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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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Want to file a request for CLE credits on-line?
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News & Upcoming Events
CLE Gift for NALA Active Members!

Active members of NALA - new and renewals - are receiving an $80 gift certificate from NALA to apply toward any NALA educational program or Facts & Findings subscription ...

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The NALA Vendor Directory is a terrific place to start. This is a list of legal vendors offering a great range of help including deposition services, document services, and investigations. Click the link below...
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Recertification Requirements - Types of Programs and Hours

Hours for Participation in Seminars, Workshops, Conferences for Paralegals and Attorneys

Sponsors: The Certifying Board approves programs for CLE hours on a per-program basis.  Pre-approval of all programs offered by a particular sponsor is not available. Sponsors for CLE events include paralegal education providers, bar associations, attorney organizations and law firms, and paralegal associations.

Speakers: To qualify for CLE hours, programs which provide analysis and interpretation of the law are required to feature an attorney as the presenter or an attorney as a part of a team of presenters.

Minimum length of course:  A program or seminar that offers a minimum of 50 minutes of instruction qualifies for one hour of education.

Types of programs: Hours may be awarded for participation in live CLE programs, including in-house employer programs or training. Online programs may qualify, including web-based live programs, and web-based self-study programs. In addition, hours may also be awarded for self-study of audio or video recordings of CLE events.  Hours are not available for reading articles or books.  See below “Special Experiences” for information about requests for completing training for volunteer programs such as CASA and Guardian Ad Litem programs.

CLE hours calculation:  The number of hours of education that are completed by the Certified Paralegal are counted to determine the number recorded.  Hours are not awarded for session breaks or lunch breaks. If a luncheon includes an educational component, credit is awarded on the basis of ½ of the allotted time for the luncheon provided the subject qualifies. A partial-hour may be recorded provided the Certified Paralegal participates in at least 50 minutes of instruction. For requests for hours to meet the Ethics CLE requirements, the sponsor’s program must state the seminar program included an ethics component and the number of hours of ethics instruction.

Filing requests for CLE hours: Certified Paralegals may submit requests for CLE hours anytime during the five year period. Requests for hours for participation in seminars, workshops or conferences must contain the following:

  • Certified Paralegal contact information
  • Type of Event
  • Date of Event
  • Name of Event
  • Location of Event
  • Event Sponsor
  • Sponsor contact information
  • Event program for calculation of CLE hours
Certified paralegals may submit this information on a “Certificate of Attendance Form” provided by NALA, or complete the on-line CLE request form on the NALA web site, or submit a letter with the required documentation. See “Procedures for use of on-line CLE Reporting Form” for additional information about using this form.

Verification of attendance submitted on behalf of Certified Paralegals by third parties.
The Certifying Board will accept verifications of attendance of a CLE event submitted by an event sponsor.  The description of the event should include the items listed above, plus a typewritten list of names of the Certified Paralegals who attended the event. Sign-in sheets and handwritten names are discouraged. If a name is unreadable, hours will not be recorded.

Hours for Participation in College Courses


Sponsor or school:
Hours may be awarded for completion of a course offered by a school that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. For courses taken through a program that is not nationally accredited, CLE hours will be awarded as if the program taken was a seminar, conference or workshop, to a maximum of 20 hours.

Types of programs: Ethics courses or courses in specific practice areas as part of a paralegal studies curriculum or law school curriculum. Some business courses may qualify for non-substantive hours.

Length of course:  To qualify, a for-credit course must offer at least 3 quarter hours or 2 semester hours of credit upon completion. For courses taken through nationally accredited programs that do not offer credits based on semester or quarter hours, the classroom or work-hours equivalent must meet or exceed 20 hours. 

CLE hours calculation:  20 hours for completion of a course with a grade C or better; 10 hours for auditing a course or completing a course that offers less than 3 quarter hours or 2 semester hours of credit upon completion.

