What is a Legal Document Assistant (LDA)?
A Legal Document Assistant is NOT a Lawyer
By law, we cannot give you legal advice or represent you in court in any matter.
If you need to consult with an attorney, we will provide you with a referral
Our LDAs are experienced professionals who are authorized to prepare legal documents for our clients. Our LDAs are there to assist “self-help” clients handle their own legal matters without the cost of an attorney. Since even the best legal, self-help books can be confusing and overwhelming, our LDAs 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 legal documents. Because an LDA is forbidden to practice law of any sort, we 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.
For example, to file an uncontested divorce in California, there are approximately 6 different forms which must be filled out exactly. Naturally, the average client doesn’t know what forms he or she needs. The LDA is not allowed to suggest to the client what forms would be necessary for an uncontested divorce, because that requires legal know-how and legal judgment, and it constitutes UPL (unauthorized practice of law). Our LDAS have pre-printed instruction sheets or lists, prepared by our licensed California Attorney’s, which specifies what forms are needed for an uncontested divorce. Our LDAs merely hand over the sheet and tell you: “Here is what our lawyer’s say you need for a divorce. Would you like me to fill THESE forms out for you?”
The same goes for ALL other services our LDAs provide. We have a detailed guide, approved by our attorney’s, stating exactly what forms are needed. The LDA is not allowed to use his or her judgement and say, “Well, really you’re talking about this type of case instead of that type of case. Therefore, you should follow this course of action and file THESE forms instead.” The CLIENT must know what he or she wants, and what forms to use (or decide on the forms based on the attorney-approved instruction list), and our LDAs fill in the forms. However, just because an LDA is only there to fill out forms doesn’t mean they aren’t an invaluable resource for your legal matter. Many, if not all, legal forms are very confusing; incorrectly filled out forms will delay your case, possibly for a long time. Our experienced LDAs can help you avoid the pitfalls and also make sure every important detail on a form is accounted for.