Eligibility Requirements

Important: We know that some organizations use "paralegal" and "legal assistant" interchangeably and in other organizations these terms denote completely different positions. We also know that some members will have entirely different job titles and still be substantially engaged in paralegal work. As long as your experience encompasses primarily paralegal work and you meet the additional requirements, there shouldn't be an issue with approving your registration.


Please be advised that, if you are attempting to register under Option 1, a paralegal certificate from an educational institution is not paralegal certification and does not make you a certified paralegal according to the American Bar Association. Please also be advised that there is no such thing as an ABA-certified or ABA-approved paralegal. The approval goes to the education program, not to the individual paralegal. If you have a paralegal certificate from an ABA-approved paralegal program, you are certificated (not certified). If you have questions about paralegal credentials, please review this article Demystifying Paralegal Credentials.
 

REQUIREMENTS:

 

There are three options to qualify for a listing in our Directory:

OPTION 1:

 

Required: At least 5 years of experience working in a law office, legal department, or other legal organization, under the supervision of an attorney, as a paralegal or legal assistant. 

AND one of the following:

 

An Associate or Bachelor's degree in paralegal studies or legal studies (or other law-related degree) from an institution accredited by the U.S. Dept. of Education. To see if your school is accredited by the U.S. Dept. of Education, visit here. As part of our internal auditing policies, you may be asked to provide an emailed copy of your degree and/or transcript.

 

OR

An Associate or Bachelor's degree in any field from an institution accredited by the U.S. Dept. of Education plus a paralegal certificate from an institution accredited by the U.S. Dept. of Education. To see if your school is accredited by the U.S. Dept. of Education, visit here. As part of our internal auditing policies, you may be asked to provide an emailed copy of your degree and/or transcript.

 

OR

3. *Paralegal certification from one of the following national associations including:

Certified Paralegal - CP (NALA)

Certified Paralegal - ACP (NALA)

Registered Paralegal - RP (NFPA)

Core Registered Paralegal - CRP (NFPA)

Professional Paralegal - PP (NALS)

Accredited Legal Professional - ALP (NALS)

Certified E-discovery Specialist - ACEDS

 

OR

 

4. *Paralegal certification from any state bar, if available in your state including:

North Carolina Certified Paralegal - NCCP (North Carolina State Bar)

South Carolina Certified Paralegal - SCCP (South Carolina Bar)

Florida Registered Paralegal - FRP (Florida Bar)

Indiana Registered Paralegal - IRP (Indiana State Bar)

OSBA Certified Paralegal (Ohio Bar Association)

State Bar of Wisconsin Certified Paralegal

Board Certified Paralegal (Texas Board of Legal Specialization)

OR

5. *Paralegal certification from a reputable local paralegal association, including:

Delaware Certified Paralegal - DCP

Florida Certified Paralegal - FCP (PAF)

Illinois Accredited Paralegal - ILAP

Certified Kentucky Paralegal - CKP

Louisiana Certified Paralegal - LCP

Minnesota Certified Paralegal - MnCP

New Jersey Certified Paralegal

Virginia Registered Paralegal (VARP)

 

OR

 

6. You are an active, reserve, or veteran member of the U.S. Military and you have completed training in your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) as a paralegal. As part of our internal auditing policies, you may be asked to provide an emailed copy of your Joint Services Transcript.


 

OPTION 2:

 

Required: At least 10 years of experience working in a law office, legal department, or other legal organization, under the supervision of an attorney, as a paralegal or legal assistant. As part of our internal auditing policies, you may be asked to provide proof reflecting 10 years of legal experience including providing an attestation from attorneys with whom you have worked.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

 

Other Paralegal Association Credentials.

We will consider additional certifications as state bars and paralegal associations implement new programs. A paralegal association must administer a substantive written exam and have the exam proctored in order for us to consider the certification to be reputable.

 

Limited (Legal) License Credentials.

 

Some states have enacted limited licensing programs for preparing legal documents and, in some cases, limited representation of clients. Most of these document preparers would be working directly with the public rather than under the supervision of an attorney, as is contemplated by the Directory. However, if a limited license practitioner wants to be listed in the Directory, please contact us and we will consider those credentials on a case-by-case basis.

Denial of Registration.

We have carefully considered the requirements for registration by trying to balance the need for attorneys to be assured of the quality of professionals listed in our Directory while making sure we do not unnecessarily exclude paralegals, who are capable of providing excellent freelance services. To that end, we reserve the right to deny registration if we are unable to verify the information you provide, we deem that your credential-granting entity does not meet our requirements, or there are other concerns regarding your ability to provide freelance services.