Legal executives: how qualified they will be?
According to the proposed scheme of the legal executive profession (‘doradca prawny’), law graduates will be qualified to provide legal advice and draft legal opinions, pleadings and contracts. They will also be authorised to act before public administration bodies and represent clients in civil matters pending before the lowest level (district) courts.
In the opinion of the HFHR, such a proposal raises substantial doubts. The Foundation has already presented its objections to Ryszard Kalisz, Chairman of the Sejm Committee for Justice, pointing out several ambiguities in the proposal. Above all, the HFHR noticed that no system has been put in place for the external review of graduates’ skills. As legal studies primarily develop the theoretical knowledge of law, it is doubtful whether the graduate who has just obtained a law degree will be properly qualified to appear, for instance, before district courts.
The proposed scheme also fails to address the issue of disciplinary liability for improper performance of legal services or disclosure of privileged information. All these shortcomings mean that a law graduate rendering specific services will not be subject to any special regime of professional conduct.
Considering the above, the HFHR calls for review and amendment of the scheme. These should be made with the view to protect the rights of recipients of legal services rendered outside the recognised professional associations of lawyers.