An LDA or legal document assistant 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 of business.