Requirements for Applicants

NOTE: The application form must be complete. All supporting documentation required to complete the Certified Paralegal examination application form may be e-mailed to testing@nala.org.  Documentation includes official school transcripts, attorney attestations, and payment. Incomplete applications are subject to rejection. The documentation required varies based on the category of qualifications, as outlined below.

ELIGIBILITY

Candidates for certification must meet one of the following requirements outlined in Categories 1, 2, or 3 at the time of filing an application form.  

1. Graduation from or completion of a paralegal program, or currently in the last semester or quarter of the program, that meets one of the criteria listed in sections (a) through (e) below.

(a) approved by the American Bar Association; or
(b) an associate degree program; or
(c) a post-baccalaureate certificate program in paralegal studies; or

(In addition to the official school transcript, candidate must submit an original course catalog or an original letter from the school registrar or program director attesting that the program is a post-baccalaureate certificate program requiring a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite.)

(d) a bachelor's degree program in paralegal studies; or
(e) a paralegal program which consists of a minimum of 60 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of which at least 15 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) are substantive legal courses.

(Candidates applying under Category 1(e) may combine college hours from more than one institution. The candidate 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 of experience as a paralegal or successful completion of at least 15 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of substantive paralegal courses.
(Those applying under the provision allowing for additional course work in lieu of the one-year work experience must submit an official school transcript showing completed course work.)

3. A high school diploma or equivalent plus seven (7) years’ experience as a legal assistant/paralegal plus a minimum of twenty (20) hours of continuing legal education completed within a two-year period prior to application for the examination.
(Evidence of continuing legal education credit is documented by the attorney/employer attestation that must be signed as part of the application form or by submitting certificate of completions of CLE taken.)


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