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Legal Paraprofessional Pilot Project

Minnesota’s Legal Paraprofessional Pilot Project is intended to increase access to civil legal representation in case types where one or both parties typically appear without legal representation. The Minnesota Supreme Court adopted Court Rule amendments on September 29, 2020, which authorizes the Pilot Project, effective March 1, 2021 through March 2023. 
 
The Pilot Project permits legal paraprofessionals, under the supervision of a Minnesota attorney, to provide legal advice and, in some cases, represent a client in court in two legal areas: landlord-tenant disputes and family law disputes.
 

Pilot Project Overview

The Legal Paraprofessional Pilot Project Standing Committee, established in November 2020, will oversee the Pilot effort and evaluate its success in meeting the goal of improving access to legal services.

The Standing Committee is currently developing an application and approval process for participation in the Pilot Project. The Committee expects to launch the application process around March 1, 2021. At that time, the forms and accompanying instructions will be available on this website.

Other Committee activities underway include the development of a complaint process, determination of Pilot evaluation methods, and the creation of a variety of communication and informational tools. If you have questions about participating in the Pilot Project, or anything else related to the Pilot, please use the Contact Us button at the top of the page.
 

Legal Paraprofessional Pilot Project Background

March 2019: Minnesota Supreme Court Order ADM19-8002 established the Implementation Committee to assess Pilot Project options and provide recommendations for implementing and evaluating the Pilot. Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Paul C. Thissen and Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge John R. Rodenberg co-chaired the Implementation Committee, and members included legal experts from throughout Minnesota.

Also, see the March 2020 Judicial Branch News Item, Supreme Court authorizes new pilot to expand role of legal paraprofessionals, for more information.

March 2020: The Implementation Committee filed its report with the Supreme Court, recommending rule amendments and that the Pilot Project focus on both housing and family disputes.

April 2020: The Supreme Court issued an Order establishing a public comment period and hearing.

July 2020: Following the public comment period, the Court issued the Order Regarding Public Hearing on Proposed Legal Paraprofessional Pilot Project, which set the schedule for the public hearing held on August 11, 2020.

September 2020: Order Implementing Legal Paraprofessional Pilot Project
Implementation Committee Meeting Schedule
 
A variety of resources are available on this topic. This list is not inclusive of all information available but represents some of the information the Implementation Committee has received and reviewed.
 

Minnesota Information

National Information 

International Information