Are Legal Document Assistants and Paralegals the Same Thing?

While there are some similarities between the job that a paralegal does versus the daily duties of a legal document assistant, they are not the same thing. People always get these two professions confused, and it is probably because not very long ago LDA’s were actually referred to as independent paralegals.

A Legal Document Assistant Compared to a Paralegal 

The California Association of Legal Document Assistants points out the fact that, since January 1st, 2000, California Law SB1418 has made it possible for legal document assistants to lawfully help with the preparation of documents for people who aren’t looking for legal representation, and just want someone to prepare the legal paperwork they need. 

LDA’s must also be registered, bonded and insured. And, not only do LDA’s type up paperwork for folks who want to represent themselves in court, but we can also file the paperwork at the courthouse.

Where the two jobs are similar is that both of them require experience and education that is made up of training in handling legal paperwork. For example, there’s a good chance that both a paralegal and an LDA worked directly with a lawyer at some point in their career.

But, where the two careers differ is in the fact that a paralegal is someone who is currently working for and doing legal work while being supervised directly by a particular lawyer. That paralegal helps the lawyer directly with tasks that concern court cases that the lawyer will represent a client in.

An LDA, on the other hand, performs services that cater more to a person who is planning to represent themselves in court, and LDA’s don’t give legal advice. What our job entails is preparing legal documents that an individual is planning to use in court, such as those concerning child custody, divorce, visitation, etc.

Contact Docs-We-Prep Today for Your Legal Documents 

Don’t hesitate to contact me today at Docs-We-Prep to have your legal documents professionally prepared in a timely manner. To schedule an appointment, feel free to call me directly at 916.517.8146.


legal document assistant, paralegal

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How to Become an LDA in California

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Sacramento County LDA Registration Number 2014-011

Registration Expiration: 03/21/2025

Mandy Brazell is not a lawyer, cannot give legal advice and does not represent individuals in court. Docs-We-Prep is not a law firm. Docs-We-Prep can provide document preparation services at the customer's specific direction.

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