Alliance of Legal Document Assistant Professionals
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LDA Resources

When Self-Help is not Enough: Finding a Certified Lawyer Referral Service

An experienced legal document assistant (LDA) can be an invaluable resource for legal information that enables you to direct your own case. However, your LDA is expressly prohibited from providing you with legal advice, as that would constitute the unauthorized practice of law (UPL). If you need to consult with an attorney for advice, strategy or recommendations, a certified lawyer referral service can put you in touch with a qualified attorney who can assist you.

Make sure that the lawyer referral service you select is certified by the California State Bar; certified services are required to follow certain rules to protect you — the consumer. A certified lawyer referral service can direct you to lawyers with experience in particular areas of the law such as bankruptcy, criminal, probate, landlord-tenant, family law and other areas. The State Bar’s certification rules also encourage lawyer referral services to offer free and low cost legal help, as well as lawyers who speak languages other than English.

To find a certified attorney referral service:

  • Call the State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Services Directory at (866) 442-2529 (toll free in California) or (415) 538-2250 (from outside California);
  • Use the “County Programs” drop-down menu on this page;
  • Check your local Yellow Pages under “Attorneys” for a State Bar-certified lawyer referral service; or
  • Go to to find additional information on a State Bar-certified lawyer referral service.

To obtain public information about an attorney, search the California State Bar’s records.

Under no circumstances is a paralegal permitted to provide you with any legal advice.



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