eration. 

First Suggested Proposal ^ 
11 Member Board 

Composition: 
4 Attorneys. 
3 Paralegals or Certified Attorney Assistants. 

3 Public Members. 

1 Paralegal Educator. 
Appointments : 

State Bar — 2 Attorneys, 1 Paralegal or Certified Attorney Assistant. 
Judicial Council — 2 Attorneys, 1 Public Member. 
Legislature — 2 Paralegals or Certified Attorney Assistants ; 
1 Public Member apointed by the Speaker of the Assembly ; 
1 Public Member; and 1 Paralegal or Certified Attorney Assistant Edu- 
cator appointed by the Senate Rules Committee. 
Comments: 

We find no compelling reason why the Board must remain at nine members. 
Given the multiplicity of sectors who will be affected by the Board action, and 
the tremendous amount of work to be performed, an expanded board is desirable. 
The expanded Board will also decrease the competition for a Board position 
between Paralegals and Paralegal Educators — both of w^hom will provide valu- 
able input to the Board. 

First Proposal, AB 1814 

6209. The certified attorney assistant board shall be composed of eleven [nine] 
persons : three members to be appointed by the Board of Governors of which only 
two may be members of the State Bar and the other one shall be a person engaged 
in paralegal work or certified attorney assistant [a public number] : three mem- 
bers to be appointed by the Judicial Council of which only two may he members 
of the State Bar and the other one shall be a public member ; five [three] mem- 
bers to be appointed by the Legislature ; three [two] to be appointed by the 
Speaker of the Assembly, two [both] of whom shall be persons engaged in 
paralegal work or be certified attorney assistants and one of toJiom toill l>e a 
public member [or persons engaged in the training of paralegals or certified 
attorney assistants], and tioo to be [one public member to be] aipointed 
by the Senate Rules Committee, none of whom may be members of the State 
Bar, one of whom shall be a public member and one who shall be a person engaged 
in the training of paralegals [and only two of whom may be persons engaged in 
paralegal work or be certified attorney assistants]. 

Second Suggested Proposal^ 
9 Member Board 
Composition: 

4 Attorneys. 

3 Paralegals or Certified Attorney Assistants. 

2 Public Members. 

Appointments : 

State Bar — 2 Attorneys, 1 Paralegal or Certified Attorney Assistant. 

.Judicial Council — 2 Attorneys 

Legislature — 1 Public Member and 1 Paralegal or Certified Attorney Assist- 
ant to be appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly ; 1 Public IMember and 
1 Paralegal or Certified Attorney Assistant to be appointed by the Senate 
Rules Committee. 

Comments: 

This format will provide adequate, if not optimal representation of interest 
groups. Obviously lacking, however, is the specified appointment of a Paralegal 



1 Exact Wording FoUo-ws. 



200 

educator. Because most Paralegal educators are members of the State Bar, we 
believe this important appointment shoiild be made by either the State Bar 
or the Judicial Council from their Attorney allotments. 

Second Proposal, AB No. 1814 

6209. The certified attorney assistant board shall be composed of nine persons : 
three members to be appointed l»y the Board of Governors of which only two may 
be members of the State Bar and the other shall be a person engaged in paralegal 
irttrk or a certified attonug 0J<Kistaiit : [a public number;! two tthreel mem- 
liers to be appointed by the Judicial Council, both of ivhieh way be members'of 
the State Bar [of wliich only two may be members of the State Bar and the 
other one shall be a public member] : four [threej members to be appointed by 
tlie Legislature, two to be appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, one of 
wJiotn shall be a person engaged in paralegal work or be a certified attorney 
assistant and the other shall be a public member, [lioth of whom shall be persons 
engaged in paralegal work or be certified attorney assistants or persons engaged 
in the training of paralegal or certified attorney assistants.] and treo to be ap- 
jtointed by the Soiate Rules Committee, one of vhfnn shall be a person engaged 
in paralegal work or be a certified attorney assistant and the other shall be a 
public member, [one i)ublic member to be appointed by the Senate Rtiles Com- 
mittee, none of Avhom may Ix' members of tlie State Bar and only two of whom 
may be persons engaged in paralegal work or be certified attorney assistants.] 

BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE 

Professional 
Profession Section No. positions held 

Dentists 1621.2, .2 6 out of 10. 

rjurses>._ - 5000 6 out of 8. 

Architects. .-. 5514 6 out of 9. 

Attorneys 6011,6013 15 out of 15. 

Barbers _ 6500,6501. __.. 4 out of 5. 

Engineers 6710, 6711_. ._ 8 out of 11. 

Contractors _. -.. - -.- -- 7000.5, 7001 8 out of 11. 

Cosmetology 7301, 7302_ 5 out of 7. 

Funeral directors 7601, 7602 5 out of 8. 

Shorthand reporters! ._ _ 8000 3 out of 5. 

Social workers 9001,9002 6 out of 9. 

Cleaners 9530 5 out of 7. 

• Copies attached. 

Ch. 6— NURSING 

§ 2701. Board of nurse examiners in general 

Text of section until July 1, 1977 

The Board of Nurse Examiners of the State of California, consisting of seven 
members, is continued in existence in the Department of Consumer Affairs as tlie 
California Board of Nursing Education and Nurse Registration. 

Within the meaning of this chapter, board, or the board, refers to the Cali- 
fornia Board of Nursing Education and Nurse Registration. Any reference in 
state law to the Board Examiners of the State of California shall be consrrued 
to refer to the California Board of Nursing Educatio'u and Nurse Registration. 

This .section sliall remain in effect until July 1, 1977, and on such date is 
repealed. 

(Added by Stats. 19,39. c. 807. p. 234G, § 2. Amended by Stats. 1949, c. 392. p. 733, 
§ 1 ; Stats". 1961, c. 1821, p. 3873, § 17: Stats. 1W>1, c. 1823, p. 3889. § 2; Stats. 1971, 
e. 716, p. 1397, §38; Stats. 1971. c. 159.3, p. 3217. §28; Stats, 1972, c. 947, p. 1504, 
§ 1 ; Stats. 1973, c. 122, p. — , § 3. eff. June 29, 1973. ) 

For text of section 2101 operative July 1, 1977, see section 2701, post. 

% 2702. Qualifications of members 

Each member of the board shall be a citizen of the United States and a resident 
of the State of California. Five of the members shall be licensed professional 
nurses under the provisions of this chapter, each of whom shall have had at least 
seven years' experience in the active practice of his profession, and shall have 
been actually engaged in active practice within two years of his appointment. 
At least four members of the board shall have not had less than five years' 



201 

experience as a teacher or administrator in an accredited school of nursing or in 
a public lieulth nursing organization. Two of the members shall be public 
members who are not licentiates of the board or of any other board under this 
division or of any board referred to in Sections 1000 and 3600. 

87 

BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE— § 8005 

(d) The temporary registration fee for a geologist or for a gcophysicist at not 
more tlian forty dollars (.$40). 

(e) The renewal fee for a geologist or for u geophijsicist shall be fixed by 
the board at not more than eighty dollars ($S0). 

(f) The renewal fee for a specialty geologist or for a specialty gcophysicist 
at not more than ten dollars ($10). 

(g) The delinquency fee for a certificate is an amount equal to the renewal 
fee in effect on the date of its expiration. 

(Added by Stats. lfK58, c. 942, p. 1S21. § 3. Amended by Stats. 1970, c. 896, p. 1G35, 
§ 15 ; Stats. 1972, c. 1396, p. 2914, § 52.) 

CHAPTER 13. SHORTHAND REPORTERS 

Article 

Section 
5. Shorthand Reporting Corporations [New] 8040 

ARTICLE 1. ADMINISTRATION 

§ 8000. Existence of certified shorthand reporters board ; qualifications 

There is in the Department of * * * Consumer Affairs a Certified Shorthand 
Reporters Board, which consists of five members appointed by the Governor 
two of whom shall be active members of the State Bnr of California and three 
of whom sliall be holders of certificates issued under this cliapter who have been 
actively engaged as shorthand reporters within this state for at least five years 
immediately preceding their appointment. 
(Amended by Stats. 1971, c. 716, p. 1422, § 134.) 

For provisions relating to effect of statutes conflicting with Stats. 1971, c. 716, 
p. 1442, and to legislative intent, see note under § 23. 

§ 8001.5 Tenure of members ; vacancies 

Members of the board shall hold, office until the appointment and qualifica- 
tion of their successors or until * * * o)ie year shall have elapsed since the ex- 
piration of the term for which tliey were appointed, whichever first occurs. Nc» 
person shall serve as a member of the board for more tlian * * * tivo consecutive 
terms except as provided in section 131. Vacancies occurring shall be filled by 
appointment for the unexpired term. 
(Amended by Stats. 1973, c. 319, p. — , § 41.) 

§ 8003. Officers ; quorum ; records 

At each yearly meeting a chairman and vice chairman shall be elected from 
the membersliip of the board. Three members shall constitute a quorum for the 
transaction of business. The board shall keep a complete record of all its proceed- 
ings and * * * all certificates issued, renewed, or revoked, together with a de- 
tailed statement of receipts and disbursements. 
(Amended by Stats. 1973, c. 319, p. — , § 42.) 

§ 8003.5 Repealed. Stats. 1967, c. 1656, p. 4018, § 32 
See, now, Government Code § 11120 et seq. 

§ 800.5. Executive functions of board ; committees : secretary and employees 

The Certified Shorthand Reporters Board is charged with the executive func- 
tions necessary for effectuating the purposes of this chapter. It may appoint such 
committees as it deems necessary or proper. The board ma.v appoint, prescribe 
the duties, and fix the salary of an executive secretary, who may be employed 
on a part. 



Asterisks • • * Indiciite deletions by ainentlment. 



202 

145 

CHAPTER 17. SOCIAL WORKEKS 

Section 

4. Clinical Social Workers [New] 9040 

5. Licensed Clinical Social Workers Corporations [New] 9070 

ARTICLE 1. ADMINISTRATION 

Sec. 

9001. Board of behavioral science examiners [New]. 

9001.5 Transfer of functions, responsibilities and duties ; rules and regula- 
tions [New]. 

9002. Qualifications of members [New]. 

9002.1 Additional members; apix)intment ; qualifications term [New]. 

9003. Tenure of members ; vacancies [New] . 

Rules and regulations, see 16 Cal.Adm. Code 1800 et seq. 

§ 9000. Construction of chapter 
1. In general 

An employer may properly require registration, certification, or licensure under 
certain title acts as a prerequisite to employment for the reason that such re- 
quirement would directly relate to the qualifications and competency of the 
employee but the citizenship requirement for employment would be invalid. 55 
Ops.Atty.Gen. 80, 2-9-72. 

§ 9001. Board of behavioral science examiners 

Text of section operative until July 1, 1977 

There is in the Department of * * * Consumer Affairs a Board of Behavioral 
Science Examiners which consists of nine members appointed by the Governor 
with the advice and consent of the Senate. 
(Added by Stats. 1968, c. 1348, p. 2568, § 2. Amended by Stats. 1970, c. 760, p. 1437, 

§ 1 ; Stats.1971, c. 716, p. 1426, § 148.) 

171 
§ 9002. Qualifications of members 

Two members of the board shall be state-licensed clinical social workers, two 
shall be state-registered social workers, two shall be state-licensed marriage, 
family and child counselors, and three sliall be public members. Each member, 
except the three public members, shall hold at least a master's degree from an 
accredited college or university and shall have at least * * * two years of ex- 
perience in his profession. 

(Added bv Stats.1968, c. 1348, p. 2569, §5. Amended by Stats.1969, c. 298, 
p. 66.5. § 1 : Stats.1970, c. 760, p. 1438, § 3.) 

Former section 9002 was repealed by Stats.1968, c. 1348, p. 2569, § 4. 

§ 9002.1 Additional members ; appointment ; qualifications ; term 

In addition to the number of members provided for in Section 9001, the Gov- 
ernor shall appoint two additional meml)crs, who shall be qualified to be licensed 
under Article 5 (commencing with Section 17860) of Chapter 4 of Part 3 of 
Division 7. The first such additional members shall be appointed on or before 
January 15, 1971, one for a term to expire on June 1, 1972, and one for a term 
to expire on June 1, 1973. Each successor shall be appointed for a term of four 
years and shall continue in office until the appointment and qualification of his 
successor or until one year has elapsed after the expiration of his term, which- 
ever occurs first. 
(Added liy Stats.1970, c. 1.305, p. 2419, § 1.) 

§ 9003. Tenure of members ; vacancies 

Each member of the board, except the members first appointed, shall be ap^ 
pointed for a term of four years and shall hold ofl5ce until the appointment and 
qualification. . . 



Asterisks • • * Indicate rteletlons by amendment. 
Italics indicates changes or additions by amendment. 



203 

172 

National Federation of Paralegal Associations 

Charter MemT)ers 
Chicago Association of Paralegal Assistants. 
Minneapolis Association of Paralegal Assistants. 
Philadelphia Association of Paralegal Professionals. 
D.C. Metropolitan Area Paralegal Association. 
Kocky Mountain Legal Assistant Association. 
Los Angeles Parlegal Association. 
San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants. 
Atlanta Association of Legal Assistants. 



July 24, 1974. 
Re AB 1814. 

Sexate .Jubicl^ry Committee, 
Sacramento, Calif. 

Dear Committee Member: We, the undersigned members of the National 
Federation of Paralegal Associations, wish to go on record as stating our support 
for our co-members, The San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants and 
The Los Angeles Paralegal Association in their efforts to insure the adequate 
representation of members of our profession on any Board or governing body 
entrusted with the regulation and certification of legal paraprofessionals. 

California is setting the tone for the rest of the nation in its establishment of 
this program. We believe it is vital that an adequate number of persons engaged 
in paralegal work be assured positions on the Certified Attorney Assistant 
Board, so that those persons most directly affected by the measures to be promul- 
gated under this Bill will have a meaningful degree of participation in the 
determination of their own professional destinies. To do otherwise would 
be to establish a harmful precedent for the rest of the nation, and severely 
impede all of our efforts to have an effective voice in our own development. We 
urge yoii to consider appropriate amendments to this piece of legislature. 
Rocky Mountain Legal Assistant Association, 
By Jennifer Moulton, President. 

Atlanta Association of Legal Assistants, 
By Charlotte Berge, President. 

Chicago Association of Paralegal Assistants, 
By Shiela Moolenaak, President. 

Philadelphia Association of Paralegal Professionals, 
By Sue Lin Chong, President. 

D.C. Metropolitan Area Paralegal Association, 
By Constance Capistrant, Steering Committee. 
By Derby Farquahar, Steering Committee. 
By Shantabai Metelits, Steering Committee. 



July 15, 1974. 
Hon. John V. Tunney, 

Chairman. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Representation of Citizen Inter- 
ests, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 

Dear Senator and Members of the Subcommittee : I am Chairman of the Di- 
vision of Business Education at Canada College in Redwood City, California. It 
is m.v understanding tiiat your subcommittee will be holding a hearing on July 
23, 1974 concerning the potential of the Paralegal Program for lowering the cost 
and increasing the availability of legal services to American citizens. We have 
developed a paralegal training program at Canada College which has been under- 
way for a little over one year, which program was developed by a joint com- 
mittee of college personnel and the San Mateo County Bar Association. Upon 
receiving your letter of July 1, 1974. I consulted with various members of this 
committee in order to determine what might be the consensus of opinion concern- 
ing the questions which your letter raised. 

What effect, if any, would accreditation of training programs and licensing of 
individuals have on the developments in the paralegal area? We believe that 
accreditation and licensing would have a tendency to slow down developments in 



204 

the paralegal area, but at the same time, we believe that the long run positive 
effects of accreditation and licensing would out-weigh the negatives. If pro- 
spective employers and the general public are to have confidence in the paralegal 
program, we feel that it is mandatory that some standardization be developed 
regarding accreditation of training institutions and licensing of individuals. 
Otherwise, it appears there would develop a wide variation in qualifications of 
both training programs and individuals which would, in the long run, detract 
from the program and cause a considerable lack of confidence in the program. If 
the program is to accomplish the objective of lowering the cost and increasing 
the availability of legal services, a high quality must be maintained in both 
accreditation of programs and licensing of individuals. 

Should institutions which train paralegals be accredited? Definitely. In addi- 
tion to the reasons already set forth, persons entering the paralegal program 
should have some reliable means of determining whether a particular institu- 
tion can give them quality training in that program. Otherwise, talented students 
could end up in a sub-par program that would not only waste a great deal of time 
and money, but could possibly destroy their enthusiasm for the program. 

Who should control the accrediting if it is done? Generally, we feel at this 
time that the various State Bar Associations are in a better position to control 
the accrediting of institutions and training programs. This could also be han- 
dled on a national level, although it would appear that State accreditation could 
be accomplished more economically. 

Should individual paralegals be licensed? Yes. We see no other way that the 
desired quality of persons in the paralegal progrm could be maintained. Without 
that quality, confidence in the program would soon dissipate, both on the i>art 
of the general public who might be using the program, as well as prospective 
employers. 

Who should control the licensing if it is done? Since it appears that the licens- 
ing of attorneys is more efficiently handled on a State level, likewise it would 
appear that the licensing of paralegal personnel could also be more efficiently 
administered on the State level. Perhaps testing and other standards could be 
fixed or standardized on the national level, but the administration of licensing 
should be on a State basis. 

Thank you for allowing us to comment on these matters. 
Yours very truly, 

Louis Yaeger. 

Chairman, 
Business Division. 



A Statement Prepared by the American Association of Community and 

Junior Colleges 

In recent years, increasing numbers of organizations and individuals have 
begun advocating the training and employment of paralegals who can assist 
attorneys and personnel of the courts (referred to as legal assistants) or render 
rudimentary legal aid to persons or organizations within the community (re- 
ferred to as legal aides). Regarding assistance to attorneys, the American Bar 
Association issued the following statement in 1008: 

"It is now widely recognized that one of the critical problems facing our 
profession law is the inadequacy of the number of lawyers to serve, in the ways 
they have traditionally sen-ed. the very greatly expanded requirements of a 
burgeoning population with expanded needs for legal services in both civil and 
criminal matters. Consideration of the use of technically i]nalified assistants by 
other professionals has persuaded us that the bar too needs paraprofessionals. 
and that a practical solution to the problem of availability of legal services lies 
in this develni)ment." 

A similar stntement was written by Justice William O. Douglas in a concurring 
opinion announced by the United States Supreme Court in 1969: 

". . . it is Itecoming clear that more and more of the efforts in ferreting out the 
bases of claims nnd the agencies responsible for them and in preparing the al- 
most endless jiajierwork for their prosecution is work for laymen." 

The ABA. through its Standing Committee on Professional Ethics, has gone on 
record as officially sni)porting the utilization of lay assistants in a variety of 
tasks. ^loreovei". the ABA recently averred as a portion of its code of Professional 
rcsiionsibility that. 

".\ lawver oftf^n delegates tasks to clerks, secretaries, and other lay persons. 
Such delegation is proper if the lawyer maintains a direct relationship with his 



205 

client, supervises the delegated work, and has complete professional responsibil- 
ity for the work product. This delegation enables a lawyer to render legal serv- 
ices more economically and efficiently." 

The need for paralegal personnel transcends the confines of law offices. Chief 
Justice Burger, recently asked if the courts are required to do too much, re- 
.six»nded : 

"They are certainly being called on to do more than their resources permit. 
This is true from the bottom of the pyramid, in the minor-offense state and local 
courts, right straight up to the Supreme Court. With few exceptions, every level 
of the judiciary has moi-e work than it can properly handle." 

Asked if judges are willing to relinquish .some of their administrative functions, 
to legal assistance, the Chief Justice said, "When judges become thoroughly 
familiar with the potential of court executives, they'll not only be willing but 
anxious to have the assistance that these people can give them." 

Professor Brown of the UCLA Law School observes that "Much of the work 
of the administration of our courts is done by, and perhaps better done by non- 
lawyers." Paralegals can provide essential legal services for judges, clerks, 
l)rosecTitors, public defenders, and other court personnel as well as assist post- 
conviction personnel such as corrections officials (wardens, jailers, cottage i)ar- 
ents, etc.) and probation and parole officers. 

Beyond the judicial sphere, itself, legal paraprofessionalism can be of value to 
private individuals (particularly the indigent), community groups such as con- 
sumer law organizations, business enterprises such as real estate and finance 
companies, and social agencies such as welfare departments — all of whom have 
need for legal aid which currently is, by the large, either unavailable or too costly. 
In other words, there is a need for paralegals both within and without the legal/ 
judicial fields. Within, there is a growing recognition of the value of trained 
paraprofessionals who can assist with many of the routine tasks refiuired in pro- 
viding legal services to clients — just as paraprofessionals have been doing for 
many years in other fields such as dentistry and medicine. Outside the legal/judi- 
cial realm, public demand for more extensive and more efficient legal services has 
grown with the increase in population (and the resultant increase in the com- 
plexity of society), the increase in litigious proceedings, and the rise in legal costs. 

Recognizing a need and meeting a need are different matters. Brown asserts 
that both the practicing legal profession and the academic legal profession have 
failed to meet the demand for trained legal aides and assistants. His assertion is 
supported by ABA's Special Committee on Legal Assistants which reportefl in 
April 1971 that "relatively few educational institutions are providing training for 
legal paraprofessionals beyond the secretarial level." The latter publication notes, 
however, that "recently . . . vocational schools as well as two- and four-year col- 
leges and universities have exijressed an interest in the development of a curricu- 
lum which would provide a career path for persons interested in employment as 
paraprofessionals in a law office." 

While two-year colleges by and of themselves cannot meet the post-secondary 
educational needs of every person in the United States, they do afford unique 
opportunities for large segments of the population to study while residing at or 
close to home. This is significant because not only is there a larger percentage of 
high school graduates entering higher education each year, but there is a rising 
popularity of adult and continuing education programs, throughout the country. 
Therefore, a two-year legal assistant program, properly structured to meet the 
needs of the local community, could attract students from larger segments of a 
given geographic area than could any other type of educational institution. This is 
especially significant in view of the fact that the proposed paralegal programs 
would attract people from the local community who would be training to meet 
local needs. 

In 1968, the ABA Special Committee on Availability of Legal Services antici- 
pated "that junior colleges will give courses to train most Legal Assistants 
tl'.at are to be provided for by any plan adopte<l by our profession." Now more 
than five years later, however. AACJC records indicate that only sixty-one 
(61) two-yoar colleges were offering courses that could be identified as legal 
services aides courses, most of these being concerned with legal secretarial 
science or business law. Clearly, two-year colleges have not developed paralegal 
l)rograms to meet the exnectations of the law profession or the needs of the 
pulilic. There are two main reasons for this lack of program development: (a) 
scarcity of funds for such programs, and (b) little encouragement from legis- 
lative bodies. 

To give support and encouragement to community and junior colleges to 
plan and develop paralegal assistant programs, where surveys made in depth 
41-375—74 14 



206 

have iiulicatod a need and acceptance for legal assistant personnel, the American 
Association of Community and Junior Colleges is giving major attention to 
this program development, with a staff assigned to work exclusively in this 
tield. 

Although legal assistant training and education may be appropriate and 
effectively offered by several levels of education, there are some definite advan- 
tages to the training <>t legal assistants in the community colleges. Personnel 
educated and prepared in the two-year colleges are oriented to the needs of 
a particular community. The college can research and assess in detail the needs 
and job market in both public and 'private sectors with effective, detailed 
.surveys, and has the flexibility to changing needs and the job market from 
year to year. 

The community college is able to develop the modular curriculum effectively 
for flexibility of program and for meaningful "on the job" experience of the 
.students as a part of the curriculum requirements. Also, education programs 
in the community college are offered at low tuition cost to the student, and 
these colleges are easily accessible to local students. 

Quite important to the paralegal curriculum is the experience and history 
of the community college in the development of continuing education programs, 
as well as the fully integrated curriculum leading to the Association Degree. 
For personnel already on the job who have a need for up-grading their skills, 
or adding competence to their work abilities, the community college has had 
long experience in offering certificate programs and short term offerings. 

The American Association of Community and Junior Colleges project will 
strengthen and make more efl3cient the qualities of the community colleges in 
their efforts to offer such programs. The colleges will be aided in developing the 
means to determine the potential job market in an area, on a continuing basis. 
To identify the tasks and necessary skills of the Legal Assistant, relative to 
the various functions he must perform is a necessary component of planning, 
as is also the necessity to structure an acceptable curriculum for all sections of 
the legal assi-stants' respon.sibilities. 

Effective training is a jmnie es.sential element of providing quality legal serv- 
ices through the work of the legal assistant. However, equally important is the 
acceptance and proper use of the assistant by the legal community. 

