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March 4, 2024

Legal Representation Equity Bill Advances in House

DENVER, CO - The House today passed legislation sponsored by Representatives Regina English and Junie Joseph that would make certain civil legal services more accessible and affordable to Coloradans. The bill passed by a vote of 62-2.

“Legal services like legal separations can be costly, especially when attorney fees get added to the bill,” said Rep. Regina English, D-Colorado Springs. "Our legislation would codify into Colorado law that licensed legal paraprofessionals can perform certain civil services, making legal access more equitable for low-income Coloradans, seniors, people with disabilities, and other communities that can’t easily afford these services.”

“Money should not stand in the way of someone accessing the legal services they need to move forward in life,” said Rep. Junie Joseph, D-Boulder. "By allowing licensed legal paraprofessionals to practice a limited scope of law, our legislation ensures that more Coloradans, regardless of their economic status, can access legal representation for important life-changing matters.”

In March 2023, the Colorado Supreme Court adopted a rule change that would allow legal paraprofessionals to apply for a license enabling them to represent clients in some civil matters. HB24-1291 would codify the regulation of licensed legal paraprofessionals into Colorado law.

Under the bill, a licensed legal paraprofessional would be able to represent a client in:

  • A legal separation, declaration of invalidity of marriage, or dissolution of marriage or civil union,

  • A matter involving the establishment or modification of child support or maintenance,

  • Seeking, modifying, or terminating a civil protection order,

  • A name change, and

  • A request to amend a birth certificate to change the sex designation of an adult.

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