Becoming a Certified Paralegal: Study Guides and Sample Test Questions Before the Exam

A paralegal certification demonstrates to employers a commitment to the profession and a mastery of certain skills and knowledge necessary to the field. Skills and knowledge tested by certification examinations include an advanced knowledge of legal procedure, ethics and substantive law as well as research, communication and writing skills.Many paralegals obtain professional designations after they have gained a few years’ experience in the field. While certification is not a prerequisite to paralegal employment, it may enhance your professional credibility, employment prospects and income potential. 



Preparing for the test can be daunting.  There is, however, a lot of help available to you.  Each of the organizations offer some type of test prep, whether it's in the form of study guides, videos, seminars and sample test questions.  I've gathered together information on the various governing bodies that certify paralegals and helpful links to their paralegal certification study guides and sample test questions.  

 National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc.

(NALA), headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, began sponsoring a certification examination (Certified Legal Assistant) in 1976. NALA also offers advanced specialty exams.
Designation: Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) or Certified Paralegal (CP). Over 12,000 paralegals have earned the use of this professional designation.

National Federation of Paralegal Associations

**NFPA actually offers two certification examinations: the Paralegal Core Competency Exam (PCCE), which is for paralegals just entering the field or lacking the appropriate qualifications for the more advanced certification; and the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE), which is for more experienced paralegals with higher educational requirements.

National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (NFPA) offers the Paralegal Advanced Competency Examination (PACE).
Designation: "PACE - Registered Paralegal" or "RP”
Examination: The Paralegal Competency Examination (PACE) is a two-tiered exam. Tier I addresses general legal issues and ethics. As the need arises, a section for state-specific laws may also be developed. Tier II addresses specialty sections.

The National Association for Legal Professionals (NALS)

The NALS (formerly known as the National Association for Legal Secretaries), offers three certifications: the ALS (its basic certification), the PP (for paralegals) and the PLS (an advanced certification).
Designations: ALS, PP and PLS
Examinations:
ALS - The ALS is a 3-part exam covering written communications; office procedures and legal knowledge; and human relations and judgment.
PP - The PP certification exam is administered in four parts and covers written communications, legal knowledge and skills, ethics and judgment skills and substantive law. Candidates may retake any failed portions of the exam.
Recertification is required every five years but may be accomplished through the accumulation of continuing legal education hours and activities
PLS – The PLS exam is a one-day, four-part examination which is broken down as follows: Part 1 - Written Communications, Part 2: Office Procedures and Technology, Part 3: Ethics and Judgment and Part 4: Legal Knowledge and Skills.
Suggested study materials: NALS Study Materials
Manual: Certification Resource Manual


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...