In California, having a non-attorney represent you could hurt your case and waste your money.
Notarios, immigration consultants, and document preparers are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice.
Ask for a written contract.
Requests for cash payments are a warning sign. Use a cashier’s check if you don’t have a bank account. Ask for a receipt.
If someone claims to be a licensed attorney, look them up on the State Bar’s website: www.calbar.ca.gov. You can make sure they are licensed in California, and if they are licensed, you can see if they have any history of discipline.