Oregon is considering a proposal to provide more options for legal services in the state. The State Supreme Court is looking at a program that would expand the role that paralegals can play.
Kirsten Thompson is a senior circuit court judge in Oregon, and the chair of the Paraprofessional Licensing Implementation Committee for the Oregon State Bar.
“Somewhere between three out of four or four out of five litigants proceed through their court proceedings — whether it’s a family law matter or a landlord tenant matter — without ever having access to a lawyer,” she said. “And the biggest barrier is generally that they can’t afford legal services and so this has been something that has been of growing concern really for a great number of years.”
The new licensing program aims to ensure legal services in family law and tenant/landlord cases are more accessible to people with low and moderate incomes. The Oregon State Bar is currently accepting public comment on the proposal.
Thompson spoke on OPB’s “Think Out Loud.” Listen to the entire conversation: