LEGAL DOCUMENT ASSISTANTS & PARALEGALS
In California, you must be a registered and bonded Legal Document Assistant to prepare legal
forms and other types of legal document preparation services directly to consumers. It is ILLEGAL for Paralegals to provide these types of services!
As a Registered Legal Document Assistant, A People’s Choice can save you
hundreds of dollars by preparing your legal documents instead of an expensive attorney!
We prepare thousands of different types of legal documents.
What is a legal document assistant? A legal document assistant (LDA) is an experienced professional who is
authorized under California law to prepare legal documents for consumers at the direction of the client. In other words, a
legal document assistant (LDA) is there to assist the "self-help" client handle their own legal document preparation and legal
matters without the high cost of an attorney. California is one of the few states that offers this type of “non-attorney” self
help legal service for the preparation of routine legal documents. A legal document assistant cannot provide legal advice.
What is a paralegal? Prior to the enactment of California Business and Professions Code Section 6450 on January 1,
2001, individuals performing non-attorney legal document preparation services were commonly referred to as “paralegals.”
The enactment of Business and Professions Code Section 6450 changed the entire profession, established specific
regulations and consumer protections, and made it against the law for paralegals to provide services directly to consumers.
Under the new law, a non-attorney who provides legal document preparation services directly to consumers must be a registered legal document assistant under California law. A paralegal can no longer provide these types of legal
document preparation services, and any paralegal that does so is in violation of California law. Under the new statute, a
paralegal can only work for an attorney. A consumer would never hire a paralegal directly, but rather would hire the
attorney for whom the paralegal works. Educational requirements for both professions is virtually the same, however
paralegals are not required to be registered or bonded as they only work for attorneys and not consumers.
- cannot set and accept fees from customers.
- cannot prepare documents for consumers.
- cannot give you legal advice.
- cannot work as a legal document assistant unless they have met the requirements of being bonded and registered.
Services a legal document assistant can provide: A legal document assistant can take the confusion out of the court
process for you by preparing all of the required paperwork and facilitate the processing of your paperwork with the court
during your entire case. This alone makes using an LDA the best choice for your self-help legal endeavors.
A legal document assistant:
- can set and accept fees from consumers.
- can prepare legal documents for consumers at their specific direction
- can file legal forms with the court and have them served
- can provide consumers with legal materials, books and publications authored and/or approved by an attorney
- does not work with or for an attorney
- must be registered and bonded under California law.
Since even the best legal, self-help books can be confusing and overwhelming. An legal document assistant can provide
invaluable assistance with the routine legal tasks, such as typing and filing the paperwork for uncontested divorces bankruptcies, trusts and wills and many other types of legal documents.
A legal document assistant has a limited scope of services they can provide under California statutes. A legal document
assistant is not an attorney and cannot provide legal advice or represent individuals in court.
The “A People’s Choice” difference:
For over 29 years, A PEOPLE'S CHOICE has provided the community easy
access to the courts and other legal processes, assisting thousands of people in the preparation of their legal documents,
without a lawyer. Many consumers choose to represent themselves in routine legal matters, saving hundreds of dollars in
attorneys fees. As a Registered Legal Document Assistant, our office is dedicated to providing consumers low-cost, self
-help legal document preparation services without compromising quality or professionalism. A People's Choice offers its
customers both online and personal service with extended hours of operation and a comprehensive self-help library.
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