Saturday, October 5, 2013

Paralegal Versus Certified Legal Document Preparer

A “paralegal” is defined by the State Bar of Arizona as a person with legal knowledge, training and experience, who works on behalf of a client  “under” the supervision of an attorney.

An Arizona Certified Legal Document Preparer, “AZCLDP” is certified by the Arizona Supreme Court to provide services to the public “without” the supervision of an attorney.

It is common for AZCLDP’s to sometimes be referred to as “paralegals” however the work they provide is restricted to:

  • Preparation of any legal documents for the public, as long as they do not provide legal advice or attempt to represent someone in court.

  • Providing assistance in the areas of Family, Bankruptcy, Estate Planning and Business Law.

  • Providing assistance only, as the clients are essentially the attorney of their own cases and as such are responsible for their own documents.  (A paralegal works under an attorney who is ultimately responsible for a client’s case and documents.)

  • Is not bound by the attorney-client privilege, and therefore if ordered by the court, an AZCLDP would have to disclose information.


If a paralegal who is not certified as an AZCLDP by the state of Arizona, prepares documents for a client without the direct supervision of an attorney, he/she is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.  Currently, only California and Arizona have programs that certify and monitor the people and companies preparing legal documents for the sole purpose of protecting the public.

You may contact us at 480-307-9306 or 602-595-7478 or visit our website arizonalegaldocs.com. We are located in Downtown Mesa at 101 W. Main St., Mesa, Arizona 85201 in the historic One Oh One Building and also in Downtown Phoenix at 112 N. Central Ave., Suite 450, Phoenix, Arizona 85004 in the historic Heard Building.