The California Courts Self Help Legal Services – What You Should Know

Prior to the late 1990s, California consumers were left with three options when it came to handling a family law case. They could retain an attorney, they could hire a legal document preparation service, or they could stand in line at the court clerk’s office to get blank forms to fill out themselves. There was no one at the courts to help people who were self represented.

Enter the Court’s Self Help Legal Services Initiative. California pioneered the national trend to develop self-help programs to increase fairness in a justice system that was originally established only for people who could afford […]

Low Cost Legal Altternatives

As legal fees continue to skyrocket, more and more consumers are seeking low cost, but lawful alternatives for their simple legal matters that do not require the use of an attorney.
By doing a lot of the paperwork themselves, consumers are finding that they can save thousands of dollars in legal fees. But, navigating through the mountain of paperwork required by the legal system can be daunting for many people.
Fortunately, a profession known as Legal Document Assistants offer a safe and lawful alternative to simple legal matters, including living trusts, divorce and other family law issues, probate, unlawful detainers, name changes, […]

Our Overburdened Courts or Why Legal Document Assistants Are More Important Now Than Ever Before

It’s not just the court staff, from clerks to judges, who are handling increasing caseloads which are slowing the system down. It’s not just the new family laws going into effect in 2012 that will slow the system down (for an estimated 13 extra months to finalize a divorce in some CA courts). Now the court’s self-help assistance is taking a hit.
The Courts in this state piloted the self help programs several years after the birth of the LDA (legal document assistant) profession in response to the high demand for affordable consumer friendly legal services. Yet the money, careful study […]

One More Reason To Keep Family Law Disputes Out of the Courtroom

When I started helping consumers prepare their legal documents for divorce in 1996, between 50-55% of family law litigants were self-represented. There were no family law assistance centers or facilitators at the court to help people get through the process on their own. Legal Document Assistants, formerly known as Independent Paralegals were mostly part of a cottage industry plagued by unscrupulous fly-by-nights. And Robert  Shapiro hadn’t yet created Legal Zoom.
Fast forward to 2011 where legal document assistants, have been legitimized for over 10 years. The new laws have helped to rid the legal marketplace of many, but not all non-attorney […]

Just Document Preparation Congratulates Joel Smith, Operations Manager

In the last 15 years Just Document Preparation has been helping consumers save thousands of dollars in legal fees, by assisting with a wide variety of matters such as divorce, custody, support, pension divisions, living trusts, probate, bankruptcy, and more. Joel Smith reviewed all aspects of the business and made several improvements. Joel updated the company website,, making it more informative and user-friendly. As more people rely on the internet to handle important business, Joel has made it easier for our clients to have more of their matters handled electronically without sacrificing the personal touch which is necessary in […]