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The FALDP Docket, Issue #002 -- Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers e-zine newsletter.
July 16, 2010


The FALDP Docket

Volume 1; Issue 2
July, 2010


WE’RE GROWING!

Thank you. Our site is growing every week and every month. Site hits are steadily increasing. Membership inquiries are coming in through searches. Requests for document assistance are starting to come in as well. We have sent inquiries to Premium Members requesting information as to their preferences about how each would like to receive referrals -- which areas of expertise and whether they prefer to confine themselves to their own geographic area.

Referrals for document preparation assistance will be forwarded to Premium Members on a rotating basis within their preferences. So far, there have only been a handful of inquiries, but we are optimistic since these requests have already started to come in. As a new site, only three months in existence, to already be found online by consumers seeking assistance is phenomenal.

You can help. Be sure to display our FALDP logo on your site. Be sure to include a click-able link to http://www.faldp.org. Keep your websites up to date, and post often. Back links help increase our search rankings, so what ever links you have on your sites, help our site as well. Search engines operate on the theory that if there are many links on a site, the site is important, and the rankings go up.

Become a Premium Member to receive targeted referrals.


E-BOOKS and WORKBOOKS CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS

We’ve completed our first title: Florida's Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, A Step by Step Guide. It is available both as a hard copy full size workbook, and as an e-book for download. Take a look at the FALDP How to Guides page. The guide includes information about how to file; which forms to file; sample forms; and author’s comments and instructions.

The Simplified Dissolution of Marriage process is suitable for couples who have divided their property; have no children; and both can appear at the final hearing.

Retails prices are: e-Book - $19.95 Workbook - $27.00

Your FALDP Member Discounted Price: Workbook - $12.00

Ships in 3–5 business days.
Available on lulu.com printing on demand.
Place your order, and enjoy Lulu FREE shipping!
(read Lulu’s fine print to qualify for free shipping)

To order at the member discounted price, check your e-mail for the links. If you can't find it, just contact us.

From our Advertisement on Lulu for our series:

The Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers is a growing group of legal document preparers concerned about citizen’s access to the legal system. There is a wealth of readily available legal information, if only you know where to look. We share with consumers legal information we have collected; and seek to support consumer rights by helping to provide easy access to information and the legal system. We have created a series of Self Help Guides to assist and empower self representing litigants to assert their legal rights.

We are in the process of editing “Modifying Your Child Support”. “Developing your Parenting Plan” is next in line for edit. “Step-parent Adoption” is in the planning stages now. Let us know of any titles you would like to see offered.

Sell FALDP How To Guides on your website and earn passive income. You make money on every workbook sold. Or use them as an add-on for document preparation. To learn how, just send an e-mail to Ken, our website and marketing guy.


You’re Invited...

...to the First Annual FALDP Convention and Seminar!

Mark Your Calendars!
October 8, 9, 10
Daytona Beach, Florida

We’re planning to have educational seminars, hands on workshops, and Guest speakers!

Admission for all events is only $100. per member.

10% discount for pre-registration by August 23.

Members are invited to bring along a guest at no extra charge.

We will be holding this event in one of the many Daytona Beach beachfront hotels.

More convention and seminar details to follow. Look for more information in your email box and on our site.


Do you have customers or clients?

I have customers. I know this may sound like semantic nitpicking, but I believe word choice is important. In the last issue of “The FALDP Docket“, I wrote an article “You Are Not A Paralegal”, if you are offering legal document preparation services directly to consumers.

A book I have on my shelf is “The Independent Paralegal’s Handbook, 6th Edition” (2004) by Attorneys Ralph Warner, & Stephen Elias, and Catherine Elias-Jermany. It was published by Nolo Press in California, where it is apparently just fine to refer to yourself as a paralegal even when you are not supervised directly by an attorney. Despite being a little out of date, I sometimes refer to it as a resource. The blurb on the cover states, “Everything you need to run a business preparing legal paperwork directly for the public”.

One of the suggestions in the book is to refer to the consumers for whom you prepare documents as “customers” and not as “clients”. The reasoning is that attorneys have clients, and legal document preparers need to take all measures to distinguish themselves from attorneys. The authors also suggest that legal document preparers should not offer "free consultations", they should call that first meeting something else.

I took the suggestion about customers vs. clients to heart and then considered who else has clients. Probation Officers have clients. I’ve always found this odd. As if that “client” had a choice in the matter, and it somehow made him feel better to be called a client instead of offender or probationer.

Years ago I had a job selling website designs. My employers were relentless spammers, and believe it or not, I had a stack of sales leads on my desk every morning. The job was entertaining, because I never knew who I would be calling or what they would want. One of my customers was the drop dead gorgeous, Shana, who happened to be a high priced call girl in Las Vegas. She sent me pictures of herself to display on her site.

I quoted her website design at something around $3000.; she was to pay in three installments. Alas, Shana loved to gamble. Every time I called her to request payment, she was in the casino, and she was always broke. “No worries,” Shana would say, “I have a client scheduled for this afternoon.”

So call your patrons what you like. I have customers.

What do YOU call them?


WRITE FOR US

We need your articles, input, and insights. Your articles will be posted on our site, with your byline, and linked to your website. We will edit it for clarity, grammar, spelling and formatting.

Suitable topics are vast. How did you get started? What was your best or worst experience helping a customer? What is your favorite or least favorite part of your work? How did you overcome a specific obstacle? Are you doing something that is unique that you would like to tell us about?

Submit articles to: floridalegalforms@yahoo.com or staff@faldp.org


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