Frequently asked questions

Attorney, LLLT & Lawyer

What is an attorney?


In the most general sense this term denotes an agent or substitute, or one who is appointed and authorized to act in the place or stead of another. Black's Law Dictionary In other words, an attorney may be authorized to act on behalf of another person.




What is a LLLT (Limited License Legal Technician)?


A Legal Technician practices law under a limited license. Legal Technicians are licensed to counsel and assist clients, short of representing them in court, in limited legal matters approved by the Washington Supreme Court. WSBA LLLT | WSBA LLLT - FAQ




What is a lawyer?


A person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel, or solicitor. Any person who, for fee or reward, prosecutes or defends causes in courts of record or other judicial tribunals of the United States, or of any of the states, or whose business it is to give legal advice in relation to any cause or matter whatever. Act of July 13, 1800. Black's Law Dictionary In other words, a lawyer is any person whose business it is to give legal advice, or who, for compensation, prosecutes or defends causes in court. In Washington, a fully-licensed lawyer may act on your behalf ( see "What is an attorney?) and is not limited to practice in one area of the law.




Is a Legal Technician the same as a paralegal?


No. Paralegals are not licensed to practice law, and must work under the direct supervision of an attorney. In Washington, paralegals do not give legal advice, select forms for clients, or practice law in any other manner.




Is a Legal Technician the same as a lawyer?


No.

Generally speaking, a fully-licensed lawyer does not have limits on practice areas or tasks which they may perform. A lawyer may appear on a client’s behalf (as an attorney) and make legal arguments to the court.

A legal technician has a limited license to practice law within specific practice areas, and particular tasks within those areas.





Costs

Why do attorneys charge so much?


Many factors contribute to an attorney's hourly rate, such as: Experience and reputation - a higher-profile, experienced attorney is going to charge more. The firm's overhead costs - such as the firm's legal support (paralegals, law clerks, assistants), document preparation, consultants, research, and other expenses. Location - attorneys in large, metropolitan areas tend to charge more than attorneys in rural areas or small towns. Type of case - attorney representation is more costly in particularly complex or time-consuming cases; for example, if there is a large amount of discovery needed, or several procedural hoops to jump through.




How much do legal technicians charge?


Like attorneys, legal technicians set their own rates. Many charge significantly less than attorneys, which is partially due to the limited nature of the legal technician's scope of practice. Another factor is the costs to become a legal technician are lower than those of an attorney. Among legal technicians, there is a general sense of pride in providing affordable legal services to the public.




What is a flat fee?


Legal Technicians (and attorneys too) may enter into an agreement with a client to perform specific work for a set price - a flat fee. Legal technicians must sign a fee agreement with all clients for whom they perform services, and a flat fee agreement spells out the work to be done, and the price for that work. When the work is completed, the legal technician-client relationship may be immediately terminated, or the client may sign a new fee agreement for further work. The fee agreement will provide the details about the nature of the relationship and when it ends.





Self Representation

What does self represented mean?


A self represented person, or "pro se" litigant, is someone who speaks from themselves. This may be in writing, or in person in the courtroom, or any other type legal proceding, such as mediation. Clients of legal technicians are considered self-represented. The clients sign all legal documents for their case, and speak on their own behalf.




Will a legal technician talk to the judge for me?


Currently, legal technicians are not able to speak to the judge or commission for their clients in the courtroom. At Legal Technician Division, PLLC, we work closely with our clients to prepare them for speaking in court. A judge or commissioner often has questions for self represented parties, and we work with our clients in advance to have answers to anticipated questions prepared.





Serving clients: Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Marysvillle, Tacoma, Puyallup​, Southcenter, Renton, Spokane, Spokane Valley

​​Disclaimer:  The information presented here is for general informational purposes. No LLLT-client relationship is established, nor does the information presented constitute legal advice.

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