A legal document assistant (LDA) is a non-lawyer authorized to prepare legal documents for people representing themselves in legal matters. Unlike paralegals or legal assistants, who perform substantive legal work under the supervision of an attorney, only certain types of legal services can be performed by an LDA. They are prohibited from providing legal advice or opinion but may prepare legal documents in a ministerial manner; provide attorney-authored general information and published legal documents; and file and serve documents at the direction of the client.
Laws concerning legal document assistants are set forth in the California Business and Professions Code (BPC 6400-6415). For more information, read the Sacramento County Public Law Library’s article: Legal Document Assistants.
To file a complaint against an LDA, contact the Department of Consumer Affairs.
LDAs must register with the County Clerk in each county where they will provide services. To register as a legal document assistant in Sacramento County, you must appear in-person at one of our office locations and:
- Present valid photo identification (such as a driver's license, passport, or military I.D.)
- Present an LDA bond in the amount of $25,000 which names the registrant as principal and provides the term of the bond
- Complete an application form:
- Pay the appropriate fees*
File registration: $93.00
File bond: $10.00
Record bond*: $20.00 for the first page and $3.00 for each additional page (including any lead page)
Each additional ID card: $37.00
* When registering at either of our service center locations or after 3:00 p.m. at our Downtown office, the recording fee for the bond must be paid by a separate check or cash. Find out about acceptable forms of payment.