It should also be pointed out that, since education and use of the legal assistant 
caniy)t really be separated, the Association's project has taken positions on 
several important issues : 

1. Lawyers, both in the public and private sector, must themselves receive 
education in the use and supervision of the work of the legal assistant : 

2. Ethical considerations, the limits of what a legal assistant can do, must be 
clearly delineated. Professional ethics must be a part of any training program ; 

3. The state and national government should take a position of leadership in 
defining paralegal positions and functions and aiding in the establishment of 
career ladders for potentially able personnel. 

As stated earlier, there are sixty-one paralegal assistant programs in commu- 
nity and junior colleges, with another thirty, approximately, in universities and 
proprietary schools. The community colleges offering the more mature programs 
report that the employment and use of the legal assistant in attorneys offices, and 
in other sectors where legal aid is offered, have reduced costs and have led to 
the ability of the attorney to increase case loads and handle them effectively. 

It has been reported by these colleges that the starting salaries for legal 
assistants range from $9,000.00 to $12,000.00 per annum, depending on the section 
of the nation represented, such salaries less than those required by practicing at- 
torneys. The principal gain in the use of the legal assistant, however, has been to 
release an attorney from performing the reference, research, brief preparation, 
case hackground, and routine interviewing chores so that he can devote his time 
more effectively to the professional requirements of his job, as has been found 
so productive in the dental and medical fields. 

The American Association of Community and Junior Colleges, in concert with 
other sectors of higher education, has worked closely over the past decade with 
the National Commission on Accrediting and the regional accrediting associations 
to bring order and efficiency to the accreditation process. The Association strongly 
supports the position tliat all institutional accreditation should be directed l)y the 
re.ETional assiociations, that the instrumentality of .special programs accreditation, 
and this would include paralegal education, should be fipproved by the higher 
education community affected, and that special program accreditation should 
relate its form and function to regional accreditation association policies and 
procedures. 



207 

The Association further believes that institutional accreditation should be the 
basis for receiving federal support funds. Licensing is a second issue and in areas 
of long experience, such as medical and health education, we would caution 
against hasty procedures and plans. The licensing of individuals in any field is, 
in our opinion, a state function. However, it is urged that careful study of all 
factors involved, including the effects of licensing upon the education program, 
the effectiveness of the individual on the job, his euiployability, and his super- 
vision, be undertaken before any specitic plan of licensing be undertaken. 



The Association of Paralegal Professionals, 

Philadelphia, Pa., July 30, 1974. 
Attention : Neil Levy, Assistant Counsel, Subcommittee on Representation of 

Citizen Interests, U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Judiciary. 
Office of Senator John V. Ttjnney, 
New Senate Office Building, 
Washington, D.V. 

Dear Mr. Levy : We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for in- 
viting The Association of Paralegal Professionals ("APP"), Philadelphia, Penn- 
sylvania, to submit a statement to the Subcommittee on the subject of paralegals 
and their role in reducing the cost of providing legal services to the general 
public. 

In accordance with Subcommittee rules, enclosed are twenty-five (25) copies of 
APP's statement. This paper, which was prepared by three members of APP who 
are employed by private law firms, was approved for submission to the Subcom- 
mittee by the entire membership of APP. 

If, in the future, we can provide additional information to the Subcommittee, 
please contact us. 

Sincerely, Sue Lin Chonq, President. 

Frances W. Cook, Vice-President. 
Wendy C. Shiba, Vice-President. 

Written Statement of the Association of Paralegal Professionals 

introduction 

The legal profession has, in recent years, become increasingly aware of the 
concept of the paraprofessional within the field of law. Unlike the professions 
of medicine, dentistry and architecture, whose national organizations, the Amer- 
ican Medical Association, the American Dental Association and the American 
Institute of Architects, have adopted positions as to the training, certification 
and utilization of paraprofessionals within each of their respective professions, 
the American Bar Association ("ABA") has only begun to investigate the role 
of the paraprofessional as it relates to the practice of law. 

The ABA Special Committee on Legal Assistants ("Special Committee") was 
organized in 1969 (formerly the Special Committee on Lay Assistants for Law- 
yers, appointed in 1968) "for the purijose of encouraging and providing leader- 
ship and guidance in the training and employment of paralegals." ^ State and 
local bar associations across the country have also been examining the paralegal 
concept and many of them are currently in the process of adopting recommenda- 
tions as to the official recognition, education and training, certification and 
licensing, regulation and utilization of paralegals. 

This statement is being submitted to the Subcommittee on Representation of 
Citizen Interests of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary ("Sub- 
commitee") in response to its ongoing investigation into the ability of ail Ameri- 
cans to obtain quality legal representation at prices they can afford. Discussion 
will be limited to the examination of paralegal professionals and their potential 
for lowering the cost and increasing the availability of legal services. 

DEFINITION OF A PARALEGAL PROFESSIONAL 

There is no standard definition of a paralegal professional. (Because of the 
generally accepted usage of the term "paralegal" in lieu of paralegal profes- 
sional, paralegal will be used, except in those direct quotations empoying the 

1 Larson. Dr. Roger A., The Training and Use of Legal Assistants: A Status Report 1 
(19<4) [hereinafter cited as Larson]. 



20S 

term "legal assistant". However, the assumption is that, in the existing field or 
literature on the subject, the two terms are interchangeable.) However, the 
paralegal is generally regarded as one who assists an attorney in the rendition 
of legal services and is qualified to handle certain work traditionally performed 
by attorneys. One member of the Oregon bar stresses the concept of working 
under an attorney's direction and control and says that : 

the (legal) assistant, so directed, can do almost anything the lawyer can 
do except give legal advice or appear in court. The lawyer is totally re- 
sible for the actions of the assistant.^ 

Others emphasize tlie aspect of specific training in basic legal concepts and 
skills, whether on-the-joi) or in formal training programs. One definition of a 
paralegal tackles the concept by defining what a paralegal is not: "The con- 
cept excludes some fairly well defined supportive roles in the lawyering process : 
secretarial, clerical, librarian, social worker, community aid and office 
administrator." ' 

One of the more comprehensive definitions is the following functional defini- 
tion, developmed by the Special Committee : 

Under the supervision and direction of the lawyer, the legal assistant 
should be able to apply knowledge of law and Ugal procedxu-es in rendering 
direct assistance to lawyers engaged in legal research ; rlesign, develop and 
plan modifications of new procedures, techniques, services, processes or 
applications ; prepare or interpret legal documents and write detailed pro- 
cedures for practicing in certain fields of law; select, compile and iise tech- 
nical information from such references as digests. encyclo])edias or practice 
manuals : and analyze and follow procedural problems that involve indepen- 
dent decisions.* 
Until a standard definition is adopted on a national level, the question is 
bound to ai'ise as to Vv'hether or not the paralegal is simply a glorified legal sec- 
retary. A study conducted in 1972 by the Special Committee ("ABA Study") de- 
termined that a clear distinction is made within those law firms studied between 
legal assistants and legal secretaries. Such a distinction was evidenced by re- 
sponses from firms indicating that legal assistants : 

have different job desciiptions. earn higher salaries, are assigned different 
office space, do not perform stenographic duties, have college degi-ees, attend 
departmental meetings, do research, interview clients, delegate to stenogra- 
phers, ai-e not compensated for overtime and are entitled to bonuses.' 
In an attempt to clarify the distinction between paralegals and legal secre- 
taries, the Chicago Association of Paralegal Assistants has developed "two sepa- 
rate but equally strong parallel definitions of the legal assistant." The first it 
terms the : 

para -professional legal assistant, a resource of appllicable non-legal expertise 
within the practice of law. In addition to functioning in more routine matters 
sucli as filling out forms, filing papers, and indexing and abstracting, this 
para-professional brings such exjiertise as accounting, translation. l)nsiness 
management, and extensive factual research background to the practice of 
law.*" 
The second class of legal assistant is defined as the "para-clerical legal assist- 
ant", who: 

brings to more routine matters a knowledge of office procedures and an abil- 
ity to apply certain clerical skills to efficient and relatively indejiendent 
completion of routine matters, subject to an attorney's review and signa- 
ture. By this definition, intelligent, experienced and trusted legal secretaries 
have functioned as para-clerical legal assistants for many years.'^ 

UTILIZATION OF PARALEGALS 

Because of the broad application of the term paralegal, examination of the 
tasks being performed by paralegals is necessary for a greater understanding of 



= McMenamln. R. W.. Danm of the Age of the Legal Assistant, 59 The American Bar- 
Association Journal 1448 (1973). 

^ Fry. WiUiaiii R.. A filiort Rrn'ew of the Paralegal Movement, 7 Clearin chouse Review 
40?! (197." [hereinafter cited as Fr.v]. 

* Larson at 17. 

^ Larson at 10. 

8 The ChicaRO Association of Paralegal Assistants, The Lecal Assistant : A Self 
Statement 40 (1974) [hereinafter cited as Capa]. 

■^ Capa at 47. 



209 

the concept. Paralegals in the private sector of law are currently being trained 
and utilized as both sjiecialists and generalists. The ABA Study found that para- 
legals are most often emi)loyed in the following areas of law: litigation, estate 
administration, corporate law, real estate, income tax, legal research and domes- 
tic relati(ms.* 

Those tasks which are being performed with greatest frequency by the para- 
-legals who responded to the xVBA Study are as follows : 

Index documents and prepare digests. 

I'repare probate inventories and inheritance and federal estate tax 
returns. 

Search and check public records. 

Docket. 

Shepardize. 

Tax work. 

t'ontact clients for information. 

Investigations. 

File papers. 

Notify clients of approaching deadlines. 

Draft wills, deetls and trusts. 

Serve papers. 

File motions. 

Compile and select citations.'' 
It must be noted that the above list of tasks is not representative of the 
functions performed by the paralegals who were included in the ABA Study. 
The respondents were asked to identify the tasks which they usually perform 
from a list of thirty-one (31) specified tasks. Therefore, it is quite likely that 
paralegals are not only performing tasks not included on the list, but are per- 
forming them with greater frefjuency than those which were included. 

A more comprehensive approach toward identifying those specific tasks being 
performed by paralegals was taken in a survey conducted by the Chicago As- 
sociation of" Paralegal Assistants ("Chicago Survey"). The Chicago Survey 
identified the following six (6) areas of specialization in which paralegals in 
the Chicago area are currently employed : probate, real estate, litigation, cor- 
porate, employee benefit plans, and trademarks and copyrights. In addition, a 
seventh category, the "Generalist", was created to provide for the legal assistant 
who performs tasks in three (3) or more of these specialty areas.^" Respondents 
to the Chicago Survey listed one area as a specialty to which he or she devotes 
most of his or her time and rated various specific tasks according to how often 
and with what emphasis he or she performs such tasks. The following are the 
specific tasks most frequently performed by legal assistants in each of the six 
(6) specialty areas: 

(1) Probate. Preparing court pleadings, inventories and individual inheritance 
and estate tax returns; valuing and transferring assets; preparing current and 
final accounts ; and keeping estate accounting records."^ 

(2) Real Estate. Drafting deeds, proration statements, trust agreements and 
directions, beneficial interest assignments and contracts for purchase-sale trans- 
actions : drafting title insurance, title clearance and tract searches.^- 

(3) Litigation. Documents search in response to Motions for Production or 
Interrogatories; cite checking and shepardizing: indexing documents; pre- 
paring digests, abstracts, indices and/or summaries of transcripts; and to a 
varying extent research such as non-legal i-esearch. investigations and factual 
discovery, bibliographical research, interview of witnesses, interview of experts 
and consultants and preparing memoranda on non-legal research." 

(4) Corporate. Incorporations; Secretary of State filings; preparing promis- 
sory notes, powers of attorney and bills of sale ; corporate reviews : Blue Sky 
research ; preparing closing documents and binders ; drafting shareholders' stock 
options and stock purchase agreements; and responding to comments on Blue 
Sky application.^* 

(5) Employee Benefit Plan.s. Gathering factual information from clients, ac- 
><>ountants and actuaries ; drafting pension and profit-sharing plans and related 



s Larson at 14. 
» Larson at f>4, 55. 
^Tapa at ]R. 
" Capa at 19. 
'= Papa at 2.-?. 24. 
" Capa at 27, 29. 
"1* Capa at 33. 



210 

trust agreements ; preparing forms for submission to the Internal Revenue 
Service ; and maintaining and updating tiles of plans.^ 

(6) Trademarks and copyrigtits. Corresponding with other firms doing re- 
search ; preparing applications ; determining class ; preparing copyright forms 
and renewals ; dealing with foreign correspondents ; and summarizing research 
reports.^* 

Paralegals are also employed in the public sector of law. A survey conducted 
by the National Paralegal Institute determined that paralegals are utilized 
by one hundred twenty-seven (127) out of the two hundred eighty (280) OEO- 
funded Legal Services offices and that their duties include interviewing clients, 
negotiating with government agencies on behalf of the clients in public entitle- 
ment cases, representing clients at administrative hearings, doing investigative 
work and doing legal research and drafting.^' 

ROLE OF PARALEGALS IN THE DELIVERY OF LEGAL SERVICES 

The legal profession, the United States government and the American con- 
sumer agree that quality legal services are not readily available to persons of 
low and middle incomes.^^ It has been estimated that approximately 40,000,000 
middle-income American families do not currently use lawyers^' and as much 
as seventy percent (70%) of our population is either not represented or is 
under-represented by a lawyer.™ 

Consequently, growing attention has been focused on the development and 
implementation of services, such as group legal services, prepaid legal insurance, 
and specialization plans. The utilization of paralegals within such services can 
make legal assistance more widely available to American citizens. 

A major deterrent to the seeking of legal services by the majority of American 
citizens has been the inaccessibility of lawyers and the prohibitive expense of 
acquiring these services."^ The ABA created the Lawyer Referral Plan in an 
early attempt to solve individual legal problems. This plan endeavors to make 
lawyers more accessible to persons of moderate means by referring qualified 
legal counsel to those persons seeking advice. However, evaluation of this 
system has revealed that by the time a person seeks out an attorney through 
tins method, he or she is already well into dilemma that might have been avoided 
with timely counseling. In addition, the referral plan does not solve the 
problem of reducing legal costs to the consumer.^- 

Through the development of prepaid legal services an attempt has been made 
to provide more readily available legal assistance at lower costs. Prepaid legal 
services have been recognized by the ABA as the "major mechanism of the future 
for delivery of needed legal service to persons of middle and low incomes . . ." ^' 
As of mid-1972, more than half of the state bar associations as well as some local 
associations were at various stages of considering their role within such pro- 
grams."* Although there are many variations in the format of prepaid legal 
services plans, the actual use of one system rather than another does not appear 
to preclude the utilization of paralegal effort in the delivery of such services. 

Prior to examination and suggestion of the ways in which paralegals may 
contribute to prepaid legal services, consideration of the proven effectiveness of 
paralegals within private law practice and the public sector is in order. H. Lee 
Turner, past Chairman of the ABA Special Committee on Lay Assistants for 
Lawyers, has structured his private law practice on the principle that "no 



i'^ Capa at .S6. 
i« Capa at 3S. 

17 Pry at 463. 

18 STee ABA Code of Professional Kesponsibility and Canons of Judicial Conduct (1970) 
[hereinafter cited as Code]. See also Statement of Sandra DeMent. Executive Director, Na- 
tional Consumer Center for Lecal Services. Before tlie Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on 
Representation of Citizen Interests. May 15. 1974 [hereinafter cited as DeMent]. See also 
State^nent of F. Wm. McCalpin Before the Subcommittee on Representation of Citizen 
Interests of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, May 14. 1974 [here- 
inafter cited as McCalpin]. See also Testimony of Ralph Nader Before the Subcommittee 
on Representation of Citizen Interests. Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 
Mav 1.5. 1974 [hereinafter cited as Nader]. 

1" Morris, Lee R., Group Prepaid Legal Services — An Insurance Viewpoint, IX Forum 163 
(Fall 1973) [hereinafter cited as Morflsl. 
2" Insurance Company of North America, Group Lesal Services. 

21 Morris nt 164. 

22 Zielke, Laurence J.. Increasing Legal Services' Constimrrability: The Family Perspec- 
tive, 13 Journal of Family Law, University of Louisville School of Law 60 (1973-1974). 

23 .Taworskl, Leon. The ResponsiMUty of the Profession to Provide Legal Services, XIV 
Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly 233 (1973) [hereinafter cited as Jaworskl]. 

2* Jaworskl at 233. 



211 

lawyer performs work that can be handled by a person less skilled than him- 
self." " In 1970, Turner and Balloun, located in Great Bend, Kansas, utilized 
three (3) attorneys and twenty-three (23) paralegals in the firm's general trial 
practice primarily directed towards negligence defense, workmen's compensation 
actions, and the area of product liability.-'' In addition, thirty percent (30'/c) are 
the practice was concentrated in diffuse business and probate law."' 

Analyzing these specific areas of his practice. Turner suggested that legal 
functions previously handled by attorneys could be taken over by lay persons ov 
"legal specialists". Thus, defense litigation could be handled by trial specialists 
and deposition specialists, with the former preparing pleadings and interrogato- 
ries for attorney approval and the latter scheduling the dates of depositions and 
forwarding instructions to defense witnesses. Trial preparation such as assem- 
bly of exhibits and drafting of pretrial orders also fell within the purview of the 
trial specialists. 

Determination of the client's situation in a plaintiff's personal injury case, 
previously considered strictly within the domain of the attorney, is an important 
function 'which Turner partially delegated to paralegals. Briefly outlined, the 
initial client interview process was handled by the attorney, who determined if 
any conflicts of interest were present. 

Following a summary of the facts the attorney decided whether or not the 
case should be handled by the firm and if so, the necessary fee arrangements 
were completed. The client was then interviewed by a paralegal to determine past 
medical history, facts of the liability and damages of the present accident and 
present medical history. Using the report of the paralegal, the lawyer then 
reviewed the situation and conducted a short follow-up interview with the 
client. The file was ultimately rpturn'^d to the paralegal for follow-up, progress 
memoranda, and calendaring of deadlines. 

It is important to stress that the above-described process was conducted under 
the supervision of an attni-ney. as set forth under Canon ?> of the Code of Profeft- 
sional Responsibilitij and Code of Judicial Conduct. The Code's ethical con- 
.'sideration EC 3-6 provides that a lawyer often delegates tasks to lay persons, 
including legal paraprofessionals, which is proper providing that : 

the lawyer maintains a direct relationship with his client, supervises the 
delegated work, and has complete professional responsibility for the work 
product. This delegation enables a lawyer to render legal service more eco- 
nomically and efficiently.^* 

The effective use of paralegals within the public sector's delivery of legal 
.services has been proven by Community Legal Services ("CL/S") of Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania.^ In providing legal assistance to the indigent in such areas as wel- 
fare law. domestic law. civil litigation, landlord/tenant cases, and administrative 
hearings. CLS has teamed lay persons with supervising attorneys to handle case- 
loads in an effective and expeditious manner. 

Although the scope of paralegal responsibility varies a great deal according to 
their individual supervising attorneys and the area of the law in which they work. 
CLS paralegals on the whole have assumed a wide range of responsibility and 
are capable of performing numerous non-legal and legal functions. Oftpn the 
paralegal is responsible for the initial evaluation of a case, which includes in- 
terviewing the client and reviewing background material, after which the case 
may be referred to an attorney. Alternatively, the paralegal may proceed to 
handle the case and work under the supervision of an attorney. Specific tasks 
performed by CLS paralegals include investigating complaints regarding re- 
duced public assistance, evictions, lockouts, rental increases, utility shut-offs, 
child abuse and support payments ; representing clients at administrative hear- 
ings in the areas of public assistance, welfare grants. Social Security, public 
housing and unemployment compensation; negotiating -unth government agencies 
and landlords : drafting petitions and simple pleadings ; and preparing forms in 
connection with divorce proceedings. 

CLS has been successful in utilizing a large ratio of non-lnwver personnel 
to lawyers. Ynv example, in uncontested divorce cases, five (5) paraleorals who 
interview clients and draft narratives for master's hearings and twelve CIO) 



=s Turner. H. Lpp. Elective Ufe of Personnel in the Office, XI Law OflSce Econnmios nncT 
Mnnfi^PTTipnt SI fl970) [hereinafter cited as Turner], 

^ Turner nt 7.^. 

=" Turner at 73. 

2s Pofie. Cfinon .<?. EC P,-fi. 

=» Information reorardin? OLS was obtained through interviews with staff personnel, in- 
cluding an administrator and four paralegals. 



212 

information gatherers/typists work under the supervision of one (1) attorney. 
Similarly, a CLH center utilizes five (5) paralegals, one (1) law clerk and one 
(1 ) attorney in the area of public housing. 

The utilization of paralegals in CLS contributes to an efficient, economical de- 
livery of legal services on a per client basis. Additionally, the CLS structure en- 
hances rapport between the client and the paralegal, who is particularly sensitive 
to the needs of the client and has a commitment to delivering the legal services 
A client would otherwise not be able to obtain. CLS paralegals, who are often 
drawn from the client community, are able to strengthen community ties and 
maintain the psychological awareness of the accessibility of legal services. 

Given the above models of proven effectiveness of paralegals and the economical 
use of attorney time, it is clear that paralegals have the potential to increase the 
effectiveness of prepaid legal services plans. The jointly sponsored Ford Founda- 
tion and ABA Prepaid Legal Services Plan developed by the Shreveport Bar 
Association is perhaps the best documented i)repaid lagel experiment to date, 
and offers insight into the potential for future paralegal input.™ The "Shreve- 
port Plan," conducted with approximately six hundred (600) low-income lal>orers 
who were members of the Laborers International Union of North America, Local 
229. lasted one year and revealed, among other things, particular legal problems 
commonly brought to the attorneys. 

In order of frequency, the eight (8) most common legal problems were real 
estate (including sales, inter-vivos transfers, clearing of titles), twenty-six per- 
cent (26%) ; domestic relations (divorce, separation, custody, support, adoption), 
•sixteen percent (16%) ; criminal charges (drunk driving, auto accident cases 
with criminal charges, other felonies and misdemeanors), thirteen percent 
(13%) : workmen's compensation, twelve percent (12%) : non-criminal traffic 
prol)lems (automobile accidents and traffic misdemeanors), twelve percent 
(12%) ; successions and wills (involving personal and real property and making 
a will), seven percent (7%) : credit and financing (defective merchandise, debt 
problems), six percent (6%) and other problems, eight percent (8%).^' Based on 
the success and economy of the Turner and Balloun use of lay persons and the 
CLS utilization of paralegals, as well as the areas of paralegal specialties identi- 
fied in the Chicago Survey, it is clear that many legal functions could be per- 
formed by the paralegal under the direction of an attorney. 

A second plan, initiated by the Ford Foundation in conjunction with the ABA 
find the Los Angeles Bar Association, was developed from a survey conducted 
among two thousand (2.000) California school teachers earning approximately 
.$10,000 to .$1.">.000 i>er year."^ The "Los Angeles Plan" encompassed fifty thousand 
(50.000) teachers and provided a brief "legal check up" form to be coniDleted 
by the covered participant and submitted to the panel attorney for review. Based 
on the CLS metho<l of delegating the review of background material to para- 
legals, it would appear that the use of lay persons to categorize areas of possible 
investigation for an attorney's review could minimize the amount of actual hours 
spent by the attorney at the preliminary stage. In addition to the legal check 
up, preparation of simple documents was also offered to covered members of the 
IjOS Angeles Plan. The drafting of these documents would also be a method of 
delivering quality legal services to the public and would allow the attorney in 
charge more time to devote to problems of the client which the paralegal could 
not be permitted to handle. 

Tlie "Proposal of Prepaid Legal Services" co-sponsored by the Insurance Com- 
Ttany of North America and the Rock County Bar Association, Rock County, 
Wisconsin^ provides for a preventive care and legal care checklist to identify 
lesfal problems that a participant might be facing. Again, a paralegal could re- 
view this list and identify areas demanding an attorney's attention. 

The need for l>etter deliverv of legal services to the American public is un- 
questionable and it is urged that paralegals be utilized in order to help provide 



^ Fipp Marks. F. Ravmond. Hnllanpr. Robert Paul, and Clifton. Richard R.. Thp Shfpvp- 
pnrt Plan : An Exnerimpnt in the Delivery of Letral Services 1 (1974) [hereinafter cited 
.Ts >rarl<sl. fipp filxo Yancey. Clarence L.. The SIhrerertnrf Exneriment in Group Legal 
.S'er'-'Vcs. XLIV Pennsvlvania Bar Association Quarterly 2Sfi (1973). 

"iHallnner, Robert PanT. The fihreveport Experiment in Prepaid Legal Services, 11 The 
.Toiirnal of r,etral Studies 2.sn (197.3). 

