This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are used for visitor analysis, others are essential to making our site function properly and improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Click Accept to consent and dismiss this message or Deny to leave this website. Read our Privacy Statement for more.
| Online Store
Community Search
Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join NALS
Community Search
Recertification: The Details

 

 


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. Recertification is required every five (5) years 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 professionals remain up to date with current legal practices. 

 

There are three categories of recertification:

 

Mandatory Recertification: The first category, mandatory recertification, applies to all ALPs, PLSs/CLPs, and PPs who are currently employed or seeking employment.

 

Voluntary Recertification: The first time an applicant recertifies under voluntary recertification, the recertification period will end five years from the date of recertification by NALS. After the first recertification, the recertification period runs five years from the end of the prior recertification period.

 

 

Emeritus: The third category is Emeritus. Emeritus status is available to the following: (1) certified PLSs/CLPs or PPs who are 65 years of age or older who are retired from employment in the legal services field; and (2) certified PLSs/CLPs or PPs who are permanently disabled. 

 

A letter requesting Certified PLS/CLP or PP Emeritus status may be submitted to NALS. If Emeritus status is being requested because of a permanent disability, proof of disability should also be submitted. Upon notification of approval of Emeritus status, the Certified PLS/CLP or PP will not be required to accumulate points to recertify. If a Certified PLS/CLP or PP returns to work in the legal field, the Emeritus status is invalidated. PLSs/CLPs or PPs who previously fell under mandatory recertification will have five years within which to recertify from the date of reemployment.

 


Recertification Guidelines and Policies


The criteria and guidelines to maintain valid ALP, PLS/CLP, and PP certifications are established and monitored by the NALS Certifying Board. Criteria and guidelines may be changed from time to time in order to correspond with the five-year cycle of changes in education. NALS retains the right to make changes to the recertification process or criteria. Changes to the recertification process or criteria will be published online.

 

Notification regarding individual recertification will be provided only to the association’s publication editors for purposes of association-wide publicity.

 

It is the professional responsibility of the ALP, PLS or PP to calendar their recertification deadline. NALS does not send out reminder notices. The validity period for certification is indicated on the certificate issued when the examinee passes the ALP, PLS or PP examination or on the most recent recertification certificate.

 

If an individual voluntarily chooses not to recertify, the certification designation will be valid until such time that the current validity period expires. After the period expires, the individual is to remove the certification designation and is requested to no longer use the designation Certified ALP, PLS and/or PP.

 

In the event the ALP, PLS and/or PP designation becomes invalid, it will be necessary for the individual to retest.

 


Petition for Extension


 

If a Certified ALP, PLS and/or PP come to the realization that they did not recertify within their five-year recertification period and desires to maintain their certification, the Certified ALP, PLS or PP must immediately contact the NALS Certification and Education Manager and provide a written account of why the certification was not renewed.

 

ALPs, PLSs or PPs not meeting the required recertification criteria may be given an additional amount of time to rectify. This special dispensation must be requested, in writing, to NALS National Certification and Education Manager. Documentation not previously submitted, including documentation from activities during the additional time allotted, must be submitted before the end of the extension granted.

 

The granting of this additional time allotment does not extend the expiration of the next recertification validity period. In the event the additional recertification points are not submitted within the time allotment, the certification status would be changed to 'invalid', with notice given to the ALP, PLS or PP. Upon determination that recertification requirements have been met, evidence of recertification will be sent.

 


ALP Recertification


 

The ALP is eligible for recertification if after the initial five-year certification period, the certified ALP has obtained 50 hours of CLE. A completed online application, $50 fee, and copies of education certificates or documentation must be submitted to the NALS Resource Center prior to the expiration of the current five-year certification period.

 

 


PLS/CLP Recertification


 

There are three categories of recertification for PLS/CLP designation.

 

In order to maintain certification as a PLS/CLP, applicants must accumulate 75 points in education credits. For PLS/CLP recertification a minimum of 5 of the points must be on ethics. Points may be earned in any of the modules outlined in the Recertification Modules listed below.

 

Certificates and documentation of education credits are to be submitted to the NALS Resource Center prior to the expiration of the current certification period. Early applications will be accepted; however, early recertification approval will not alter the validity period for recertification.

PLSs falling under voluntary recertification may submit a PLS Recertification Form, online application and the $75 fee, along with proof of earning of 75 points of education credits within a five-year period. The first time an applicant recertifies under voluntary recertification, the recertification period will end five years from the date of recertification by NALS. After the first recertification, the recertification period runs five years from the end of the prior recertification period.

Certified PLS/CLP status is available to the following: (1) certified PLSs/CLPs who are 65 years of age or older who are retired from employment in the legal services field; and (2) certified PLSs/CLPs  who are permanently disabled. A letter requesting Certified PLS/CLP Emeritus status may be submitted to NALS. If emeritus status is being requested because of a permanent disability, proof of disability should also be submitted.

 

Upon notification of approval of emeritus status, the Certified PLS/CLP will not be required to accumulate points to recertify. If a Certified PLS returns to work in the legal field, the emeritus status is invalidated. PLSs/CLPs who previously fell under mandatory recertification will have five years within which to recertify from the date of reemployment.

 

Alternate Designation for Certified PLS 

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 Professional Legal Secretary certification to include the optional designation of Certified Legal Professional (CLP).

 

Persons who attain or have attained this certification may use either the PLS or CLP designation. There is a processing fee to change your designation to CLP and to receive your new certificate if you wish to do so prior to recertification (Certificate Reprint). The press release can be read by clicking here.

