It’s no surprise that New Jersey rules for paralegal utilization are probably some of the most restrictives. On March 28, 2011, the New Jersey State Bar’s Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics (“ACPE”) and the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee (“CUPL”) issued an opinion which lifts the long standing restrictions of allowing paralegals to sign non-substantive correspondence. Opinion ACPE 720/CUPL 46. For now this opinion will stand, unless the court overturns it. The opinion modifies the long standing ACPE Opinion 611, which goes back to February 18, 1988, and restricted paralegals to “…sign only routine correspondence that is not directed to clients, opposing lawyers or courts.”.
Although it may sound like Opinion 720 is still restrictive and not such a great cause to celebrate, if you live and work in New Jersey, this is great news and a step, albeit a baby step, in the right direction.