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Paralegals vs Legal Document Assistant - LDA
Legal Field Careers courses are Defined, but Opportunities are Vast
by Ric Riccobono - Director
February 20, 2015

Throughout the Legal Field Careers site you will discover the most unique and valuable Articles you will find anywhere, all in one place all designed to help give you a real boost from different angles in your new career. There are avenues waiting for you as our inside information articles clearly illustrate, so cover your bases and go after it today! While many of our articles give you some unique insights on what you can do almost immediately, there are other areas of long term potentials that also bear mentioning. One in particular is your own business as a LDA - Legal Document Assistant.

LDA is one area that might be of interest to explore if you're one of those 'go in business for yourself types'. In this instance your boss would be you as it would be your own business. As a LDA you could expand your options and perform work for the general public and market yourself and your business.

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The basics: Paralegal vs LDA

First off to clear the air, LDA's are not attorneys and do not provide actual legal advice, or practice law, but who have received specialized training through a variety of methods. Legal Document Assistants were once commonly known by the term Independent Paralegals. However, as of January 1st, 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. That being said, you're starting off in the right direction here at Legal Field Careers, so this gives you a great stepping stone into a variety of options for your career as a Paralegal.

LDA's are experienced professionals authorized to prepare and assist with legal documents at the direction of "pro per" individuals (or litigants). Pro Per litigants are consumers, or the general public, who handle their own legal matters without the high cost of incurring attorney fees. Many individuals don't feel comfortable hiring an attorney if they're on limited finances and only need some help with document filing. It's far cheaper for them to hire a LDA to provide the correct documents and see that they are filled out correctly and filed with the appropriate court within the appropriate time frames.

The Requirements

LDA's need to be Registered and post a bond, usually around $25,000. Now at first you might wonder where you'll get that money. Well your option is to simply go to work as a Paralegal under the supervision of an attorney and familiarize and 'experience' yourself in as many areas as possible and start a savings account designated for your new LDA business. This is no different than any other business requiring some sort of upfront investing to get started.

The potential difference is that a LDA can actually form his/her own business. As a Legal Document Assistant two of your main selling points are that your fees are cheaper than hiring a law firm and that you can take the confusion and stress out of the court process for your customers by preparing all the required paperwork and facilitate the processing of the paperwork with the court during their entire case. This benefit alone makes using a LDA an alternate choice for individuals wanting self-help legal situations. A LDA provides consumers with legal materials, books and publications authored and/or approved by an attorney.

In short LDA's are in a position to provide the community with easy access helping to smooth out the maze to the courts and other legal processes while assisting consumers in the preparation of their legal documents, without the traditionally much higher expense of hiring a lawyer. Many consumers choose to represent themselves in routine legal matters and save hundreds of dollars in attorney fees, those could become your customers.

If you are considering or already are enrolled in our Paralegal course, and are contemplating the vast career opportunities in the Paralegal field, then I recommend that you make it a must to read through all of our continuing valuable articles as I am certain you will find some unique and creative options you have never considered. If you are considering your own business, becoming a LDA deserves some ‘Due Diligence’ research and consideration.

Written by Ric Riccobono, Attorney at Law
Course Provder for Thornhill Educations Systems
LAVC and SMC Extension Programs

Collaboration with: Bob Schott
Actor-Producer-Director with over 28 Years in the Entertainment Industry
Who's Who in America and the World 2006-2013


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