NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants)

NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants) is the nation's leading professional association for paralegals.  As a non-profit organization, NALA provides continuing education and professional development programs for paralegals - from novice to experienced professional.

For over 30 years, the Certified Paralegal credential has been the career standard for paralegals. Professional certification is a voluntary process, and a staple of all professions, paralegals included. Employers throughout the United States are recognizing the value of the Certified Paralegal program and the growth path this provides for all non-lawyer legal staff. Professionals use certification programs to further their career goals and continue to grow in the work place.

Angelina College is an authorized testing center for this examination. We administer the test to students in our Legal Assistant (Paralegal) Associate in Applied Science degree program and all non/lawyer legal staff who meet examination eligibility requirements.

The Certified Paralegal examination fee ($250 for NALA members or $275.00 for non-members) must be paid to NALA during the registration process.

The $25.00 per day proctoring fee payable to Angelina College can be paid on the day of the test(s) at the Business Office located in the Administration Building Room 205.  Bring the receipt to the Testing Center in the Student Center Room 200D.

The certification exam is administered over a two day period and consists of the following parts:


Communications – 1 ½ hours, essay required

Ethics – 1 hour

*Substantive Law – 2 hours     

*Note: this section is further divided into 5 parts.  All examinees must take an exam on the American legal system and the other four parts cover areas of law selected by the examinees.  The four parts may be chosen from: Administrative Law, Contract, Criminal, Estate Planning/Probate, Family law, Bankruptcy, Business Organizations, Litigation, and Real Estate.

Legal Research – 1 ½ hours

Judgment & Legal Analysis – 2 ½ hours, essay required


Test Day 1:  Communications, Ethics, Substantive Law

Test Day 2:  Legal Research, Judgment and Legal Analysis

A minimum passing score of 70% is required on all five sections in order to earn the Certified Paralegal credential.

Eligibility Requirements:

Examinee must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:

1. Be an Angelina College paralegal student who is nearing graduation with the following requirement:



Graduation Date No Later Than


March 15


July 15



This options 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 the examination fee will be forfeited.



2. Be a graduate from a paralegal program that is:

    • Approved by the American Bar Association; or
    • An associated degree program; or
    • A post-baccalaureate certificate program in paralegal studies; or
    • A bachelor’s degree program in paralegal studies; or
    • 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 paralegal program consisting of a minimum of 15 semester hours (or 225 clock hours or 22 ½ quarter hours).  Evidence of the minimum hours required under Category 1(e) must be provided with the application form.



  • Have a bachelor’s degree in any field plus one (1) years’ 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.



  • Have 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.


              Filing deadline dates are strictly enforced.



Application Filing Deadline**

Late Application Filing Deadline
(With $25 late filing fee)

September 1-30

August 1

August 10

January 1-31

December 1

December 10

May 19,20 & 22, 2014

April 1

April 10

**Additional forms will be required of all candidates if filing applications prior to meeting the eligibility requirements.  Contact NALA Headquarters for further information.
Applications received after the published date for late filing will not be accepted for the upcoming test window, but may be accepted for the next available window.

You can obtain more information about the application process by visiting the NALA website at

If you need to retake a section of the test please visit and complete the Notification of Intent to retest form.  Cost is $60.00 per section you need to retake.

To obtain information for exam preparations please visit

To register and pay for the NALA at the Angelina College Testing Center click the following link:
















Testing Center

Sellestine Hunt
Director of Testing & Student Development

Peggy Denby
Testing Coordinator

Maria Lopez
Testing Technician