All the information provided through this site has been taken from self-help informational publications provided by the Court or other legal sources that are believed to be reliable. This information is general, published, factual information and should not be cited or relied upon as legal authority, nor should it be considered legal advice.
As California Registered and Bonded Legal Document Assistant I am authorized to prepare any legal document in the State of California and within Santa Barbara County in which I am registared and without the supervision of an attorney. This authorization is provided under California Business and Professional Codes 6400(c). California Business and Professional Codes 6408.5 rules require that I inform potential clients that Family Legal Document Services and none of its employees or contractors are “attorneys” and not licensed to practice law in the state of California and therefore, cannot attend hearings on your behalf. You further understand that I cannot provide you with any legal advice or opinions concerning legal matters. The purpose of a paralegal and Certified Legal Document Assistant is to prepare legal documents at a reduced cost and provide procedural and factual information only to clients. Should you wish to obtain legal advice; referrals to attorneys can be provided.
Any information shared with us is personal and confidential, but it is not privileged.
Concerning content and information: By entering and using this website you are stating and agreeing that this web site cannot be held liable for any incorrect information, or for any errors or omissions of information. We do our best to keep the info current but due to the constantly changing nature of this info and the fact that we may not become aware of those changes for some time after the fact we therefore cannot and do not guarantee or warranty its accuracy. We reserve the right to remove or change content at any time without notice.
What is a legal document assistant? A legal document assistant (LDA) is an experienced professional who is authorized under California law to prepare legal documents for consumers at the direction of the client. In other words, a legal document assistant (LDA) is there to assist the "self-help" client handle their own legal document preparation and legal matters without the high cost of an attorney. California is one of the few states that offers this type of “non-attorney” self help legal service for the preparation of routine legal documents. A legal document assistant cannot provide legal advice.
What is a paralegal? Prior to the enactment of California Business and Professions Code Section 6450 on January 1, 2001, individuals performing non-attorney legal document preparation services were commonly referred to as “paralegals.” The enactment of Business and Professions Code Section 6450 changed the entire profession, established specific regulations and consumer protections, and made it against the law for paralegals to provide services directly to consumers. Under the new law, a non-attorney who provides legal document preparation services directly to consumers must be a registered legal document assistant under California law. A paralegal can no longer provide these types of legal document preparation services, and any paralegal that does so is in violation of California law. Under the new statute, a paralegal can only work for an attorney. A consumer would never hire a paralegal directly, but rather would hire the attorney for whom the paralegal works. Educational requirements for both professions is virtually the same, however paralegals are not required to be registered or bonded as they only work for attorneys and not consumers.
cannot set and accept fees from customers.
cannot prepare documents for consumers.
cannot give you legal advice.
cannot work as a legal document assistant unless they have met the requirements of being bonded and registered.
Services a legal document assistant can provide: A legal document assistant can take the confusion out of the court process for you by preparing all of the required paperwork and facilitate the processing of your paperwork with the court during your entire case. This alone makes using an LDA the best choice for your self-help legal endeavors.
A legal document assistant:
can set and accept fees from consumers.
can prepare legal documents for consumers at their specific direction
can file legal forms with the court and have them served
can provide consumers with legal materials, books and publications authored and/or approved by an attorney
does not work with or for an attorney
must be registered and bonded under California law.
Since even the best legal, self-help books can be confusing and overwhelming. An legal document assistant can provide invaluable assistance with the routine legal tasks, such as typing and filing the paperwork for uncontested divorces bankruptcies, trusts and wills and many other types of legal documents.
A legal document assistant has a limited scope of services they can provide under California statutes. A legal document assistant is not an attorney and cannot provide legal advice or represent individuals in court.