Professional Paralegal Associations and Organizations

There are a multitude of professional paralegal associations and organizations. It is generally looked upon favorably for a paralegal to be associated with at least one of these organizations. The following provides a synopsis of the most popular nationally-known organizations. Many states have their own paralegal organizations.

  • The American Bar Association (ABA) is the longest-standing and most well known voluntary legal organization in the United States. The ABA provides a standard of professional and ethical practices for the legal profession. The ABA also bestows accreditation to those programs and educational facilities that meet rigid qualifications.

The ABA is typically seen as an elite group. Members of the ABA or those who have a degree from an ABA-accredited school are seen as legitimate and valuable. The ABA does not provide education but does provide resources to approved facilities, schools, and courses. Those seeking more information on the ABA and its effect on paralegals can visit the ABA website.

  • The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) is also a largely-recognized organization throughout the United States. NALA provides a certification program in conjunction with ABA standards. This organization is the only one to offer the actual title of a certified paralegal (CP). In order to become certified through NALA, participants must meet strict eligibility requirements.
Professional Paralegal Associations and Organizations

NALA also provides many continuing education courses required for certified paralegals. The website has a variety of options for vendor services, including deposition services and investigations, any special news and many other resources applicable to paralegals. Interested paralegals can find out more at www.nala.org

  • The National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) offers the title of a registered paralegal (RP) through sitting and passing their Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE). Similar to the NALA exam, the PACE exam, given by NFPA, has strict requirements that must be met just to sit for it. NFPA is also developing another paralegal competency exam for those who do not qualify to sit for the PACE. This exam will not offer a registered paralegal title but will offer one of a slightly lower caliber.

NFPA also offers many continuing education courses for registered paralegals and those who are not registered. The website provides numerous resources for all paralegals, and membership is looked upon highly. This is an international organization and those interested can find out more at www.paralegals.org

  • The National Paralegal Association (NPA) is also an international organization offering numerous resources to paralegals across the globe. This organization offers information to those seeking paralegal education as well as those already employed as a paralegal. NPA has a plethora of information available to individuals and companies seriously seeking it.

The NPA website also provides a job search tool for paralegals and an employee search for law firms and other employers looking to find paralegals. To request information, paralegals or businesses are encouraged to visit www.nationalparalegal.org

Paralegals and their employers may want to explore professional organizations within their state. These associations can be a great asset to obtaining the latest paralegal news within the specified state. Many paralegals are members of both a national organization and one within their own state.

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