■■'^ Asbe, T-on. Group Legal f^erviren — Eavnl Justice in Fact — A Prognosis for the 
fJeretttie-o. 23 Svrac'se Law Review 1174 ('1972). 

'^'^ flee Insurance Company of North America. Proposal of Prepaid Legal Services, Rock 
'County Bar Association, Rock County, Wis. (December 14. 1973). 



213 

quality legal assistance to the public on a widely available basis." Recent United 
States Supreme Court cases " have encouraged a change in the legal profession 
to oi)en the availability of legal services to tlie general populace. The passage of 
H.R. 782i, which establishes a Legal Services Corporation, encourages educa- 
tion, research and training in the area of jiaraprofessional personnel. Just as the 
effectiveness of the paralegal has been ably demonstrated in private practice and 
the public sector, the use of paralegals can increase the quality of delivery of legal 
services on a national scale to all Americans. 

ACCREDITATION OF TRAINING PROGRAMS 

The pros and cons of accrediting programs which purport to train paralegals 
have been under consideration for several years. In 1971, the Special Committee 
released recommendations for the establishing of training programs for three (3) 
levels of non-lawyer law office personnel : the legal secretary, the legal assistant 
and the legal administrator. The Special Committee recommended that (1) all 
paralegal training should be offered on a post-secondary level of education; (2) 
these programs should require the satisfactory completion of at least sixty 
(60) semester or ninety (90) quarter hours (approximately two [2] years) ; and 
(3) not less than forty-five (45) semester hours should be devoted to general 
education and law-related courses, with the remaining fifteen (15) devoted to 
legal specialty courses. 

Adherence to the Special Committee guidelines would result in either a two 
(2) year community college or junior college course leading to an associate 
degree or a proficiency certificate with a concentration in the legal assistant 
field, or a four (4) year college course leading to a bachelor's degree with a major 
in a legal assistant program. Attached hereto as Exhibit "A" are summaries of 
several of these two (2) and four (4) year programs which were prepared by 
the Education Committee of the APP in connection with a survey conducted on 
the training of paralegals. 

The Special Committee did not address itself to the type of paralegal training- 
known as the specialty program. These are courses which provide the student 
with an in-depth knowledge of one area of the law. Attached hereto as Exhibit 
"B" are summaries of several of these programs which were prepared by the 
Education Committee of the APP. 

If some form of academic preparation were absolutely necessary in order for 
an individual to function successfully as a paralegal, the process of accreditation 
would not be as difl5cult or as awesome as it is now. However, a large per- 
centage of the paralegals currently employed in this country have not received 
any type of formal training above the college level. And, in the case of para- 
legals in the pubic sector, many have no formal education beyond high school. 
Therefore, the Subcommittee must recognize that completion of a formal train- 
ing program is not a mandatory precursor to functioning effectively as a 
paralegal. 

Based upon the foregoing considerations, it is apparent that it is too early in 
the development of the paralegal profession to formulate standards for an ac- 
creditation system for paralegal training programs. However, should the Siib- 
committee determine that an accreditation program is warranted, guidance for 
the implementation of such a program must come from within the paralegal 
profession. 

LICENSING OF PARALEGALS 

Both the skills and qualifications of individuals currently working within the 
paralegal profession and the attitudes toward and tasks assigned to paralegals 
by attorneys are widely varied, thus precluding any standardization of the field. 
Members of the legal profession as well as the public at large are not well 
informed about paralegals and the functions they are capable of performing. 
Furthermore, differing opinions exist as to what sorts of tasks a paralegal 
should be permitted to perform. Because paralegals work under the guidance 



3* See Brlckman. Lester, Expansion of the Lawyerinq Process Through a New Deliver!/ 
Svfitem: The Emeroence nnd State of Legal Paraprofessionalism, 71 Columbia Law Review 
li.5.^ (1971). See also Nader. IMcCalpin, DeMent. 

^ See NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415i (1963); United Mine Workers v. Illinois Bar 
Association, 389 U.S. 217 (1967) ; Brotherhood of Trainmen v. Virginia State Bar, 377 
U.S. 1 (1964). 



214 

and .supervision of attorneys, the supervising attorneys currently bear tlie liur- 
tlon of exercising wide discretion in tlie specific taslvs and areas of responsibility 
they are willing to delegate to paralegals. 

Tlie topic of licensing and/or certification of paralegals is a controversial issue 
fimong members of the paralegal profession. Those paralegals favoring licensing 
generally feel that the estaldishment of licensing standards would upgrade the 
profession. The concept of minimum levels of competence and achievement would 
ensure the delivery of quality legal services and foster confidence in the capabili- 
ties of and work performed by paralegals on the part of l)oth attorneys and 
clients. Furthermore, licensing would protect the professional standards and the 
status of the paralegal profession by clearly defining qualifications and areas of 
responsibility. 

Notwithstanding the foregoing benefits of licensing, the disadvantages are 
many. The paralegal profession is in the early stages of its growth and any 
decision on the issue of licensing would be highly premature. The establishment 
of minimum standards at this time could work to the detriment of the legal 
profession in two v.-ays: (1) by failing to certify persons capable of performing 
the work but unable to meet the standards; and (2) by setting restrictions on 
the scope of the work paralegals are licensed to perform, thereby frustrating 
individuals who are overqualified in terms of the minimum level of standards 
and curtailing their potential for contributing to the delivery of legal services. 

SUMMARY 

Paralegals have been shown to provide a variety of legal sei-rMces in both the 
private and the public sector of the law. and the increased utilization of para- 
legals can hel]> to provide an even wider delivery of legal services to the Amer- 
ican public. The ultimate goal of improving both the qualit.v and availability of 
legal services may in the future necessitate the licensing of ])aralegals and the 
accreditation of training programs. It is highly imperative that paralegals be 
called upon to participate in all stages of the licensing and accreditation proc- 
esses, including examination of the issTies, decision-making regarding licensing 
and accreditation standards and procedures and the overall regulation of the 
field. No one organization schould be vested with the authority to establish policy 
and exercise control over licensing and accreditation procedures. 

Exhibit "A" 

Nanir. — Cumberland County College — Legal Technology Program, P.O. 
Box 517, Vineland, New Jersey. 

Year course started. — Information not available. 

Admission requirements. — All candidates must submit their secondary school 
transcripts (or high school equivalency certificate) and their American College 
Test (ACT) scores. 

Courses offered. — English Composition, Accounting. Business Law, Social or 
Behaviorial Sciences, Business Office Machines. Physical Education, New Jer.sey 
Legal System, Humanities. Science, Mathematics, Techniques of Legal Practice 
& Procedures, Mechanics of Property Transaction, Principles of Family Law, 
Administration of Estates and Legal Office Management. 

LerifftJi of course. — 2 years. 

Materials used. — Information not available. 

Teachers. — Information not available. 

Cost. — County resident : .$200/semester or $17/semester cr. hr. ; Out-of-County 
residents : $450/semester or $32/semester cr. hr. ; Out-of-State resident : .$800/ 
semester or $60/semester cr. hr. 

Degree offered. — Asscociate in Science Degree in Legal Technology. 

Placement services.— Information not available. 

Accreditation .—The College is accredited by the Middle States Association of 
Colleges and Secondary Schools. The Legal Technology program was developed 
under the auspices of the Cumberland County Bar Association and has been 
recognized by the New Jersey Bar Association as its pilot program for the 
training of legal technicians. 



Xame. — Lane Community College, 4000 E. 30th Avenue, Eugene, Oregon. 
Year course started. — The legal assistant program is still in the developmental 
stage. 



215 

Admissions requirements.— By application, no Iiigli school diploma necessary. 
Courses offered: 
Required Courses : 

1. Legal Research and Writing. 

2. Intro, to Law and Ethics. 

3. Interview and Investigation Techniques. 

4. Law Office Psychology. 

5. Intro, to Law Office System and Management. 
Elective Courses : 

1. Civil Litigation I, II. 

2. Real Property. 

3. Corporations. 

4. Estates, Wills and Trusts. 

5. Income Tax. 

6. Personal Property. 

7. Domestic Relations. 

8. Bankruptcy. 
Length of course. — 2 years. 

Materials used. — Information not available. 

Teachers. — Information not available. 

Cost. — District resident : ,$9.00— $5.50 per cr. hr. ; Xon-district resident : $19.00 
cr./hr. ; Non-Oregon resident : $46.90 cr./hr. 

Degree offered. — Associate of Science Degree. 

Placement services. — College offers assistance through job placement bureau. 

Accreditation. — In cooperation with the Oregon State Bar and the American 
Bar Association. 



Xame. — William Rainey Harper College Legal Technology Program, William 
Rainey Harper College, Palatine, Illinois. 

Year course started. — Information not available. 

Admission requirements. — "All high school graduates or the equivalent are 
eligible for admissions. A non-graduate 16 or 17 years of age who has severed 
his connection with the high school system, as certified in writing by the chief 
executive officer of the high school district in which the student has legal resi- 
dence or a non-graduate IS years of age or older, may be admitted if he demon- 
strates the capacity to benefit from programs offered by the College." 

Courses offered. — Two programs are offered, one leading to an Associate 
Degree ; the other, a Certificate Program is designed for those who are cur- 
rently employed in the legal field. Courses offered in the Associate Degree pro- 
gram are as follows : English Composition, Intro, to Sociology, Accounting I, 
Intro, to Legal Technology, Litigation. Business Writing I. Intro, to Psychology, 
Accounting II. American Government. Family Law, Estate Planning and Pro- 
bate. Income Taxation I, Business Law I, Real Estate Law. Legal Technology, 
Business Law II, and Humanities. Specialties in the Certificate Program are 
available in the following areas: Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Family Law, 
General Practice, Litigation, Real Estate and Tax Law. 

Length of course. — The Associate Degree program lasts 2 years. 

Materials used. — These programs appear to have a federal orientation. 

Teachers. — Information not available. 

CO.S/.— Tuition is $14 per credit hour for residents of the college district. 
Activity fees of $10 per semester for full time students and $5 per semester for 
part time students are also charged. 

Degree offered. — Associate Degree. 

Placement services. — The Office of Placement and Student Aid assists students 
in obtaining scholarships, grants, loans, and employment both on and off 
campus. 

Accreditation. — This cotirse was begun nnder the sponsorship of the Chicago 
Bar Foundation and developed in conjunction with the Chicago Bar Association. 



Name. — Merritt College — Legal Assistant Program, 12500 Campus Drive, Oak- 
land, California. 

Year course started. — Information not available. 
Admissions requirements. — Information not available. 



216 

Courses offered. — This program is offered as a major. To qualify for the Asso- 
ciate Decree the student must satisfactorily complete the following required 
course: History of Law and Legal Institutions, Tlie Lawyer and Society, Trial 
and Api)ellate Practice, Information Theory and Workflow Management, Office 
and Business Law Practice, Legal Research and Bibliography, Business 1 and 40, 
Economics 1, English lA or equivalent and Government and Politics 1. 

Length of course. — Information not available. 

Materials used. — Information not available. 

Teachers. — All of the instructors are attorneys, members of the Alameda 
County Bar Association and experts in their fields. 

Cost. — Information not available. 

Degree offered. — Associate Degree. 

Placement serwoes.— Information not available. 

Accreditation. — Tlie program was set up in cooperation with the Educational 
Committee of the Alameda County Bar Association and is recognized by the- 
American Bar Association. 

Exhibit "B" 

Name. — Widener College. Chester, Pennsylvania. 

Year course started. — Information not available. 

Admis-nons requirements. — Is selective and is normally limited to those with 
at least 2 years of college. Transcripts and TWO letters of recommendation are- 
required. Applicants with legal-work experience who are sponsored by employers 
will also be considered. 

Courses offered. — Intro, to Law, Litigation, Real Estate and Mortgages, Estate 
Planning and Management, Business and Corporate Law, Specialize in ONE of 
these: Litigation II, Real Estate and Mortages II, Estate Planning and Manage- 
ment II or Business and Corporate Law II. 

Length of course. — 3 months (.June 3 to August 31). An additional 200 hours of 
study will be needed to succesf ully complete the course. 

Materials used. — Information not available. 

Teachers. — Prominent attorneys who are members of the College faculty and 
are experienced teachers. 

Cost. — .$900 for tuition plus a $1.5 application fee which is non-refundable. Cost 
of books and materials will amount to less than .$100. 

Degree offered. — Certificate. 

Placement services. — Widener College cannot guarantee employment, it will; 
make evei*y effort to assist them in finding suitable positions. 

Accreditation. — Information not available. 



Kame. — Mercer University — Lawyer's Assistant Program, 3000 Flowers Road,. 
N.E., Atlanta, Georgia. 

Year course started. — Information not available. 

Admission requirements. — Hold a Baccalaureate Degree, successfully pass a 
personal interview, submit a transcript of your college grades. (B average or 
better). 

Courses offered. — Intro, to Law, Legal Research, plus one of these areas for 
specialization : Corporations, Estates, Trusts and Wills, Litigation on Real Es- 
tate and Mortgages. 

Length of cour.se. — 12 weeks. 

Materials used. — Information not available. 

Teachers. — All courses are directed by practicing attorneys who have strong 
backgrounds in the fields taught. 

Cos*.— $925 tuition fee plus a $25 nonrefundable application fee (total $950). 

Degree offered. — Certificate. 

Placement services. — Do not guarantee placement, but very successful in plac- 
ing graduates. 

Accreditation. — Information not available. 



Name. — Institute for Paralegal Training, 235 South 17th Street, Philadelphiav 
Pennsylvania, 

Year course started. — 1970. 



217 

Admissions requirements. — A Bachelor's Degree is, in most instances, required 
for admission. An applicant should have earned a cumulative grade point aver- 
age of at least B. 

Courses offered. — There are courses in: Corporation Law, Employee Benefit 
Plans, Estates and Trusts, Litigation, Real Estate, General Practice or Criminal 
Law. 

Length of course. — 3 months, 4 months for General Practice. 

Materials used. — The course materials used in each of the programs were de- 
veloped and written by The Institute for Paralegal Training. These materials 
are available only to students enrolled in the program. 

Teachers. — The faculty is made up of lawyers who teach the areas of law in 
which they have developed expertise while in practice. 

Cost. — $950 for course in Corporation Law, Employee Benefit Plans, Estates 
and Trusts, Litigation and Real Estate, $1250 for course in General Practice or 
•Criminal Law. 

Degree offered. — Certificate. 

Placement services. — The Institute operates a service for the placement of 
its graduates with law firms, corporate legal departments and banks throughout 
the United States. If The Institute does not find you a job, your tuition is refunded 
in full. You are guaranteed a job in all courses except General Practice and 
Criminal Law. 

Accreditation. — Information not available. 

BiBLIOGKAPHY 

American Bar Association, Code of Professional Responsibility and Canons of 
Judicial Conduct (1970). 

Anderson, Austin G., The Paraprofessional in Medicine, Dentistry and Architec- 
ture (1971). 

Ashe Lou, G^roup Legal Services — Equal Justice in Fact — A Prognosis for the 
Seventies, 23 Syracuse Law Review 1167 (1972). 

Avila, Joaquin G., Legal Paraprofessionals and Unauthorized Practice, 8 
Harvard Civil Rights — Civil Liberties Law Review 104 (1973). 

Bongiovanni, Joseph N., Jr. and, Bongiovanni, Joseph N., III. The Philadelphia 
Bar in a Prepaid Legal Service Program., XLIV Pennsylvania Bar Association 
Quarterly 246 (1973). 

Brakel, Samuel J., The Case for Judicare, 59 American Bar Association Journal 
1407 (1973). 

Brickman, Lester, Expansion of the Lawyering Process Through a New Delivery 
System: The Emergence and State of Legal Paraprofessionalism, 71 Columbia Law 
Review 1153 (1971). 

The Chicago Association of Paralegal Assistants, The Legal Assistant : A Self 
Statement (1974). 

Fry, William R., A Short Review of the Paralegal Movement, 7 Clearinghouse 
Review 463 (1973). 

Group Legal Services, Inc., A New Concept in Family Legal Care. 

Hallauer, Robert Paul, The Shreveport Experiment in Prepaid Legal Services, 
11 The Journal of Legal Studies 1 (1973). 

Insurance Company of North America, Group Legal Services. 

Insurance Company of North America, Proposal of Prepaid Legal Services, 
Hock County Bar Association, Rock County, Wisconsin (December 14, 1973). 

•Taworski, Leon, The ResponsiMlity of the Profession to Provide Legal Services, 
XLIV Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly 231 (1973). 

Larson, Dr. Roger A., Legal Para-Professionals: Cultivation of a New Field, 
59 Tlie American Bar Association Journal 631 (1973) . 

Larson, Dr. Roger A., Legal Paraprofessional Education at the University of 
Minnesota, Law OflSce Economics and Management 524 (1973). 

Larson, Dr. Roger A., The Training and Use of Legal Assistants : A Status 
Heport (1974). 

7.ff70 Economics Committee Reports on Certified Attorney Assistants, The 
State Bar of California Reports 1 (July, 1973). 

Mc^Ienamin. R. W., Dawn of the Age of the Legal Assistant, 59 The American 
Bar Association .Journal 1448 (1973). 

Morris, Lee R., Group Prepaid Legal Services — An Insurance Viewpoint, IX 
Forum 163 (1973). 

The National Paralegal Institute, Inc., 7 Clearinghouse Review 475 (1973). 



218 

Sloss, Peter F., Tlic California Prepaid Legal Services Program, XLIV Penn- 
sylvania Bar Association Quarterly 241 (1973). 

Statement of Sandra DeMent, Executive Director, National Consumer Center 
for Legal Services, Before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Representa- 
tion of Citizen Interests, May 15, 1974. 

Statement of F. Wm. McCalpin Before the Subcommittee on Representatiou 
of Citizen Interests of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate,. 
May 14, 1974. 

Testimony of Ralph Nader Before the Subcommittee on Representation of 
Citizen Interests Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, May 15^ 
1974. 

Turner, Lee, Effective Use of Lay Personnel Revisited (1970). 

Turner, H. Lee, Effective Use of Personnel in the Law Office, XI Law Office 
Economics and Management 73 (1970). 

Yancy, Clarence L., Tlie Shrcrcport Experiment in Group Legal Services, 
XLIV Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly 236 (1973). 

Zielke, Laurence J., Increasing Legal Services' ConsKmeraMlity: The Family 
Perspective, 13 Journal of Family Law, University of Louisville School of Law 
58 (1973-1974). 

Statement of San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants '• 
introduction 

The San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants was founded in May of 
1972. It presently has a membership of more than 125 persons, almost all of 
whom are working paralegals employed by financial district law firms. 

The majority of our membership consists of college educated persons, with 
little or no prior legal experience, who have obtained their entire paralegal 
education from the firms who emjiloy them ; although some of our members 
have obtained formal paralegal training from UCLA, the Institute for Paralegal 
Training in Philadelphia, and similar programs. 

Our primary activities center on continuing education and professional ex- 
pan.sion ; the latter of which deals with developing awareness, both within and 
■witliout the legal community, concerning the value and functions of the legal 
paraprofessional. 

To further these same goals, in June of this year the National Federation 
of Paralegal Associations was formed. Our Association, and those from Los 
Angeles, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington,. 
D.C., agreed to affiliate in a structure whicli will preserve the autonomy of our 
individual groups, but allow us to work more effectively with those matters of 
mutual concern. We look forward to the expansion of the NFPLA and hope it 
will play a vital role in tlie development of our profession. 

The following statement will outline the particular concerns of this Association 
regarding the development and regulation of our profession ; many of which we 
know to be problems shared by other like groups, both within this state and' 
across the country. 

I. PROFILE OF THE PROFESSION 

While other professions such as medicine and dentistry have utilized para- 
professional assistance for decades, legal assistants, or paralegals, have ap-^ 
peared only recently as a recognized profession, separate and between tliose of 
attorney and secretary. Since its inception, however, their numbers have mush- 
roomed annually, especially within the last two to three years. In San Francisco 
alone, a survey taken by the San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants 
found approximately 50 individuals employed as legal assistants in that cit.v 
in January of 1972, and well in excess of 125 persons employed in that same 
capacity only a year later, January 1973. And in a meeting of paralegal asso- 
ciation representatives held this past June, it was found that the metropolitan 
areas of Los Angeles, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Wash- 
ington, D.C., and San Francisco, contained collectively at least 1,000 and prob- 
ably many more, persons employed as legal paraprofessionals. This still leaves 
uncounted the vast number of paraprofessionals employed in public sector law, 
as well as those of the metropolitan and rural areas not represented at that 
meeting. Considering that a decade ago it is unlikely that even 50 i)er.sons in? 
this country were recognized as paralegals, it is clear the profession has growii 
with tremendous speed. 



1 Submitted by Carla Berg, president. 



219 

Initially, legal assistants were employed primarily by the larger, most ostali- 
lislied tiniis iu metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., 
Los Angeles, and San Francisco. This was because those firms had the man 
power and financial resources to underwrite what was still largely an experi- 
mental program. • 

That "experimental" stage has passed however, and the original profile no 
longer applies. Legal assistants are now found across a wide variety of legal 
enterprises ; they are employed by sole practitioners, government agencies, pub- 
lic interest and poverty law firms, corporations and banks, as well as by the 
traditional "downtown" firms of great size. 

The practice areas within which paralegals are utilized are of equal variety. 
The majority are employed by attorneys engaging iu some form of litigation 
practice, civil (including great numbers in personal injury), criminal, business 
or antitrust. But their use certainly has not been limited to litigation firms. 
Significant numbers of paralegals are working iu the probate, corporate, real 
estate, securities and tax fields as well. Many others have developed unusual 
specialties borne of the specific needs of their firms, for example, cargo claims 
or medical malpractice. 

Paralegals have proven to be of especial utility in those sectors of practice 
where the lowering of legal services costs to the public is a primary goal. Be- 
cause the paralegal takes on tasks which were formerly the repsonsibility of 
attorneys, but at a significantly lower rate, the overall economy of the firm, and 
thus the cost to the client, is greatly reduced. Thus the employment of legal 
paraprofessionals in neighborhood law centers, prepaid group legal services, and 
similar areas is increasing rapidly. 

It must be stressed however, both to the members of the legal community who 
fear the dilution of professional standards, and to the public at large, that 
although the paralegal is functioning iu areas that were formerly the province 
of attorneys, they are not practicing law. The public should not expect to see 
paralegals opening offices of their own to offer legal services dirvcfhi to them at 
a lower co.st. A paralegal's function is to assist attorneys, it is they who always 
have the primary responsibility to the client, and it is through the attorney that 
the legal assistant benefits the public. The fact that an assistant is always ulti- 
mately under the supen'ision of an attorney is the cornerstone of the entire 
paralegal system. 

A paralegal's duties are usually circumscribed to areas of fact rather than 
law. He or she performs many of the "weeding-out" functions that are an 
inefl^cient use of the attorney's time — those tasks that do not require an extensive 
knowledge of legal theory to be performed properly. Thus, a paralegal performs 
such duties as interviewing clients and witnesses to obtain the facts of the case, 
reviewing such factual data as medical records, earning infoiination, corre- 
spondence and the like, pertinent to the support of a claim or cause of action ; 
all of which is then communicated to the attorney for the formulation of legal 
strategies. 

Paralegals can also relieve the attorney of many of the more routine aspects 
of work that is definitely legal in nature, such as uncontested divorce action.?, 
.simple wills, drafting articles of incorporation and so forth. 

In the public sector legal personnel are called on to act as "troulileshooters" as 
much as they are called on to actually represent clients in legal proceedings. A 
great percentage of the legal services' office woi-kload involves matters that never 
reach a courtroom, hut are rather prol)lems with landlords; creditors or admin- 
istrative agencies where a phone call or letter to the pi'oper person will solve 
the problem. This is the kind of as.sistance that is especially appropriate for 
delegation to paraprofessional personnel, and the reason why they are proving 
so valuable in the public services area. 

II. ECONOMICS OF PARALEGAL UTILIZATION 

It is clear that there is not only a need and purpose for legal paraprofes- 
.sionals. but that the profession contains great economic benefits for both 
attorneys and clients. 

In many private firms time is billed directly to the client at an hourly rate, 
on a graduated scale corresponding to the attorneys length of exiierience. Most 
of these firms who also utilize paralegals al.so bill their time directly to the 
client, but at a significantly lower hourly rate. The.se rates tisually range 
between one-half and two-thirds the rate used for tlie least experienced attorney 
in the firm. As a result, the firm saves because the attorney's productivity is 



220 

vastly increased, and the client saves because at least a portion of his case is 
being handled by someone whose hourly rate is much lower than that of the 
attorney. 

