Log in


  • Home
  • News
  • Oregon begins Licensing Paralegals through the Oregon State Bar

Oregon begins Licensing Paralegals through the Oregon State Bar

March 08, 2024 12:10 PM | Anonymous

In January 2024, Oregon became one of a small group of states licensing paralegals to provide discrete legal services in family and landlord/tenant law (previously only provided by Oregon licensed lawyers). These professionals are called Licensed Paralegals or LPs for short, though you can find them referenced by a myriad of other names across the country and in Canada. This is an exciting step for Oregon in a decades’-long effort to see this initiative move forward through the bar and ultimately, approved by the Oregon Supreme Court.

Below is a summary of the Oregon Licensed Paralegal Program Application Requirements.

  • Foundational Education or Experience.

Applicants must have at least one of the following: an associate degree in paralegal studies, a bachelor’s degree in another discipline, a juris doctorate (J.D.) law degree, a paralegal certification, extensive and substantive paralegal experience (which can include military paralegal experience), or an approved education waiver.

  • Pre-Licensure Education Requirements

In addition, the applicant must complete 20 hours of specifically designated professional education during the 18 months prior to licensure, which includes such topics as: ethics, mandatory reporting, practice specific courses, and others.

  • Recent Substantive Paralegal Experience

Applicants must complete 1,500 hours of substantive paralegal experience during the 18 months prior to licensure (500 within the last 3 years), verified by their supervising attorney. For JD applicants, the hourly requirement is reduced to 750 hours of substantive paralegal experience. All applicants are also required to obtain specific experience in the practice area they are seeking licensure; 500 hours in family law and 250 in landlord/tenant.

*Substantive paralegal experience requires knowledge of legal concepts and processes that are customarily, but not exclusively, performed by a lawyer and do not include administrative functions.

  • Examinations – A 3-Pronged Assessment

One of the assessment prongs is the submission of a Portfolio of work, which includes twelve different artifacts (or documents) “substantially completed by the applicant, for the applicant’s education or employment.” The CoPA will assess these artifacts against the program’s core competencies, which include categories such as: document production, negotiation, litigation, client communications, professional responsibility, legal writing, legal research, to name a few.

Once an applicant has successfully completed the Portfolio Assessment, there are two additional examinations they must complete. One focuses on legal ethics/professional responsibility, and the other on the LP license scope of practice. For the first cohort of applicants, both exams will be held on the same day, though it is possible that some Oregon colleges will develop an approved ethics course, or the National Conference of Bar Examiners could play an exam role. In that case, the ethics/professional responsibility assessment could change in the future.

Go to the Oregon State Bar Website to find out more or to apply for licensure. - https://www.osbar.org/lp.

Follow Us:


PO Box 28264

Portland, Oregon 97228

Disclaimer: Paralegals are not permitted to practice law in the State of Oregon and may not provide legal services to the public except as permitted by law. Read more from the Oregon State Bar here

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software