Excel Your Career
NALS offers three national certifications dedicated to the legal services profession as listed below. Follow the links below or go to NALS.org, for complete descriptions and requirements for each level. Examinations for all three certifications are given twice a year: the first Saturday in March, and the last Saturday in September. Applications and fees must be postmarked by January 1 for the March examination and by August 1 for the September examination. NALS members enjoy reduced testing fees as a benefit of membership. Certifications are valid for five years, and can be recertified upon completion of 50 hours of Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”.)
Effective immediately, NALS will be offering a one-year FREE membership to students of accredited or ABA-approved legal studies or paralegal studies programs who take the ALS or PP certification exam! If you are a student who is registered to take the ALS or PP exam, please contact NALS Certification Manager to ensure that you receive your free one-year membership.
NALS believes that continuing education is vital to every successful career in the legal profession. NALS publishes reference and study materials, including the Basic Manual for the Lawyer’s Assistant, and the Advanced Manual for the Lawyer’s Assistant; both are currently available through West Publishing. These manuals are excellent resource materials for any legal assistant and also offer a solid foundation for certification preparation. Prior to each test date, NALS also offers Online Study Group Sessions led by experienced legal professionals. These study groups are FREE for NALS members and $35 for non-members.
Legal work is a career, not just a job. Attaining a NALS certification demonstrates to all a positive attitude of initiative, dedication to professional self-improvement and lays the foundation for career advancement.
Kim Steed, CP
Content updated April 2013.
Accredited Legal Professional Certification (ALP)
This is the basic certification. The exam is for those with at least one year of general office experience, who have passed an accredited office curriculum course, or who have passed the NALS Legal Training Course.
Professional Legal Secretary/Certified Legal Professional Certification (PLS/CLP)
The advanced certification for legal professionals with at least three years’ experience in the legal field.
Professional Paralegal Certification (PP)
Dedicated to those professionals who have at least five years’ experience performing paralegal/legal assistant duties.