If you live in one of the states which allow non-attorneys to work in document preparation, you have an exciting way in which you can put your paralegal knowledge to work. It is essential, however, for you to know in advance your particular state laws regarding this subject.
There are a number of positive aspects to working in document preparation. While you may have the option of either working for a document preparation service or having this as your own business, the latter has the potential to help you earn a very nice income, as well as being able to set your own schedule.
If you have a passion for the field you are working in and the job that you are doing, this is the most wonderful way to ensure that every day and every assignment is a new adventure. As each assignment that you contract will be different from the previous assignment, your enthusiasm and interest will continue to grow, and you will never need to be concerned that boredom will ever be a part of your work life.
Even in the states which do allow for document preparation to be done without a supervising attorney, there are a couple of very important facts which you must know and keep in mind. One point is that you can never misrepresent yourself as being an attorney if you actually are not one. This means that whether you work for a service or are in business for yourself, you must be honest with your clients regarding your status, as well as what functions you can and cannot perform.
Another important point is that if the law in your state allows you to do this type of work, you cannot solicite, offer, or provide these services outside of the jurisdiction. What this means is that you cannot take on clients who live in a location where this practice is deemed Unauthorized Practice of Law.
If you have a love of the legal field and also enjoy helping people on a one-to-one basis, working in document preparation can be a great option for you. In addition to the paralegal coursework which you have already taken, you can find resources on your own and even take classes to learn how to do this.
The two main factors in being able to do this type of work are having the knowledge of the necessary types of documents, and knowledge of procedure in your specific location. For example, if you are producing the documents for an uncontested divorce case, you will not only need to know what documents are required for such a case, but also the specific format for each one. Second, you must also know when, where, and by whom a document must be filed.
Although these days it is becoming more and more common for people to deal with their own documents, it is generally not in the best interest of an untrained, unqualified individual to attempt to produce his or her own legal documents from a template in a book or an online source. Many people do so simply because they cannot afford the high cost of consulting an attorney. You can provide these services at a much lower cost to them and a good income for yourself.