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            Why Certification?

In 1997, the American Bar Association defined a legal assistant as "a person qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible." Over the years, several certification programs have been established to help meet the need for the education and training of legal staff.

As the local chapter of the tri-level association comprised of NALS…the association for legal professionals, the Texas Association of Legal Professionals, and Waco Legal Professionals Association, we provide information to legal support staff seeking certification in the following areas:

ALP   Accredited Legal Professional…the basic certification for legal professionals

PLS   Professional Legal Secretary ... the advanced certification for legal professionals
CLP   Certified Legal Professional ... the advanced certification for legal professionals

PP     Professional Paralegal

To assist you in preparing to take a NALS Certification Exam, there is an Online Study Group available to all NALS members. The online Study Group Sessions cover all parts of all three exams. Following the Study Group Sessions, there are reviews specific to each exam and a general session with Test Taking Tips.

Recently, NALS designed the Specialty Certificate Program. Any person who has a current PP or PLS/CLP certification and earns a minimum of 50 hours of CLE within their 5-year validity period in one of the specialty tracks may apply. To see a complete list of the speciality areas, visit http://www.nals.org/?page=specialtycertificate .

Take a moment to visit http://www.nals.org to learn more about the NALS certifications.  If you have additional questions, please contact either the Certification and Education Manager at the NALS Resource Center by e-mail at cert-edu@nals.org or WacoLPA's Functional Director - Certification for 2017-18, Mary Teague, PP, PLS -  mary@namanhowell.com.