Probate-Family Law-Mediation-California Divorce-Estate Planning-Legal Services-Affordable legal services

What is a Legal Document Assistant?

Legal Document Assistants were once commonly known as Independent Paralegals.  However, as of January 2, 2000, only those Paralegals working directly for attorneys may be referred to as Paralegals.  Those formally known as Independent Paralegals are now known as Legal Document Assistants (LDA).

Legal Document Assistants have the same or higher educational backgrounds as a paralegal making an LDA an affordable alternative to hiring an attorney in many cases.

What does an LDA do?

An LDA is an experience professional who is authorized to prepare legal documents for a client, but only upon the express direction of the client without providing legal advice or offering an opinion of a likely outcome.  An LDA can provide attorney prepared information to clients to assist in making informed decisions.  Most importantly they can provide invaluable assistance in routine legal tasks such as preparing and filing of documents for divorces, wills, trusts and many other legal documents.

What is the advantage of hiring an LDA?

Legal Document Assistants provide a low-cost alternative to hiring an attorney for routine paperwork.  In many cases, one visit will typically be sufficient for you to be able to handle most matters.

A Legal Document Assistant is NOT a Lawyer

By law, an LDA cannot give you legal advice or represent you in the courts in any matter.  If you need to consult with an attorney, your LDA will be able to provide you with a referral.

Do I need an LDA?

If you do not know your legal rights in a situation, chances are highly likely that you may need to see an attorney.  If you have already decided on a course of action, but are uncertain about how to fill out the documents, you may benefit from the services of an LDA.


Our purpose is to provide low-cost legal access and assistance for everyone. The legal system is expensive, confusing and complicated. Our goal is to provide the help you need to help yourself.

Lori Shannon, Owner, San Diego Legal and Real Estate Services

*We are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice.  We can provide legal document assistance at your specific request.


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What Our Clients Have To Say

Arlene Cawthorne, Senior Specialist
Lori is knowledgeable as a Paralegal/Legal Document Assistant.
Gary Izing, Project Manager
Lori is one of the most thorough paralegals I have ever worked with and her title research skills are very strong. Any difficult problems that needed expert help to resolve, …
Karen Peterson, Real Estate Broker
Lori handled everything about my Trust. Will use her again, if necessary.
Jill Sattel, Real Estate Professional
Lori Shannon helped my friend with her last Will and Testament. My friend was very sick and Lori came to her home, consulted her, wrote her will, notarized the Will …
Rich Johnson, Owner Windemere Homes & Estates
As real estate practitioners, we know that there are many levels of competency or lack thereof in our business. When I think of Lori Shannon, I think of "a true …
Rich Johnson, Owner Windemere Homes & Estates
As real estate practitioners, we know that there are many levels of competency or lack thereof in our business. When I think of Lori Shannon, I think of "a true …
Jeff Fregeau, Engineer and Managing Partner
I have on numerous occasions sought out Lori's assistance and continually return to her for my paralegal needs. She is incredibly personable and friendly to work with, however her personality …
Jeri Winberg, Mortgage Consultant
Lori does fabulous paralegal and legal document assistance of all types; she is reasonably priced, very knowledgeable, and takes great care with her clients; additionally she is a very knowledgeable …
William Mariani, Land Acquision Manager
I worked with Lori Shannon at enXco renewable energy company while she was at the corporate office in San Diego. I was the Land Acquisition manager at the enXco office …
Jean Massard, Coach and Mentor
Lori is a dedicated and hardworking Realtor. She was a joy to mentor and is known for her honesty, attention to detail and good sense of humor. I highly recommend …
Howard Branton, Acquision Specialist
Lori and I worked together on various land lease and land purchase contracts. Her attention to detail and communication were very important. Lori's professional knowledge and background resulted in smooth …
Adina, Client
Lori was great. She listened to what we wanted in a new home and showed us properties that fit are requirements. She took us outside the areas we initially wanted …
John, Client
We had a great experience having Lori as our selling agent. She has great knowledge about the real estate market. She is very honest. Her friendly personality made it very …
Mitzi Burnett, Appraiser
Lori is A+ in contracts and negotiations which is her major attribute. Most agents do not have her expertise. Besides being the most nicest agent, person I have ever known, …
Wendy, Client
Through the whole process of selling the property, Lori was supportive and available for any questions. Even when things were difficult she did not give up and the property sold. …
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Some Highlights: Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a tough decision.Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (28.9%) vs. the percentage …