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Paralegal Regulation: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Publication Details: 


Paralegal Regulation: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Lori H. Young
Master’s in Paralegal Studies, The George Washington University

Publication Month: 
December 2011
Background: 

Lori H. Young, MPS is a senior paralegal at the law firm of Thompson Von Tungeln, in Lancaster, California, a P.C. with more than 25 years of experience. Lori recently graduated from The George Washington University obtaining her master’s degree in Professional Studies with an emphasis in Paralegal Studies. Lori is also an adjunct instructor at Antelope Valley College and College of the Canyons instructing technology and paralegal courses.

Abstract: 

Growth of the paralegal profession has brought a significant increase in roles, responsibilities, and titles associated with the profession, as well as a push for needed regulation. As California legislators took positive steps to regulate the paralegal profession, the resulting legislation contained very real setbacks for both the profession and its consumers. California’s statutes regulating paralegals are complex and convoluted and make it difficult to determine which legal paraprofessional is qualified and authorized to perform what type of work. An analysis of the statutes reveals the confusion and risks consumers and attorneys will encounter when seeking to employ a legal paraprofessional. There is a need for a regulatory agency and registry to protect legitimate paralegal professionals as well as their consumers.

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