Arizona’s Legal Document Preparer (LDP) Examination requirement was established by the Arizona Supreme Court July 1, 2006. The program is designed to allow paralegals to work independently from lawyers in limited situations. Independent legal document preparers are, nevertheless, prohibited from rendering legal advice to consumers. Document preparers may not appear in court on behalf of clients or otherwise represent clients in court proceedings. The primary purpose for allowing legal document preparers to perform these services is to make certain ministerial form completion more affordable to the general public, specifically pro se litigants. Document preparers can assist clients in filling out commonly used court forms such as documents related to legal separation, divorce, probate, guardianship, bankruptcy, child custody, small claims court filing documents and spousal support petitions.
One of the requirements to become a legal document preparer in Arizona is passing the Legal Document Preparer Examination, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.
Read and review the Arizona statutes and administrative regulations applicable to the activities of legal document preparers in Arizona. You should become familiar with commonly used legal terminology and learn what acts preparers are allowed to do and what they cannot do.
Obtain an application to take the Legal Document Preparer Examination (LDPE) and inquire with the program about the current application fee. As of June 2010, the examination fee is $50.
Obtain a current application and fee schedule for securing a license to operate as a legal document preparer in Arizona.
Complete the LDP license application fully and truthfully. Send payment for processing the LDP application along with your license application. A thorough background check will be conducted. Some of the information that must be disclosed on the application includes your work history, educational background, a list and description of all court proceedings (including, but not limited to civil and criminal cases) and disclosure of any prior applications and disciplinary actions related to any proceedings conducted for other professional or vocational licenses. Information that you provide on your application will be investigated and verified by the LDP Program.
Obtain a current copy of the Arizona Legal Document Preparer Examination Study Guide. The examination guide is available online for downloading at the official LDP website.
Schedule to take the LDP examination on the date of your choosing. You should include payment for the examination along with your application. Available test dates are listed at the LDP website.
Take the LDP examination. Be sure to arrive at the examination location well in advance. Once the examination has commenced, you will not be permitted to enter the examination testing site for that day.