Pai-alegal utilization is also of great value in contingent fee matters where 
the recovery of any fees at all is ahvay* a risk. A great number of these cases 
involve personal injury litigation, where factual development is fundamental, 
and paraprofessional assistance especially appropriate. Again because the cost 
of the paralegal is less, the firm benefits whether the case is won or lost. If it is 
lost, the firm's loss involves less of its attorney's more expensive time. If the 
case is won, the attorney has spent less of his more valuable time in relation 
to the amount recovered, and thus is getting a higher return is relation to the 
costs expended. And again there is the advantage that by delegating significant 
portions of the work, the attorney is freed to handle a larger caseload. 

Similar factors make the paralegal an economic benefit in the public sector 
and in prepaid group legal services. In those areas remuneration is relatively 
fixed, regardless of the breadth of caseload. Thus, it is vital that the highest 
yield possible be obtained from the time of all employees. In this setting it is 
nearly imperative to delegate work that does not hare to be done by an attorney, 
to one whose cost of operation is less. If this were not done, the costs of 
service would soon exceed the financial resources available, with the result 
that the burden to the government, in the case of federally funded services, and 
to the public, in the case of the prepaid and independent public sector, would 
vastly increase. 

III. PARALEGAL EDUCATION AND THE QUESTION OF ACCREDITATION 

In California, the majority of currently employed paralegals have been trained 
by the firms who employ them. In a large measure this is because most para- 
legal training programs in the state have only been instituted within the last 
two years or so. Even with the advent of formal training programs, however, 
many firms still prefer to train their own candidates, and there is some debate 
as to which approach is more effective. 

Because, as noted, a paralegal's function is usually circumscribed to areas 
of fact rather than law, a broad spectrum knowledge of legal theory is not as 
necessary — nor even always useful. A paralegal training program cannot, and 
should not, attempt to be a mini-law school. It is not necessary because a para- 
legal's task is much more concrete, and it is not desirable because no such pro- 
gram can hope to give an assistant the powers of legal analysis an attorney 
acquires in three years of rigorous study. The emphasis in legal assistant train- 
ing beyond a knowledge of fundamental structures and procedures, should be 
on the acquisition of information handling tasks, i.e. synthesization, and facility 
with language. Exceptions to this would be in areas such as the more technical 
aspects of corporate law and probate, where specific requisites such as forms of 
wills, inheritance laws, or methods of incorporation are definable. 

With respect to many of the skills required of a legal assistant, it can be argued 
that one learns them best simply by doing them. In evaluating applicants, espe- 
cially during the period when academic training in the field was not available, 
many firms looked to the individual's academic background, his evidence of 
abilities in writing and research, rather than specific legal experience. Most 
siich firms found that by virtue of the academic experience, these individuals 
were able to assimilate new information, i.e. the legal knowledge required, very 
quickly; and since the skills of information gathering were present to begin 
with, most of these persons were performing quite capably within a short 
period of time. 

This is not to suggest, however, that only persons with proven success in 
academia make good paralegal candidates. Another obvious source is from the 
ranks of experienced legal secretaries, especially those who have demonstrated 
above-average initiative and responsibility. Many firms found their original 
paralegals from among their own existing staffs and indeed — as many secre- 
taries will heartily testify — great number of them are already doing work 
that should be classified as "paralegal". With a candidate who has been a 
legal secretary, the emphasis in training may often shift from the acquisition 
of legal knowledge to the acquisition of information gathering techniques, de- 
pending upon the candidate's own education experience. 

Even with formal training in legal assisting, a candidate requires initiation 
into the specific practices and procedures of the hiring firm. There is no doubt 
that a background in legal systems and procedures will aid the candidate in 



221 

making that transition, but it has been the experience of many that the same 
awareness is gathered rather quickly simply by immersion into the job itself. 
And in the case of many with prior legal exposure, such as the former legal 
seci'etary, this basic knowledge is already present. 

In the public sector, on the job training is especially approi)riate. Since as 
described, a great deal of the work is "trouble-shooting" rather than actually 
legal, a knowledge of the particular commimity and its resources is at least as 
imixtrtant as formal legal training. For this reason, many of the paraprofes- 
sioiials in neighborhood law centers are persons from the commiuiity chosen not 
for their academic credentials, but for their ability to relate to and deal with the 
problems of the center's clientele. There have been many government-sponsored 
workshops and training programs throughout the country to provide these per- 
sons with the legal foundation necessary to make the transition into this 
profession. 

Tluis, it is clear that there are many different routes to becoming a legal 
paraprofessional, each of which is especially appropriate in different settings. 
Because paralegals have such a broad spectrum of backgrounds and functions, it 
is impossible to state that a single method is to be preferred. It is for this reason 
that we are opposed to any program of accreditation or licensing which contem- 
plates a single route of entry. 

This is not to say that some form of accreditation and training program is not 
appropriate. As with any new field, a number of persons have sought to "cash in" 
on the movement, and many programs of dubious value are being offered. Accredi- 
tation should exist, if for no other purpose, than to certify that any such program 
offers what it purports to offer. Hand and hand with this should go studies as to 
the most appropriate means of educating paralegals to perform in various areas. 
One such attempt has been made by the American Bar Association, who within 
the last year have promulgated guide lines for the accreditation of paralegal 
training programs. The American Bar Association emphasizes, however, that 
they are not attempting to establish any one model of education as being the most 
appropriate. They will evaluate programs as to their effectiveness for the goals 
for which they were established. 

There has been some controversy as to the appropriateness of the Bar Associa- 
tion, or any other body comprised solely of lawyers, having control over the ac- 
creditation process. We, as paralegals, have been especially concerned, since it is 
our belief that the paralegals themselves, who have the most intimate kni>wledge 
of the work to be performed, should be Aitally involved in any such program. It 
is our hoiie that we will be meanfully included in the activities of the Bar Associa- 
tion, or any other body, seeking to accredit paralegal training programs. 

IV. CERTIFICATIO?^^ AND LICENSING OF LEGAL PARAPKOFESSIONALS 

California has been especially involved in all of the issues for and against certi- 
fication of paraprofessionals, since a bill was brought before the State Legislature 
by the California Bar for that purpose. The bill is only a vehicle for the process of 
certification. It does not purport to spell out how certification is to be accom- 
plished, nor the standards that will be promulgated thereunder. Nevertheless, it 
is extremely important because it will be establishing who will be the participants 
in the determination of the standards and procedures. 

The original form of the bill contemplated that only members of the State Bar 
would sit on the board entrusted with the regulation of paralegals. This proposal 
met with considerable opposition from representatives of paralegal interests, both 
in the private and public sectors. After several months of intense meetings and 
negotiations, compromises have been made by both sides. The most recent occurred 
at a meeting held last May. at which time it was concluded we had gone as far as 
possible in ol)taining a meeting of the minds, and the remaining issues would have 
to be mediated by the Senate Judiciary Committee, who will hold the final hearing 
on this bill August 6th. The paralegal interests are still unhappy with the bill 
because it does not insure paralegal representation on the Certified Attorney 
Assistant Board, it merely allows it. Throughout these proceedings our particular 
concern has been that the people who stand to be most affected by this bill, the 
]iaralegals themselves, be allowed a meaningful degree of jiarticii)ation in the 
structure to be established. We have offered amendments to this bill to the mem- 
bers of the Senate .Tudiciary Committee which we feel will achieve this end, and 
hoj)e that they will be favorably considered in the hearing on August 6th. 

Initially, we held the belief that this entire movement towards certification was 
far too premature. We felt, and still do feel, that the parameters of this profession 

41-373—74 1.J 



222 

have .\ol to e,stal)Iisli themselves, and that to initiate anything even potentiall.v 
restrictive, would inliibit the full development of our profession. We feel that 
intensive studies as to the utilization and training of paraiirofessionals should he 
undertaken before any kind of licensing- or credi-ntialing is undertaken. However, 
we were placed in a position where it was fairly certain that the legislation would 
pass, whether or not we opposed it. Therefore, we were forced to engage in negoti- 
ations so that compromises could he made to insure that the bill would be at least 
a.s flexible as possible. 

We feel that the issuing legislation is as appropriate as the circumstances will 
allow. It does not prevent any persons engaged in paralegal work from perform- 
ing the same tasks that they do now. Certification will be in no way mandatory, 
but merely a mark of achievement. It is contemplated that in the future, certain 
sections of the rules of unauthorized practice may be amended to allow parapro- 
fessionals to engage in activities which are now denied them. In that event, thert 
would be a distinction lietween the tasks a certified attorney assistant was allowed 
to perform, and those of a noncertified paralegal. Additionally, the bill make> 
clear that the board is to consider all legitimate routes of entry in promulgatins 
standards. We hojje to insure this, as well as the board's responsiveness to the 
paralegal community, by adequate representation of members of our profession 
in its ranks. 

We view with alarm moves by other state bars which envision a less flexible 
program. The Oregon State Bar has issued a report which contemplates that (iid.\ 
one form of education, a two year community college training program, will be 
the accepted mode of entry. This is entirely inapiiropriate since there is such a 
broad range of academic background and on the job training p(jtentials available. 

AYe are also distressed at any suggestion of actual licensure as put forth by the 
Illinois State Bar. The California legislation is acceptable because at least it 
does not attempt to exclude anyone from performing paralegal work, it only 
awards recognition for achievement. Licensing might be in order if the 
paralegal dealt directly with the public, and thus created a need for the public's 
protection. But because paralegals do not offer their services directly to the 
public, and because their paralegal functi(ms are strictly eirciuuscribed by the 
laws of unauthorized practice, this is not a threat. We feel that any sort of 
licensure is entirely unwarranted at this time. Not only would it severely 
retard our growth, it would exclude many persons from participating in the 
profession who deserve to do so, since as pointed out many paraprofessiouals 
in the public sector do not have traditional kinds of academic backgrounds. 
Licensure would almost certainly involve examinations, if not also educational 
requirements, and thus exclude these persons from doing the work for which 
they are so sorely needed. 

If regulaiton of paraprofessiouals in the law is to occur at all at this time, 
we feel it imperative that it go no further than the California model, that is, 
recognition of achievement, but not exclusivity. 

V. PROBLEMS IN DEVELOPMENT 

Tlie largest problem in our growth and development has not been public resist- 
ance, but attorney resistance. There has heen a great reluctance on the part of 
many attorneys to utilize paraprofessiouals or promote their growth. This has 
been based in large on the following : 

(1) Fear of dilution of professional standards ; 

(2) Ignorance of the duties a paralegal can perfornL CNIany see them only as 
extremely competent secretaries, a complete misconception.) ; 

(3) Ignorance of their economic benefits : 

(4) Fear of competition between young lawyers and paralegals, further com- 
plicating an already tight lawyer job market. 

All of this opposition is the result of a massive lack of awareness, something 
that the various Bar and paralegal associations are attempting to combat. Several 
states have offered programs in paralegal utilization and economics through their 
Continuing Eduction divisions, and textbooks on this subject are beginning to 
emerge. This trend must continue if the movement is not to be smothered by its 
detractors before it is allowed to develop. 

One of the largest problems facing us as paralegals as a result of these 
attitudes, is a marked reluctance to allow us to participate in the decision-making 
processes affecting us. As discussed, we waged a difiicult campaign in California 
to even have paralegals allowed on the Board which will determine their future, 
and even yet their participation is not assured. 



223 

Too often we encounter the attitude that because attorneys employ paralegals 
they know best what a paralegal does. This is not entirely true because while a 
lawyer sets the goals for the legal .-issistaut, it is the assistant, once trained, 
who defines Jiow that goal is attained in most cases. We are not suggesting 
by any means tliat lawyers have no role in the direction of our profession, we 
feel that that is as absurd as suggesting that the paralegals have no participa- 
tion. But unfortunately, the latter has been not only suggested, but operative 
in may eases. This is a rend we intend to resist wherever possible. It cannot be 
overemphasized tliat attorneys and paraprofessionals must work together in 
establishing whatever direction this profession is to take. 

VI. CONCLUSIONS 

1. Legal paraprofessionals have a proven need and utility. They have been highly 
successful in every sector where they have been employed, as evidenced by their 
phenomenal growth in recent years. 

2. The economy of paralegal utilization is well established in both private and 
public sectors. They are of special value in those areas where reduction of legal 
services costs is a primary goal or need, as they enable higher degree of attorney 
productivity by freeing the lawyer from tasks that do not have to be performed 
by one with an extensive legal background, thus reducing costs of delivery. 

3. Both formal paralegal education and on-the-job training have merits as 
routes of entry into the profession, and neither should be excluded. Programs 
should be evaluated in terms of their effectiveness at reaching their stated goals, 
for a Singh* educational model is neither appropriate nor necessary. Accreditation 
would be useful in eliminating inelfective or fraudulent programs, but should not 
be used as a means of promoting one model of education (for example, the two- 
year community college program) over another, as persons from all levels of 
academia have legitimate places in different settings. Any accreditation program 
should involve not only members of the Bar, but legal paraprofessionals and 
experts in the field of education as well. 

4. Licensure is completely unwarranted at this time, as it will only have the 
effect of restricting the field's growth and excluding persons before the pax'ameters 
of the profession have had an opportunity to develop. 

Reguhition of any sort is premature at this stage of the profession's growth. The 
public is not endangered because paralegals are not offering their services directly 
to them. They are always under the supervision of an attorney and bound by the 
laws of unauthorized practice. But if regulation must occur, the California model 
of certification, as opposed to licensure, is preferable. This allows a means of 
recognizing achievement without engaging in unwarranted exclusion. 

5. The biggest barrier to the development of the profession is opposition from 
members of the legal community whose lack of awareness about the functions and 
benefits of paraprofessionals has resulted in many unwarranted fears and mis- 
conceptions. Education in this area must be expanded if the profession is to grow. 

6. The involvement of the paraprofessionals themselves in any group concerned 
with their development and definition is vital, not only for reasons of equity, but 
to insure tliat no possibility or concern is overlooked in determining the future of 
this profession. 

Enclosures : 

The following items are sxibmitted for informational purposes : 

(1) ^an Francisco Association of Legal Assistants. Annual Survey, 197P> — ■ 
contains job descriptions, salary ranges, and comments about the profession, 
collected by the Association in September of 1973. 

(2) Assembly Bill 1S14. the Certified Attorney Assistant Act. Introduced in 
the California Legislature on Apr. 26, 1973. by Assemblyman Brown. Presently 
in Committee to be heard next on Aug. 6. 1974. 

(3) Information and Interpretation of California Legislature Assembly Bill 
No. 1<S14, submitted by the National Paralegal Institute — discusses many of the 
issues we feel should be considered before regulation of paralegals is under- 
taken. 

(4) Fry. William: "A Short Review of the Paralegal Movement." Clearing- 
house Review. December 1973. vol. 7, No. 8. 

(5) "Certified Attorney Assistants — The Loyal Oppositimi's View," the State 
Bar of California Reports, September 1973 — a look at attorney opposition in 
California. 

(6) Report of Committee on Economics of Law Practice om Legal Assistants, 
^lar. fi. 1973. This is the report of the State Bar committee which generated 
Assembly Bill No. 1814 now before the California Legislature. 



224 

Statement or the Atlanta Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. 

My name is Charlotte Berge; I am President of Tlie Atlanta Association of 
Legal Assistants. Tliis statement is iDeing prepared for use by the Subcommittee 
at its hearing on July 23, 1974. 

state of the profession 

Although nonlawyers have been used for a number of yeai-s in the rendering 
of legal services, the widespread use of the "paralegal" by the legal profession 
is quite new. The concept has gained tremendous popularity with the legal 
profession in a short period of time, thus making the questions of accreditation 
of training programs and licensing of paralegals extremely important to the 
a ttorney-employ er. 

Paralegals feel that the very newness of the profession is a mandate for 
caution and careful study in approaching, in particular, the question of licensing. 
Attorneys and paralegals are only beginning to learn about the levels of respon- 
sibility which a paralegal can assume. We would urge any body addressing the 
issue of licensing not to cut short this time of exploration by the premature 
limitation of duties. 

In Atlanta, for example, there are paralegals employed as litigation, cor- 
porate, real estate, estate and trust, anti-trust and public finance specialists 
within large firms. These specialists are also employed in small firms, which 
depend primarily on general practice paralegals and those who specialize in 
domestic relations and criminal law. Paralegals in Atlanta also find employment 
in the Attorney General's ofl3ce, legal aid service groups and government agen- 
cies (e.g. EEDC, U.S. Department of Labor, FTC). New areas of employment 
are beginning to open up within banks and corporations. It must be recognized 
that the evolution of the paralegal within each of these areas may be quite 
different and that these differences must be considered in any attempt to license 
or certify. 

lowering the cost of legal services 

There is little question that the use of a paralegal can lower the cost of the 
(feliveri/ of legal services. The overhead of any firm, corporation or legal aid 
society can be reduced through the use of a paralegal rather than a lawyer. 
This is the argument which is most widely used, at present, in promoting the 
employment of paralegals among members of the legal profession. 

Wliether or not the public can benefit from the growth of the legal para- 
profession remains to be seen. If a desirable outcome of the growth of this 
profession is increasing the availability of legal services to middle-income in- 
dividuals, there must be leadership from the legal profession itself in encouraging 
the use of paralegals in this way. Paralegals fear, however, that some attempts 
at licensing may work directly contrary to this outcome. 

accreditation 

Accreditation of training programs for legal assistants is viewed as desirable 
if it insures that those entering the profession will receive a quality education. 
No school should be allowed to profit from the popularity of this new profes- 
sion and to foist on the legal community a graduate who will damage the new 
and often tender reputation of the legal paraprofession. 

Becau.se the Amei-ican Bar Association has been studying the issues involved 
in the training and utilization of paralegals for several years, its Special 
Committee on Legal Assistants is viewed as the most enlightened body within 
the legal profession on the paralegal. It is felt that the accreditation of training 
programs should he done by the ABA in conjunction with state officials involved 
in the accreditation of educational institutions and lawyers from the legal market 
which the training program seeks to serve through its graduates. At present, 
the possibility of paralegals participating in this process should not be over- 
looked. 

The ABA has the means to begin to review programs for accreditation this 
Fall. Their accreditation process includes a visit to the training school by an 
evaluation team. Only one of the team members need be a member of the ABA 
Committee ; tlie other memliers of the team are to be appointed by the Com- 
mittee. It would l)e possil)le. through this evaluation team, to achieve the repre- 
sentation set out in the preceding paragraph. 



225 



LICENSING 

The question of licensing is a mucli more difficailt one for paralegals to ad- 
dress at this point in time. The immediate problem raised in any discussion of 
licensing is: What form will the licensing process take? If licensing is to be a 
narrowing process, a process of limiting the duties which paralegals can perform, 
most feel that it is premature. Paralegals have only begun to explore their possi- 
bilities within the legal profession. There are other problems. Because of the 
multitude of legal specializations, would a person have to hold a license in each 
area of his/her" practice? Would licensing place liability upon the paralegal who 
it present is always answerable to an attorney? 

There is also a problem with the word "licensing". Licensing seems to imply 
a curbing process. A person pays a fee and receives a license to operate within a 
very narrow set of limits. A license is something you must obtain before you 
can render a service. 

Certification, on the other hand, implies a goal, a standard which you strive 
to achieve. Most paralegals are in favor of such a certification process. They feel 
that it would lend status to their profession and increase their salability to 
attorneys. 

Paralegals in Atlanta, however, are very divided on the question of control- 
ling the licensing or certifying process. The majority feel it should be done either 
by the organized Bar or by paralegals and/or educators in conjunction with the 
Bar. However, many paralegals feel they should control their own certifying 
process. 

The direction which licensing or certification takes at present may be the key 
to developments in the paralegal area. Much study and discussion is necessary 
and paralegals are most anxious to participate in this process. 

The questions we raise are : 

(1) What role ought the paralegal play in the delivery of legal services to 
both the attorney and the general public? 

(2) How do we insure the public that the service they seek will be rendered 
in a quality fashion? 



Statement of Members of the Steering Committee, 
D.C. Paralegal Association* 

I. introduction 

An exact definition of the term "paralegal" has not been formulated either 
by the organized bar or by paralegals themselves. This is due in part to the tre- 
mendous diversity of paralegal functions ; it is also due to the constantly expand- 
ing and increasing nature of the paralegal profession. Another problem in achiev- 
ing a single definition of "paralegal" is the difference in approach to the delivery 
of legal services in the private and public sectors. 

Professor William Statsky defines a paralegal as : 

"A person skilled in the delivery of legal services. His or her authority to prac- 
tice his or her skills is based upon two sources: (1) The supervision he or she 
receives from an attorney, and (2) the special permission granted in statutes. 
regulations, and cases. Note that the latter source of authority is not necessarily 
dependent on the former." Statsky, William P., "Introduction to Paralegalism : 
Prospectives, Problems, and Skills" (West Pub. Co. 1974), Ch. 2, p. 2. 

The average lay professional in law is usually a woman, between the ages of 
22 to 45, who has gained entrance into her field by work experience. She fre- 
quently cannot afford the expense of continuing her education away from her 
usual place of residence ; she is a highly motivated, competent individual. lu 
public services she is either drawn from the community or is hired for her social 
understanding of the legal problems of her client. In the private sector. 

"The paralegals * * * generally, are women; they are well-educated (usually 
with college and sometimes graduate degrees), * * * they are efl3cient, bright, 
well-organized, research oriented persons * * *." Ron Goldfarb, Washington 
Post, July 31, 1973. 



*Submitted by Ronald Brooks, Constance D. Caplstrant, Deborah A. Farquhar, Shan- 
tabai J. Metelits, Linda Saunders, Laurie M. Wright, and Marya Young. 



226 

As a profession, the development of the paraU^gal field 

'•* * * has been retarded by influences emanating from the manner in ^Yhich 
law is practiced by lawyers * * * the only economic pressures for change are those 
resulting from cost increases in legal practice that cannot be i)assed along to 
the consumer (because the charge for the service is already at a high level) and 
from whatever persuasion is afforded by the fact that some law firms are turn- 
ing in substanlial measure to paraprofessional utilization. There is no empirical 
data which pennits meaningful weighing of the countervailing economic pres- 
sures or measurement of their combined impact as compared to the persistency 
(if traditional methods of legal practice. In jiddition. the traditional 'reluctance 
to delegate" may now amount to an institutionalized inal)ility to del'^gate — 
with much more serious consequences to the legal paraprofessional movement." 
"Expansion of Lawyering Process Throiigh a New Delivery System : The Emer- 
gence of Legal I'araprofessionalism," 71 Colum. L. Rev. (1971) pp. 1177. 1181. 

That law firms are turning in substantial measure to paralegal utilization 
is supported by the fact that one large Washington firm expanded its ])aralegal 
staff from one to twenty-two persons in a pin-iod of one and one-half years. Even 
in large private firms, the delivery of quality legal svervices is intricately related 
to economic issues : although a reluctance to delegate still prevails to some de- 
gree, more and more attorneys are realizing that the use of legal assistants saves 
them lioth time and money. Many tasks formerly performed by junior associates 
in large law firms are now being delegated to legal assistants: for example, sub- 
stantive factual research in non-legal areas, digesting and summarizing d(>posi- 
tions and transcripts, digesting documents, indexing documents, and drafting 
interrogatories. The performance of these tasks l»y paralegals is more profital)le 
to the large firm : attorneys are freed to take on more sul)stantive, purely "legal" 
work and a larger case load. The availability and the reduction in cost of legal 
services is a more important and relevant issue in the public sector, where the 
low-income consumer is forced to seek legal redress free of charge. Nevertheless, 
the use of paralegals in the private sector is also relevant because it reduces the 
cost to the client: paralegal services are billed a lower rates than are attorney 
services. 

Paralegals in the public sector often are referred to as '"lay advocates," as dif- 
ferentiated from the term "legal assistant," used frequently in the private sec- 
tor. The most significant differences between paralegals in the public and private 
sectors are in their roles: Public sector paralegals have a frequent advocacy role 
that generally involves close contact with, and sometimes actual representation 
of clients. Another distinguishing factor is the difference in motivation regarding 
the delivery of legal services between the two sectors. The prime motivation 
within tb.e public sector is the delivery of adequate legal services to the public; 
that of the private sector is the anticipated profit margin. Paralegals in the pub- 
lic sector receive salaries ranging from approximately $5.00()-$12,n00, as op- 
posed to paralegals in the private sector who receive salaries ranging from 
,$7.500-$15,()00. 

Some of the institutions and programs that employ paralegals to aid in the 
rendition of legal services to the public are: Legal aid and legal services offices; 
advocate groups, agencies, and public interest groiq)s representing consumers, 
senior citizens, tenants, students, prisoners, welfare recipients, migrant work- 
ers, women, and minority groups. They advocate tenants* rights, women's rights, 
welfare rights, and veterans' rights. 

