NALA is the leading paralegal association in the US. Its mission is to provide continuing education and professional development programs to all paralegals. NALA provides current information about the profession, continuing education materials and seminars, networking opportunities, professional certification programs, occupational survey findings and manuals to help paralegals excel in the workplace.
NALA is a non-profit organization, representing over 18,000 paralegals, who are individual members or members of NALA affiliated associations.
NALA programs are supported by membership dues, and program fees. The major programs of NALA are all described in further detail on this web site. They are:
Professional Certification for Paralegals
For over 30 years, the Certified Paralegal credential has been the career standard for paralegals. In 2006, this program was expanded to include the ACP, an Advanced Certified Credential for certification in specialty practice areas.
Web based Live and Self Study CLE programs
NALA is the leader in offering the first web-based self study programs for paralegals in 1999. Today, NALA's curricula of web-based programs include live programs, archives of live programs, and the standard self-study courses.
- Annual CLE conference
Each July, NALA hosts the nation's largest paralegal conference, a highly anticipated educational program. It consists of in-depth educational programs in several practice areas, a review program for the Certified Paralegal exam, an expo for legal vendors and association business meetings,
Through its publisher, Cengage, NALA publishes a study guide for the Certified Paralegal examination, and an introductory text entitled "NALA Manual for Paralegals." NALA is also well known for its award winning FACTS & FINDINGS, a bi-monthly journal for paralegals.
- Leadership Development
NALA members and NALA Affiliated Associations have a unique opportunity to participate in leadership development programs. From serving on a NALA committee or board through participation in the year-long LEAP (Leadership Enhancement and Preparation), personal growth opportunities are ever- present.
- Standard Setting and Occupational Research
NALA members have created and follow the NALA Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and take this responsibility very seriously. In addition, every two years, NALA conducts a survey of paralegal utilization and compensation. The survey findings are published on the web site, free to all.
Governance of NALA
NALA is first, and foremost a membership organization. This means that the individual members of NALA are the leading force of NALA programs and policies. Through NALA, paralegals across the nation have come together to develop programs and standard setting codes to help them grow in the work place.
The board is composed of the NALA President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Certifying Board Chair, Advanced Paralegal Certification Board Chair, Continuing Education Council Chair, Professional Development Committee Chair, 9 Regional Directors, and the Affiliated Associations Directors. Each of the officers and 9 directors are elected by the NALA members. Representatives of NALA affiliated associations, who are also NALA members, elect the affiliated associations director. (Only NALA members may determine the composition of the Board of Directors). The President is elected annually (in March) by the Board of Directors from among its members. The Continuing Education Council Chair, and Professional Development Chair are all appointed by the NALA president and the appointments are approved by the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors is the only body in NALA that is charged with focusing on the big picture of NALA - how it's doing and where association programs are moving. The board is responsible for:
- Defining association goals
- Providing the means to accomplish the stated purposes of NALA as defined in the bylaws and member directives
- Enhancing the value of NALA membership.