Many states, including Florida, choose not to prohibit independent paralegals (paralegals who don't work for lawyers) or "non-lawyers." My mother did it for 20 years in the area you posted from (Tampa), and she made quite a career out of it. The other lawyers are right to caution you, though. There are strict laws in Florida and elsewhere against giving legal advice without a having a law license, and I'm not sure the laws are always clear. Various courts (like the nation's bankruptcy courts) also have rules regarding what non-lawyers can do, and they are quick to drag non-lawyers into court for violating the rules (their rule is "typing and copying only").
Non-lawyers are common in south Florida, but not so much in Tampa Bay, though they were once numerous here. I wish you luck should you choose this career.
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There is a prohibition against the Unlicensed Practice of Law. You can refer to the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar for additional information.
Tami L. Augen Rhodes
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My colleagues are right, lawyers are understandably protective of our territory, and legislatures are often lawyers, so every state that I know of bars the unlicensed practice of law. Even the big sites like LegalZoom are fighting court battles against the bar associations, so smaller companies don't stand much of a chance.
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I would not recommend it.
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Consult with your state bar regarding the relevant rules.
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