Indian paralegals in tribal courts, parajudges in community courts, and jail- 
house lawyers are special categories of paralegals in the public sector. Though 
it is impossible to list all paralegal functions in the public sector, the following 
functions are performed by paralegals in the publicly funded law office: inter- 
viewer, intentreter, investigator, negotiator, formal advocate, legal researcher 
librarian, process server, social worker, community advisor and organizer. 

II. TRAINING 

The majority of paralegals are trained "on-the-jol)." Paralegals can receive 
training: Vl) In-house ; (2) in law schools offering formal programs with and 
without clinical training: (3) in four-year colleges: (4) in continuing educa- 
tion seminars; and (5) in permanent training institutes. Some of the methods 
utilized are ''the system approach." which is the demonstration of the steps of 
a given case : the* generalist approach of community and four-year colleges : 
and the law school clinical approach. None of these approaches have been found 
to be superior to the others. As William Fry, executive director of the National 



227 

I'amlegal Institute, states: "Paralegal training is in an experimental stage."' 

Before determining whether formal training is necessary to fulfill paralegal 
assignments, it is inii)ortant to understand that the assignments are as vai'ied 
as the law tirm. agency, or lawyer (s) for whom legal assistants work. The para- 
legal function in a small firm is nnich different than in a large firm, a title com- 
pany, a neighhorhood legal services office, government bureau, haidc, or cini- 
sumer protection agency. Yet the legal paraprofessional operates in all the.se 
positions and countless otl'.ers. The paralegal may interview clients, appear in 
certain administrative hearings on lielmlf of a client, index documents, run the 
law library, supervise clerical staff.s, edit publicati<m.s, file motions, or investigate 
the scene of a crime. Clearly, no training program can possibly teach one to 
i:erform all the.se tasks, any more than an attorney learns techniques of cros.s- 
examination, or organization of an antitrust document ca.se in law school. The 
same is true for the paralegal : nuich of the practical and substantive knowl- 
edge necessary to provide quality legal .services is learned in-liou.se. 

What formal paralegal training can do is teach the basics of legal research, 
legal terminology, legal forms, and provide a l>rief liackground in substantive 
and administrative law. This training is neces.sary, and invaluable, if the para- 
legal uses tho.se learned skills on the job. However, a great many paralegals 
have never and ^^ill never be required to perform as.signments which require 
training. The attorne.v who requires an assi.stant to write l>riefs and reseax'ch 
case law should con.sider hiring a trained paralegal, as the time necessary to 
teach the a.s.sistant may be prohibitive. On the other hand, if an attorney needs 
a i»arali'gal exclusively to engage in uc-nlegal research, digest depositions and 
index documents, organizational ability and connuon sense are sufficient. 

Xo cour.se or textbook can teach verbal and writing skills, if a person has not 
acquired them by high school or college graduation. Concurrently, no couree 
or textb(H)k can teach one to effectively interview an upset or injured client. 

The i)aralegal seeking employment should carefully examine the skills he or 
she has acciunulated fi-oni previous work and educational experience. The em- 
ployer should carefully examine the job responsibilities which he or .she is 
.seeking to transfer to the paralegal. In many instance.s, it may become clear 
that paralegal training is not necessary for the position the lawyer envisions. 
Research, library, editing, legislative, administrative or stati.stical work expe- 
rience may substitute for formal paralegal training. 

As the paralegal takes on exten.<ive job re.^pon.sibilities. the need for training 
may become neces.sary. At that point, the paralegal may elect to enroll in a 
training i>rogram. take evening classes, or attend seminars. 

It is important that the employer not "pufl"' the duties of the position to the 
paralegal applicant, thereliy .securing an overeducated. over<iualified person to 
perform clerical or messenger functions. This is itarticularly ])roblematic at 
large AVashingtim law firms. The paralegal .should carefully gauge the job max-ket 
before expending time and money (»n a paralegal training [irogram. when .satisfy- 
ing legal work may already be available to a person with his or her particular 
experience and education. 

Tb.e institutions offering paralegal training programs, especially those not 
affiliated with a college or university, must be carefully monitored by the bar 
associations, practicing attorneys, and especially by practicing paralegals. Prac- 
ticing legal assistants are the best judges of the job market and of the structuring 
of courses to meet the needs of the diver.se law firms and agencies in that area, 
and can offer the most a.stute suggestions regarding practical a.spects of job 
responsibilities. 

Training institutions .should be monitored to ensure the training they provide 
is of a high academic and functional character. They should also be monitored 
to prevent unethical advertising practices. If the majority of corporate firms 
require a college degree as a prere(iuisite for employment the school should 
conduct a careful review of the possibilities open to the student without a col- 
lege degree and inform the student before accepting her. If the student desires 
work in a neighborhood legal services office, the training institution has an 
ol)ligation to make clear that courses on estates, trusts and probate are of 
peripheral utility at best. 

The training institution has an obligation to tho.se .students who take formal 
training to actively investigate the actual and potential job market in that 
particular location. If it is clear that the majority of paralegal positions in the 
city are glorified clerical positions, the school must ensure that law firms, agen- 
cies, and imblic interest groups in the area hire graduates at a level of exper- 
ti.se consistent with the .student's training. If the institution offers a placement 



228 

service for the graduating student, it is imperative tliat tlie student's wishes are 
adequately considered, and that follow-up studies are conducted to measure job 
satisfaction, possibly a year after graduation. This is especially true for those 
institutions which charge the employing law firm a fee for paralegal placement. 
We ask the Subcommittee to consider these questions : Given the divei-sity 
of paralegal work, is formal paralegal training necessary in all instances? If 
licensing of paralegals ensues, will adequate consideration be given to previous 
education and work experience in establishing equivalency status? Will any 
legislation attempt to discourage unnecessary and expensive training? The 
necessity for training should be the decision of the individual employer. Any 
future legislation should consider the proprietary interests which certain train- 
ing institutions have as a prime motivating factor. The paralegal profession 
can avoid certain negative regimented aspects of the legal profession, while at 
(he same time enormously aiding the goal of providing adequate delivery of 
quality legal services at a reasonable cost. Formal paralegal training is a neces- 
sity for some positions, and not for otlieis. The person wlio has had formal 
paralegal training shoidd certainly be given credit for it. It should not, however, 
be considered as a minimum qualiflcation for the paralegal. Any expertise ac- 
quired through formal training programs can be as valuable as the expertise 
which the majority of paralegals, in both the public and private sectors, have 
acquired through in-house training and day-to-day job experience. 

III. ACCKEDITATION 

Accreditation is defined as : 

"The recognition of an educational institution as maintaining standards that 
qualify the graduates for admission to higher or more specialized institutions, 
or for professonal practice." 

The key factors in the accreditation of educational institutions offering legal 
asbistant training programs lie in the quality of education available and in the 
integrity of credentials awarded ; concurrent to quality, and perhaps more im- 
portant, are the options open to the graduate as a result of this training. The 
paralegal field is changing daily : Attorneys are becoming more and more aware 
of the diverse capabilities of legal assistants. The breadth of paralegal utiliza- 
tion is expanding as attorney acceptance, once a formidable problem, is becoming 
more prevalent. Hopefully this trend will continue and the paralegal field will 
be recognized as a profession unto itself. 

The knowledge acquired by the legal assistant who has taken a formal course 
of instruction should reflect a diversity of skills together with a basic under- 
standing of professional responsibility. The basic premise must be that legal 
assistant are not masters of the routine. As attorney acceptance is increasing, 
the scope of those tasks performed by legal assistants is changing and widening 
in substance and diversity. Although some technical expertise is the necessary 
result of any formal course instruction, overemphasis on the purely technical 
aspects of paralegalism will result in overstandardization of the functions per- 
formed by legal assistants. A profession once enhanced l)y the diversity of skills 
available to the client or to the attorney (i.e.. substantive non-legal research in 
areas which complement the legal field) could become more or less totally de- 
pendent upon a purely "technical" approach. The end results of accreditation — 
the securing of jobs by competently trained individuals — should open doors, not 
close them. Overstandardization of paralegal functions will not allow for expan- 
sion in a field where a steady demand for growth has been demonstrated. 

The implications of "The Evaluative Criteria for Guidelines for the Approval 
of Legal Assistant Training Programs" [Special Committee on Legal Assistants, 
The American Bar Association (March 29. 15)74: Washington, D.C.] has far- 
reaching consequences for the paralegal profession as a whole. The .statement 
as.';erts that the goals of any training program should reflect : 

(1) "A responsiveness to the needs of the constituency which the program 
seeks to .serve" and "a recognition that the program should qualify the graduates 
to contribute to the advancement of the profession, rather than serve only the 
purposes of the institution * * * "; (2) "sensitivity to emerging concepts of the 
role of the legal assistant in the effective delivery of legal services in both the 
private and public sectors of our society." Section G-201. 

In the private sector, as in the public, the paralegal's constituency is both the 
attorney and the client. To project the most effective delivery of legal services, 
fluidity must be maintained within the profession. Mechanization of the para- 



229 

lejiul function is incongruous with the enierjiing concept of tlie legal assistant : 
(his concept is continuously clianging as new demands are made. 

Section (J-301 of the Criteria states : 

•'Tlie primary concern of a legal assistant training program is to develop 
occupational competence. The total program should, however, include general 
education as well as law related courses * * * the curriculum should stress under- 
standing and reasoning rather than rote learning of facts * * * the curriculum 
should be responsive to changing needs and reflect research findings and expe- 
rience related to the training and use of legal assistants." 

I'sing reasoning processes to the )»est of his or her ability will enable the legal 
assistant to cope with the challenges presented by a continually shifting job 
function. The preservation of mobility \\athiu the profession will better serve 
attorney and client needs. 

Section G-2()3 of the Criteria also states that : 

"Tlie legal assistant education program, including programs offered by law 
school:?', shall have an advisory committee including participating lawyers, legal 
assistants from the public and private sector, faculty and school administrators, 
and one or more members of the general public." 

To avoid placing constricting and artificial boundaries upon paralegal profes- 
sion, it is vitally import^mt that working paralegals have substantive input in the 
accreditation of institutions offering training programs. Legal a.ssistants who 
feel a responsibility to the profession and to their colleagues will feel comi>elled 
to maintain a high quality of expertise as well as the necessary diversification to 
avoid overstandardization. 

Formal paralegal training at an educational institution is not a prerequisite 
for paralegal work. In a survey taken by the D.C. Metropolitan Paralegal Asso- 
ciation, only 29 of 163 legal assistants employed in the private sector were trained 
in formal programs. At Arnold and Porter, one of the area's largest firms, only 
8 out of 22 legal assistants took a paralegal course of instruction; at Covington 
and Burling, an equally large firm, only 2 out of 18. Most of the legal assistants 
in the vuivate sector hold a Bachelor's degree or graduate degrees, and possess 
I'esearch and writing skills that enable them to perform very comiietently in their 
jobs. Reasoning, research, and writing skills are not stressed in all "technical" 
programs. The "legalese" and exi>ertise demanded by paralegal fimctions can be 
acquirefl through on-the-job training, which is often more relevant and useful 
than a formal course of instruction which presents facts in an isolated frame- 
work. It should be emphasized that, before the dawn of the modern "educational 
explosion," attorneys "read" for the bar by apprenticing themselves in a law 
office ; in certain states, this is still done. 

On the other hand, those students who are enrolled in formal programs af- 
filiated with an accredited university should be given academic credit for train- 
ing, in the form of either credit towards a graduate degree for those already hold- 
ing a B.A., or credit towards an undergraduate degree for those who have not 
completed an undergraduate curriculum. Accreditation of quality paralegal 
training programs, by the Academic Senate and not just by the ABA, is a nec- 
essary adjunct to this rapidly expanding profession. It is imperative that: (1) 
working legal assistants act as an advisory board to any ABA Committee investi- 
gating this issue, and (2> that any governing body bestowing accreditation on 
selected institutions be comprised, in large part, of paralegals working in the 
field. Self-polic-ing is of prime importance. 

As pioneering legislation, California Assembly Bill 1814 wnll set an unfortunate 
precedent if enacted. Under this Bill, an "Approved program means any pro- 
gram for the education and ti'aining of certified attorney assistants which has 
been formally approved by the certified Attorney Assistant Board with the ap- 
proval of the Board of Governors." In addition, the Certified Attorney Assistant 
Board is to "adopt and publish standards for approved programs for the educa- 
tion and training of certified attorney assistants." However, in defining the 
composition of the nine-member Board, the Bill establishes the provision tliat 
"only two" members "* * * may be persons engaged in paralegal work or be 
certified attorney assistants." Tliis provision does not allow for adequate para- 
legal representation on the Board : legal assistants will be greatly outnimibered 
by other members not necessarily committed to their concerns. 

AB 1814 provides that the Certified Attorney Assistant Board appoint an ad- 
visory committee (composed of representatives from various organizations 
utilizing paralegals) to "consider the impact of this act in providing more of the 
Public with quality legal services and in promoting employment of certified 

41-375 — 74 16 



230 

attorney assistants." This section of AB 1814 is in direct conflict witli the seg- 
ments of the ))ill discussed above, whicli seelc to constrict, and tluis ultimately 
limit, employment of paralegals. 

AB 1814 states that : 

"In approving programs, the Certified Attorney Assistant Board and the Board 
of Governors shall utilize, whenever feasible, equivalency and proficiency test- 
ing and other tecliniques whereby credit is given for the past education, experi- 
ence, and on-the-job training as well as the (luality of the course content and 
faculty or training staff."' 

Again, without adequate paralegal representation on the Board, equivalency 
standards will suffer from lack of functional input. Any equivalency standards 
established must take into account leffal assistants in both the private and 
I)iiblic sectors, and maintain the diversification and fluidity common to the pro- 
fession. Above all, in any accreditation and ensuing certification process, the 
individual qualifications of legal assistants must be maintained. At this point 
in time, the profession cannot be delineated by a hcmogtneous group of char- 
acteristics and related qualifications. 

Hopefully, the accreditation of highly regarded institutions will not encounter 
a struggle on the state level from those smaller "fly-by-night" paralegal training 
programs displaying an unprofessional and overzealous interest in monetary 
benefits. That these programs are sometimes accredited by the same governing 
bodies which accredit barber schools, for example, is not adequate. The educa- 
tional requirements for an academic course are vastly different from the re- 
quirements of programs which prepai-e individuals to enter the "trade pro- 
fessions." If training programs are to be accredited by another body than the 
ABA, common criteria must be used by both. 

The key to the accreditation pi-oces* is disclosure, and again, diversification. 
Lesser quality training- programs are often of an unrealistically short-term 
nature, and produce slipshod techniques together with a superficial understand- 
ing of the legal system. The regard for professionalism is lost in a proija'jandistic 
concern to train paralegals at an alarmingly rapid rate. In both the private and 
the public sectors, the antithesis lies in the obvious economic benefits derived 
from a wide-range usage of paralegals, versus the fear '*;>- many pr;icticing at- 
torneys that overly educated and qualified legal assistants will "usurp" the role of 
the attorney to a large extent. This fear is unfounded. The practice of law is 
already regulated by specific codes, including the Code of Professional Responsi- 
bility (American Bar Association, 1971), Section EC 3-5 of the Code states: 

"It is neither necessay nor desira)>le to attempt the formulation of a single, 
specific, definition of w]>at constitutes the practice of law," 

The unauthorized practice of law is a separate issue which should not l>e 
confused with the practice of paralegalism. Self-government is of the utmost 
importance to the paralesial profession — a profession which does not want to 
suffer arbitrary and imposed limitations, and which will bear final responsi])ility 
for its credibility and integrity. 

IV. LICENSING 

Give.'i tlif^ factual case a.gainst licensing-, the cintemplatinn of vestrictiTig 
paralegals to a well defined, proscribed mle cannot be thought of as anything 
but discriminatory and elitist. Certification and licensing ai-e the Syclla & 
Cliarybadis o" paralegal education. Accredited institutions can, and should, give 
proficiency certificates for courses of study that students undertake. On the 
other hand, the historical impetus has l)een for certified persons and vocational 
educators to s^ek furtJier recognition by the state, or governmental agencies 
through the medium of licoiT^inr, Licensing of paralegals sliouid l)e avoided as 
an undesirable evil. The excessive bureaucratic standardization of paralegals 
can only result in the loss of very competent individuals from a profession 
ser^dng to ameliorate the lack of legal services. 

The pi-{>requisites for licensing of individuals have some major drawbacks. 
These drawbacks include residence re<iuirements : attainment of ali(>n status or 
citizenship: minimum age: successful completion of a i--ot ar-ad'^mic curriculum; 
work experience: tests, and a fee as a basic minimum for qualification. As is 
ajiparent from (h'< fornjid'blp li'-'. tli'> reauircments would eliminate vast 
numbers of those currently employed in thp parnlesral wovk fo'-po 

Residence requirements are protective devices to limit access to nrofessioiis 
within each state. For the paralegal, this requirement may well be entirely 
meaningless, and is an economic penalty for geographic relocation. Since this 



231 

use of time is unproductive for botli the paralegal and the state, it coukl lie 
better utilized to familiarize the paralegal with local laws. 

The attainment of residence status or citizenship eliminates the participa- 
tion of well qualified minority persons, e.g. Spanish or Chinese speaking persons 
who have the skills to be useful within their communities but do not meet the 
citizenship requirement. The problems faced by these two communities with 
Federal agencies such as Immigration and Naturalization .services, the Social 
Services Administration and other branches of the Departnu'iit of KEW are 
numerous and have been of grave social concern for too long a period of time. 
To further alienate these communities by depriving them of substantial pmcess- 
of law is not commendable. 

Academic qualifications nre not always the best standard to gauge the daily' 
functional needs of paralegals. With the proliferation of institutions of higher' 
learning within each community, the academic standards from institution ta 
institution are less rigidly enforced. Assuming that only paralegal training is; 
sufficient would be a disservice to those paralegals who do not have formal 
qualifications and yet function extremely well under given job situations. 

In his "Report to the American Bar Association Special Committee on Legal 
Assistants." Mr. Luther Avery, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Licensing 
and Certification, identifies the purposes of licensing and certification, as inter- 
changeable and states that : 

"*"* * The two purposes which are generally advocated as justifying a re- 
quirement of legal controls over occupational activities are the professional 
criteria {standard.?) and consideratior..: based upon protection of the public 
(including the persons regulated)." 

Towards the end of his section on Purpi>ses of Occupational Licensing ov' 
Certifications he notes : 

•'* * * There may be economic, or social, or historical purpose.? that do not 
properly fit under either of the above purposes. For example. 'Upward Mobility' 
and the creation of '.Tob Training" programs with identifiable goals." 

This hist statement bears closer scrutiny. "Upward Mnl)ility." a somewhat 
ovemsed derogative to describe ]-ersons who ascribe t » the American ideals of 
social success, who are restricted in any form or manner, keeps persons who seek 
personal advancement within a confined milieu. Licensing impo.ses artificial limi- 
tations upon these person who through care and concern for their communities 
are placed in a situation of leadership. That the.se persons are usually outside 
the social framework and are members of minority groups is generally true. 

The creation of "Job Training" programs has been virtually eliminated from 
HEW. Dependency on the federal g^iv .-nment to provide training for all person.? 
regardless of their status is to idealize the role of government. To be accepted 
in training programs, individuals are required to meet both educational and 
social standards. The latter requirements, stated or otherwise, do not always co- 
incide with govfn-nmental definition.s of individual integrity. J.Ir. Avery defines 
licensing as representing 

" * * * the legal right of an individual exclusively to engage in an occupa- 
tion or to be identified as .specially qualified." 

The implications of this statement are obvious, in addition to the stated pur- 
poses of occupational licensing. Licensing, by federal edict, would become the 
prerogative of the certified elite, those persons "specially qualified." This wide 
disparity of ABA attitudes and the attitudes of paralegals must be bridged. 

Licensing requires a homogeneous, stnndardized prodiict, capable of perform- 
ing specific tasks, utilizing specific skills. However, any examination of the 
members of the profession loosely defined as "paralegalism" shows the extreme 
diversity of skills and talents iitilized by most legal assistants in their jobs. For 
example, certain legal as.sistants are professional librarians, employed to work on 
large document cases. Other legal assistants are members of the community, aid- 
ing local groups, usually comprised of minorities with specialized needs (e.g., 
lesal assistants w^lio deal \^ith urban low^ income residents). Any procedure 
should, of necessity, attempt to incoi-porate these diverse talents into a cohesive 
whole. The varying needs of law firms and institutions employing legal assistants 
and their constituents are such that the undue limitations proposed by licensing 
would ini)!air services offered to clieiivs. Licensing has throe v'ctims : Legal 
assistants, law offices employing lay persons and the indigent public whose legal 
needs are proscribed by social circumstances. 

Legal assistants have worked in conjunction with attorneys, complementing 
the attorney's legal knowledge with parallel specialties on a consultancy basis. 
That fii-ms have hired personnel to conduct substantive iionl^gal research in 



232 

areas such as economics and iudustriiil psychology is an indication of the neces- 
sity to retain fluidity and mobility among legal assistants. Any attempt to create 
artificial boundaries, limiting a profession that is now highlighted not by its 
Jiomogeneity, but instead by its heterogeneity is counter-productive. Licensing acts 
as a deterrent to people who cannot pass an examination based on an arbitrarily 
defined standard. Standardization of exams, has, in itself, been repeatedly at- 
tacked as an inflexible system, preventing the entrance of women and minority 
members. The profession, as it now stands, is not limited in scope or variety. 
Minority races and women are well represented. Creating a professional guild 
organization, with the traditional limitations suffered by guilds, would indeed 
be irresponsible. 

The paralegal can most accurately be defined as "a person with legal skills." 
It is evident that the extent of training in a private law firm, in the public 
sector, or in academic institutions is limited. This training does not enable a 
I)aralegal to advise clients except in agency matters. One of the stated objectives 
of paralegal education is to supplement legal services without usurping the 
attorney's place. The scope, intent and extent of their function is to facilitate the 
delivery of legal services. There is no justification to license such individuals 
unless the Bar Association's intent is to create an equally powerful parallel 
profession.^ 

The only pending legislation that deals with paralegals is California As- 
sembly Bill 1814. In § 6032 (§ 1 of the bill) of the Business and Professions Code 
of the State of California, it is quite clearly stated that : 

«•* * * No compensation shall be paid directly to such person by the client to 
whom the services are rendered except where such person is a permanent em- 
ployee of the client and the compensation for such services rendered is with the 
consent of the supervising member of the State Bar." 

The persuasive arguments for licensing have failed to mention perhaps the 
most crucial issue of all. All licensed persons, with the possible exception of 
physicians' assistants, within the U.S., have the legal right to have and main- 
tain their own separate places of business, e.g., CPA's conduct business in their 
own oflBces : the right to establish and collect their own fees, e.g., nurses can 
work outside the structure of a hospital ; the right to form companies, with other 
members of their licensed profession, e.g., plumbers. If a profession is licensed, 
its practitioners must be extended the full privileges of professional status. In 
the case of paralegals this includes the right to deliver legal services to their 
own clients, in their own offices, from discovery through appeal of cases. The 
intent of this Committee is the delivery of legal services. The Committee should 
therefore, consider the increase in cost to the public which would be implicit in 
a licensed profession. 

V. THE LEGAL NEEDS OF THE PUBLIC 

The ABA Special Committee on Legal Assistants estimates that almost two- 
thirds of the population is in need of legal services which the legal profession 
is unable to provide presently. By 1980 the^ need for legal services in the United 
States is expected to increase by 24 percent." 

There are about 300,000 lawyers in the United States : approximately one for 
every 6.50 persons. The gap widens significantly within lower economic groups. 
There is a maximum of 5,000 attorneys to serve the 35 million persons who fall 
within government poverty guidelines ; or a ratio of one attorney for every 7,000 
low income persons.^ The total amount of money involved in consumer 
controversies in the United States exceeds $100 million the amount in- 
volved in any single controversy is apt to be less, in many cases, than the cost of 
legal representation for the affected consumer.* 

The high cost and growing demands for legal services, and the shortage of 
lawyers in the public sector presents a monumental problem for the legal profes- 
sion. This is a social and moral injustice, and effectively denies many citizens a 



1 R. YftRSie and E. Jarmel, Eds., "New Careers in Law, Pt. II," Conf. Rep. of the ABA 
Special Conira. on Legal Ass'ts. (June 1971), p. 2. 

2/?»d..p. 1. 

3 Sliestiu'k, The Right to Legal Serrtces. in "The Rights of Americans" 110, 118 (N. Dor- 
sen. Ed. 1970). 

* Statskv. William P., "Introduction to Paralegalism : Perspectives, Problems and 
Skills." (West Pub. Co., 1974), p. 159. [Thereafter cited as "Introduction to Para- 
legalism."] 



