Qualifications and Fees

EFFECTIVE with the 2018 Administrations

The Knowledge Exam will be administered on-demand, year-round at testing centers with preliminary result reporting upon completion. The Skills Exam will be administered during four testing windows each year: February, April, July, and October.

To be eligible for the Certified Paralegal examination, a paralegal must meet one of the following requirements listed below. The NALA Certifying Board and NALA do not provide nor approve any education that is required for initial certification.

1. Graduation from a paralegal program that is:

(a) Approved by the American Bar Association; or
(b) An associate degree program; or
(c) A post-baccalaureate certificate program in paralegal studies; or
(d) A bachelor's degree program in paralegal studies; or
(e) A paralegal program which consists of a minimum of 60 semester hours (900 clock hours or 90 quarter hours) of which at least 15 semester hours (225 clock hours or 22.5 quarter hours) are substantive legal courses.

Note: An applicant may combine college hours from more than one institution. The applicant must have graduated from a paralegal program consisting of a minimum of 15 semester hours (or 225 clock hours or 22.5 quarter hours.) Evidence of the minimum hours required under Category 1(e) must be provided with the application form.

2. A bachelor's degree in any field plus one year's experience as a paralegal. Successful completion of at least 15 semester hours (or 22.5 quarter hours or 225 clock hours or equivalent CEU hours) of substantive paralegal courses will be considered equivalent to one year's experience as a paralegal.

3. A high school diploma or equivalent plus seven (7) years' experience as a paralegal under the supervision of a member of the Bar, plus evidence of a minimum of twenty (20) hours of continuing legal education credit to have been completed within a two (2) year period prior to the examination date.


Individuals currently incarcerated for any offense, or on probation, parole, or other court-imposed supervision for a felony offense, are ineligible to apply for the CP examination.

Fees are Non-Refundable.
Payment may be made either by cashier’s check, money order, firm check, VISA, Master Card, Discover, or American Express. Personal checks are not accepted.

  • First time candidates
    • Nonrefundable $250 for NALA members, $275 for nonmembers
    • Includes one attempt for the Knowledge Exam and one attempt for the Skills exam.
  • Retake candidates
    • Nonrefundable $60 per subsequent attempt for the Knowledge Exam
    • Nonrefundable $60 per subsequent attempt for the Skills Exam

The Certified Paralegal examination program has been approved by the Veterans Administration under the licensing and certification benefit. The VA will pay the examination fee for qualified veterans. For further information, see www.gibill.va.gov/.

Withdrawal, Incomplete, or Rejected Applications.
If an applicant must withdraw the application, or the application is incomplete or rejected, payment is non-refundable.

Testing Center Fees.
Testing center fees are NOT included in the examination application fee.