Application-Deadlines, Qualifications and Fees

The Certified Paralegal examination is available Monday-Saturday each day in January, May and September. Applications must be received no later than the published deadline dates listed below. Applications received after the published date for late filing will not be accepted for the upcoming test window, but may be accepted for the next available test window. The deadline dates for applications are as follows:

Deadline Late Filing
January December 1 December 10
May April 1 April 10
September August 1 August 10

*Non-refundable additional fee required for late filing

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.

The Certified Paralegal examination application fee is $250 for NALA members and $275 for non-members of NALA. Retake fees are $60 per section. 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 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.

Withdrawal Fee: If an applicant must withdraw the application, or the application is incomplete or rejected, payment will be refunded less a $25 processing fee for each year the application is active and on file (a maximum of $50). 

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