Overview of Admissions Requirements for LPPs
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The admissions process for LPPs takes inspiration from the admissions procedure for lawyer applicants. Before applying to the program, prospective applicants must ensure they meet the admission criteria set forth in Rule 15-703. Qualifications for Licensure as a Licensed Paralegal Practitioner which enumerates the following requirements:
(a) Requirements of Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Applicants. The burden of proof is on the Applicant to establish by clear and convincing evidence that she or he:
(1) has paid the prescribed application fees;
(2)is at least 21 years old;
(A) graduated with a First Professional Degree in law from an Approved Law School; or
(B) graduated with an Associate’s Degree in paralegal studies from an Accredited School or Accredited Program; or
(C) graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in paralegal studies from an Accredited School or Accredited Program; or
(D) graduated with a Master’s Degree in legal studies or equivalent that is offered through an Approved Law School; or
(E) obtained either the Certified Paralegal (CP or CLA) credential from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA); the Professional Paralegal (PP) credential from the National Association of Legal Professionals (NALS); or the Registered Paralegal (RP) credential from the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).
(4) is of good moral character and satisfies the requirements of Rule 15-708; and
(5) has a proven record of ethical, civil, and professional behavior.
(b) Specialized Course of Instruction requirement. If the Applicant has not graduated with a First Professional Degree in law from an approved law school, the Applicant must take a Specialized Course of Instruction, as defined in Rule 15-701, in:
(1) professional ethics for Licensed Paralegal Practitioners; and
(2) each subject for which the Applicant seeks to be licensed.
(c) Substantive Law-Related Experience requirement. An Applicant must have 1500 hours of Substantive Law-Related Experience, as defined in Rule 15-701, within the last 3 years, including 500 hours of Substantive Law-Related Experience in temporary separation, divorce, parentage, cohabitant abuse, civil stalking, custody and support, and name or gender change, and petitions to recognize a relationship as a marriage if the Applicant is to be licensed in that area, or 100 hours of Substantive Law-Related Experience in forcible entry and detainer or debt collection if the Applicant is to be licensed in those areas. Except as provided in paragraph (d), the Substantive Law-Related Experience must have been supervised by a lawyer licensed in any state or a Utah Licensed Paralegal Practitioner.
(d) Substantive Law-Related Experience in a school or program. An Applicant may submit a transcript from an Approved Law School, an Accredited School, or an Accredited Program and receive a maximum of 750 credit hours toward the Substantive Law-Related Experience requirements under the following conditions:
(1) Courses must have been completed within the five years prior to applying for licensure as a Licensed Paralegal Practitioner.
(2) The transcript must specifically note the Substantive Legal Course, as that term is defined in Rule 15-701, for which the Applicant requests credit under this paragraph.
(3) The transcript or other documentation must note whether the credits are semester-based or quarter-based.
(4) For credit to apply to a specific practice area, the Applicant must specifically request that a course apply and also demonstrate that the course covers the specific area of practice.
(5) Upon request, the Applicant must provide the course description, syllabus, or other course materials.
(6) To receive Substantive Law-Related Experience credit, a course must meet the definition of Substantive Legal Course under Rule 15-701, as determined by the LPP Admissions Committee.
(e) Credit for Substantive Legal Courses. Substantive Law-Related Experience credit for a Substantive Legal Course will be given as follows:
(A) If the course if offered at an institution that works on the common semester model, the Applicant will receive 30 Substantive Law-Related Experience hours for each credit hour of the course.
(B) If the course is offered at an institution that works on the common quarter model, Applicants will receive 20 Substantive Law-Related Experience hours for each credit hour of the course.
(C) If the course is offered using any other formula, the Applicant must submit documentation of the actual hours of classroom instruction along with the hours of out-of-classroom work expected by the program or school. The committee will determine how many Substantive Law-Related Experience hours to grant the Applicant based on a rough equivalence to the semester or quarter models.
(f) Examination requirement. An Applicant must successfully pass:
(1) the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Ethics Examination; and
(2) the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Examination(s) for the practice area(s) in which the Applicant seeks licensure.
(g) Licensure and fee requirements. Upon successfully completing the application and examination requirements, an Applicant must comply with the provisions of Rule 15-716 concerning licensing and enrollment fees before the Applicant will be licensed.
(h) Disqualification. An individual who has been disbarred or suspended in any jurisdiction may not apply for licensure as a Paralegal Practitioner.