To the editor: As longstanding lawful aid attorneys, we had been astonished by the editorial board’s assistance of the California Bar Assn.’s proposed paraprofessional program.
Somewhat than select concerning non-public attorneys seeking to safeguard their turf and a condition bar hoping to grow its individual, The Situations should really have attended to objections by nonprofit authorized services lawyers committed to expanding accessibility to justice for a lot less-resourced Californians.
Legitimate plenty of, “the aim ought to be on the needs of Californians who are worthy of a fair shot at justice.” But not each individual paraprofessional application advances that intention. In California, “notarios” self-styled as paraprofessionals infamously prey on desperate immigrants by delivering shoddy services, often with dire implications.
Bad authorized solutions can be (much) even worse than none at all. That is why safeguards subject so much. Still, the bar’s proposal omits or slights attorney supervision, constrained roles, instruction and regulation and enforcement. Licensure below would paper about — and thereby respectable and entrench — California’s current two-tiered process of justice.
Leigh Ferrin, Santa Ana
Julianna Lee, Los Angeles
Ferrin is director of litigation and pro bono at the General public Legislation Middle. Lee is supervising attorney at the Legal Aid Basis of Los Angeles.