What is recertification?
Recertification literally is the act of having one’s certification renewed. NALS considers recertification to be continuing one’s education in the legal field by obtaining continuing legal education credit hours.
There are two categories of recertification for Professional Paralegals. The first category is mandatory recertification, which applies to all Professional Paralegals who are currently employed or seeking employment. The second category is Certified Professional Paralegal Emeritus, which applies to Professional Paralegals who are retired or disabled.
Why do I need to become recertified?
Recertification is required of all Professional Paralegals, because of the ever-changing profession to which we belong. Laws, rules, and regulations are continuously changing, and by requiring recertification, NALS ensures that Certified Professional Paralegals remain up-to-date with current legal practices.
What do I need to become recertified?
You need to have a total of 75 hours of CLE credits in order to recertify. You’ll need a minimum of 50 hours on substantive areas, a minimum of 5 hours on ethics, and a maximum of 20 hours on other areas. You can follow these three easy steps to recertify:
- Earn Recertification Points: You can participate in educational activities to earn points toward recertification. See Recertification Modules (in NALS.org) for details about which educational activities earn points. Appropriate educational topics include those that reflect the substantive nature of a paralegal’s work, enhance a paralegal’s knowledge of the profession, update knowledge of the law, or relate to the Professional Paralegal examination; including, but not limited to, procedural and communications skills, legal research and citations, and procedural and substantive law. Be sure to obtain certificates of completion or other documentation confirming participation in educational activities. You’ll need to attach additional information to documentation as needed.
- Get Organized: Maintain a file with all of your CLE certificates or other documentation. A chart divided into the three areas (substantive, ethics, and other) and giving the date of the event, the program sponsor, the hours attended, the points earned, and the session topic may be utilized to keep track of credits. (See recertification form for an example.) Since the Resource Center does not send reminders, be sure to calendar the date when your five-year validity period is due to expire.
- Documentation to Send to NALS: At any time prior to the expiration of your current validity period, submit the following to the Resource Center:
- Professional Paralegal Recertification Affidavit/Application (available in PDF format)
- Professional Paralegal Recertification Form (available in PDF format)
- Copies of original certificates or documentation pertaining to education credits
- A check for $75 made payable to NALS
What do I get when I recertify?
Upon receipt by the Resource Center of your completed Professional Paralegal Recertification Form, Affidavit/Application, $75 fee, and appropriate copies of your education certificates or documentation, you will receive a recertification certificate.
Who else is notified of my recertification?
Notification regarding individual recertification will be provided only to NALS publication editors for purposes of association-wide publicity.
What happens if I don’t recertify?
The Professional Paralegal certification will expire at the end of the five-year validity period. If asked, the NALS Certification Manager will state that the certification validity has expired.
Who can I contact if I still have questions?
The Certification and Education Manager at the NALS Resource Center by telephone at (918) 582-5188, e-mail at email@example.com, or fax at (918) 582-5907.
The Resource Center will accept applications prior to the expiration of the fifth year following certification. Acceptance of early recertification submissions will not affect the recertification period. Points may not be accrued during the current validity period for the next period. Credits earned during that period may not be included in the next recertification application.
Be sure to keep your originals as the Resource Center discards submitted documentation upon approval of the recertification application.