A year after starting this journey, I received my results from the January testing period. I passed! I am a Certified Paralegal now!
Since passing, I have ordered some really nifty business cards that I cannot wait to begin using. I also made sure to update my profiles and signature blocks. Aren’t the certificates nice? I am a sucker for lapel pins and bought one from NALA too. I was also very fortunate and received a beautiful desktop nameplate from my co-worker.
For those of you who have followed along, or made this journey yourself, you are aware of the study techniques, stress, procrastination, anxiety, and education that comes with preparing for the exam. Now that it is over, it feels a little… anti-climatic. Maybe it has not sunk in yet or maybe I have been so busy these past few weeks that I simply cannot appreciate that I passed. Maybe because I am a busy-body I need to feel that I am doing something and when a project ends I feel off kilter. You know what that means, time to start working on my ACP – Advanced Certified Paralegal!
NALA has now created a closed group to allow applicants to ask each other questions while studying for the exam. I think that this is an excellent idea! If you happen to be studying, you should definitely look into this.
A few reminders about what it takes to be a Certified Paralegal:
- The Certified Paralegal program involves successful completion of a comprehensive examination covering the topics of communications; legal research; ethics; human relations and interviewing techniques; legal terminology; judgment and analytical ability; and substantive law testing in the areas of the American Legal System, Civil Litigation, Business Organizations, and Contracts.
- Evidence of continuing legal education must be submitted periodically to maintain certified status. Additionally, a fee must be paid every five years.
- This is completely voluntary program and is not the same as receiving a paralegal certificate from a college program.
- Once you become a Certified Paralegal, you can start the Advanced Certified Paralegal program.
- Also, if someone with an Advanced designation fails to provide proof of continued legal education, they lose both titles!
I thank you all for your support and encouragement during this process. I truly could not have met this goal without it. As of March 2016, there are only 18,682 Certified Paralegals nationwide and 1,278 in California – AND I AM ONE OF THEM!