Legal Assistant Certification

Your first question might be, “What’s the difference between a Legal Assistant and a Paralegal? ” Even if you’re in the legal field, you might still be confused by the terminology. That’s because the American Bar Association and dozens of other major players in the legal field refer to Paralegals and Legal Assistants as the same thing. In the last decade, however, there has been a push for a distinction between the titles.

It has mostly been unsuccessful, but generally, when the job is more research-focused with background requirements involving law classes, the title will probably be Paralegal.

The title of Legal Assistant has become more closely related to that of Legal Secretary. Although you still perform research and develop pertinent legal papers, your tasks are aimed more at the administrative side of the office.

Do I need Legal Assistant certification?

Becoming a Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) is a fantastic credential to add to your prior Legal Assistant training. It remains, however, an optional achievement.


The Legal Assistant certification exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) is an intense five-part written exam. Also referred to as a Certified Paralegal (CP) exam, it includes sections that cover your ability to think analytically, perform research, and enforce a code of ethics. It also tests your writing skills and knowledge of substantive law.

Next Step

Passing your Legal Assistant certification is a landmark in your career. It gives you credibility, adds a sparkle to your resume, shows your dedication to your job, opens the doors to higher pay and promotions, and earns you the right to gloat about your accomplishment. Go ahead, you’ve earned it!

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