National Certified Paralegal Exam

Lansing Community College (LCC) is the first school in Michigan to offer the Certified Paralegal (CP) examination established by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) to Michigan's legal assistants. The two-day examination is scheduled for September, January and May of each year.

Day one tests Communication, Ethics, and Substantive Law and day two covers Legal Research, Judgment and Legal Analysis.

Established in 1976 by NALA, the CP program enables the paralegal/legal assistant profession to develop a strong and responsive self-regulatory program offering a nationwide credential for paralegals. The CP program establishes and serves as a National professional standard for paralegals and is used as a means of identifying those who have reached this standard.

As of March 2012, there are 16,900 Certified Paralegals and nearly 2,500 Advanced Certified Paralegals in the United States. Over 25,000 paralegals have participated in this program. The growth of these programs is impressive.

The CP Credential:

Use of the CLA or CP credential signifies that a paralegal is capable of providing superior services to firms and corporations. National surveys consistently show paralegals that have obtained the CP designation are better utilized in a field where attorneys are looking for a credible, dependable way to measure ability. The credential has been recognized by the American Bar Association as a designation, which marks a high level of professional achievement. The CP credential has also been recognized by over 47 paralegal organizations and numerous bar associations.


In the working environment, professional certification is a time honored process respected by both employers and those within the career field. The following is a definition used by many to describe professional certification:

* Professional certification is a voluntary process by which a nongovernmental entity grants a time-limited recognition to an individual after verifying that the individual has met predetermined, standardized criteria. (Source: Rops, Mickie S., CAE, Understanding the Language of Credentialing, American Society of Association Executives, May 2002.)

* It is time limited, which means that those with the certification must fulfill ongoing educational requirements to keep the certification current, and the criteria for certification is recognized in the community.


of the examination:

The NALA Certifying Board is responsible for content, standards and administration of the CP Program. It is composed of paralegals that have received their CP designation, attorneys and paralegal educators.

In the technical areas of statistical analyses, examination construction, reliability and validity tests, the Board contracts with a professional consulting firm offering expertise in these areas as well as in occupational research. Technical analyses of the CP examination are conducted on an ongoing basis to ensure the integrity of the examination. Content analyses of the test design, accuracy of questions, and topic/subject mix for each exam section are ongoing processes of the Certifying Board.

The Board also utilizes the occupational data available through surveys of paralegals and other means, including review of textbooks and research within the field of paralegal education. Through these analyses and procedures, the Board is assured that the examination reflects and responds to work-place realities and demands.

The September examination:

Place: Assessment Center/ Student Services at LCC West Campus

September Dates:

* September 14 and 15; (Day 1: Communication, Ethics, & Substantive Law) (Day 2: Legal Research, Judgment and Legal Analysis)

* September 28 and 29; (Day 1: Communication, Ethics, & Substantive Law) (Day 2: Legal Research, Judgment and Legal Analysis)


* LCC Students and Graduates--No charge;

* Non-LCC Students and Graduates--$25 per day

* Due at the time exam taken


* Must Schedule to take exam 24 hours in advance at the LCC Assessment Center, Matt Lemon, Certification Manager, (517) 267-5507 or

Cancellation Policy:

* No cancellation penalty

Future Dates:

The exam will be offered January, May and September of each year. For future testing dates, please contact the Assessment Center, Matt Lemon, Certification Manager, 517.267.5507,

Published: Thu, Aug 16, 2012