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Applications accepted for the Certified Paralegal examination are accepted based on proof of meeting the eligibility requirements as enumerated on the application form and in the candidate information and submission of the required fee. If an applicant is unable to provide proof of meeting any of the requirements, the applicant is encouraged to contact NALA Headquarters. The procedures for approving applications allow the following:
- For those qualifying under the 7 years’ paralegal experience requirement, attestations of employers are required for the entire 7-year period. If it is not possible to reach former employers whose attestation is required, the Certifying Board will accept an affidavit of the current employer attesting to the previous years of work as a paralegal.
- Applicants may combine hours of course work from more than one institution.
If an application is not accepted, the candidate may, within 30 days of the date of denial of application, appeal the decision of the Certifying Board under the following circumstances:
- It is not possible to provide a transcript of completed course work because the school no longer exists.
- If qualifying under categories which require experience, the application may be considered if the experience requirement is not fully met, and the paralegal is able to submit proof of the need for certification for employment or advancement in employment.
- An application for the Certified Paralegal examination was submitted and previously accepted but has expired, provided the candidate meets the current eligibility requirements.
- Financial hardship.
In appealing a decision to deny an application based on the reasons listed above, the candidate must submit documentation to substantiate the claim, and a signed and notarized attestation that the information is true and correct.
The Certifying Board Chair, working with certification staff, within 30 days of receipt of the appeal, shall make a determination regarding the appeal and the candidate’s eligibility to take the examination. In the case of financial hardship, the Chair may suggest a payment plan for the candidate, but the fee may not be waived. The decision of the Certifying Board Chair is final.