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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
Click learn more about advanced
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.


 Current Directory of Certified Paralegals
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.


   CLE Look Up for Certified Paralegals
Click this link to review the CLE credits recorded on your account. This information includes the expiration date of your certificate, the total credits awarded, as well as the credits that are classified as non-substantive credits, and ethics. This information is updated every 24-48 hours during the business week. 

Members need to log in with their NALA Net User name, and member number as the password. Non-members will be provided login information in an electronic newsletter.  Click here to request this information from NALA Headquarters.

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E-Discovery
This page summarizes Electronic Discovery Advanced Paralegal Certification program. 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


Electronic discovery is the process of identifying and producing relevant, electronically stored information (ESI) in litigation. Advances in technology and exponential growth of reliance on ESI over traditional paper documents are continually increasing the scope, expense, and prominence of e-discovery in litigation. As the volume of ESI continues to expand, the costs to preserve, collect, review and produce it in litigation will only increase in the future. Developments in ESI technology and discovery have created a dynamic field posing significant challenges to courts, legal professionals, IT professionals, and litigants.

In this course, you’ll learn all the essential concepts of e-discovery and the obligations imposed on litigants to preserve, collect, review, and produce ESI in the discovery process. You’ll examine the types and characteristics of ESI, along with methods and systems for complying with each step in the e-discovery process. Building on what you’ve learned, you’ll research developing issues and trends in rules and case law and apply them to fact-based exercise scenarios and case studies.

Course modules are:
  1. Electronically Stored Information (ESI)
  2. Preservation Obligations
  3. Discovery of ESI
  4. Collection and Processing of ESI
  5. Review of ESI
  6. Production of ESI
  7. Records Management
  8. Spoliation
  9. Admissibility of ESI at Trial
  10. E-discovery in Criminal Cases
  11. Electronic Discovery Ethics
Click here to open "Role of the Paralegal" in e-discovery. This is the basis for this advanced course.

 Prerequisite Knowledge


Those taking this course should be familiar with the following:
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Federal Rules of Evidence   
  • Basic Discovery
  • Trial Practice
  • Basic Torts and Contracts
  • Practice & Procedure Forms
  • Computers and Electronic Information
  • Internet Research
 Module Descriptions


 
1. Electronically Stored Information (ESI)
Module 1 begins the course with an overview of ESI and information technology relevant to e-discovery. Topics include ESI characteristics, types of ESI, file anatomy, data structure, storage and location of ESI, backups and backup systems, rules and best practices, changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to accommodate e-discovery, and The Sedona Guidelines on the Management of Electronic Information.
2. Preservation Obligations
Module 2 discusses the obligations of litigants and their lawyers to preserve ESI under certain conditions. Topics include early case assessment, triggering the duty to preserve ESI, scope of preservation obligations, duty to preserve metadata, duty to preserve transient data, legal holds, monitoring compliance with the legal hold, documenting the legal hold process, lifting legal holes, plaintiff’s duty to preserve ESI, and third parties duty to preserve.
3. Discovery of ESI
Module 3 examines the process and procedure of requesting production of ESI in the case discovery phase. Topics include formulation of a discovery plan, meet and confer obligation, required initial disclosures, pretrial conference and scheduling order, interrogatories, requests for production and inspection, responding to requests for production and inspection, requests for admissions, responding to requests for admission, requesting discovery from nonparties, limitations on discovery, protective orders, and supplementing disclosures and responses.
4. Collection and Processing of ESI
Module 4 discusses the collection and processing phase of e-discovery. Topics include defensible collection, forensic images and logical collections, forensic images versus logical collections, chain of custody, collection methodologies, choosing a vendor for collection, collection steps, processing collected ESI, keyword searches, selecting keywords, Boolean operators, advanced search methods, choosing a search method.
5. Review of ESI
Module 5 examines the process of reviewing ESI after it has been collected. Topics include categories of electronic discovery formats, tiered review, privileges, quick-peek and clawback agreements, reductions, document review platforms, tagging, clustering, privilege logs, predictive coding, and creating a defensible review strategy.
6. Production of ESI
Module 6 focuses on methods and requirements for producing ESI and delivering it to the opposing and other parties. Topics include production rules, defensible production planning, projecting costs, delivery methods, rolling production versus complete delivery, sample set data, sample dataset, searchable text, fielded data, load files, production logs, quality control, and receipt of production.
7. Records Management
Module 7 addresses ongoing records management and programs for routine preservation and disposal of ESI. Topics include records management programs, need for records management, developing a records management program, data mapping, retention times, automated records retention, types of retention schedules, guidelines for creating a retention schedule, and records management quality assurance.
8. Spoilation
Module 8 discusses spoliation of evidence and claims related to intentional and unintentional destruction of ESI records. Topics include elements of a spoliation claim, methods of raising spoliation claims, courts power to sanction, avoiding spoliation claims, defending against spoliation claims, good-faith exception, pretrial and post-trial cost shifting, and case studies.
9. Admissability of ESI at Trial
Module 9 discusses issues of admissibility of ESI at trial of the case, after discovery has been completed. Topics include evidentiary issues, relevance, authenticity, self-authentication, pretrial authentication hearsay, best evidence rule, unfair prejudice, and ethnicity will be held expert testimony.
10. E-discovery in Criminal Cases
11. Electronic Discovery Ethics
Module 11 examines ethics rules and issues related to e-discovery and ESI preservation obligations. Topics include competence, diligence, confidentiality, expediting litigation, candor toward the tribunal, fairness to opposing party and counsel, communications with the client, and unauthorized practice of law.