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Certified Legal Assistant (CLA)

Certified Paralegal (CP)

Certified Legal Assistant Specialist (CLAS)

Established in 1976, the CLA/CP (Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal) program has enabled the profession to develop a strong and responsive self-regulatory program offering a nationwide credential for legal assistants. The National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA) administers the CLA/CP Examination.

Successful completion of this national, comprehensive, two-day written exam entitles paralegals to use the designation "CLA" or "CP" after their names. Use of the CLA/CP credential signifies that a paralegal is capable of providing superior services to firms and corporations. National surveys consistently show Certified Legal Assistants are better paid and 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 defines a high level of professional achievement. The CLA/CP credential has also been recognized by over 47 legal assistant organizations and numerous bar associations.

As of February 1, 2006, there were 13,325 CLA/CPs in the country and 247 of those are from the State of Tennessee. CLA/CP's are required to have 50 hours of continuing legal education credits over a five year period to maintain the CLA/CP certification.

NALA also administers specialty examinations in the following areas: Bankruptcy, Intellectual Property, Civil Litigation, Probate & Estate Planning, Business Entities, Real Property, and Criminal. Those CLA/CPs successfully completing these examinations are entitled to use the designation Certified Legal Assistant Specialist ("CLAS").

For more information on the CLA/CP and CLAS Examinations, visit the NALA website.