What is a legal document preparer?
I still get this question amazingly enough even from my clients. Legal document preparers prepare legal documents, file legal documents, and serve legal documents. We are able to offer people general information as it pertains to the law but cannot give legal advice, offer opinions or strategies for a client’s particular case.
We can give options though. So, a client can hear options that are available and make their own decision on what direction to take given the options provided.
Legal document preparers do not work under the supervision of an attorney. However, I am a legal document preparer but am married to an attorney so some would argue that I am always under the supervision of an attorney!
The Arizona Supreme Court adopted a set of rules that legal document preparers are governed by. In my opinion we have quite a bit more freedom under these rules to provide our clients with an affordable option to hiring an attorney while assuring the public that they will be protected by certifying the legal document preparer that is preparing the documents in a pro per case.
Under the Arizona Code of Judicial Administration we are permitted to provide the following services:
Authorized Services. A certified legal document preparer is authorized to:
a. Prepare or provide legal documents, without the supervision of an attorney, for an
entity or a member of the public in any legal matter when that entity or person is not
represented by an attorney;
b. Provide general legal information, but may not provide any kind of specific advice,
opinion, or recommendation to a consumer about possible legal rights, remedies,
defenses, options, or strategies;
c. Provide general factual information pertaining to legal rights, procedures, or options
available to a person in a legal matter when that person is not represented by an
d. Make legal forms and documents available to a person who is not represented by an
e. File and arrange for service of legal forms and documents for a person in a legal
matter when that person is not represented by an attorney.
What a great option for people! You don’t have to worry about confusing do it yourself forms and instructions. Legal document preparers can offer all of these services and at a fraction of the cost of an attorney!