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Divorce Library > Document Preparation Services California

Document Preparation Services California - Legal Document Assistants, Paralegals, Document Preparation California

Southern California Superior Court - Southern California Divorce Attorneys
California Document Preparation Services was designed to help consumers and In Pro Per litigants who cannot afford full representation or who do not wish to pay for full representation to have their legal documents prepared. There are non-attorney document preparation services and attorney document preparation services. Attorney document preparation services can provide you with legal advice while non-attorney document preparation services cannot. In California, there are specific laws governing who can/cannot provide independent document preparation services to consumers. To learn who can/cannot provide document preparation services to you in California, it is important to understand the difference between paralegals and legal document assistants (LDA's). While neither can provide legal advice, only legal document assistants can independently prepare documents for consumers. Therefore, in California, document preparation services are generally offered by an attorney or a legal document assistant who maintains a bond and is registered.

Attorney Document Preparation Services. An attorney who provides document preparation services can help you prepare your legal documents and provide legal advice. Unlike paralegals and LDAs, attorneys can give you legal advice and can represent you in court if representation is needed. An attorney document preparation service can do the following:

• Can give you legal advice
• Can tell you what information should be inserted in the documents
• Can interpret documents
• Can select forms
• Can represent you in court

Legal Document Assistants (LDA's). A Legal Document Assistant (LDA) is given the authority under California law to prepare legal documents and provide self-help services at the consumer’s specific direction. However, like paralegals, LDA’s are not attorneys themselves and cannot provide legal advice and cannot represent you in court. LDA’s are also prohibited from calling themselves “paralegals,” as paralegals work under the supervision of an attorney (See Business and Professions Code Section 6450). In order for LDA’s to offer document preparation services to the public, they must maintain a bond and be registered. Legal Document Assistants cannot do the following:

• Cannot give you legal advice
• Cannot tell you what information should be inserted in the documents
• Cannot interpret documents
• Cannot select forms
• Cannot represent you in court

Paralegals. A paralegal (or legal assistant) is educated and trained to assist an attorney in providing legal services and performs legal tasks at the direction and under the supervision of an attorney. Paralegals are not attorneys themselves and cannot provide legal advice and cannot represent you in court. Paralegals are regulated by Business and Professions Code Section 6450. Paralegals cannot do the following:

• Cannot give you legal advice
• Cannot set or accept fees from a consumer
• Cannot independently prepare documents for consumers
• Cannot work as a Legal Document Assistance unless he/she is bonded and registered
• Cannot represent you in court

Helpful Document Preparation Services Links
California Association of Legal Document Assistants
Comparing Legal Document Assistants and Paralegals

Featured California Attorney Document Preparation Services
Family Law Facilitator Office   Southern California
A family law facilitator through your Superior Court may be able to help you for free.
Law Offices of Garrison Klueck   San Diego, CA
Offering document preparation services throughout San Diego County. (619) 448-6500
To present your case to Southern California divorce attorneys, divorce lawyers, and child custody attorneys in your area now, click here >>

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