What are the Requirements?
The first requirement in becoming an LDA, is possessing a background in a legal profession, i.e., paralegal, legal secretary, law clerk, etc. The following is a more descriptive outline of educational and work experience requirements:
1. Visit your local County Registrar-Recorders Office and obtain an application or visit their website to see if one is posted there.
2. After you have completed the application and have attached any and all necessary documents pertaining to your qualifications as well as educational requirements, you must obtain a $25,000 bond. The best bonding company I have used in the past is Pennbrook Insurance Services. Clifford Wiens is the representative that you will need to speak with in obtaining the necessary information and application. He is a fabulous person and very helpful. Some bonding companies do run a personal credit check for the LDA bond, but Pennbrook may be lenient in this department. However, do call Clifford for more information. He can be reached at (415)-362-0445. Please be sure to mention Vanessa Watson from CALDA referred you.
3. Once you have all the above documentation, proceed back to your County Registrar-Recorders Office, record the bond, pay the necessary filing fees and afterwards the County Clerk will provide you with a registration number that will be printed on an ID sized card which states your name, address, registration number, expiration date (an LDA has to register and obtain a new bond every 2 years from the date of registration; this goes for all counties in California), the County of registration, and verbiage that states "the County Clerk has not evaluated this person's knowledge, experience, or services". Once you have received your card, you are all set.
Multiple county registrations - Now for some LDAs, they do register in multiple counties. If you are one that would like to do so, you need to contact that county's recorders office and obtain their application. But please note that you can use the same bond you have obtained from your first registration. The bond does not state the County in which you have registered in. It only states your name and what the bond is used for . That's it. In the past, I have experienced controversy over the usage of the bond and prior LDAs being told that they needed to obtain a new bond for every new county they were registering in. Again, you DO NOT need to obtain a new bond to register in another county - you just need to obtain that county's application and they will provide you with their registration number.
CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants) - I am a Board member and the Education Chairperson for a non-profit organization called CALDA. And just to toot their horn, they are the best organization an LDA can ever join. We have a quarterly (3 month) e-Newsletter that is distributed to every member that entails updates about the LDA profession, tips, a forums section that members can take advantage of in receiving and or asking questions in regards to their needing assistance with a document or attending many of our sub-chapters' educational seminars, our annual conference (which is a huge thrill every year), an enormous amount of information you need to stay current in the LDA profession and various professionals willing to extend a helping hand whenever you need it. There are various annual membership fees, so please visit their website at www.calda.org for more information. I assure you, you will be glad that you joined.
Congratulations to all new LDAs in advance!!