Paralegal Near Me
At Attorney Alternative in Fresno, we strive to provide the legal documents that you need quickly, accurately, and at a fraction of the cost. Whether you need paperwork for a divorce, family law, estate planning, eviction or anything in between, we’re here to help. Our LDA paralegal expert, Regina Martinez, has been an LDA (Legal Document Assistant) for over 15 years. As a legal document assistant, we are prohibited from giving legal advice, selecting your forms, or representing you in court. We can, however, provide you with limitless amounts of attorney/court prepared legal information. With years of experience in various legal fields, we are confident that we can provide you with all the legal documents that you need.
What Is A Paralegal?
Before 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 the 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 violates California law. Under the new statute, a paralegal can only work for an attorney. A consumer would never hire a paralegal directly but would hire the attorney for whom the paralegal works. Educational requirements for both professions are virtually the same; however, paralegals are not required to be registered or bonded as they only work for attorneys and not consumers.
A paralegal can perform a variety of law-related tasks. A paralegal may only provide these services to attorneys through an independent contract. A paralegal may provide legal research, investigate facts, draft legal motions, and/or write legal memoranda. Often times a paralegal performs many of the tasks that are performed by an attorney. However, a paralegal is prohibited from practicing law; A paralegal cannot provide legal advice, represent clients in court, or any other conduct which would violate the unauthorized practice of law statute.
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 client’s direction. 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 to prepare routine legal documents. A legal document assistant cannot provide legal advice.
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:
Even the best legal, self-help books can be confusing and overwhelming. A legal document assistant can provide invaluable assistance with routine legal tasks, such as typing and filing the paperwork for uncontested divorces, bankruptcies, trusts, and wills, and many other types of legal documents.
1. A high school diploma or general equivalency diploma, and either a minimum of two years of law-related experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney, or a minimum of two years experience, prior to January 1, 1999, providing self-help service.
2. A baccalaureate degree in any field and either a minimum of one year of law-related experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney, or a minimum of one year of experience, prior to January 1, 1999, providing self-help service.
3. A certificate of completion from a paralegal program that is institutionally accredited but not approved by the American Bar Association, which requires successful completion of a minimum of 24-semester units, or the equivalent, in legal specialization courses.
4. A certificate of completion from a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association.
LDA’s are REQUIRED by law to be registered and bonded for $25,000 in the county in which they have their principal place of business.
Information provided through this site has been taken from self-help informational publications provided by the Court or other legal sources believed to be reliable. This information is general, published, factual information and should not be cited on or relied on as legal authority, nor should it be considered legal advice. It is always recommended that you seek legal advice from an attorney before filing any legal proceedings. Many attorneys offer free consultations. I am not an attorney, I can only provide self-help services at your specific direction.
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