233 

constitutional riglit to "reasonalile access to the courts." Boddie v. Connecticut, 
401 U.S. 371 (1971), held that clue process is negated when a person seeking a 
divorce is denied access to the court solely on the basis of indigency. 

In Johnson v. Avery, 393 U.S. 493 (19G9), Justice Douglas states, in his 
concurring opinion, which permits inmates to draft writs of habeas corpus, that : 

"The increasing complexities of our governmental apparatus at both tlie 
local and federal levels have: made it difficult for a person to process a claim 
or even make a complaint. Social security is a virtual maze; the hierarchy that 
governs urban housing is often so intricate that it takes an expert to know what 
agency has jurisdiction over a particular complaint; the office to call or official 
to see for noise abatement, for a broken sewerline, or a fallen tree is a mystery 
to many in our metropolitan areas." 

The legal profession and government must address this grave underrepresenta- 
tion of lower- and moderate-income citizens. The ABA Special Committee on 
Legal Assistants and the National Paralegal Institute, among other informed 
sources, advocates the increased and more effective use of paralegals as a major 
part of the solution. 

A. The use of paralegals in the puMic sector 

The legal profession has recognized paralegals since the early 19G0"s. The 
increased caseload and spiralling costs of legal services gave rise to the use of 
paralegals in i^overty programs and more recently to their use in federal, state and 
local agencies. These respective agencies and programs used paraprofessionals 
to perform both legal and auxilliary tasks. 

In 1968, a feasibility study of paraprofessionals in 24 legal services offices 
revealed that, out of 552 tive-minute periods of behavior, one out of every 
four segments of behavior could be delegated to one paraprofessioual, and two 
more to non-existing paraprofessionals.^ 

Today there are a maximum of 70,000 paralegals throughout the country. 
According to the Civil Service Commission, there are an estimated 30,000 
persons in law-related jobs in the public sector. This, of course, does not include 
the hundreds who are involved throughout the country in privately funded and 
volunteer public interest community organizations. The National Paralegal 
Institute estimates that there are 1,000 paralegals working in Neigliborhood Legal 
Services; 127 of the 280 GEO funded legal services offices utilize paralegals. 
Increasingly, federal, state and local agencies are training and employing para- 
legals : EEOC employs paralegals as legal technicians ; the Labor Department 
employs paralegals as research assistants ; the National Labor Relations Board 
employs legal clerks. The Paralegal Institute trains paralegals for employment 
and increased effectiveness in Neighborhood Legal Services, as well as acts as 
coordinator of paralegal information and activity. 

Paralegals working in publicly funded law offices, such as Neighborhood Legal 
Services, perform valuable services to the lower income citizen. They determine 
eligibilty for social security, welfare, Medicaid and Medicare. They represent 
clients in hearings and act as negotiators up to the time of litigation. They act 
as social workers, and social and language interpreters vis-a-vis client and 
lawyer. 

Ronald Brooks is an example of a paralegal working in a Neighborhood Legal 
Service office, at 14th and Park Road in Washington, D.C. He began his career 
as a "glorified office boy." He now handles cases from intake up to the point of 
litigation, under the supervision of an attorney. The majority of his cases con- 
sists of landlord/tenant cases. He also handles problems related to Medicaid, 
Medicare, and welfare. He has represented clients in four hearings — and won 
them all. He saves the lawyers a lot of time, which they can then spend in litiga- 
tion. In addition, he explains rights and alternatives of action to clients, a service 
fiir which the attorney frwjuently does not have the time. He can communicate 
with indigent clients on a ])ersonal level. 

The Dixwell Legal Rights Project, started in 1967 in New Haven, trains and 
recruits paralegals from the inner city to handle cases, conduct interviews, and 
act as community advocates by community teaching, negotiation with government 
agencies, etc. The Dixwell Legal Rights Project operates preventive law pro- 
grams that include door-to-door campaigns on the part of paraprofessionals, who 
explain tenant rights, welfare benefits, etc. Community organization. s such as 
local women's centers, draft counselling groups and welfare rights organizations 
utilize paralegals as well as lawyers and law students. They serve as community 
interpreters of rights and act as advocates for the specific needs of these groups. 



5 Statsky, "Introduction to Paralegalism," p. 24. 



234 

In the criminal area, paralegals are active in pretrial release programs, the 
securing of bail, the development of alternatives to incarceration in anticipation 
of imprisonment, and in some instances, argue parts of cases for the attorney. 
The jail-house lawyer does research in the prison law library, and counsels other 

-inmates on their cases, in addition to filling out certain legal papers such as writs 

. of habeas corpus. 

, B. The potential of paralegals in the delivery of legal services in the public sector 
Paralegals potentially can lower the costs of legal services, as well as improve 
the quality of these services. The numberof lawyer-tasks which can be delegated 
. and the potential for creating new job definitions need to be explored. This has 
; been done in the medical field : There are now fifteen allied health professions, 
j-'flMging from podiatrist to social worker. The answer does not lie totally in 
specialization ; however, there is a tremendous need to have trained personnel 
in the legal field who can work together to improve and increase legal services. 
Paralegals can provide the personnel needed to develop programs for educating 
the public about prepaid insurance and other preventive law measures, perhaps 
utilizing the Dixwell method. 

The legal profession can no longer retain its hierarchial, monolithic approach 
to rendition of legal services. The needs of the public are mounting. The ABA 
Special Committee recognizes that lay persons are already performing maay 
tasks once done by attorneys. Government, the organized bar, and legal services 
must work together to create new delivery service teams. 

VI. THE CONTROL OF PARALEGALS : ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS 

One of the concerns of state bar associations and the ABA is protection of the 
consumer against the unauthorized practice of law. Paralegals in the pulilic 
sector are authorized to represent clients, and render legal advice. In certain 
trib il courts, small claims courts, and administrative hearings paralegals are 
authorized to practice law. 

Joh)i.son V. Avery, 393 U.S. 493 (1969). authorizes inmates to write writs of 
habeas corpus for other inmates. The Administrative Procedure Act (.5 U.S.C. 
555.5. 45 C.F.R. § 205(3), and § 24-a of the Workmen's Compensation Act author- 
izes lay persons to practice law under certain circumstances. 

Many paralegals perform functions that do not constitute the practice of law. 
but involve close client contact. Ethical Consideration 3-6 of the ABA's Code of 
Professional Responsibility states : 

"A laywer often delegates tasks to clerks, secretaries, and other lay persons. 
Snch delegation is proper if the la^vyer maintains a direct relationship with liis 
client, supervises the delegated work, and has complete responsibility for the 
work product. This delegation enables a lawyer to render legal services more 
economically and efficiently." 

Guidelines for ethical behavior should be established and promulgated by para- 
legals. It is the right of the public to be protected from irresponsible persons, 
whether lawyers or paralegals. But the guidelines must reflect the authorized 
forms of legal activity for paralegals, not the self-interest of lawyers. 

The proposed California "Certified Attorneys Assistant Act". Assembly Bill 
1814, establishes criminal penalties for those who do not become certified before 
they perform paralegal functions. It also denies certification to individuals who 
have committed a "crime" : No differentiation is made between a felony or a 
misdemeanor. The community workers, jail-house lawyers and countless other 
average citizens who are perfoi-ming invaluable public services will be denied the 
right to work. 

A recent statement of the Illinois Practice Section of the Illinois State Bar 
advises that the Board of Governors of Illinois and the State Bar Association, 
with the approval of the Illinois Supreme Court, formulate written examinations, 
educational standards, and certification procedures. One of the intents is that 
"the legal assistants should have no contact with the public." 

It is imperative that paralegals and members of the public participate in the 
certification of the paralegal profession. The needs and interests of paralegals 
and the people they serve cannot be adequately represented if the sole accredit- 
ing and certifying body is the ABA. Paralegals must explore and define their 
own profession with assistance from those who are vitally interested in the de- 
livei-y of legal services to the public. 



233 

CONCLUSION 

It is important that the Committee establisli a representative group of those 
vitally interested, informed and/or affected by the paralegal profession, i.e., 
paralegals, lawyers and citizens, to study accreditation, certification and the 
effective use of paralegals in the delivery of legal services. 

We are more than willing to help facilitate this action in any way possible. 



Xational Consumer Center for Legal Services, 

Washington, B.C., July 18, 1974. 
Hon. John V. Tunney, 
U.i>. Senate, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Senator Tunney : Thank you for your invitation to submit testimony on 
paralegals. The paralegal field is developing at a rapid, but uneven pace, creating 
great diversity of opinion about the role, training, and effective utilization of 
paralegals. In our view, the further use and development of paralegals is central 
to the broader issue of adequate delivery of legal services to 140 million middle 
income Americans. 

The Xational Consumer Center for Legal Services, a coalition of labor, con- 
sumer, co-operative, educational and public interest groups, vigorously supports 
the development of high-quality, low-cost legal services for the middle income 
consumer through group legal service plans. We believe the role of the legal para- 
professional will be crucial in reaching this goal. 

We will not in this statement focus too heavily on the potential of paralegals 
for lowering the cost of legal service delivery. The attorneys serving poverty pro- 
grams, who were the initiators of large scale experimentation with paralegals, 
are becter equipped to disciiss the specific economic savings that pai-alegals can 
create. We would only point out that we expect to see early benefits of paralegal 
utilization in legal delivery systems that are public, non-profit, or groui) legal 
services, rather than private. The reason is; simply that little incentive and no 
authority currently exists to cause private firms to pass on to their clients the 
savings ( lower costs) made possible by use of paralegals. 

In this statement, we will focus on questions of certification and regulation of 
parniegals, because we see a dangerous "rush to regulate." We feel strongly that 
premature action in this area should not he allowed to strangle the development 
of this new field. We are strongly in favor of some congressional expression of 
interest in paralegal development, lest sole regulation be assumed by the orga- 
nized bar. 

We have found that bar association regulation tends to be protective of existing 
legal structures and interests, discriminatory (toward minority groups), ana 
generally restrictive of new entrants and new ideas into the legal profession. 
The most recent evidence of these attitudes can be found in the ABA's adoption 
of disciplinary rules regarding prepaid legal services. So severely restrictive are 
these rules that the Consumer Center may by early fall be locked in a legal battle 
seeking to have them declared unconstitutional. We do not wish to see limitations 
of this sort placed on the paralegal field before its fullest potential has been 
achieved. Speaking of regulation of the profession, Chief Justice Warren Burger 
recently stated : 

'■The views of practitioners who are affected cannot be controlling any more 
than v.-e allow the automobile or drug industry to have control of safety or public 
health standards. There are 'consumers' of justice whose rights and interests must 
have protection." 

II 

XCCLS opposes mandatorv licensing of paralegals. Licensing is a device most 
often employed for quality control and protection against abuse. To date there 
has been no "evidence of abuse of the public by paralegals. NCCLS opposes licens- 
ing for the following additional reasons : 

d) There is no demonstrated need for licensing. The public is protected 
because paralegals function under the supervision of licensed attorneys. 

(2) Licensing tends to limit the number of entrants to a profession, in part 
bv raising the cost of entry. Restricting the number of practicing paralegals. 



236 

eliminates the oiiportunity to pi'ovide services at a lower cost, since lower costs 
for the consumer are achieved by a new division of resiK)usibilities in the law 
office. 

(3) The problem of adequately providing legal services to low income and 
minority groups would be aggravated by licensing of paralegals. Evidence of 
past licensing ventures does not support the likelihood of improved legal services 
delivery through the use of paralegals representing the community. 

(4) Licensing would be repetitive in many cases. If the capability of the 
prospective paralegal has been established either through completion of an 
educational program or through on-the-job training and extensive experience, 
licensing would be an unnecessary and costly measure. 

KCCL8 proposes the use of voluntary certification in lien of licensing. In our 
view, there are two acceptable routes leading to certification : approved educa- 
tional programs, and on-the-job training and experience. High standards of per- 
formance and a sense of professional responsibility can be satisfactorily achieved 
througli completion of an approved paralegal program or through proficiency 
gained from practical experience. Certification is not an exclusionary process. 
Exhibiting an adequate level of competance is the sole requirement of certifica- 
tion. None of the ill effects of mandatory licensing are present in this process. 

Ansivers to questions of liaMUty must develop in consequence of the greater 
or lesser role of the paralegal. Much professional concern has been voiced over 
the question of where liability lies for the paralegal's activities. Liability in 
existing paralegal programs, which require substantial supervision of the pax'a- 
legal. rests with the attorney. The American Bar Association states in its Code 
of Professional Responsibility, Ethical Consideration EC3-6 : 

"A lawyer often delegates tasks to clerks, secretaries, and other lay persons. 
Such delegation is proper if the lawyer maintains a direct relationship with his 
client, supervises the delegated work, and has complete professional respon- 
siliility for the work product. This delegation enables a lawyer to render legal 
service more economically and efficiently." 

Because the paralegal field is still a developing one, we expect to see the emer- 
gence of a new type of legal technician who may. through training of some kind, 
be qualified to perform legal services without the supervision of an attorne.v 
and W'ho would bear the liability for his own actions. An area for such a develop- 
ment is perhaps seen in the new "divorce assistance" services. 

Ill 

The great diversity of opinion on developments in the pai-alegal field dcmon- 
sti'ates the need for guidelines. Premature restrictions must be avoided, but 
decisions must be based on the best available information. "Without some stand- 
ards for development which reflect the broad interests of the profession, the 
consumer, and the general public, the paralegal field may come to be regulated 
narrowly and restrictively by the organized liar or may be subject to a patch- 
work of diverse regulation by individual state legislatures. Either alternative 
would destroy the opportunity for experimentation and full realization of the 
potential of paralegals. 

It is our belief that an expression of federal interest would ensure more equal 
treatment of paralegal development state-by-state by establishing national mini- 
mum standards. The Consumer Center would like to see the formation of a Con- 
gressionally-mandated study group or commission charged with undertaking a 
study of the issues in the paralegal field. We realize that difficulties may exist 
in establishing the authority of Congress to enter into this domain. 

To ensure representation of all interests and opinions, we suggest that the 
commission include representatives of the American Bar Association, consumer 
groups, educational institutions, state governments, the judiciary and the fed- 
eral government. 

Such a commission should undertake to answer the following crucial questions : 

(1) Who is the paralegal? What distinguishes the paralegal from other 
employees in a law office? 

(2) What roles or tasks will the paralegal play in the delivery of legal serv- 
ices? From which roles or tasks, if any. should paralegals be excluded? 

(3) Shall paralegal services be performed only under the supervision of an 
attorney? Are there tasks or services which do not require supervision? Where 
shall liability rest for these services? 

(4) What are the proficiency I'equirements or standards necessary to qualify 
as a paralegal? Must there be programs or procedures for their achievement? 



237 

(5) Need the paralegal be certified? Who should certify? 

(6) Is the accreditation of educational programs or institutions necessary? 

( a ) Who should perform the acceditation ? 

( b ) What should the standards for accreditation be ? 

The findings of such a commission would be valuable in the formulation of 
standards regulating the development of the paralegal field. 

The i)rovision of adequate legal representation to all members of our society 
is the major goal of the Consumer Center. Pai'alegals can help us achieve this 
goal, and we should not prematurely limit the role the paralegal can fill in 
the delivery of high-quality low-cost legal services. 

Thank you for giving us this opportunity to present our views. 
Most sincerely, 

Sandy DeMent, Executive Director. 

Research assistance by : Gail M. Katz and Patrick M. O'Hare. 



The Missouri Bar, 
Jefferson City, Mo., July 19, 197 /f. 

Hon. .TOHN V. TUNNEY, 

Chairman, Subcomtnittee on Representation of Citizens' Interests, 
Washinffton, D.C. 

Dear Senator Tunney : Attached for filing as a part of the record of the 
Subcommittee on Representation of Citizens' Interests is ray statement as 
President of the Missouri Bar. The statement consists principally of the findings 
and recommendations of a special committee of our Bar which studied the use 
of paraprofessionals and the utilization of legal technicians in Missouri. 

The recommendations contained in this study are still under active con.sider- 
ation by the Supreme Court of IMissouri and by the disciplinary arm of that Court. 

I trust that this information will be found relevant and helpful to the Com- 
mittee in its consideration of the subject. The Missouri Bar feels strongly that 
this is a matter once again to be left at the state level and is not a feasible 
area for federal legislation. 

Historically in Missouri and in most states, admission to the Bar and the 
practice of law falls within the purview of the judicial branch of the state 
government. The attached statement and study demonstrates the intimate re- 
lationships between admission to the Bar and practice of law, on one hand, and 
the emidoyment of paraprofessionals and legal technicians on the other hand. 
Any effort to impose a federal mandate in this area is unwise and unnecessary 
in our considered judgment. 
Sincerely yours, 

Robert L. Hawkins, Jr., President. 

Statement of Robert L. Haavkins, Jr., President or the Missouri Bar 

In March 1972 the Missouri Bar's Special Committee on Utilization of Legal 
Technicians was appointed and charged with the tasks of: (1) examining the 
subjects of use of nonlawyers in the performance of legal services. (2) determin- 
ing whether further definitions ai-e desirable in defining permissible tasks of such 
jiersons. (.3) deciding whether certification of legal technicians is desirable with 
respect to their training, and (4) determining whether recommendations should 
be made to the Supreme Court of Missouri as to amendments of present Court 
Rules. 

The committee researched the subject thoroughly and various members of the 
committee made intensive study in ]iartieular areas. Their reports were discussed 
fully by the committee as a whole. Finally, the committee prepared a report sum- 
marizing the conclusions arrived at by the committee, and its recommendations 
to the Board of Governors of The :Mi.ssouri Bar. This statement summarizes the 
findings and recommendations of the committee as submitted to and approved by 
the Board of Governors of The Missouri Bar. 

The fundamental issues to be determined are whether the legal technician 
should act independently (i.e., without lawyer supervision) in certain areas, and 
whether further protective procedures or rules should be adopted. 

1. THE immediate CONCERN FOR REVIEW OF THE SUBJECT 

The urgency of our consideration of this subject is emphasized by the growing 
clamor for recognition of the "paraprofessional"' or "legal technician" as an 
independent practitioner. 



238 

The enmrniffer hasi concluded tliat the legal techniciunft should not act indr- 
pendenthj hut nhotdd at all fiDtr.s- perform hi>i serriees under the direction and 
supervision of a loinjer. "Ethical Considpi-ations," comprising a part of Rule 4, 
Code of Professional Rcsponsihility, adopted by the Supreme Court of Missouri 
on November 6, 1970. effective January 1, 1971, recognize the utility of the em- 
ployment of nonlawyers (a) wliere "professional .iudgment" is not required, 
(b) where the lawyer maintains a "direct relationship" with his client, (c) where 
the lawyer "supervises the delegated work." and (d) where the lawyer "has com- 
plete professional responsibility'" for the work product ( See EC 3-5, 3-6. 3-7, 3-8). 
EC 1-2 cautions that "The public should be protected from those who are not 
qualified to be lawyers * * *." The committee is in full agreement with these pre- 
cepts and concludes that the legal assistant should perform services only under 
the direct supervision of a lawyer, and suhject to the conditions of EC S-'S, EC 3-6, 
EC S-7, EC 3-8. and other applicahle restrictions contained in the Missouri Code 
of Professional Rcsponsihility. (Rule 4. supra). 

2. THE CONTENTION THAT UNAVAILABILITY OF LEGAL SERVICES JUSTIFIES THE INDE- 
PENDENT STATUS OF THE LEGAL TECHNICIAN IS NOT A SOUND REASON 

The argument is in-esented by proponents of the concept of independent per- 
formance of legal functions by "yiaraprofessionals" that the unavailability of 
legal services makes such independence inevitable and essential. The committee 
helieves that any existing imhalance heticecn the lunnher of hnryer^ and the 
so-called, need for legal services is temporary and will adjust itself, particularly 
in view of the influx into law schools of students seeking to become lawyers. 
Law school enrollment has in the past decade increased to such an extent that 
in tlie fall of 1972 there were three applicants for each seat in the entering 
classes of approved law schools. The increasing number of lawyers admitted to 
the bar each year has inspired this editorial comment in the February 1973 ABA 
Journal (p. 152) : 

"The interest of the public and the profession will be served by the .joining of 
forces of the organized bar and the law schools to find suitable tasks for the 
increasing numlter of lietter-prepared and better-qualified men and women who 
are l>eing graduated from our law schools." 

Both the bar and society have the responsibility of making profes.sional legal 
services reasonably available to all segments of society. The committee concludes, 
hoirever. that the concept of authoriziny non-lawyers to function as lawyers in 
geographic or economic areas deemed lacking in adequate legal services is not 
valid, hecause it will result in inferior legal service to thoi^c areas, and in repre- 
scntatio)t hy persons not .'subject to the ethical disciplines applicahle to laivyers. 

3. THE LEGAL TECHNICIAN, ACTING UNDER THE LAWYER'S SLTPERVISION, IS BEST 

DEFINED BY THE TERMS "LAWYER'S ASSISTANT" OR "LEGAX ASSISTANT" 

Clarification of the nomenclature applicable to our subject will be helpful. 
Numerous terms are used to denote the lay person performing services in the 
area of law. Such trems as "paraprofessional," "paralegal," "quasi-lawyer," 
"legal technician." or even "adjoint" are found in the current glossary of terms. 
The committee helieves that the designation "legal assistant" or "lawyer's assist- 
ant" will define more accuratelif the statu.'i of the lay person working with a law 
firm environment under the direct supervi.^ion and control of a laicyer. 

Having concluded that the legal assistant should function as an employee of 
of a particular lawyer or law firm, under the direct supervision of a lawyer, 
it then follows that an independent contractor relationship is not consistent n-ith 
the proper function of the legal a^-f^it^tant. since it sugg'-sts the exerci-'te of inde- 
pendent judgment. Therefore, persons employed to assist lawyers in specific 
areas such as photographers or technical experts in some fields are not considered 
to be included in the term of "legal assistants." 

4. NEITHER CERTIFICATION OF THE LAWYER'S ASSISTANT NOR ACCREDITATION OF 

TRAINING AGENCIES SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN AT THIS TIME 

Consideration of the question of whether a legal assistant should receive a 
certification, either from a governmental agency or from The Missouri Bar was 
given. The certification of a legal assistant, if appropriate, could be accomplished 
by a Missouri Supreme Court rule establishing such a procedure, since the func- 
tion of the legal assistant as visualized by the committee would be inseparably 



239 

interwoven in the practice of law. Certification miglit also be accomplished by a 
procedure established by The Missouri Bar. 

The principle of certification as an aid to the employer in determining the 
degree of skill of the lay job applicant is accepted by the ABA Special Committee 
on Legal Assistants. The report of that committee, No. 84, presented to the 
House of Delegates of the ABA at the 1972 Midyear Meeting, on p.p. 9 and 10, 
recommends both accreditation of teaching facilities and certification of profi- 
ciency, the latter being based on the indication of "skill level" and ability thus 
made available to the prospective employer. 

Kline D. Strong, College of Law, The University of Utah, recommends "cer- 
tificates of proficiency"' endorsed upon the diploma, and on examination procedure. 

The committee concluded that no Missouri certification of legal assistants is 
now necessary or desirable, and no Missouri accreditation procedure for training 
scJiools is now appropriate. Because of the proliferation of training programs and 
the sometimes misleading connotations present in advertising materials, those 
schools and agencies promoting courses of training in Missouri should be advised 
that persons acquiring degrees or certificates from such schools are not authorized 
to practice law. For example, at least one liberal arts college in Missouri awards 
a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in "legal studies." The committee has 
srudietl in further detail the implications of such degrees or similar "certificates" 
and the misleading effect thereof to the student and the public. The committee 
believes tiiat clarification of the Supreme Court Rules, and, in particular. Rule 
n.lS, should occur. 

The increasing number of "schools" offering courses for the training uf legal 
assistants and the potential influx into the profession of persons receiving varying 
degrees of training, together with the possible misuse of certificates, diplomas, 
or other indicia of completion of such training, emphasizes the need for watch- 
fulness and stringent enforcement of prohibitions against unauthorized practice 
of law. 

It is, therefore, a recommendation of the committee that Supreme Court Rule 
o.lS should be amended to clarify the authority of the Advisory Committee in 
this area. 

