Be careful when choosing who will prepare your legal documents. Not all legal document assistants are the same, and some should clearly be avoided. A professional legal document assistant provides a great value to consumers who wish to move through the legal system on cases without the high prices of attorneys. Professional legal document assistants have an extensive understanding of the forms required by the courts and can quickly prepare documents and initiate cases for consumers. However, there are people who call themselves a legal document assistant, but have not met the state’s requirements to perform this important service. You are at risk of wasting your time and money when the person you hire doesn’t have the training, experience, required bond or county registration. Understanding how to avoid getting wrapped up with an unqualified legal document assistant is key.

There are many professional legal document assistants available in California to help consumers with their legal document needs. The problem occurs because there are also handfuls of illegal document assistants who do not comply with the law, without much experience, who are also offering services.

Here are some general tips to know who is a professional legal document assistant and who isn’t.

• Make sure the professional legal document assistant secures a Legal Document Assistant surety bond in the amount of $25,000.00 which is required in the state of California. A legal document assistant is also required to register with the county clerk in the county of their office(s) location. The clerk issues a badge with their picture and their LDA number. This number is placed on all the documents the legal document assistant prepares along with other written information.

• Find out how many years the business has been serving clients as a professional legal document assistant. Just because the person once worked for an attorney doesn’t mean they understand their role as a professional legal document assistant. The roles and duties of a paralegal and a legal document assistant are very different. Also, be careful with professional legal document assistants with a short work history. Experience is important with the less common detailed court processes that do not come up every day. If your situation is a bit unusual, an experienced professional legal document assistant will not waste your time.

• A legal document assistant with extensive good reviews is a good indication that they are professional. Experience and customer service are readily available through internet reviews. Hiring a legal document assistant with poor or no reviews is risky. Although a professional legal document assistant may stack up thousands of clients that do not share their experience, a legal document assistant who has more than a few bad reviews lets you know there is a history of poor performance.

In conclusion, selecting a professional legal document assistant does require some research on the consumers end. A little research at the front end of a person’s case can save the time, money and avoid disruptions in the case in the long run. Also, be sure to choose a professional legal document assistant that makes you feel comfortable, because after all, these are your important legal matters being handled.