Paralegals in New Jersey Taking Baby Steps


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.

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4 thoughts on “Paralegals in New Jersey Taking Baby Steps

    1. You’re welcome and thank you for your comment. Yes, it is a very big step for New Jersey. We’re looking for the tides to change and working to make sure the profession receives the respect it deserves. Stay tuned we’re not done.

  1. I was amazed when I read this. What are the limitations on they types of letters a paralegal can sign? Surely day to day letters like enclosures are OK?

    -Karen

    1. Yes, enclosure letters are ok. We have always done enclosure letters but it was not clear if that was even something paralegals were allowed to do. This opinion, unless overturned by the court confirms that enclosure letters are within the scope. We really need to push for unification, in my opinion. After all, what makes a New Jersey different from any other state’s paralegal?

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