5. REfiULATION OF THE USE BY THE LAWYER OF CARDS. SIGNS, AND LETTERHEADS 
CONTAINING REFERENCES TO THE TERMS APPLICABLE TO THE LAWYER'S ASSISTANT 
SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED 

The committee has considered other facets of the need for exercise liy the 
Supreme Court of Missouri of its rule-making authority. For example, the use 
of professional cards by lawyer assistants or the placing of such names on letter- 
heads or on office signs, or the use of references by legal assistants to certifica- 
tions or degrees would appear to be deceptive and misleading to the public, in 
that such usage might imply that the assistant was qualified to exercise in- 
dependent professional judgment. Info?-mal Opinion llSo of 5/31/71 of the 
ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibilit.v, relating to 
the use of the term "Legal Assistant" on the professional card- of a Invr firm 
would appear to be inconsistent with DR 2-102 (A) (1) [Rule 4, Code of Profes- 
sional Responsibility, which limits by implication the content of such profes- 
sional cards. 

Clarification of Canon 3 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (Rule 4) 
should be accomplished through additional Ethical Considerations setting forth 
that the designation of a "legal assistant" or similar term on office stationery, 
sign, or professional card is misleading in that it suggests that the legal assistant 
so designated can exercise professional legal judgment, and this is misleading, 
constituting a direct violation of DR 3-101 (A) which prohibits a lawyer from 
aiding "a nonlawyer in the unauthorized practice of law." 

RECOMMENDATIONS 

1. The Board of Governors recommends to the Supreme Court of Missouri the 
adoption of two additional Ethical Considerations to Canon 3 of the Code of 
Professional Responsibility, to be designated as EC 3-10 and EC 3-11, in the form 
attached : 

2. The Board of Governors recommends to the Supreme Court of Missouri the 
adoption of the attached amended Rule 5.18 setting forth more explicitly the 
inherent power of the Supreme Court to define the "practice of the law" and "law- 
business" and the power and duty of the Advisory Committee. 



240 

Recommendation No. 1 (Additions to Rule 4, Code of Professional Responsibility) 

EC 3-10. — It is perniis.sible for a lawyer to employ a lay person as an assistant 
and to delegate to such lay person tasks that do not call for professional judg- 
ment. However, the lawyer must supervise the delegated work, assume profes- 
sional responsibility for the work product, and make certain that his client 
understands that the lawyer retains such responsil)ility. 

EC 3-11. — A lawyer may not represent that a lay person employed by him is 
(jualified to practice law or engage in the law business, nor may he countenance 
any holding out of such person as one having a trained familiarity with law and 
legal process, or as one who may render legal services directly to the client. 

Recommendation No. 2 (Amendment of Rule 5.1S) 

0.18. Advisory Committee May Take Necessary Action for the Prevention of 
Unauthoried Practice of Law and Other Enforcement of These Disciplinary 
Hules. 

Pursuant to the inherent power of th'm Court to define and declare what is the 
practice of law and to prevent the practice of laiv hji laymen or other unauthor- 
icd. persons, the Advisory Committee shall have the power and is charged with 
the duty, on behalf of the Bar of this State, of investigating the unauthoried 
practice of law and of instituting and prosecuting appropriate suits actions or 
proceedings against any parties and in any forums within or without the State 
of Missouri, for the purposes of protecting the integrity of the Bar of this 
State, of enforcing this rule, of safeguarding the personal relationship of at- 
torney and client and restraining and suppressing intermediary agencies as 
defined in this rule, or prohibiting the solicitation for or the improper parceling 
out of law practice to any member of the Bar of this State, of preventing the ?t.sc 
hy any person, association, firm or corporation of business cards, letterheads, 
office signs, licenses, certificates, diplomas, degrees, or other means or devices 
which might tend to mislead hy holding out that a, nonlairycr is qualified, or com- 
petent to engage in the prnctice of laio or engage in. law businrss, and of prevent- 
ing the unauthorized practice of law, and of other practices tending to defeat 
or hamper the administration of this rule or to injure the members of the Bar 
of this State in the lawful practice of their profession ; and to such end the 
Advisory Committee is constituted an authorized legal representative of the Bar 
of this State and shall have authority to act in the premises as fully and as 
effectively as though the proceedings were taken in the name of all the members 
of the Bar of this State. 



Statement of American Parai.egal Association, Los Angeles, Calif. 

I. DIRECTION AND TREND OF THE PARALEGAL MOVEMENT 

The only way I can give you the trend and direction of the paralegal move- 
ment is to give you a brief history of the movement since my involvement on 
or about April, 1972. April 12, 1972 was the date on which our resolution to study 
the feasibility of licensing the paralegal, the role to be played by the paralegal 
in the legal community and the appropriateness of recommending legislation 
for the adoption of amendments to the Business and T*rofessions Code of the 
State of California, was adopted by the Beverly Hills Bar Association and 
subsequently its Board of Governors. 

In June, 1972 I was priAileged to attend the Canadian-American Bar Asso- 
ciations convention in Toronto, Canada, the theme of which was "The CJi-owth 
of the Law Firm by the utilization of the Parak'gal." At this point in time, 
the concept of the paralegal was not well known, or if known, not fully 
accepted. The estal)lished law firm did know who we were, yet alone, how to 
efficiently utilize our services to their and the public's advantage. 

Thereafter, at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in San 
Francisco in August, 1972, the '"National Meet" unanimously accei>ted the 
conc(>pt of the paralegal and recognized the rapid growth of the concept to 
tlie extent that we were referred to as a •'Frankensteinian monster," needing 
control. 

Toda.v. we ai"e still uncontrolled and the advent on the scene of various and 
sundry schools (with talk of franchising the same) offering paralegal studies 
l)rograms is prima facie evidence of the growth of the idea; and concept of, 
and in the utilization of paralegals in the established law firms and other 
related legal fields. 



241 

It is frightening to see the emergence of people calling themselves paralegals, 
simply because they are "helping the people," without some type of training or 
educational background. As in the areas of poverty law, welfare law, social 
security benefits, etc., where qualified, well-trained knowledgeable legal services 
are more important than in any other field. The reason may be that the average 
attorney has neither the time; nor the familiarity: nor the appreciation of 
these si>ecialized areas of the law ; nor therefore a recognition of the economical 
advantjige that could accrue to him through efficient use of the paralegal in 
these areas. 

Result : The public, who nei^ds qualified, expert legal services to secure the 
benefits and protection in these and other specialized areas of the law, are 
denied the same ; or are placed in the hands of people with good hearts and 
dedication, but who are ill-qualified and ill-trained to do an adequate .iob in 
protecting the very people they want to help. This statement is in no way 
intended to make light of the job tliese people do. Their job is a very important 
one. and very much needed in our society ; but here too, we feel a certain 
standard of education or training should be set as well as dedication and good 
intentions. 

In California, something is being done toward certifying and/or licensing these 
people; setting up guidelines to govern their conduct and the standard of their 
services. It is felt that the public has a right to know the calibre or degree of 
training and education of tlie paralegal serving them. And whether or not they 
are certified or licensed to perform a particular task. For the public today, is 
now looking for lower cost of legal services as well as protective legal services. 
In all candor, we nuist take into consideration the effect that the Watergate 
incident has had on the public as it relates to the trust or lack of it, in the 
established legal profession. Add that to the high cost of living and you can see 
the need for utilization of a paralegal in the law firm or industry or governmental 
agencies so that the greater portion of the general public, who needs legal 
services but who, because of the rise in the cost of said legal services, are least 
able to pay the increased and current high fees charged by the established 
legal profession for said services. Through the utilization of paralegals this 
portion of our society could obtain qualified, expert help and/or representation 
at a lower cost. 

In this connection, I see the need for uniform laws regulating the paralegal 
profession ; the need for uniform standards for certification and licensing ; and 
the need for delineation of the duties which can be performed by this new 
profession in any given state, and forthwith. Otherwise, this embryonic pro- 
fession will fail to achieve its true potential for service both to the legal 
community and to the public community and will indeed be, instead, a "Franken- 
steinian monster out of control." 

II. DIRECTION AND TREND IN THE UTILIZATION OF THE PARALEGAL 

It would appear that more and more law firms are beginning to see the value 
of the utilization of paralegal personnel as a member of the legal team in a 
law office. 

This "team concept" in a law firm is composed of an attorney, young associate 
and a paralegal in handling cases, and in some instances, taking the paralegal 
to court to observe, handle exhibits and take notes. Not in an advocacy role. 

Our observation and investigation shows a further trend to use the paralegal 
in an effort to lower legal fees to those persons who otherwise could not afford 
an attorney ; and to relieve the burden of the various legal clinics and legal 
services agencies, including but not limited to the public defender's offices. 

Here in California, the utilization of the paralegal is extending into the City 
Attorney's Offices wherein paralegals, both with formal training and in-service 
training, are being used as hearing officers and legal administrators in an effort 
to streamline and/or reform the city attorney's office procedures as they relate 
to speedier disposition of complaints and inter-office management as it relates 
to more efficiency in the handling of the paper w^ork necessary to speed up the 
disposition of complaints. 

What is terrifying is the trend emerging of paralegals wanting to go inta 
business for themselves. We are beginning to see ads in the papers wherein para- 
legals are soliciting jobs. Nothing is mentioned about their qualifications or the 
type of "experience." This concerns us in that the established legal profession 
does not and is not allowed to advertize for clients and since we t^^ant to be a 
true extension of and a member of the legal team we do not w^ant this type of 
advertisement. It is unethical and can conceivably cause irreparable harm and 



242 

injury to a third person, who, not knowing who or what is a paralegal ; the legal 
status or capacity of a paralegal ; education or training of a paralegal — calls 
them to render a legal service. This is one of the main reasons why there should 
be credentialling ; licensing and some type of standards set — to protect the 
innocent public. 

The;i there is the present and emerging awareness on the part of industry, 
corporations, imions in the possible utilization of paralegals in an effort to stop 
the rise of legal services rendered by the legal profession. 

Add This to the interest of the federal government in consumer services and 
tlie role the paralegal can play in the area of consumer frauds, class actions or 
multiple class actions for the benefit of the middle man '^Mr. John Q. Public," 
and one can really see the- light at the end of the timnel. 

In school we were taught that law is forever evolving. That it evolves around 
man, society and its needs. That as the needs of society change, so does the law. 
Today, our society has expanded beyond expectation. The statistics and scientists 
advise that it will continue to grow. And that the problems therefore, of our 
society will increase : hence new laws will be enacted by our legislators to meet 
this challenge ; new interpretations will be rendered by our courts ; a new "law 
of enforcement'' and research of those new laws : and the explanation of the pro- 
cedures to obtain eqmil justice and representation under these new laws, must of 
necpssity change. 

Who will then do all these things? 

Who will have the time, the patience to explain, do the paperwork, the routine 
study and investigation V 

The already overworked attorney? His "'just graduated from law school" 
young associate? Or a paralegal, who has been specifically trained and educated 
to do the job? 

This then is the trend and direction into which the paralegal is moving. To be 
nn extension of the established legal profession; the court sy.'item : the city at- 
torney's offices ; a member of the legal team rendering legal services to the public. 

The paralegal profession is here to stay and is expanding as is evidenced by 
California State Assembly Bill 1814 — the Certified Attorney Assistant Act. 

The committee study period is over and the time for concrete definitive action 
is now. 

III. AFFECT OF ACCREDITATION OF TR.\INING PROGRAMS — LICENSING ON 

PARALEGAL DEVEL0P:N[ENTS 

A. Gron-th and expansion 

It is our feeling that accreditation of training programs and licensing of indi- 
viduals would insure the growth and expansion of the paralegal profession and 
the unifying step in making the paraprofessional a true extension of the estab- 
lished legal profession — a member of the legal team. 

It is our feeling that accreditation of educational and training programs, mth 
licensing as a paraprofessional the goal towards which one can work, would be 
an incentive to those individuals interested in entering this new field of law. 
These processes would give meaning and purpose to the tasks they may already 
be performing and certainly to those tasks they would be performing on the part 
of the public in the future. 

These processes would also be beneficial to the established legal profession and 
the public in the following ways : 

(1) They would know the calibre of the paralegal seeking employment ; 

(2) They would no longer be in the dark as to the scope of the duties which 
could be performed by a paralegal ; 

(3) They would be more willing to delegate some of the tasks that had here- 
tofore been performed by them ; and 

(4 ) The public would more readily accept the service of a paralegal. 

It has been my experience that part of the problem in accepting the concept 
of the paralegal as a part of the legal term has been this lack of knowledge of 
what the paralegal was being taught ; the calibre of the instruction and whether 
what these individuals were taught was in fact needed by the attorney or the 
public. 

Accreditation would also be a means of control and supervision. 

IV. SHOULD INSTITUTIONS WHICH TRAIN PARALEGALS BE ACCREDITED 

Yes. But only as to the paralegal studies programs, if this is feasible. We 
would not want to see this procedure giving carte blanche acceditation to any 



243 

and all schools, simply because they are offering a paralegal studies program 
since if they are not already accredited, it may be for good reason having nothing 
to do with the offering of a paralegal studies program. 

However, accreditation of schools ofifei-ing a paralegal studies program would 
be a means of insuring uniformity of curricula being offered in the various 
schools throughout the country. Further, it would act as a deterrent to those in- 
dividuals attempting to get on the "bandwagon" and franchise schools for profit. 
In this regard, however, I would certainly hope that the standards for accredita- 
tion would be not beyond the reach of the schools located in areas where the need 
is the greatest but for economic reasons said schools could not meet the accredi- 
tation requirements. We feel, therefore, that the process should be a state or local 
procedure under the control of a licensing or accreditation agency, board or 
paralegal association in cooperation with and under the supervision of the bar 
associations, judicial council and/or state supreme courts. 

V. SHOULD PARALEGALS BE LICENSED? IF SO, WHO SHOULD CONTROL THE LICENSING 

IF IT IS DOXEV 

No. In our view a paralegal should not be licensed ; but should have some 
type of certificate, diploma, etc., indicating the degree or level of training ; 
and/or extent of insiitutidnal education received qualifying them to i>erform 
in a particular field. In other words, we feel there should be categories of para- 
legals and attach hereto our proposed definitions of legal assistants and classifica- 
tion of members of our association for your review. 

In California we are attempting (by way of Assembly Bill 1814) to use the 
licensing procedure to distinquish the roles of the paralegal and the certified 
Attorney Assistant. The main difference between the two is that the CAA will 
be able to go to court on certain default matters, under the supervision of and 
at ihf diM-retidii of the attorney ; and the paralegal will be the individual working 
primarily in the oflice. 

It is our understanding however, that the "public paralegal." though not as 
well qualified or trained, is i)resently able to aj)pear before certain administrative 
agencies advocating the cause of a "client." We have always felt this to be at 
odds with duties permitted to be performed by the "private paralegal" which do 
not include appearing before administrative agencies on behalf of a client, 
despite the fact that the majority of the "private paralegals" are insritutionally 
trained or in-serviced trained in the theory and concept of the law and specially 
trained to appear before the courts and administrative agencies but are not 
allowed ))y statute nor bar association resolution to do so. 

To license a paralegal at tliis stage of the growth of this new field of law would 
cause a great deal of confiision. Unless and until there is uniformit.v in training 
and education for the paralegal ; utilization of the paralegal, licensing at this 
time would not be in the best interest of the paralegal, the attorney nor the 
public they both serve. 
Sincerely, 

Deborah E. Labbalestrier, 

Executive Director. 

Enclosures. 

Classification of Members in the American Paralegal Association 

Clans A Members: Enrollees or graduates of a paralegal program which affords 
persons the opportunity to acquire the skills previously mentioned by an intensive 
study of a limited area of the law. Any such program must require at least 150 
hoiu's of classroom attendance in a specialized area and other foundation re- 
quired to provide the adjunct skills of a paralegal professional. 

ClnKs B Memhers: Enrollees or graduates of a paralegal program which af- 
fords persons the opportiniity to acquire the skills previously mentioned and also 
a broad exposure to the foundations of Anglo-American jurisprudence. Several 
areas of siibstantive legal knowledge and related procedures as well as training 
in legal research and writing. Any such program must require the completion 
of at least 30 acadwuic units of which at least 21 must be in subjects dealing 
with the acquisition of knowledge of substantive law and/or related procedure 
and the reuniining 9 units must deal with legal research and writing, and law 
oflice management and/or accounting. 

Class C Members: Enrollees or graduates of a paralegal program which com- 
bines the elements of the programs dLscussed under the classification of A and B 
next preceding by requiring completion of a program as outlined for Class B 



244 

members and thereafter the completion of a program as outlined for Class A 
members. In order to be eligible for membership in this class while still a student, 
the person so applying must upon enrolling in a partiodar institution offering 
such a program, be eligible for unconditional admission to such program by said 
institution. 

Class D Memhei-'^: Practicing paralegals or legal assistants who have achieved 
a standard of professionalism through education or training other than that 
outlined in Classifications A. B and C as outlined below : 

1. Applicant must have completed his secondary education with grades quali- 
fying him for admission to a paralegal program approved by the American Para- 
legal Association and/or the State Bar Association of his state or the American 
Bar Association. 

2. The applicant must show evidence of being able to complete a course leased 
on the enrollment standards of approved institutions by one or more of the 
following : 

(a) Completing 45 units or its equvalent at the college level with passing 
grades. 

(6) Passing a civil service or equivalent professional examination for advance- 
ment to a position utilizing techniques outlined in the etlucational training 
above. 

(c) Possessing the criteria for attaining a degree of professionalism as evi- 
denced by licensing or certification by the State Bar or the American Bar Associa- 
tion. 

\d) Training by one's employer over a period of time that qualifies one to per- 
form legal procedures on a professional standard equivalent to Class A, B, or 
C members. 

The above qualifications shall apply to : 

Military Legal Assistant working in the Armed Forces or for the Armed Forces 
at a military rank or civil service rank that reflects professional ability accept- 
able to attain membership in the American Paralegal Association. 

Governmental Legal Assistants working for the municipal, state or federal gov- 
ernment at a rating reflecting professional ability acceptable to attain member- 
ship in the American Paralegal Association. 

Public Paralegals working for government approved agencies, public legal serv- 
ice organizations or other approvetl organizations rendering legal service to the 
public at a level reflecting professional ability acceptable to attain membership 
in the American Paralegal Association. 

In-Service Legal Assistants working for an active member of the Bar or work- 
ing imder the supervision of an attorney and performing legal procedures that 
reflect the professional ability acceptable to attain membership in the American 
Paralegal Association. 

Associate Membership shall he exclusively composed of the following: 

(1) Universities, schools, paralegal associations; 

(2) Law firms; 

(3) Bar associations ; 

(4) Individual attorneys ; 

(5) Businessmen; and 

(6) Any other law related individuals or entities, the Board of Directors shall 
determine and approve by Resolution. 



September 5, 1973. 
Department of Consumer Affairs, 
Sacramento, Calif. 

Statement to be presented to the Committee studying the feasibility of reform- 
ijig pnd/or streamlining the procedures of the Small Claims Courts in Sacramento 
and Los Angeles County. 

Our comments directed at the Utilization of Paralegals as the proposed Small 
Claims Advisors. 

Since the overall objective in streamlining the procedures in the Small Claims 
Court is to : 

(1) Make for, and insure speedier trials ; 

(2) Dispense equitable justice ; and 

(3) Remove the burden of explaining the court procedures and how to com- 
plete the paper work from the presiding judge, bailiffs and marshals ; it would 
appear that a Small Claims Advisor should be an individual thoroughly familiar 
with, not only the function and procedure of the Small Claims Court, but with 



245 

the function and procedures of the Marshal and Sheriffs Offices. But just as im- 
portant, an empathy for people and their needs. 

The above qualifications describe the background, training and education of the 
paralegal. 

The duties of a Small Claims Advisor as we understand the need, would be the 
following, but not necessarily limited thereto : 

1. Work with the Clerk of the Small Claims Court in processing the summons 
and complaint forms, i.e. completion of forms ; filing of the document and delivery 
to the Marshal's Office. 

2. Explanation of procedures for appeal ; nature and purpose of the arbitration, 
if included in the streamlining effiort ; advantages and disadvantages of said arbi- 
tration, if invoked. 

3. Work with the Marshal and Sheriff Offices in explaining to the small claims 
litigant, the procedure for affecting execution of a judgment. 

The familiarity with the above referred to duties further qualifies a paralegal 
(legal assistant) to be a Small Claims Advisor. 

'Further, it is our understanding that attorneys are not permitted to practice 
in the Small Claims Court. This being true, it would appear that the paralegal or 
legal assistant would be best qualified to act as a Small Claims Advisor in the 
alternative. 

The hackground of a paralegal, or legal assistant, for the most part, is that of a 
legal secretary (or someone in a like capacity, having been exposed in some man- 
ner to law offices and court procedures; or to the general community). And by 
virtue of the duties performed in such capacity know : 

'(1) the procedures of the courts and/or related systems ; 

'(2) has developed a rapport and communication with the public second only to 
the attorney (or businessman) for whom they worked. 

They are the ones who have had the initial contact with the public on a new 
case; explained the procedure; taken in the initial factual situation and have 
communicated with the client, either by telephone or in person, throughout the 
tenure of the case proceeding. 

Additionally, the paralegal or legal assistant who chose to go to school (or back 
to school) to study under one or more of the paralegal studies programs being 
offered in the colleges and universities throughout California, is being taught and 
trained in the concept and theory of the law, as well as court and related 
procedures. 

These courses are either a four month specialized course in one specific area 
of the law; or a two, or two and a half year comprehensive course covering 
all phases of the law. In either event, this w^ould make the paralegal or legal 
assistant much more qualified to act as a small claims advisor. Their current 
or previous work experience coupled with additional education and training 
would make them an Invaluable asset to the court and the small claims 
litigant. 

The whole concept of the paralegal or legal assistant is to be the extension 
of the established legal profession in rendering services to the public. How 
better to extend the arm of the legal profession than in serving the public 
In the people's court as a small claims advisor. How better to insure equal and 
equitable representation for both the plaintiff and the defendant in the due 
process procedure than by having individuals trained and educated for this 
specific purpose. 

It is an ideal way of helping the legal community serve and render justice 
to those individuals who cannot afford the services of a licensed attorney, but 
who need expertise guidance. 

Yoii must bear in mind that law is a world unto itself and the terminology 
is a foreign language to the average layman. The court is a place unfamiliar 
to them. It frightens and bewilders most people. The average person is not 
familiar with the technical knowledge or court procedures. He can easily be 
taken advantage of by someone who has a little knowledge. This lack of 
knowledge on the part of the small claims litigants could conceivably jeopardize 
his rights as guaranteed under the due process procediires of the law. Having 
a paralegal or legal assistant as small claims advisors for both sides would at 
least be insuring equal representation for both sides. 

At the moment., the legal status of the paralegal or legal assistant is in a 
tenuous position. They are seeking recognition from the State Bar. The California 
State Bar is looking to the legislature to enact legislation to give the paralegal 
or legal assistant the recognition they are seeking through licensing and certifica- 
tion based on work experience and education. Then the additional certification 
as a Certified Attorney Assistant by way of some type of examination yet to 
be determined. 

41-375—74 17 



246 



Therefore, depending on the ultimate definition find delineation of the duties 
of a Certified Attorney Assistant, the door to actini? as a Small Claims Advisor 
will he closed to them ; but would still he opened to the equally trained, equally 
.skilled paralegal or legal asshstant sliould they desire to act in such capacity. 
Contingent, of coiir.se, on the adoption of this .suggestion, i.e., utilization of a 
paralegal or legal assistant as small claims advisors. 

The analysis and proposal hereinahove su))mitted is the result of informal 
and off-the-record discussions with various nienihers of the American Paralegal 
Association and members of various paralegal and legal assistant communities 
in Los Angeles County. 

It in no way represents a policy statement of the American Paralegal Asso- 
ciation at this point in time. 

Tlie Board of Directors of the American Paralegal Association has not had 
an opportunity to review the "Draft Proposal re Small Claims Reform" ; or to 
discuss the ramifications, po.sitive or negative as it relates to the pending leg- 
islation regarding licensing and certification of the paralegal and/or legal as.sist- 
ant. If in fact it effects the same. 

It is safe to say, however, that of the individuals polled, there is 100 percent 
enthusiasm about the idea of being used in this capacity to serve the public in 
the "People's Court." 

Deborah E. Larbalestrier. 

Illustrative Example 

A comparison of the cost involved in forming a corporation under the tradi- 
tional approach and the legal assistant approach : 
Assume the following : 

1. A fixed fee of $400.00 will be charged. 

2. The hourly rate for the lawyer is .$50.00. 

.3. If the lawyer were not forming this corporation, he could be serving other 
clients on other matters. 

4. In the first case, the secretary receives $4.00 per hour ; in the .second case, 
the legal assistant receives $8.00 per hour. 

CASE I— THE TRADITIONAL APPROACH 



Time consumed (hours) 



Lawyer 


Secretary 


1.5 





1.0 





1.5 





2.0 


4 


1.0 


.5 



Functions: 

Interviewing client 

Advising and counseling 

Obtaining information 

Preparing pfp3rs 

Executing and filing papers 

Tc'tal 

Cost (measured by economic Input). 



