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Ask Eula Mae: Finding Time to Stay Certified

Posted By NALS Editorial + Marketing Board, Thursday, April 19, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Dear Eula Mae:

I’ve been a legal assistant in real estate contracts for many years and my workload has grown with the company. It’s not too big to handle, but sure makes for a full day. I have my PLS certification, which is about to expire and I’m not sure if I want to stay certified. Part of this feeling is due to the workload and part is due to my busy family life with three teenagers at home. My life is full and my time is limited. I don’t know how I’m going to keep my certification.


—Stay Certified or Not in Cleveland

Dear Cleveland:

Where there is a will there is a way and fortunately for you, NALS has many ways to stay certified thanks to their online presence. There are so many ways for you to get CLE and most of them are on your own time.

Education is something that no one can take away from you. You can lose a job, a house, a car, etc., but no one can strip you of your knowledge. Your certification not only expresses your expertise in the field but your experience—a truly precious commodity in the legal field. You are not just another ‘assistant’ or ‘secretary’; you are a legal support professional—an earnest, worthy investment for any attorney or law firm. By letting your certification lapse, you are essentially cloaking a beacon of legal expertise and education.

First, look at what is required for your recertification and I’m sure you will find a way to get the credits you need. You worked hard to become certified and it is worth it to keep it—for now and for later!

Here are some suggestions:

  • Register for a webinar at NALS. A list of upcoming webinar and continuing legal education (CLE) events can be found at NALS.org/Events.
  • Read the @LAW magazine and take the respective quiz to earn education hours. 
  • Write an article for the NALS Docket eNewsletter. I know you can! You have a lot to say. You could talk about your NALS experience as a non-traditional legal person and what this has meant to you personally and for your job. Tell us about your local NALS chapter’s volunteering experience and your role as an officer. What is your proudest accomplishment at NALS and how has that impacted your life on the job? How can this information help other members? How have the skills that you gained from NALS helped you? How have your connections in the association helped you in your job, in NALS, and in your life? Docket newsletter article are 1000 words. These tend to be more personal in nature, but not necessarily.
  • Write an article for NALS @LAW. These articles are 2000 words about the law in action or the law itself. If you have ideas for an article, members of the NALS Editorial + Marketing Board will be happy to work with you to develop some article ideas. The goal is to get the most out of NALS.
  • Do you have mandatory classes that you have to take for your job? You can always send information on that to the Certification/Education Manager at NALS to see if it qualifies for CLE credit.
  • Teaching a session through NALS or through your chapter. You receive 4x the CLE credit for hosting or teaching a webinar/seminar/or workshop and, yes, this includes prep time.
  • If you enjoy reading or writing, you can always do self-study. You can earn up to 5 CLE credits for doing so.
  • Attend an online membership meeting. They are free and you can earn up to 2 CLE. Visit NALS.org/NOMM for all upcoming dates.
  • Stay active on our NALS social feed. The NALS Certification/Education Manager releases online certification quizzes over various areas of substantive law
  • Attend a conference. NALS conferences are notorious for being fun learning environments for all attendees. You will have time to meet the NALS Board of Directors, NALS Resource Center Staff, and NALS Pals from across the nation! NALS.org/PHX18
  • If you have the time to volunteer, you can join a national task force to earn CLE on certain tasks. 

And if ‘life happens’, just reach out to the NALS Resource Center and request an extension. NALS Resource Center will do anything in its power to help you succeed and maintain your certification.

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Amylyn Riedling PP PLS-SC2019 NALS Board of Directors
Mathew M. Sagum2019 Board of Directors

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