California Association of Legal Document Assistants

What does an LDA do?

An LDA is an experienced professional who is authorized to prepare legal documents for a client, but only at the direction of the client. In other words, an LDA is there to assist the “self-help” client handle their own legal matters without the cost of an attorney. Since even the best legal, self-help books can be confusing and overwhelming, your LDA can provide invaluable assistance with routine legal tasks, such as typing and filing the paperwork for uncontested divorces, bankruptcies, wills, and many other types of documents. Again, because an LDA is forbidden to practice law of any sort, they cannot make suggestions as to what the client needs done for a particular matter, or what forms that the client must file with the state or the other party to the action.

Who are Legal Document Assistants? (LDA)

Legal Document Assistants were once commonly known as Independent Paralegals. However, as of January 1st, 2000, only those Paralegals working directly for attorneys may now be referred to as Paralegals. Those formerly known as Independent Paralegals are now officially known as Legal Document Assistants (LDAs). LDAs often have the same educational background as a paralegal and are REQUIRED by law to be registered and bonded in the county in which they have their principal place of business.

A NEW Profession in California For the first time, a new California law known as SB1418 authorizes non-lawyers to prepare legal documents for people doing their own legal tasks. Effective January 1, 2000, these non-lawyers, called Legal Document Assistants, may:

  • Distribute to their customers legal materials that have been published or approved by a lawyer
  • Prepare the customers’ legal documents under the direction of their customers
  • File the customers’ legal documents in the appropriate courts

website offers directory of Legal Document Assistants, which you can search by area and specialty, including conservatorship

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Tue, Sep 25, 2018: 9:09 am
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