7.0 



.5 



$350 



$18 



Total cost 




$363 


Fee _ 




400 










CASE II— THE LEGAL ASSISTANT APPROACH 








Time consumed (hours) 




Lawyer Assistant 



Functions: 

Interviewing client 

Advising and counseling 

Obtaining information 

Prea'ring papers 

Executing and filing papers 

T(tal 

Cost (neasursd by economic input). 

Total cost 

Fee.__ 



0.5 

1.0 



.5 

.5 



1.0 



1.5 

3.5 

.5 



2.5 

n2T 



6.5 

"$52 



$177 
400 



Added income to attorney by fees derived from service to other clients on other 
matters : 4.5 hours— $225.00. 



247 



Statement of David E. Met/., Associate Professor of Law, Ixiveksity of 

Massachusetts/Boston 

I wrire as the Director of a Program to train paralegal personnel and as the 
Chairman of the Organization of Paralegal Educators, a national association of 
program directors and teachers. I will address my comments to the question of 
the impact of accreditation on educational programs, and the significance of 
that impact for the paralegal movement. 

Education programs for paralegals liave been operating for only a very few 
years, and such programs based outside law offices are no more than four years 
old. Indeed, the concept of the paralegal is itself new and is used with a wide 
variety of meanings. The Subcommittee will hear from others about the impor- 
tance of the paralegal for delivering legal seiTices. I wish to stress only that 
the range of possible roles for the paralegal grows every day. 

It is this very inventiveness about the uses of the paralegal that make the 
movement potentially so powerful. From law offices, to courts, to drug programs, 
to arbitration programs, to court diversion programs, to parole and probation, to 
grant administration, the list goes on and grows daily. And education programs 
need to bt^ responsive to this evolving need. One key point in pianuing any 
paralegal training program, therefore, is flexibility. It must be flexible regarding 
rhe changing market for paralegals. It must be flexible regarding new definitions 
and roles for its gi-aduates. And, perhaps most fundamentally, it must be flexible 
regarding the method of education appropriate for the paralegal. A conference of 
paralegal educators in May of this year produced a clear message: There is a 
need for innovation in educational method. 

The flocxl of uses for the paralegal suggests that we may 1>p witnessing the 
birth of a new professional, limited neither by notions of sophisticated clerkdom 
(as some would have it) nor by the educational rigidities of law school. Thus, 
neither the case method, nor the business law lecture, nor the civics class survey 
are adequate to the educational task of preparing people for an emergency role 
in delivering services. No thoughtful educator pretends to have all, or even most, 
of the answers, hut innovation is beginning to bloom in programs around the 
country. And if the paralegal movement is to he fostered, this is essential. 

And now we hear talk of accreditation. It could hardly be more ill-timed. The 
hi.story of accreditation, as told by its own practitioners, has been to stifle and 
channel educational programs, to mold curricula to l«nth the ex]ilicitlv crltprin 
published by the accrediting agency and to the implicit expectations emanating 
from the nature of that agency. With the best of intentions, accreditation is a 
negntivp influence flexibility and innovation. And the intentions are not always 
the best. 

It has been argued, by the American Bar Association. Special Committee on 
Legal Assistants, that accreditation is needed to protect the unwary student 
from incompetence and fraud in educational institutions, and to guide employers 
of paralegals in heir hiring. It is also argued that the ABA guidelines for ac- 
creditation are sufficiently broad to allow innovation. Both, unfortunately, can- 
not lie true. The guidelines are indeed broad, so broad that many a charlatan 
organization could qualify and still cheat the customers. And as has been recently 
demonstrated by crack downs on private vocational schools in ^Massachusetts, 
adequate laws are now on the hooks to protect the unwary. For example, there 
is the minimum requirement of 60 credit hours. For some paralegal training this 
is sensible. For some, which require much less training to be done effectively, the 
requirement constitutes a barrier to entrance and to performance : it requires 
that classic error of the professions, overtrainine. It means that only tho'^e who 
can afford the money and time of 60 credit hour that education can enter the 
paralegal field. A further example is the use of the credit hour as the standard 
of measurement, at a time when several programs (mine among them) are 
eliminating the crerlit systpm in favor of a comTientencv bo~.'ifi mothod. TIt^ 
comnetency system is nn important frontier in paralegal educating, and is funded 
in r^''^^ by the Fund For the Improvement of Post Secondary Education, yet it 
WiMild run afoul of the ABA guidelines. 

The point, here, however, is not to attack one guideline, or even the ABA 
guidelines themselves. Their failings mo.st often (though not always) are the 
failings of any guidelines. Those failings are inherent inevitable in the accredi- 
tation process. 

My eonclu.sion. therefore, is that accreditation is totally out of place at this 
time in the history of paralegalism and para'esral education. It will of neces.sity 
force educational decisions for which we do not now have (anywhere near suffi- 



248 

dent experience, and will cut off our access to that experience ; that is, it will 
require us to make irresponsible decisions. 

Is it therefore advisable to do nothing at this time? I think that there are 
some steps, substantially short of accreditation, which make sense now. Much 
work has been done by the ABA Special Committee on Legal Assistants on sur- 
veying the field of paralegals and their education. Most of this work, unfor- 
tunately, has relied on questionaire and surveys and conference conversation, 
and only rarely has there been an in-depth study of individual programs. As 
educators know, however, such depth is necessary if real understanding of the 
nature of education is to be determined. I suggest, therefore, that an adetiuately 
funded Task Force be appointed, perhaps working out of the National Institute 
of Education, for the purpose of doing in-depth monitoring of paralegal educa- 
tion for a period of three years. Such a Task Force would be composed of attor- 
neys, legal educators, paralegal educators, paralegals, consumers, and public 
administrators (since many paralegals woi-k for public administrative agencies). 

It would analyze and report in detail on what is really happening in paralegal 
education and make recommendations concerning : 

(a) The chai'ucteristics of the most successful educational programs. 

(&) The best way of supervising such programs, whether that be accreditation 
or some other, and who should do that. 

(c) The strengths and weaknesses of the various institutional bases of such 
programs, including junior and community colleges, four years colleges, pro- 
prietary institutions, on-job-training programs, continuing education programs. 

((7) And the most productive relationships between the educational programs 
and the organized bar. 

In the event that the urge to accredit programs now proves irrestable, I would 
like to suggest that the Subcommittee consider who might best do that. More 
pointedly, I would like to suggest that it is strikingly inappropriate for the 
American Bar Association to have the task alone. There are two reasons. First, 
the job requires educators, paralegal educators. Not only paralegal educators, but 
others as well. The job requires, in decision making positions, much the same 
group I proposed for the Task Forces above. That is, representatives of the bar, 
legal educators, paralegal educators, paralegals, consumers and public admin- 
istrators. Trere being some difference (between the public and private law firms.) 
There should be one respresentative of each. The ABA in its committee work, 
and elsewhere, has made clear that it is nominally willing to listen to the opinions 
of others, but unwilling to share authority with anyone. Yet it lacks breadth of 
experience and skill needed to do the job. 

The second reason for excluding the ABA from exclusive control of the para- 
legal accreditation is that this would represent a conflict of interest. Though it 
is accurate that many paralegals will work for attorneys, it is also true that, 
used properly in law firms and public agencies, they will be able to provide legal 
.service better and cheaper in many fields than can many lawyers. Many lawyers 
already, and quite properly, see paralegals as competition. They should hardly, 
therefore, be permitted to regulate that competition. And since the educational 
programs will increasingly become the gateway to the profession, control of ac- 
creditation become crucial for control of the personnel in the paralegal profession. 

This leads naturally to a consideration of licensing of paralegals, about which 
I will make only a few comments. Given the unformed, shifting condition of the 
paralegal field, it is inconceivable that any procedure could be devised which 
would adequately test and screen for the full range of people who should be des- 
ignates! paralegals. Licensing at this stage would, like accrediting, mold and if 
controlled by the bar-stiffle, a budding development which could over time change 
drastically and for the better the way legal services are delivered. The quality 
of work will always be protected by the supervising attorneys, members of the bar, 
and by the courts. A new licensing machinery would add new governmental work 
and friction which would be counterproductive and unnecessary. 



249 



Statement of John Scott Price, Coordinator of Paralegal Developmext, 
Community Action for Legal Services, Inc. 

Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to have this opportunity to report my findinjjs on 
paralesalism to the Committee. In fact, tlii.'^ occasion permits me to panse for a 
moment, step back from the activities in which I am and liave l)t^en involved, and 
critically assess the work which I have done in the past two and a quarter years. 

My formal work in paralegalism L'egan in April. 1972, with my assignment 
as a VISTA vohmteer to the Legtil Aid Society of Westchester County, New York. 
I investigated aspects of poverty-law in which paralegals can take an active part, 
developed training programs to meet consequent job descriptions, deivsed various 
paralegal/attorney working models, and monitored paralegal activities'. 

This work prepared me well to serve the Community Action for Legal Serv- 
ices fCALS) corporation in New York City in the capacity of Coordinator of 
Paralegal Development. I have held this position since June of this current year. 

My work fir.st as a paralegal and now as a paralegal coordinator or manager 
provide me with an unique opportunity to observe legal services needs of para- 
legals and paralegal functioning in response to tho.se needs. 

paralegal job description 

Two particular elements of a legal services operation, i.e. high turn-over among 
profes.sional staff and extreme caseload pressures, create special oflBce needs for 
paralegals. 

The high turn-over of the legal services professional office staff seems endemic 
among legal services offices. While a private law office may exjiect associate attor- 
neys to serve in the offic-e for a minimum of five years, five to ten years is prob- 
ably the maximum number of years which legal services attorneys dedicate 
to poverty law practice. Given the level of legal services funding and the unstable 
state of legal services legislation, the high turn-over rate among profe.ssional 
staff is not suprising. 

The turn-over rate of clerical and para-professional staff in legal services offices 
is often slower than the rate for professional staff, creating an odd situation in 
which the professionals lack the .seniority, skills, and knowledge which the cler- 
icals and paralegals have built up over a i>eriod of time. 

The caseload pressures of the neighborhood legal services office is tremendous. 
From what I can understand, most offices average between one and five new 
cases taken in for each attorney for each working day throughout the year. 
Such heavy caseload pressures barely give one time to think, and can create 
serious hazards in one's attempts to deliver the highest quality legal services to 
all clients. 

The neighborhood legal services offices tend to cope with this kind of caseload 
pressure in one of several ways. First, the office can restrict the intake of new 
cases. This regrettable step provides quality legal services for the office's clients, 
yet provides no legal services for the excluded applicants. Second, the office can 
restrict the kind of new cases taken in. Only cases with great social impact are 
sei'ved. while individuals with individual and private matters are excluded. 
Third, the office can employ paralegals to increase the availalnlity of legal staff 
and deliver quality legal services to great numbers of clients without any de- 
crease in the quality of legal services delivered. 

A particular legal services office defines the paralegal job description to meet 
the office's needs for person-power, maximizing the available attorney legal stip- 
port for the paralegals. If the activities of an office can bf' envisioned as a 
pyramid, with the base being the kinds of cases taken in and the strata being 
the activities performed or done for the cases, then the job slots or descriptions 
fall into two major categories. First, a paralegal may be instructed to perform 
a variety of fiuictions for a category of clients. Second, a paralegal may be 
instructed to perform a specific function for all categories of clients. 



250 



Trial 



Intake 




Hearing 



Draft Pleadings, Memoranda 

Draft Pleadings, Memoranda 
Legal Research 



Jiegal research 
actual research 






•</' e^^"" y ^"^ V-^ v^"' --^ 
.^^^ ♦^'^ J^ CP^^ .¥>'' ,5^ ^ 



^-"^ c-^ 



FiGUKE 1. — Two sample paralegal job descriptions meeting neighborhood legal 

services office needs. 

Figure 1 illustrates a job description for each of the two kinds of paralegal 
deployment patterns most frequently used in legal services operations. The first 
kind of job description, i.e. variety of functions for a category of clients, is 
illustrated by a job description wherein the paralegal meets public assistance 
recipients or applicants, does the factual and legal research necessary to repre- 
sent the client at a Fair Hearing, and either represents the client at the hearing 
or assists the client in his or her own pro se representation at the hearing. 

The second kind of job description, i.e. specific function for a variety of 
client categories, is illustrated by a job description wherein the paralegal does 
advanced legal research and drafts pleadings for all civil trials. 

BENEFIT OF PARALEGAL USE 

Several benefits logically result from the extended use of paralegals in a 
legal services nffieo. Normally, such benefits are only "emotionally" or "intui- 
tively" felt and discussed. However recent investigation by people interested 
in paralegalism, including myself, begin to sketch statistical support for claims 
of benefits. 

The Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach, California, computed some rough 
cost-effective statistics of paralegal use. Marc Lerner, of the Foundation, reported 
the following data regarding an operation in which attorneys and paralegals 
were used to maintain a caseload of public assistance recipients and applicants. 

TABLE 1.— SAMPLE C3ST-EFFECTIVENESS STATISTICS OF PARALEGAL USE 



Attcrney 



Paralegal 



Total 12-mo. cost $14,069.85 $7,895.74 

Percentage of time invested on fair healings 40 65 

Cost of time invested on fair hearings $6,331. 43 $5, 132. 23 

Fair hearings attended.. 35 55 

Cost per fair hearing... $180.89 $93.31 



Initially, I "intuitively" or "emotionally" believed that use of paralegals could 
provide a cost-saving of between a quarter and a third of an attorney's salary. 
The Foundation's figures, lioweviT, show a greater cost saving than I thought 
possible. Those figures are taken from an individual project, and may not be 
representative of paralegalism as a profession. Yet I am fairly optimistic that 
at least one-third of an attorney's salary can be saved if a paralegal can work 
effectively in a responsible job description. 

Not all legal services operations are able to use paralegals, perhaps, because 
of their caseload structures and internal management policies. However, it now 
seems safe to anticipate a saving of one full attorney salary for every three 
paralegals hired. 



251 

The savings for most programs is considerably greater, now, because many of 
the current paralegals are not hired by the neighborhood legal services offices. 
I guess that more than half of the paralegals are administratively and legally 
supported l>y the neighborhood offices, but the salaries originate elsewhere, e.g. 
VISTA/ACTION, contributions of staff from other groups and organizations. 
etc. 

Any plan of paralegal use and deployment must include office administration 
and legal support. Lack of support makes paralegals nervous, and distributed 
information may take the form more of "what ought to be' rather than "what is." 
I recorded some data on a paralegal program of my design to measure the amount 
of administrative and legal support which is required for an effective paralegal 
program. The data was collected from a landlord-tenant paralegal group which 
was supported by one attorney. The attorney was always accessible to the para- 
legal group for consultation and litigation. The group was composed of one 
senior paralegal who acted as "office manager", one full-time junior paralegal, 
and three part-time paralegals. The quality of service by the group was such 
that the local court referred cases to the group and recognized the paralegals as 
having appropriate knowledge to assist tenants in their own pro se representa- 
tions. 

The follov.ing data was kept during the "slow season" for the landlord-tenant 
group, i.e. August to November of 1973. The data is an attempt to determine how 
information flowed between the paralegal group and its supervision. A total of 
139 cases were taken In during the period, yet 35 were rejected for various 
reasons, leaving a total caseload of 104. 

Not included in the data is the time and effort exerted in the initial intake 
interview with each client. Excluding the 15-30 minute intake interview from 
the data gives a more accurate picture of what paralegals did on a client's 
behalf and what supervision they received in the process. 

TABLE S.— SAMPLE RESOURCE DEDICATION AND INVESTMENT FOR A PARALEGAL/ATTORNEY OFFICE 





Paralegal activities, to 

Tel?- 
Personal phone 
contacts calls 


■jr on behalf of client 

Legal - 
Letters research 




Supe.vision— 






By senior 
paralegal 




By supervisi 
attorn^v 


\pg 




Advice 


Work 


Advice 


Work 


Number of cases in which 
activity occurred 

Percent of cases in which 
activity occurred 

Numher of incidents 

Average number of incidents 
per case ' . 


104 

100 
202 

2 

70 
41 


83 

80 
191 

2.4 

34 

25 




23 
22 


27 

26 


44 

42 
91 

2.1 

25 

34 


30 

29 
66 

2.2 

26 
52 


21 

15 
34 

1.5 

11 

30 


4 

4 
9 

2.2 


Total time (hours) for all 
incidents ■ 

Average time (minutes) per 
case 1 






26 
6 


4 
62 







■ In which jncidentr occurred. 

2 Excluding 15-30 minute intake interview. 



These data and other data which I have collected on various paralegal prograuio 
are just a beginning to understand how paralegal/attorney relation.ships ought to 
function. The message I receive from the data is clear : given detailed and con- 
structive job descriptions and appropriate attorney supervision, paralegals can 
be a highly effective element in the delivery of quality legal services. One of the 
major tasks currently before the people who investigate paralegalism must 
be to devise a multitude of paralegal/attorney models in which parale.gals 
do what paralegals do best and attorneys do what attorneys do best. 

Before I became involved in paralegalism, I worked with computing systems at 
Cornell Univer.sity. One of the projects I worked on was called "computer aided 
instruction." The goal of the project was to isolate out of the teaching profes- 
sion those tasks and activities which are purely mechanical and can be done 
by computers and other machines better than by people. Removal of the 
mechanical elements of teaching permits an educator to concentrate on the 
purely personal asi>ects of the profession. The project demonstrated that effec- 
tive use of such a system can provide an educator with 4-10 hours each week of 
time which he or she can spend wdth individual students, while machines are 
performing the mechanical tasks involved in learning and teaching. 



252 

I am convinced that use of paralegals, in a creative environment, can "free up" 
immense amounts of time for attorneys to spend in concentrating on wliat 
attorneys are skilled and educated for, i.e. practice law. 

REGULATING PARALEGALS 

I am not familiar with any large scale demand by paralegals working 
in the field of poverty law that paralegalism should be regulated. Neither am I 
familiar with any demand by legal services paralegals to avoid regulation. The 
emphasis for regulation must come from elsewhere, therefore. The impact of 
external regulation on a developing profession can have profound effect. 

Professions do not need to be regulated. Most of the professions of which I am 
aware, e.g. law, medicine, and many trades as well. e.g. plumbing, carpentry, 
began without regulation. The professions and trades developed and matured, 
recognizable standards were achieved before regulation was attemped. 

Paralegalism, however, has not achieved or estal)lished such standards. Indeed, 
little is known about the field at all. While there seems to be con.siderable dis- 
cu.ssion of regulation of the profession, there seems to be little investigation of 
the field. The Long Beach Foundation study, a current survey being conducted 
by the National Paralegal Institute, and my own work seem to be the only 
concerted efforts to stiid.v the field of paralegalism and asse.ss the levels of 
achievement which may be possible. Paralegalism, therefore, does not exist : this 
seems an odd foundation from which to tr.v and regulate it. 

Regulation, generally, is a code describing the minimum qualifications and 
maximum authority which regulated people must work with. Lacking reliable 
data on what paralegals currently do, it seems impossible to discuss what they 
ought to do. 

While I discourage any current attempts to regulate paralegalism until more 
data is available. I am eager to consider the assumptions or forms which such 
regulation iiltimately may take. The first matter to consider is who or what 
will benefit from the regulation of paralegalism. 

Clearly, the general public must benefit from the regulation of a profession. 
The public assumes that such regulation will provide better services and this 
public trust may not be betrayed. 

The regulated professionals must also benefit from the regulation. Regulation 
should reward excellent practice and discourage or punish incompetent practice. 
Regulation must provide some form of securit.v for the professionals, yet not 
violate public confidence by creating a monopoly or an elitism. 

Since most of the current discussion of regulating paralegalism is being held 
outside of the profession, one must consider how the regulation will affect the 
areas in which regulation is being considered. 

The following diagram concludes my impressions of the groups or people 
who may benefit and suffer from regulation of paralegalism. 

TABLE 3.-AFFECT OF REGULATION ON INVOLVED GROUPS 

Benefits derived from Hardships suffered from 

Group or individual constructive regulation abusive regulation 

The public generally, clients 1. Standards of quality service main- 1. Monopoly or elitism created which excludes 

specifically. tained. social responsiveness. 

2. Bring profession closer to people's 2. Create myth which only professionals can 

needs. understand. 

The professionals, paralegals. 1. Provide career training and advance- 1. Develop elitism within profession which dis- 

ment courages advancement and independence. 

2. Create a forum for developing thought; 2. Exclude reform or introduction of new 

strive for higher awareness. thought and action. 

3. Reward quality service, discourage 3. Abide by regulations rather than seek to 

shoddy performance improve service. 

The regulators 1. Enhance delivery of legal services 1. Lose valuable development by subugating 

professionals. 

2. Develop closer contacts with com- 2. Exclude public intrusion into profession. 

munity. 

3. Create more staff positions: more 3. Restrictions can keep available staff mini- 

clients can be served. mal— fees remain high and services re- 

main inaccessible for indigents. 



253 

ENFORCEMENT OF REGULATION 

Assuming that regulation of paralegalism is desirable, there is one circumstance 
which is to he avoided more than no regulation at all, i.e. regulation which does 
not provide benefit and rather imposes hardships for the public and for para- 
legals. As described above, poverty-law paralegals are largely "invisilile" be- 
cause of the lack of data on the profession. Restrictive regulation will cause 
paralegals to become "more invisible." Poverty law paralegals operate without 
regulation now, and must receive benefit from the regulation in order to abide 
by restrictions. Advanced "invisibility" of paralegals created by their dislike of 
a regulatory system will make enforcement of the regulation impossible. 

Another "matter which may be an appropriate topic for discussion of paralegal 
regulation is the nature and profile of typical legal services paralegals. This 
profile includes people who work in legal services oflBices, and the people (num- 
bering in the hundreds of thousands likely) who dispense legal or quasi-legal 
services from store fronts, churches, schools, and the like. The aim of regulation 
is to provide better legal services, and it does not make sense to define the popu- 
lation of paralegals merely along lines of employment. "Paralegal" may be more 
a description of what somebody does rather than what one's job title or place 
of employment may be. A rabbi or priest who helps a member of a congregation 
obtain a lower bail or bond fee is acting in a legal or quasi-legal capacity, albeit 
the informality of the pleading. A day-care social worker who forces a landlord 
to replace lead-base paint with nonleaded paint through the use of code enforce- 
ment authorities is acting in a similar quasi-legal capacity. While the career ad- 
vancement aspect of regulation may not be needed in such instances, other aspects 
of regulation (e.g. continued training, forum for developing thought, etc.) are 
of great concern for such poverty-law, nonlegal services paralegals. 

in this environment, it is not obvious that attorneys should control the regula- 
tion of paralegalism. Certainly for the regulatory system to be credible to 
attorneys, the bar must be confident that paralegal regulation satisfies certain 
standards. 

Perhaps paralegalism could be viewed as a trade or a guild, so public, rather 
than professional, control should be the goal. Since poverty-law paralegals are 
community-oriented, perhaps poverty-oriented groups and agencies should regu- 
late the profession, e.g. the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. 
Alternatively, since education and training seems to be the "seed" from which 
all paralegal practice springs, perhaps local or state educational systems could 
control the regulation. 

SAWY 

One of the reasons why regulation of paralegalism seems so distant to me i.s 
the inability to quantify the one particular qualify of a i>aralegal, or an attorney, 
which permits that person to operate well within the field of law. The quality 
I refer to is "savvy." This particular quality comes to an attorney or paralegal 
after years of activity, and that quality, more than any other, marks the person 
as exceptional in the profession. 

It has only been within the last year and a half that I have understood how 
to teach "savvy" and thereby avoid months or perhaps years of unix>lished para- 
legal activity. Teaching "savvy" is a two-step process. First, one must enhance a 
trainee's general ability to act responsibly and effectively in a social environment. 
Second, one must add the tools of law to the trainee's assortment of previously 
learned tools which can be used to resolve human misunderstandings. 

Most law schools, even ones with advanced clinical programs, do not have a 
firm idea of how each graduate will practice law. Paralegal training. In the form 
which the National Paralegal Institute, I, and others adopt, teaches law and 
methods of legal practice : These together constitute "savvy." Quality legal serv- 
ices delivered by graduates of such training programs is highly likely, inasmuch 
as the needs and abilities of individual trainees are enhanced and are carefully 
monitored. Paralegal job descriptions are then refined to take best advantage 
of an individual's achieved abilities and skills. 



254 

It is oue matter to teach "savvy," and yet another to quautifiably judge or eval- 
uate it. Oue method vv^ith which I experimented to try and quantify "savvy" 
invol