• Quote from New Hampshire Chief Justice. The single biggest challenge confronting the state courts in america in the first decade of this new century is the rising number of self-represented litigants. They enter our courthouses in increasing numbers and compound our dockets. The self-represented are no longer just the poor, but their ranks now include more members of the middle class and a rising number of small businesses.

Paralegal vs Legal Document Assistant -Which One Do I Need?

You have been told by a friend to hire a paralegal to help you with your simple legal documents. Another friend says you need to hire a legal document assistant. You are now confused. What is the difference between a paralegal vs legal document assistant?

A legal document assistant (LDA) is an experienced professional authorized under California law to prepare legal documents for consumers at the direction of the client. In other words, a LDA is there to help the “self-help” client handle their own legal matters without the cost of an attorney.

Paralegal vs Legal Document Assistant – What a Legal Document Assistant (LDA) is Not:

A LDA is NOT an attorney and cannot give legal advice or represent people in court. A LDA is NOT a paralegal. A paralegal CANNOT offer legal document preparation services directly to consumers and can only work and be paid by the attorney for whom they work. It would be illegal under California law for a paralegal to offer to prepare legal documents directly to consumers. You MUST be a Registered Legal Document Assistant to offer these types of services.

How Can a Legal Document Assistant Help?

From A to Z, LDAs can provide invaluable help with routine legal tasks. Legal Document Assistants can prepare documents in these areas of law:

  • Adoption, Alimony, Annulment, Answers
  • Bankruptcy – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
  • Child Support, Civil Complaint, Collections, Conservatorship, Contracts, Copyrights, Corporations
  • Deeds, Divorce
  • Eviction
  • Guardianship
  • Healthcare Directive
  • Incorporation
  • Landlord-Tenant. Legal Separation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Living Trusts
  • Modifications of Child Support, Alimony, Custody, Visitation;  Motions – Answers
  • Name Change
  • Partnerships, Paternity, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Probate including complete Probate, Spousal Probate, Small Estate Probate and Affidavits),  Power of Attorney
  • QDROs (Division of retirement benefits)
  • Real Estate Deeds
  • Stepparent Adoption
  • Trusts
  • Unlawful Detainer
  • Wills
  • and other routine legal documents

Unfortunately, even the most simple legal matters can be paperwork intensive. Using a LDA can be a perfect solution for simplifying and streamlining your self-help legal endeavors.

Legal Document Assistants must meet strict educational requirements and be registered and bonded in the County where their primary office is located.

A People’s Choice has provided low-cost, non-attorney legal document preparation services for over 30 years and has been a Registered Legal Document Assistant since the inception of the statute when on September 30, 1998 former Governor Pete Wilson signed California State Senate Bill SB1761, regulating the legal document preparation profession in the State of California, and creating a new formal title, Legal Document Assistant (LDA). The Legal Document Assistant (LDA) profession is governed by Business and Professions Code Sections 6400 to 6415

If you need help preparing legal documents in California, A People’s Choice can help in filling out the forms necessary forms and processing them with the proper court or agency. Contact A People’s Choice for affordable non-attorney assistance. While we will not give you legal guidance, we can make the process inexpensive, easy and hassle-free.

Get help with your California legal documents today!

A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your legal documents instead of an expensive attorney!

By |2018-03-17T16:29:13-07:00June 18th, 2013|Legal Document Assistants, Miscellaneous|1 Comment

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

One Comment

  1. Cynthia Zuber October 27, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    I’m excited to have found this low-cost alternative to attorney for wills and estate planning!

    Now I feel like I can proceed with making an estate plan that won’t break my bank account!

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