Certification

NCCP

The next NCCP exam date is October 10, 2015. The  application deadline is August 5, 2015.

For more information and a study guide, please visit the North Carolina Paralegal Certification page. To sit for the exam, you must meet certain qualifications:

To become a NC Certified Paralegal you must fulfill the educational requirements of Subchapter G, Certification of Paralegals, .0119(a) of the Plan for Paralegal Certification and successfully pass an examination:
To be eligible to sit for the exam, an applicant must satisfy the following criteria:1. Be a legal resident of the United States.2. Have a degree in paralegal studies from a qualified paralegal studies program. To be qualified, the program must be ABA approved or qualified by The Board of Paralegal Certification. You can check the ABA website at to see if your school is approved by the ABA. There is also a listing of NC Qualified Paralegal Studies Programs on our website.3. Submit a completed application along with the filing fee ($125). The application must be accompanied by an official transcript from your paralegal program as well as be signed in the presence of a notary.

The application form for the NCCP exam can be downloaded here. Please plan ahead on meeting the application deadline, since the application requires a transcript and notarized signature. The cost is $125 for the application/filing fee which is due when you send in your application, and $50 for the examination fee which is due after your application has been approved, and prior to the exam, for a total of $175.

RETESTING

If an examinee does not pass the NCCP exam, they may retake the examination the next time that it is offered, and must retake the entire examination.

RENEWALS

The renewal fee is $50. To qualify for continued certification, a certified paralegal must participate in not less than six hours of board approved continuing paralegal education (CPE) each year. One hour of the six CPE credits must be in ethics/professional responsibility. Certified paralegals may take unlimited online CLE or CPE, as long as the course is accredited. Renewal is required annually on either July 1 or January 1, depending on the original certification date. All programs approved for CLE credit for lawyers are automatically approved for CPE credit.

A late fee of $25 will be charged to any certified paralegal who fails to file the renewal application within 45 days of the due date; provided, however, a renewal application will not be accepted more than 90 days after the due date. Failure to renew shall result in lapse of certification.

NALA

Durham Technical Community College is an official National Association of Legal Assistants testing center.

There are requirements to be able to sit for the NALA Exam:

To be eligible for the Certified Paralegal examination, a paralegal must meet one of the following
alternate requirements:
1. Graduation from a paralegal program that is:
• (a) Approved by the American Bar Association; or
• (b) An associate degree program; or
• (c) A post-baccalaureate certificate program in paralegal studies; or
• (d) A bachelor’s degree program in paralegal studies; or
• (e) A paralegal program which consists of a minimum of 60 semester hours (900 clock
hours or 90 quarter hours) of which at least 15 semester hours (225 clock hours or 22.5
quarter hours) are substantive legal courses.

NOTE: Under Category 1(e), an applicant may combine college hours from more than one
institution. The applicant must have graduated from a legal assistant/paralegal program
consisting of a minimum of 15 semester hours (or 225 clock hours or 22½ quarter hours.)
Evidence of the minimum hours required under Category 1(e) must be provided with the
application form.

2. A bachelor’s degree in any field plus one year’s experience as a paralegal. Successful completion of at least 15 semester hours (or 22.5 quarter hours or 225 clock hours) of substantive paralegal courses will be considered equivalent to one year’s experience as a paralegal.

3. A high school diploma or equivalent plus seven (7) years’ experience as a paralegal under the supervision of a member of the Bar, plus evidence of a minimum of twenty (20) hours of continuing legal education credit to have been completed within a two (2) year period prior to the examination date.

Eligibility of Students Awaiting Graduation

Student Waiver: Paralegal students who are nearing graduation may take the Certified Paralegal examination under certain conditions.

Testing Window:              Graduation Date No Later Than:
January                                 March 15
May                                        July 15
September                           November 15

This option requires:

• A statement signed by the paralegal program director confirming the student’s pending
graduation date.
• A statement signed by the examinee acknowledging that if, for any reason, graduation
requirements are not met and the examinee does not complete the program, the examination
results will not be released and all fees forfeited.

Additional forms will be required of all candidates if filing applications prior to meeting the eligibility requirements. Contact NALA Headquarters for the required forms and further information about this requirement.

For dates and times of current NALA testing windows, visit the NALA site which lists the testing centers alphabetically by state. Durham Tech is a non-PSI testing center.

