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Certification


On April 30, 2014, The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) granted accreditation to the NALA Certified Paralegal program for demonstrating compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. The NCCA Standards were created to ensure certification programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the certification industry.  The NALA Certified Paralegal program joins an elite group of more than 120 organizations representing over 270 certification programs that have received and maintained NCCA accreditation. More information on the NCCA is available online at www.credentialingexcellence.org/NCCA


Click to learn more about the Advanced Paralegal Certification Program
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certification for paralegals!
 

To download the 2012 Job Analysis Report. This major study of the paralegal career field was released by the NALA Certifying Board June 15, 2012.


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This link opens a form that may be used to verify one's certification status. Please check the update date if a name is not listed.


Professional certification is a time honored career development tool. It is helpful to employers and those seeking to enhance their career options. Because of the reliance on certification programs for career decisions, it is important a program is professionally managed and administered. NALA's over 35 years of experience in this area, and nearly 17,000 paralegals attest to the professionalism of the program.


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Alternative Dispute Resolution
This page summarizes the Alternative Dispute Resolution Advanced Paralegal Certification. Use the links below to review the items, register or login to the course. If you have not already registered as a user on the NALA APC web site, click "Register for the Course." If you have already registered for this or another APC course, you have already created a user account, click "Login."

Paralegals who are not seeking the Advanced Paralegal Certification credential are welcome to register and take any APC courses as advanced continuing education programs. CLE credit is available upon completion of the courses from NALA for Certified Paralegals, and from various state CLE programs.


Prerequisite Knowledge Learning Contract Register for the course
Fee:   $250 Members; $300 Non Members
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Course Description


This course covers both general concepts and specific techniques used in dispute resolution, from pre-dispute agreement clauses to settlement contracts. The course reviews:
  • the interaction of federal law, state statutes, and ADR
  • strategies, such as methods of negotiation
  • legal and human aspects of ADR
The Alternative Dispute Resolution APC course relies on student participation through case studies, and internet research. Upon completion of the course, paralegals will have completed exercises involving:
  • Types of ADR procedures
  • Comparison of state statutes to uniform acts
  • Application of ADR law in scenarios
  • Online resources to use for further research
  • Enforceability of DR contract clauses
  • Selection of resolution strategy
  • Drafting Pre-dispute Agreements
  • Out of state requirements for attorneys
  • Selection of law, forum, and rules
  • Client interviewing skills
  • Right to compel arbitration
  • Court-annexed ADR process
  • Special Masters, Referees, and Magistrates
  • Non-binding arbitration
  • Discovery, jurisdiction and arbitrability issues
  • Preparing for arbitration and mediation sessions
  • Participating in ADR sessions
  • Challenges to arbitration awards
  • Ethics
Reading and listening exercises include review and analysis of current articles on:
  • History and need for ADR
  • Effective settlement conferences
  • Preparing for arbitration and mediation
  • Role of the arbitrator
  • Special masters
  • Judge's perspective of effective settlement conferences
  • Ethics resources
Course Modules


The Advanced Paralegal Certification course on Alternative Dispute Resolution consists of successful completion of 10 modules of text, assessments, and assignments.  The modules and their objectives are as follows:

1. Overview
A look at the history of ADR, types and selection of methods of ADR, compulsory and mandated ADR, and laws and significant cases regarding ADR.
2. Laws, Rules and Regulations in ADR
This module discusses laws, rules and regulations involving ADR. It also looks at contract law and describes how this intersects with ADR. The module also continues looking at the history and development of ADR.
3. Issues in Particular Disputes
This modules reviews legislation affecting particular disputes and common issues and motivations in several types of cases. This modules provides exercises to gain practical experience recognizing the motivations of using ADR, determining the issues and applying ADR laws.
4. Pre-Dispute Strategies
This module discusses pre-dispute agreements, the elements of the initial interview, and the what-when-why of dispute types.
5. Post-Dispute Strategies
This module discusses dealing with a dispute after it has started. The material includes tips for handling clients and the initial interview. In addition, the right to compel arbitration is reviewed.
6. ADR and the Courts
This module discusses jurisdictional issues, stays of arbitration and other powers of the court, court ADR programs, settlement conferences, and special functionaries.
7. Arbitration v. Mediation
In this module, we follow two cases that demonstrate the differences and similarities in preparing cases for arbitration and mediation. This includes research, the case binder, initiating ADR, selecting a neutral, discovery and witnesses.
8. ADR Procedures
This module discusses the procedures of arbitration and mediation and the differences between litigation, arbitration and mediation. 
9. Post ADR Procedures
This module discusses what happens after the arbitration hearing or mediation session. This includes award - confirming and enforcing them, and seeking to correct, modify, challenge and vacate awards.
10. Ethical and UPL Issues
This final module looks at arbitrator immunity, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, impartiality, inequality, and the unauthorized practice of law.