What I Learned from Taking NALA’s CP Exam

I have learned some important lessons throughout my life. There are few (if any) occasions that did not serve to teach me either about myself or something else. Taking the CP exam is no different.

I REALLY like lapel pins!
I REALLY like lapel pins!

Here are a few things that I have learned from taking NALA’s CP exam:

1. I am competitive ambitious. I would like to say that I am easy-going and care-free but that clearly is not the case here. I was very motivated to pass this exam with no other incentive than receiving the certificate. Okay, the title and praise too. It is something I had to excel at just to say I could and did. I have a strong desire to succeed and be the best version of me possible. I know that to fulfill that, I have to continue my education. What is that saying from long ago? Knowledge is power. And I am mighty.

2. My writing has improved. While I would love to say that I have had perfect grammar and communication skills my entire life, I just cannot. Actually, on my college entrance exam I scored higher in mathematics than language which was surprising only because math and I, we are not homies. This was because I lived to break the rules… of grammar. Whether I want to admit it or not, my skills have improved by studying for this exam. This is also evident in reading some of my first blog posts. Creating this blog was actually inspired in part by the Review Manual which suggests keeping a diary etc. to improve writing skills.

3. I want more certifications. One is not enough. The day I opened my results, I started thinking about which section of the Advanced Certified Paralegal program I wanted to take first. I know! I had not even hung up my certificate yet and I was already moving on. See number 1. I have it narrowed down to six. Yes, only six. Presently, I am working on funding. My goal is two per year – fingers crossed.

4. I think all paralegals should look into becoming certified. No, I am not referring to a paralegal certificate – although I do find those to be tremendously important (or any degree for that matter). But the Certified Paralegal kind of certified. Now, there are other associations out there that have very similar programs but are called Registered Paralegals. I do not have a particular preference one way or the other certified / registered, it is all the same in the end. What I mean is that we should all look into becoming certified in an effort to raise the standard of the profession as a whole and to improve our reputation and public perception.  

5. I have a renewed interest in associations. For the past decade plus (wow!) I have dabbled in membership with local associations. By dabbled, I mean I paid my dues for a year and that was it. No meetings, no nothing; although I may have voted once. With family and work obligations, and at one point a VERY long commute, I simply gave up on my wish to be involved in the paralegal community. Passing helped to reignite my interest and led to me signing back up. This time around I plan on being much more involved. (At this point, any involvement counts as “much more.”) Maybe I will even join a committee! Either way, the discounted MCLE are a bonus.

Have you learned any fun facts about yourself after partaking in a particularly difficult program (whether you passed or not)?

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