What is a Legal Document Assistant?
A Legal Document Assistant (LDA), also sometimes known as a 'document technician', 'legal technician', online legal document provider' and 'legal document clerk' is a non-lawyer who is authorized to assist in the preparation of legal documents.
Legal Document Assistants exist because of extremely strict legal licensing laws for attorneys throughout the US.
In order to become an attorney, one must pass the bar and attend law school for three years. In some states (including California, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming) one can substitute several years of study under a practising attorney or judge for attending law school.
Given that there is such a high barrier to entry in terms of becoming an attorney, the cost of legal services, even very simple legal services, tends to be very high. Until relatively recently, strict attorney licensing laws also made it impossible for consumers to work with anyone other than attorney to prepare legal documents.
Legal Document Assistants work to remedy some of these problems. They are able to assist consumers in a wide variety of legal situations swiftly and at very low cost compared to visiting an attorney. There are a very large number of common and relatively straightforward legal scenarios (for example, incorporation of a single-member LLC in your state of residence). In these cases, standard legal forms can cater to a wide variety of needs.