Legal Document Preparers can assist consumers by providing legal information and inserting the customer’s information into a Questionnaire without violating the rules against Unauthorized Practice of Law.
The penalties for violating the organized Bar’s rules against unauthorized practice of law can be severe, and you can be put out of business for violating them. Some state laws carry a criminal penalty, despite the fact that if they were tested in Federal courts, these statutes could be held to be unconstitutional because of their vagueness.
Nevertheless, to operate your legal document preparation business without fear of being persecuted by your state bar, it is critical that you understand the difference between legal advice and legal information.
Here are some guidelines that are designed to keep you out of trouble:
Legal Advice vs Legal Information (From SmartLegalForms, Inc. — download Adobe .PDF)
Guidelines that have been developed for Arizona court clerks:
Guidelines on Legal Information for Court Clerks (download Adobe .PDF)
Guidelines for Court Clerks in California – excellent guidelines:
Guidelines for Court Clerks in California (download Adobe .PDF)