What is a Legal Document Assistant (LDA)?
Updated: Mar 10, 2022
You’re officially a Self-Litigant, In Pro Per litigant or Self-Representation, meaning that you’ve made the decision to represent yourself without an attorney. You might be feeling overwhelmed, and you aren’t alone. Each year, thousands of individuals chose self-representation. With the right tools and a little assistance from a Certified Legal Document Preparation Services, you can successfully navigate the legal process.
What Is An LDA?
LDA stands for Legal Document Assistant. LDA’s are bonded and authorized by law to provide legal documentation preparation services to individuals. Even with how-to books and online guides, the process of preparing and filing legal paperwork can be a confusing and daunting task. Basically, an LDA helps ensure that all legal documents pertaining to your case are prepared to court standards.
Examples of legal documents that an LDA may assist with include:
● Living Will
● Last Will
● Name Change
● Power Of Attorney
● Estate Planning
● Lease Agreements
● Land Contracts
● Property Leases
● Equipment Leases
● LLC Formation
● Non-Compete Agreement
● Divorce Agreements
● Child Custody Plans
● Child Support Agreements
Are LDAs and Paralegals The Same?
No. Although it’s easy to confuse the two because historically, LDAs used to be called Independent Paralegals, there is one major difference. A paralegal is only authorized to do perform legal work under the supervision of an attorney. LDAs are legally allowed to provide limited legal services to self-representing litigants.
Legal Document Assistant’s Do Not Practice Law
An LDA is not an attorney and cannot legally practice law. A LDA cannot make suggestions as to what a client may need done or which forms to fill out. The client must do the research and determine which legal documents they will need for their specific case.
An LDA also cannot make any recommendations or offer opinions on the correct legal strategy. Questions regarding legal strategy can only be addressed by an attorney.
Why Should Self-Representing Litigants Work With An LDA?
Working with an LDA can help to eliminate some of the stress of figuring out how to correctly fill out the necessary legal forms. LDAs are a cost-effective solution when compared to the retainer fees charged by an attorney. You might find working with an LDA beneficial if:
● You and the other party have already come to an amicable agreement, you simply need help with the legal paperwork.
● You have been served legal documents and could use assistance with a response but do not need an attorney.
● You are working on a limited basis with an attorney but would like to save money by having someone else prepare the legal documents.
Choosing The Right LDA
Here are questions to ask when you are searching for an LDA:
Do you have a Legal Document Assistant surety bond?
How many years have you been in business?