If you’re trying to navigate simple legal documents, you may be having a difficult time determining whether you require the help of a paralegal vs legal document assistant.
To help out with this common dilemma, we’ve outlined the main differences between a paralegal and a legal document assistant below:
What is a Legal Document Assistant (LDA)?
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. Today, the legal document assistant profession is governed by Business and Professions Code Sections 6400 to 6415.
A legal document assistant is an experienced professional authorized under California law to prepare legal documents for consumers at the direction of the client. In other words, an LDA is there to support the “self-help” client handling their own legal matters without the cost of an attorney.
Note that legal document assistants must meet strict educational requirements and be registered and bonded in the county where their primary office is located.
Paralegal vs Legal Document Assistant
- An LDA is NOT an attorney and cannot give legal advice or represent people in court.
- Likewise, a paralegal is NOT an LDA!
Specifically, a paralegal cannot offer legal document preparation services directly to consumers and can only work and be paid by the attorney who employs them. Only registered legal document assistants can offer these types of services.
How Can an LDA Help?
From A to Z, LDAs can provide invaluable help with routine legal tasks. For example, legal document assistants can prepare documents in these areas of law:
- Adoption, Alimony, Annulment;
- Bankruptcy – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13;
- Child Support, Civil Complaint, Collections, Conservatorship, Contracts, Copyrights, Corporations;
- Deeds, Divorce;
- Healthcare Directive;
- 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;
- Unlawful Detainer;
- and other routine legal documents
Unfortunately, even the simplest legal matters can be paperwork intensive. Thankfully, LDAs are the perfect solution for simplifying and streamlining your self-help legal endeavors.
A People’s Choice – A Top LDA
A People’s Choice has provided low-cost, non-attorney legal document preparation services for over 30 years. In fact, A People’s Choice has been a registered legal document assistant since the inception of the statute!
If you need help preparing legal documents in California, A People’s Choice can help with filling and processing the necessary forms with the proper court or agency. Contact A People’s Choice for affordable non-attorney assistance to make the process inexpensive, easy, and hassle-free.