 


PP Recertification


 

There are two categories of recertification for PPs. The first category is mandatory recertification, which applies to all PPs who are currently employed or seeking employment. The second category is Certified PP Emeritus, which applies to PPs who are retired or disabled.


In order to maintain the PP designation, applicants must accumulate 75 points in education credits. For PP recertification a minimum of 5 of the points must be on ethics. Points may be earned in any of the modules outlined in the Recertification Modules below.

 

Certificates and documentation of education credits are to be submitted to the NALS Resource Center prior to the expiration of the current certification period. Early applications will be accepted; however, early recertification approval will not alter the validity period for recertification.

Certified PP Emeritus status is available to the following: (1) certified PPs who are 65 years of age or older who are retired from employment in the legal services field; and (2) certified PPs who are permanently disabled.




EARNING CLE CREDITS


 

Those who wish to maintain their professional designations, must participate in educational activities to earn points toward recertification. Appropriate educational topic may include topics such as: law office procedures, technology, ethics and judgment, grammar, and law-related topics.

 

You MUST obtain certificates or other documentation confirming participation in educational activities. Attach additional information to documentation as needed. A file with all CLE certificates and documentation must be maintained. We strongly suggest that you track, organize and maintain your CLE credits and supporting documentation in your online journal.  A chart including date of activity, topic and points earned may be utilized to keep track of credits. 


Applicants should retain originals of all CLE documents [e.g., certificates etc...], as the NALS Resource Center discards submitted documents upon approval of the recertification application.

 


Recertifying Early


 

The NALS 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. The Resource Center does not process education credits as they are earned. Any partial recertification applications and/or education credits submitted to the NALS Resource Center to date are to be resubmitted during the appropriate time period with the completed documentation, and the fee. The NALS Resource Center no longer provides quarterly or annual reports for recertification.)

Education points earned within the current validity period may not be used for the next validity period. You may attend the education but you may not include it for the next recertification application.

 

 


Recertification Modules


 

NALS has identified the following recertification modules, which are guidelines for educational activities that PLSs or PPs may utilize in order to accumulate 75 points in education credits toward recertification. ALPs must accumulate 50 points in education credits. There is no limit as to the number of points that may be earned in any one module. Applicants need not accumulate points in all modules in order to recertify.



Successful Completion of Postsecondary Education Courses

 

This module covers successful completion (Grade C or better) of relevant courses (courses related to the examination or any area of law) at an accredited institution of higher education. Higher education institutions are generally organized into semesters (16 weeks in length providing “semester hours,” or 10 to 12 weeks in length providing “quarter hours”). Copies of transcripts or grade reports and official course descriptions are to be submitted with the completed recertification packet. 

 

Attendance at Seminars/Workshops, NALS Online Education, and CLE Online

  

This module covers attendance at conferences, seminars, workshops, chapter educational programs, etc. and participation in NALS Online Educational Chats on topics related to the examinations or any area of law. Seminars and NALS Online Chats must be a minimum length of 30 minutes.

 

Included in this module is credit for watching videotapes or listening to audiotapes on relevant topics. One hour equals one point of education credit. Except for topics related to the examination, credit is not available for personal development and/or motivational programs or for sessions providing information about the examination. 

 

Seminars/Workshops Taught

 

This module covers teaching at conferences, seminars, workshops, chapter educational programs, etc. on topics related to the examination or any area of law. Seminars must be a minimum length of one (1) hour.

 

One teaching hour equals four points, which includes credit for preparation and presentation time. Except for topics relating to the examination, credit is not available for personal development and/or motivational programs or for sessions providing information about the examination.

 

A copy of the seminar brochure verifying the applicant as a speaker or other documentation confirming applicant’s participation in the program is to be submitted with the completed recertification application. 

 

Earning Other Certifications

 

This module covers earning other national certifications and specialty certifications. Each candidate may be awarded up to 20 points per certification earned. Copies of the certificates must  be submitted to the NALS Resource Center. 

 

Authoring Articles and Publications

 

This module covers authoring articles regarding exam-related topics and law-related education. Five points are awarded for each substantive article.

 

Self-Study

 

This module covers self-study dedicated to the legal profession such as reading legal related articles and books. You must list the article and/or book title, publication name, volume, edition, and any other information that will assist with identification of the article or book. One point is awarded for one hour of reading. A maximum of five hours can be earned for self study.

 

Credit for Volunteering and Pro Bono Legal Support Services

 

This module covers volunteer time dedicated to NALS' national task force(s) [e.g., Certifying Board, Manuals Task Force, etc...]. If you are claiming CLE credit for volunteering on a national task force, you must provide proof of your involvement and your task force leader must confirm same. 

 

Each candidate can earn CLE credit(s) for volunteering their time and skills as a paralegal or legal support professional to legal organizations or nonprofit organizations [e.g., Legal Aid Services, etc...] in a pro bono capacity. A maximum of five (5) hours can be earned for pro bono legal support services. If you are claiming CLE credit under this module, you must provide confirmation of your time/services dedicated. 

 

 

more Calendar

3/21/2018 » 3/21/2019
NALS 2018 Online Leadership Course + Discussion

11/5/2018 » 5/7/2019
NALS Fall Legal-Lympics

Featured
Amylyn Riedling PP PLS-SC2018 NALS Board of Directors
Nakia A. Bradley-Lawson2018 NALS Board of Directors

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal