What is a Divorce Paralegal? Do I Need One?
A paralegal as “a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible" as defined by the American Bar Association (ABA).
* Complete and file legal paperwork
* Obtain records
* Conduct research
* Set trial and hearing dates.
There are limitations that come along with being a paralegal.
* Paralegals are not attorneys
* Paralegals cannot give legal advice
* Paralegals cannot represent a client in court
* Paralegals cannot provide services to the general
public without the supervision of any attorney.
In 1998, California State Senate Bill SB1761 was created to regulate the legal document preparation profession in California. Thus, it created a new title describing individuals who can prepare legal documents for clients WITHOUT an attorney’s supervision: legal document assistants (LDAs).
According to state law, LDAs require specific and rigorous qualifications, including:
* 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;
* A certificate of completion from a paralegal program
approved by the American Bar Association or that requires
successful completion of a minimum of 24 semester units,
or the equivalent, in legal specialization courses.
* Must be bonded
* Must complete Legal Education annually
* Must be registered with the county
Ultimately, LDAs are experienced and trained professionals who support “self-help” clients handling their own legal matters without the cost of an attorney.
Deciding which type of legal professional will help with your divorce is totally dependent on the circumstances.
* For example, if you are unable to compromise with your
spouse on contested issues, you may need legal advice.
In this case, a divorce attorney may be your best bet.
* However, if you decide to go the “Do-It-Yourself” route,
an LDA may be a great option.
AGillette LDA is here to help you with your legal forms. Whether you need help with one legal form or want assistance through your whole process, AGillette LDA is just a click away.
For non-attorney assistance with your divorce to save thousands of dollars, contact AGillette LDA today!