Attorney or Paralegal?


So what does an independent paralegal service do? There are actually many services. For simple legal matters where legal representation is not necessary, a paralegal can be an inexpensive option for Uncontested Divorce, Child Custody, Felony – Misdemeanor Expungments, company formations such as Incorporations, LLC’s, Revocable Living Trusts and Wills, some self-represented litigation responses, Small Claims matters and collections, Probate, and if properly registered and bonded with the California Secretary of State, Immigrations issues.

Attorneys are expensive and frequently worth the price. I am the first to recommend attorney representation for complicated issues and must recommend as such where legal advice or representation is warranted.

A properly trained and licensed Legal Document Assistant is bonded and licensed in the county of service. We are permitted through Business and Professional Codes to prepare, under direction of a client, legal documents. This can be a simple, inexpensive solution as paralegal hourly pricing is about half or less the cost of an attorney, and it can be for the exact same service.

Each of my forthcoming columns in the Light will address a current legal topic, issue or service. It is my desire, not to compete with the fine attorneys in “America’s Finest City” or our “Jewel” but rather to embrace the excellence and professionalism in San Diego’s legal community.

Knowing a fine and reputable attorney brings comfort for those complicated issues that we all experience at times. Sometimes though, we can handle something simple ourselves or call a reputable paralegal for that quick, inexpensive fix, just as we don’t hesitate to see a nurse practitioner for a cold rather than the cardiac specialist, whose skills are best-suited for more complicated problems.

Gary Whitehead can be reached at (858) 705-9270 seven days a week, by email at, or at the website

Gary Whitehead, MBA, APS, LDA, Notary

President of Gary Whitehead & Associates and Founder of San Diego Family Legal Center, a 501 (c) (3), a non-profit corporation

Gary Whitehead holds a Bachelor’s in Accounting, a Master’s in Finance, is a Degreed Paralegal, California Notary Commission #2085334, a licensed and bonded Legal Document Assistant in Riverside and San Diego Counties, licensed and bonded Immigration Consultant, licensed and bonded Process Server in Riverside and San Diego Counties.