ALP

One way to demonstrate your preparedness for the demanding field of law is by becoming an Accredited Legal Professional (ALP). This designation is awarded after passing a four-hour, three-part examination. Attaining this goal demonstrates your commitment and aptitude for succeeding in the ever-changing legal environment.

 


The ALP Examination:

  • demonstrates ability to perform business communication tasks;
  • gauges ability to maintain office records and calendars, and prioritize multiple tasks when given real-life scenarios;
  • measures understanding of office equipment and related procedures;
  • denotes aptitude for understanding legal terminology, legal complexities, and supporting documents;
  • appraises knowledge of law office protocol as prescribed by ethical codes.

This exam formerly used the ALS designation.  In order to more fully embrace the diversity of legal professionals entering the workforce and provide those individuals with certifications reflecting that diversity, NALS has adapted the name of its Accredited Legal Secretary (ALS) certification to Accredited Legal Professional (ALP). Effective May 1, 2013, persons who attain or have attained this certification may use either the ALS or ALP designation. This is a change in name only; the quality of the exam remains the same.

ALP Examination Eligibility

To sit for the examination, you must have completed one of the following:
  • an accredited business/legal course,
  • the NALS Legal Training Course, or
  • one year of general office experience.

Membership in NALS is not a requirement.

 

The Exam Covers

  • PART 1: Written Communications
  • PART 2: Office Procedures and Legal Knowledge
  • PART 3: Ethics, Human Relations, and Judgment

Examination Guidelines

All three parts of the examination must be taken on the first attempt. If you do not pass the entire examination on the first attempt, you may retake the examination parts you did not pass. All failed parts must be retaken at the same time. You will be charged the full exam fee each time you sit.

Those passing the exam will receive a certificate which is valid for five years. The ALP is eligible for recertification if after the initial 5-year certification period, the certified ALP has obtained 50 hours of CLE. A completed Recertification Form, Affidavit/Application, $50 fee, and copies of education certificates or documentation are submitted to the NALS Resource Center prior to the expiration of the current five-year certification period.

Examination Dates

  • March:  Last Saturday
  • June:  First Saturday *
  • September:  Last Saturday
  • December:   First Saturday *

Application Deadlines

  • March:  Postmarked by January 1
  • June:   Postmarked by April 15 *
  • September:   Postmarked by August 1
  • December:   Postmarked by October 15 *
*June and December testing are for those who’ve completed the Basic or Advanced NALS Legal Training Course.

 

 

Examination Fees

Initial Fees

  • Student/LTC Participant (minimum of 9 credit hours) — $75
  • NALS member (not a full-time student) — $100
  • Nonmember (not a full-time student) — $125
  • Military Member — $75
  • Military Nonmember — $100

Retake Fees – 1 part

  • Student/LTC Participant (minimum of 9 credit hours) – $40
  • NALS member (not a full-time student) – $40
  • Nonmember (not a full-time student) – $50
  • Military Member — $40
  • Military Nonmember — $50

Retake Fees – 2 or more parts

  • Student/LTC Participant (minimum of 9 credit hours) – $50
  • NALS member (not a full-time student) – $75
  • Nonmember (not a full-time student) – $100
  • Military Member — $75
  • Military Nonmember — $100

Transfer/Refund Policy

If you are unable to sit for the examination at your chosen time, you may transfer to another examination date by paying a $50 transfer fee and by making the request no later than two weeks prior to the test date.

If you are unable to sit for the examination at any time following submission of your application, the entire fee, less a 25% processing fee, may be refunded if requested 30 days or more before the scheduled examination date. If you are unable to sit for the examination after transferring to another examination date, no refund will be given nor will additional transfers be allowed.

Preparing for the Exam

 

  • Click here to view required study materials.
  • NALS Bookstore – Information on text books and mock exams to help you prepare.
  • NALS Online Study Group – To assist those preparing for their exams, NALS will hold a series of WebEd sessions with coverage over all parts of the exam, as well as exam specific reviews for the ALP, PLS, and the Professional Paralegal (PP). The series will wrap up with a general session over test taking tips.
  • NALS Basic Legal Training Course – Many states and local chapters sponsor the NALS Legal Training Course. This course emulates a classroom study style in preparing for the exam. Check the NALS Calendar for an upcoming course in your area.
  • Stetson University- NALS Online Basic Legal Training Program – An excellent option for individuals at locations without a local NALS chapter. This course is highly interactive and is taught by practicing lawyers.