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The FALDP Docket -- Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers Monthly Newsletter
February 15, 2015
Members & Friends:

Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers

The FALDP Docket

Volume 5 - Issue 2 - 2015
February 2015


Members and Friends


This free newsletter is published every month for the benefit of FALDP members, legal document preparers, and friends.We occasionally publish a Special Edition such as this one.


Announcements


Welcome New Members!

Each January we hold a membership drive. We are pleased to welcome twelve new members - and welcome back two returning members. Our influence grows along with our members. FALDP is nothing without you.Thank you all for your membership and participation.

We want to make sure new members know, and also remind our long time members that we foster a culture of collaboration within FALDP. Yes, sometimes we compete with one another, but at the same time we are all members of a group larger than the sum of its parts. If any member needs help with a project, or has a question I can answer, I'm happy to help. When I don't know the answer, but I know another member might know, I'll suggest who to contact. Each of us has knowledge and experience that may help another. Share freely with one another. You may need that member's help next time. Please be helpful and considerate towards your fellow members. We are colleagues and are all in this together serving pro se litigants against extreme odds.


Webinar ~ February 28th @ 11:00

Invitations have been sent to all members for our upcoming webinar on February 28th. If you are a member, and did not receive your invitation, please check your spam box, and if you still did not receive it, please let us know. Reminders will go out one week in advance, three days in advance, and one hour in advance. The webinar is: "Making the Most of Your Membership" SEE YOU THERE!

New "Members Only" Courses

Our Members Only Courses can each be purchased as stand alone courses. Building a Better Business is now available as a stand alone course - tuition $45. Its full of resources, strategies, and ideas to help you, well ..., build a better business. Our second members only course, Sales Secrets for Document Preparers, is free with your first purchase of five or more third party family law leads. Or you can purchase the course as a stand alone course for only $85. Document preparers are typically extremely knowledgeable about the forms themselves, and court procedures; but may need some extra training in sales. That's why we're offering this course.

These two Members Only Courses and the Introduction to Preparing Florida Legal Documents course are bundled together - and also include the membership fee. This is our Doc Prep Business Bundle - purchase this for only $269. Saving you $65.

Course Bundles are Here!

As promised we have re-bundled our online courses to offer you savings. Bundled courses represent savings of at least 20% compared to enrolling in each course separately. Please visit our site and compare. And we have released a brand new course - Notary Signing Agent Prep - which can be purchased as a stand alone course or as an Intro Plus Bundle.

Family Law Lead Program

We are re-launching our Family Law Lead Program with a new lead provider and new price structure. These are general family law leads, including child support, alimony, and custody modifications; divorces; paternity; disestablishment of paternity; family adoption; name change; temporary custody; and motion for contempt and enforcement.

These leads are sent to FALDP as exclusive real time leads. Contacting the customer as quickly as possible is key to making sales. If you want to participate, plan to contact the customer within an hour or less, the sooner the better. The base cost for each lead is $17. and we are now offering quantity discounts so you can maximize the return on your investment. Once you pay for leads, you'll immediately be added to the rotation.

Sample Set - One Time Only Purchase - Set of Three Leads for $30.



We are offering the Sample Set to give you a taste of these leads at low cost. The Sample Set is available as a one time only purchase - for subsequent lead purchases the price structure is as follows:

5 leads @ $17 for $85;
10 leads @ $16 for $160
20 leads @ $15 for $300

Complete information is available on our site - Family Law Lead Program Page. We are fine tuning the key words to optimize our target audience. In doing so, at least for the time being, we are sacrificing volume for quality. In short, the lead flow has slowed down, while we're elevating the lead quality.


Unbridled Pursuit of Liberty (UPL)

Please help spread the word. Unfounded allegations of the unauthorized practice of law aimed at document preparers harm consumers. I have written an article that, so far, I've posted on Twitter, linkedin, my blog - Legal Sunshine, submitted it to The Huffington Post - and here. Please share it on your sites, on your facebook, and make comments on linkedin. I'm trying to raise awareness among consumers, that if we are run out of business, consumers' will be harmed.

Time to adjust the sails and head for reality. There is no other option.


Access to Justice Commission

The Florida Supreme Court recently formed their Access to Justice Commission and held their first meeting January 16, 2015. After one of our vigilant members alerted me to the information on the Supreme Court's site, I contacted them. I wrote:

"I am the Director and Co-Founder of the Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers, a Florida trade association founded in 2010. We have approximately 100 business members statewide who prepare legal documents for pro se litigants. Many of our members specialize in preparing family law documents; in addition other document preparers assist pro se litigants by preparing documents for small claims and bankruptcy.

Membership in our association requires experience preparing Florida legal documents for pro se litigants; law firm experience as a paralegal; academic training or certification; or a combination of training and experience. Many of our members far exceed the minimum requirements to join our association. I have an MS in Criminal Justice; and BA in Legal Studies. We have members who are retired attorneys, and attorneys from other countries. And we have members with 20+ years working as paralegals. I tell you this, to make sure that you understand that we are credible professionals.

Our fees are often a small percentage of the fees an attorney would charge for similar document preparation assistance. For example, my fee for document preparation for a divorce with children is $320. Bankruptcy petition preparers charge $149-$199 to prepare a petition for chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

I believe that our members and our association are a partial solution to the gap in access to legal services. We cater to low income, indigent, and middle class consumers who cannot begin to afford to pay an attorney. Without our services, many of our customers would have no choice but to go without any legal assistance altogether.

