Becoming a Certified Paralegal
First Time Candidates:
* NALA Members - nonrefundable exam fee of $250
* Non Members - nonrefundable exam fee of $275
* Nonrefundable attempt fee of $60 per subsequent attempt for the knowledge exam
* Nonrefundable attempt fee of $60 per subsequent attempt for the skills exam
What is a Certified Paralegal (CP)? Use of the CP credential signifies that a paralegal is capable of providing superior services to firms and corporations. National surveys consistently show Certified Paralegals are better utilized in a field where attorneys are looking for a credible, dependable way to measure ability. The credential has been recognized by the American Bar Association as a designation which marks a high level of professional achievement. The CP credential has also been recognized by over 47 legal assistant organizations and numerous bar associations. (NALA)
What is an Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP)? The Advanced Paralegal Certification program is designed to recognize a paralegal's commitment to continued growth and life-long learning. Upon successful completion of the program, the CP will earn the Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) credential and continuing education hours. These courses focus on the mastery of course material developed under the direction of the Advanced Paralegal Certification Board. An assessment component is part of the curriculum-based program, as well as exercises. The focus is on education and learning specific subject matter rather than testing, which has already been achieved by the Certified Paralegal examination. The average course is about 20 hours in length and organized into multiple modules. These web-based courses are available on a 24/7 basis. (NALA)
As of July, 2017 there were over 19,200 certified paralegals in the United States and over 4,200 with their advanced paralegal certificate!
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To be eligible for the CP exam, a paralegal must meet one of the following:
A. Graduation from a paralegal program that is:
1. Approved by the ABA; or
2. An associate degree program; or
3. A post-baccalaureate certificate program in paralegal studies; or
4. A bachelor's degree program in paralegal studies; or
5. 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.
B. A bachelor's degree in any field plus one year of paralegal experience. Successful completion of at least 15 semester hours (or 225 clock hours or 22.5 quarter hours) of substantive paralegal courses will be considered equivalent to one year of experience as a paralegal.
C. A high school diploma or equivalent and seven years of experience as a paralegal under the supervision of a member of the bar, plus evidence of a minimum of 20 hours of continuing legal education credit to have been completed within a two year period prior to the examination date.
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