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    LDA vs. Paralegal: What’s The Difference? 

    The terms Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) and paralegals are sometimes used interchangeably. Although these two professions share the same duties, LDAs and paralegals are two separate professions. An LDA’s role is to maintain files, file legal paperwork on a client’s behalf, and prepare correspondence, while a paralegal’s role is more geared towards assisting in their employer’s legal work. 

    What Are the Roles of an LDA? 

    An LDA is a registered and bonded professional who can prepare legal documents for independent people filing their own legal paperwork. LDAs often have the same educational background as paralegals, but LDAs are required by law to be registered and bonded. An LDA’s role is to prepare legal documents but only at the client’s direction. In other words, an LDA is there to assist the client as they handle their own legal matters without an attorney. It is important to note that an LDA is not a lawyer and cannot provide legal advice at any time. If a client’s needs are beyond an LDA’s abilities, the LDA will likely refer the client to an attorney. LDA services work best when the client has a clear goal in mind like completing a will or filing a response to a divorce petition

    What Are the Roles of a Paralegal? 

    A paralegal is a professional who provides support to lawyers in the form of research and document preparation. The main difference between a paralegal and LDA is who they serve. Paralegals mainly serve attorneys with a law firm or work independently for legal professionals. Paralegals do not work directly with the public like LDAs do. Paralegals also differ from LDAs by way of education. Many law firms require an associate or bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies before they will hire a paralegal. LDAs often have the same education but are not beholden to a law firm’s hiring requirements to work.  

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