We have ideas that might help you in your commitment to provide consumers better access to the legal system. Our members are closely aligned with your goals as stated in the November 24, 2014 Administrative Order.

I welcome an opportunity to explain our goals and ideas in detail."

Their contact person responded:

"Thank you for reaching out to the Commission. The Commission just had its first meeting on January 16, 2015 and it will begin to study the issues and perform the tasks as stated in the Florida Supreme Court administrative order. Your email will be forwarded to the appropriate subcommittee staff. If further information is needed from you it will be requested." 


About Membership

Every January we offer membership for only $37.50. Members who join in January must also renew in the same year. All memberships renew on June 1. Every year there are a few members who join in January at half price ($37.50) and are then upset when they realize that they have to renew in June. We have always had this policy, membership fees are not pro-rated, never have been, and we have no plans to pro-rate them.

Annual membership is back to $75. and will stay at that point for new members. New members who join in February or March pay $75; and need to renew June 1. No one is dropped from the roster for non-renewal until the last week of July. New members who join in April or May will not need to renew the same year on June 1; instead renewal is not required until the following year.


FALDP Policy Changes:

Please refer to the Membership Page on our site that details policies regarding membership and renewal. We have offered early renewals for the past few years, and many members take advantage of it. We encourage you to familiarize with our membership policies regarding renewals and other policies that may affect you and your business.

When new membership applications are approved we send our standard "Welcome to FALDP" email which includes instructions and upload links for providing your information on the membership directory; and for your mini-page. Your membership listing is one of the most valuable benefits of joining FALDP. When consumers call, we go straight to the Member Directory in their county to refer them to a member. If your information is not there you're not likely to receive referrals. We encourage you to include your name, not just your business name, but also your name in your listing. Consumers are more comfortable calling a person than a business name. As a policy change, we will be posting information for you on the Member Directory if we do not receive it from you within a few weeks of joining. We realize you may be a new business and may have not yet built your site, or haven't completely set up your office, but for the sake of transparency we will be posting the information you provided to us on your application, unless you provide us with your listing information. Consumers check our site to make sure a document preparer who states they are a member of our association is in fact a member. No doubt the information you provide will be better than the information we glean from your application, so we encourage you to upload your membership information as soon as you can. Likewise, we created the Mini-Pages so that consumers can learn more about you, and feel more comfortable doing business with you, use that resource as well. Its part of your membership.


Feed the Gorilla!

Julian heads our Gorilla Marketing Program. We have success with many free classified sites. Ebay classifieds, backpage, and pennysaverusa are examples. And, if you just don't want to deal with posting your own ads - let Julian do it. His flyer is sent out with all Welcome to FALDP emails, and you can find him on our site by clicking on Internet Marketing on the right hand navigation column under Document Preparer Resources. Let Julian's Legal Doc Prep do it. Julian heads our Gorilla Marketing unit. His flyer is sent out with all Welcome to FALDP emails, and you can find him on our site by clicking on Internet Marketing on the right hand navigation column under Document Preparer Resources.

Remember to display our FALDP logo in all of your advertising online and off. Our credibility will help you instantly earn the trust of your prospective customers.


2015 Conference

I'm taking suggestions for the location for our 2015 Conference. Last year we held the conference in Daytona Beach and we try to alternate our locations from coast to coast. If anyone has a suggestion for west coast Florida, please let me know. Inland is not out of the question, as long as there is plenty to do for family members that might be brought along. So far, on the west coast we've held a conference in Venice, and one in Cedar Key. We like to host conferences in out of the way places that are not too expensive, and not in the midst of tourist season for that area. Our conferences are always held in September or October. Please let me know if you have suggestions, and if you have an in with a resort or venue, it would be very helpful.

Member's Announcements & Contributions

Daily Transport Service

One of our returning members, Cindy de Leon has opened a family business offering Daily Transport Service between Miami and Key West for individuals and groups up to 11 passengers.  Modern, comfortable and dependable transport with convenient pick up/drop off locations in Miami and Key West.  Call 768-9579 or e-mail for more information.

Conroy Security LLC

Tom Conroy, a long time FALDP member operates Conroy Security Academy, and recently moved to a new location. Conroy Security offers training to anyone that is looking to earn their state D or G license. We also have several advanced training classes. Our classes are offered weekly so give us a call and enroll to get your career as a security officer start.

215 Ave T NE
Winter Haven, FL 33881
(863) 258-3603
ConroySecurity@Gmail.com
www.ConroySecurity.com


Have something to share?


We accept member's announcements and appreciate your contributions. If you have an announcement about your business, an expansion of services, moving your offices, or winning awards, please send us the information and we'll include it in our newsletter. Your announcement needs to be pertinent to your business, we are unable to include announcements about other trade associations, clubs or groups.

If you would like to write an article, editorial, opinion piece, or web page please let us know. We are always in need of fresh information and insights.


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FALDP Contact Information:
Main number – (941)237-0951
Toll free - (800)515-0496
Email – staff@faldp.org

PLEASE LINK YOUR SITE TO WWW.FALDP.ORG
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