If you would like to enter the legal field, but do not want to be an attorney, one possibility is to become a certified legal document preparer. Being a certified legal document preparer can provide opportunities for you to help others and learn about various aspects of the legal world.
To become a certified legal document preparer in Arizona, you must be certified and keep current on legal practices each year. For example, a certified legal document preparer must attend a minimum of ten hours of approved continuing education annually, between the period of May 1st and April 30th of the following year. You must also complete a total of no less than twenty hours of continuing education on or before April 30th of every odd-numbered year.
These continuing education requirements do not apply to certified legal document preparer business entities, however.
According to the AZcourts.gov website, here is the process for becoming receiving certification as a legal document preparer:
- Check the Arizona Code of Judicial Administration, specifically section § 7-208(E) for eligibility requirements to ensure that you are eligible for certification. Read the Arizona Code for Judicial Administration rules ACJA § 7-208
- You must first sit for and pass the examination. To download the exam schedule and registration form for the Legal Document Preparer (LDP) Knowledge Examination click in this link. Please note that all fees are non-refundable, so be sure to schedule your exam on a day that you can attend as scheduled. There is a study guide that corresponds to the current examination being administered. Please see the link below. The Supreme Court does not provide any preparatory classes or training for the exam or the Legal Document Preparer Program in general.
- After the Exam; Test results will be mailed to the address you provided to Division staff within 2-4 weeks.
- If you passed: An application for initial certification and a fingerprint card will be included if you have successfully passed the exam.
- If you did not pass, you may send a written request to retake the exam to LDP@courts.az.gov and further instructions will be provided.
- Fill out the Initial Certification Application as instructed. Be sure to include the required picture and fingerprints for the background check. If any further information is needed, Division staff will be in contact with you. Please note that any deficient information or documentation will prolong the application process.
- After the Application: Once the application process is complete, Division staff will present your application during the next scheduled Legal Document Preparer Board meeting for a decision. The decisions made during the Board meeting will be mailed to any and all applicants on the agenda unless the applicant is deferred due to deficient information.
Allow 2-4 months to process applications.