Woman jailed for practicing law without license

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SAN DIEGO — A San Diego woman who pleaded guilty to practicing law without a license and grand theft was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

In a hearing Tuesday, Stephanie Strong, also known as Stephanie Overstreet, was ordered to pay court fines and restitution to her former clients, according to the San Diego City Attorney’s Office.

Strong, 48, was convicted in 2012 of practicing law without a license — a misdemeanor.

The City Attorney’s Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit received a complaint about Strong, who operated Always Affordable Legal Assistance and A1 Divorce & Paralegal Assistance.

After her 2012 guilty plea, Strong started AA Legal Document Services.

An investigation by the City Attorney’s Office showed Strong continued to advertise on the Internet and offer legal services that were a violation of her probation.

The criminal complaint was brought on behalf of her clients. In California, a paralegal must operate under the direct supervision of an attorney.

Since 2000, California has recognized legal document assistants.

A legal document assistant may help individuals who are representing themselves in court by typing a legal document for the client. But a legal document assistant cannot select a form for his or her client, negotiate with the other side or discuss legal strategies.

Legal document assistants must be registered with the county clerk in the county where they do business.

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