California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 2001
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MCLE SELF-STUDY

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Self-Assessment Test
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Answer the following questions after reading the MCLE article on paralegal regulation. Use the answer form provided to send the test, along with a $20 processing fee, to the State Bar. Please allow at least eight weeks for MCLE certificates to reach you in the mail.


1. Under recently enacted law, to hold out as a “paralegal” means that the individual must perform all legal work under the direction and supervision of an attorney.

2. A paralegal working under the direction and supervision of a supervising attorney may only perform legal work specifically delegated by that supervising attorney.

3. A “freelance paralegal” may contract independently with a person who is not an attorney to perform certain types of legal services for that person.

4. An attorney may bill clients for the services of a “legal assistant” who does not meet applicable paralegal requirements, so long as the attorney does not refer to that person as a “paralegal” in the billing.

5. A person employed by the State of California as a paralegal, legal assistant, legal analyst or similar title, is exempt from the new paralegal rules.

6. A paralegal may interview clients, conduct research and draft legal documents, but may not represent a client before any court or administrative agency.

7. A paralegal may not select, explain, draft or recommend the use of any legal document to or for any person other than the attorney who directs and supervises the paralegal.

8. A paralegal may not only set the fee to be paid to the paralegal by the supervising attorney, but may also set the fee that the supervising attorney charges to the attorney’s client for the paralegal’s services.

9. A paralegal is required to maintain the confidentiality of client information.

10. A paralegal is prohibited from inducing a person to make an investment, purchase a financial product or service, or enter a transaction from which income or profit purportedly may be derived.

11. The new paralegal rules create educational prerequisites for paralegals, which can only be met through possession of a degree or a certificate of completion from an accredited program or school.

12. A paralegal may not act as a “runner” or “capper” to solicit clients for an attorney.

13. Any person who violates the provisions of Bus. & Prof. Code 6451 or 6452 (regarding unlawful activities or holding out by a paralegal) is guilty of an infraction for the first violation, punishable upon conviction by a fine of up to $2,500 as to each consumer with respect to whom a violation occurs.

14. The new paralegal rules create mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) requirements for paralegals, and a paralegal must certify with the State Bar of California that such requirements have been met.

15. A paralegal’s supervising attorney must keep records of the paralegal’s MCLE compliance.

16. Paralegals must certify completion: (1) every two years of four hours of continuing education in either general law or in a specialized area of law; and (2) every three years of four hours of continuing education in legal ethics.

17. The business card of a paralegal must include the name of the law firm where the paralegal is employed, or a statement that the paralegal is employed by, or contracting with, a licensed attorney.

18. An attorney who uses the services of a paralegal is liable for any harm caused as the result of the paralegal’s negligence, misconduct or violation of the new paralegal rules.

19. Consumers injured by a violation of the new paralegal rules may file a complaint and seek redress in municipal or superior court for injunctive relief, restitution, and damages.

20. Consumers may direct any complaints concerning a paralegal to the State Bar of California, which has disciplinary jurisdiction over non-attorney paralegals.