The Certified Paralegal (CP) credential is key to respect and opportunity throughout the legal profession. Established in 1976, the CP Certified Paralegal® program has enabled the profession to develop a strong and responsive self-regulatory program offering a nationwide credential for paralegals. The CP Certified Paralegal® program establishes and serves as a:

  • National professional standard for paralegals

  • Means of identifying those who have reached this standard.

  • Credentialing program responsive to the needs of paralegals and responsive to the fact that this form of self-regulation is necessary to strengthen and expand development of this career field.

  • Positive, ongoing, voluntary program to encourage the growth of the paralegal profession, attesting to and encouraging a high level of achievement.


The CP credential has been acknowledged by the American Bar Association as a mark of high professional achievement. On April 30, 2014, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) granted accreditation to the NALA Certified Paralegal program. The NALA Certified Paralegal program joins an elite group of more than 120 organizations that have received and maintained NCCA accreditation.

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.

As of 2017, there are over 19,000 paralegals who have achieved the certification credential and over 3,400 who have achieved the Advanced Certified Paralegals in the United States. Since its inception, over 28,000 paralegals have participated in this program.

Advanced Paralegal Certification

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. The ACP credential has been awarded to more than 3,500 paralegals since its inception in 2006. 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.

For more information, visit the NALA website at nala.org.

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