The Certified Paralegal Examination is divided into five separate sections. The sections and allowed time are as follows:

• Communications – 1 ½ hours
• Judgment & Analytical Ability – 2 hours, essay required
• Ethics – 1 hour
• Legal Research – 1 hour
• Substantive Law – 2 hours (American Legal System, Civil Litigation, Business Organizations, and Contracts.)

Tentative Schedule:

2015 NALA exam schedule

Friday May 15

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.             Examinee sign in

9:00 a.m.                                   Communications – 1.5 hrs

10:45 a.m.                                  Ethics – 1 hr

12:30 p.m.                                  Substantive Law – 2 hrs

Saturday May 16

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.             Examinee sign in

9:00 a.m.                                    Legal Research – 1 hr

10:30 a.m.                                  Judgment & Analytical Ability – 2 hrs

SECTION RETAKE

NALA allows examinees to retake only the sections that they did not pass. You do not need to retake the entire exam.

If you are re-taking individual sections ONLY, please arrive at the testing site classroom (White 48) a half hour prior to your section start time, and no later than 15 minutes prior to your section start time, in order to be seated and signed in.

If you are not retesting at Durham Tech, contact your testing center for details.

FEES

There are two components to the cost: NALA’s fees, and the Durham Tech site fee.

NALA’s fee schedule can be found here. The exam fee is $250 for NALA members, and $275 for non-members.

NALA: Personal checks ARE NOT accepted for payment of NALA examination fees. Payment may be made either by cashier’s check, money order, firm check, VISA, Master Card, Discover, or American Express.

Durham Tech: Durham Tech charges a site fee of $30. You may make this payment at the Durham Tech Business Office, located in the White building. Students may pay by cash, check, money order, or credit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express). Please do not give your payment to an instructor; it’s important that you have a receipt. Tell the cashier you are paying for the NALA Exam Site Fee. The fee code is “NALA”.

APPLICATIONS

NALA Examination online application

NALA Examination printable application

RESOURCES

To see NALA’s Exam Description, click here. (pdf)

NALA’s Suggested Study References

How the questions are presented

Screenshots of the exam (pdf)

Note that the Certified Paralegal Review Manual is now in its 4th edition. Durham Tech students taking the LEX 287/CLA Review class will be able to purchase the text at the college bookstore.

RENEWALS

The Certified Paralegal credential is valid for a period of five (5) years. Certified Paralegals may renew their certification upon submission of proof of participation in 50 clock hours of continuing legal education (CLE) programs which provide instruction of a substantive nature on various practice areas of law, rules of procedure, or skills that are relevant to the work of paralegals; and a signed affidavit that the Certified Paralegal has not been convicted of a felony during the five year period. The 5 year renewal fee is currently $125.

DIRECTIONS TO DURHAM TECH

If you’re not a Durham Tech student but plan on taking the NALA exam, here’s how to get here:

Map of Durham Tech’s Main Campus.

Driving directions to Durham Tech.

For more information on our testing site and registration, please contact Ms. Susan Sutton, JD, at (919) 536-7230 ext. 8071. All other questions about the NALA exam should be directed to NALA.

Tips:

1. Plan – Think about the areas where you need to beef up your study, and areas where you may just need a good review. You’re be tested in these areas:

Communications
Ethics
Legal Research
Judgment & Analytical Ability
Substantive Law:
    – American Legal System
    – Civil Litigation
    – Contracts
    – Business Organizations
While the NALA Certified Paralegal Review Manual is indispensable, it is a review and study guide, not a comprehensive overview of each subject. You need to know the subject matter. Your DTCC classes have given you the information you need.
1. Budget – The total cost of your exam may include exam fees, site fees, application fees, membership fees, and the cost of study prep (books, seminars).

2. Apply – Get your applications in on time. Note that you may need an advisor’s signature or notarized application in some cases. Set your application deadline at least a week ahead of the actual date to be safe.

3. Study – Give yourself enough lead time to prepare for the exam in addition to managing your school, work, and family schedule. Create an effective study schedule, stick with that schedule, and consider creating or joining a study group if that fits your learning style. Durham Tech students: remember that your LEX 287 CLA Review class is just that–a review, not a substitute for knowing the information you’ll be tested on in the NALA exam.

4. Follow up – don’t forget to send in your graduation paperwork after you take the NALA exam. If you don’t, your test will be invalidated, and your test fees will not be refunded.

last update: 3/19/2015

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