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:
- Prepare the customers' legal documents under the direction of their customers
- File the customers' legal documents in the appropriate courts
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.
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. An experienced LDA can help you avoid the pitfalls and also make sure
every important detail on a form is accounted for. This alone makes them the best
choice for your self-help legal endeavors.
As all LDA’s are professionals trained in multiple fields, there are a number of
services they can provide.
Legal Document Assistants were once commonly known as Independent Paralegals. However,
as of January 1, 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 (LDA’s).
LDA’s 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
We are not attorneys. We can only provide self-help services at your specific direction. Attorney Assisted California Centers is not a law firm, and cannot represent customers, select legal forms, or give legal or tax advice. Services are provided at customers' request and are not substitute for advice of a lawyer. Because legal needs vary from individual to individual, you should seek the advice of trained professionals if you have any questions regarding the selection of appropriate forms or the completion of an Attorney Assisted California Centers form or workbook. Prices do not include court costs. Orange County LDA #318 expires 04/25/2014.