Filing requests for CLE hours:  Request for hours for participating in college courses should contain the following:

  • Certified paralegal contact information
  • Course description
  • Length of course
  • If the course was taken for credit, a transcript showing completion with a grade C or above and the number of hours/credits awarded
  • If the course was audited, documentation showing the course was completed. This would include an instructor’s verification if not shown on the transcript.

Requests should be submitted in writing with the required documentation.

Advanced Paralegal Certification and State Specialty Certification

Sponsors: The Certifying Board will award CLE hours to Certified Paralegals upon successful completion of an advanced professional certification program for paralegals. To qualify, the program must be administered by a national organization for paralegals, or a state paralegal organization working alone or together with a state bar association, and which includes completion of a written examination. Product or software certification programs do not qualify under this category; instead, they qualify under the provisions above for in-house training programs, or seminars, workshops, conferences.

CLE hours calculation:  20 hours are awarded for successful completion an Advanced Paralegal Certification course offered by NALA; or successful completion of a state specialty program for paralegals.

Filing requests for hours: Requests for hours for successful completion of an Advanced Paralegal Certification program or state specialty paralegal certification program should include:

  • Certified paralegal contact information
  • Description of certification program
  • Sponsor of certification program
  • Copy of the certificate or other record of the governing body of the certification program confirming the award of certification

Requests should be submitted in writing with the required documentation. 

Special Experience


The Certifying Board will consider award of CLE hours for special experiences. Examples include:

  • Teaching a legal course in a paralegal program on a subject of substantive law or procedure
  • Presentation of a seminar or workshop on a subject of substantive law or procedure related to the work of a paralegal
  • Extensive research on a subject of substantive law or procedure related to the work of a paralegal which results in publication of an article in a legal publication
  • Training sessions involved in volunteer activities such as CASA and Guardian Ad Litem programs which involve the review, study and application of state or federal governmental regulations,  guidelines and procedures, or court rules.

CLE hours cannot be awarded for:

  • Work required activities (paid or unpaid) such as trial preparation, witness interviewing, or research of a case related subject
  • Service on the NALA Certifying Board or Advanced Paralegal Certification Board, or participation in NALA's LEAP program. 
  • Volunteer service

CLE Hours Calculation:

Presentation of course/seminars:  The board will consider the time involved in research in preparation of a course or seminar for paralegals to a maximum of 3 hours per every 1 hour of instruction. In addition, hours are awarded for the time of instruction for the presentation.  Time spent editing or proofreading will not be considered in the calculation of hours.

The maximum allowed hours for instruction of a for-credit course in a paralegal curriculum is 20 hours.  

If a course or seminar is repeated during the five year period, hours as an instructor for the course or seminar is awarded once per five year period. However, hours may be available for the time of instruction for the repeated presentation.  Hours may be awarded to a Certified Paralegal as an instructor of a course or seminar that is repeated in a subsequent five year period.

Written/publication of an article: Hours will be calculated based on estimated number of hours of research for preparation of the article. Time spent editing or proofreading will not be considered in the calculation of hours.

Training for volunteer service:  Hours will be calculated based on the hours of training.

Filing requests for hours for special experiences:

Requests for hours for special experiences based on teaching should include the following:

  • Certified paralegal contact information
  • Description of course/seminar topic
  • Length and dates of the course/seminar
  • Sponsor of course/seminar program with contact information
  • Estimate of the number of hours required in preparation
Requests for hours for special experiences based on authoring an article which results in publication should include:
  • Certified paralegal contact information
  • Copy of the publication with the article
  • Estimate of the number of hours required in research and preparation of the article
Requests for special training for volunteer service should include:
  • Certified Paralegal contact information
  • Name of Training and Sponsor
  • Date(s) and time (s) of training sessions completed
  • Sponsor contact information
  • Event program for calculation of CLE hours, or details stating the total number of hours of instruction for training
  • Verification of completion of training, such as certificate or sponsor signature.

 Certified paralegals may submit this information on a “Certificate of Attendance Form” provided by NALA, or by completing the on-line CLE request form on the NALA web site, or by submitting a letter with the required documentation.