Legal Document Assistants (LDA) were commonly known as Independent Paralegals. However, as of January 1st, 2000, only those paralegals working directly for a lawyer attorney may now be referred to as Paralegals. Those formerly known as Independent Paralegals are now officially known as Legal Document Assistants (LDA’s). LDAs are prohibited from calling themselves paralegals. LDAs are required by law to be registered and bonded in the county in which they have their registration valid for two years. However, paralegals are not required to register as they work for attorneys and not for consumers.
The National Federation of Paralegal Associations defines a paralegal as “…a person qualified through education, training or work experience, to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of legal concepts and is customarily, but not exclusively, performed by a lawyer. Paralegals may be retained or employed by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency, or other entity or may be authorized by administrative, statutory or court authority to perform this work.” Paralegals adhere to recognized ethical standard sand rules of professional responsibility.
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