The editorial about the limited license legal technician program and criticism of the state Supreme Court to sunset that program was spot on [“Sometimes a lawyer is overkill,” April 15, Opinion].
The decision to abolish the law technician license is flawed. It is a step back from providing legal assistance for people of low or modest incomes.
I’ve practiced law for more than 40 years and can vouch for the fact that many people who need legal assistance don’t really need lawyers. They need someone to help navigate the court system, for example.
One reason for the high cost of lawyers is to recover the cost of legal education. A legal technician will not incur that cost. And, legal technicians will not be able to provide the full range of services a lawyer is able to provide.
The Supreme Court and the legal profession should embrace what the medical profession has known for years: that many services do not need to be performed by a doctor. Hence physician assistants, nurse practitioners and medical assistants.
One can easily imagine that if the court won’t reverse its decision, the Legislature or the people, through initiative, will take on the task of assuring more equitable availability of legal services.
Kelby Fletcher, Seattle