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Top 11 Litigation Legal Assistant Certifications

This article provides an overview of the best litigation legal assistant certifications available, including requirements, benefits and cost.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 20 min read

Certifications are essential for a litigation legal assistant in the job market. They demonstrate to employers that the applicant is knowledgeable and experienced in the field, as well as committed to staying up-to-date on industry best practices. Certifications can also give a litigation legal assistant an edge over other applicants without them. Additionally, certifications can open up opportunities for advancement within the profession or even allow entry into new areas of law. Finally, certifications can provide access to professional networks and resources that could help with career development.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Litigation Legal Assistants and explain how they can help advance a Litigation Legal Assistant's career.

What are Litigation Legal Assistant Certifications?

Litigation Legal Assistant Certification is a voluntary certification program offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). The program is designed to recognize legal assistants who have demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in the area of litigation support. To become certified, legal assistants must successfully pass a comprehensive examination that covers topics such as civil procedure, trial preparation, discovery, deposition practice, and ethical considerations.

The certification program has been developed to ensure that those in the legal field have an understanding of the specific areas of law related to litigation. By becoming certified, legal assistants can demonstrate their skills and knowledge to employers and potential clients. This certification also provides a sense of professional accomplishment and recognition within the industry.

Having a Litigation Legal Assistant Certification can be beneficial for many reasons. It demonstrates that you are knowledgeable about the laws surrounding litigation, making you more attractive to potential employers or clients who may be looking for someone with expertise in this area. Additionally, having this certification can help advance your career in the legal field by allowing you to work on more complex cases or tasks. It can also provide you with additional job opportunities or promotions within your current organization because employers may view this certification as an indicator of your commitment to your profession and dedication to continuing education.

Pro Tip: To become a certified litigation legal assistant, you should consider taking an educational course and/or obtaining certification from a professional organization such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). This will give you the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and skills that can help you excel in your career. Additionally, having a certification shows potential employers that you are committed to the profession and have taken the initiative to learn more about the field.

Related: What does a Litigation Legal Assistant do?

Top 11 Litigation Legal Assistant Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Litigation Legal Assistants today.

1. Certified Legal Assistant (CLA)

A Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the legal field. The CLA credential is offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), which is an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in the legal profession.

In order to become certified, applicants must meet certain educational and experience requirements, pass an exam administered by NALA, and adhere to a code of ethics. The CLA exam consists of two parts: a multiple-choice section and an essay section. The multiple-choice section tests knowledge of legal terminology, principles, procedures, and other topics related to the practice of law. The essay section requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to apply legal concepts in practical situations.

The process for becoming certified typically takes several months from start to finish. Applicants must complete an application form and submit it along with supporting documents such as transcripts or proof of work experience. Once these materials are received, NALA will review them and determine whether or not the applicant meets the necessary criteria for certification. If approved, applicants will be sent instructions on how to register for the CLA exam.

The cost for taking the CLA exam varies depending on where you live but generally ranges from $200-$400 USD. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with submitting your application materials and registering for the exam.

2. Certified Paralegal (CP)

Certified Paralegal (CP) is a professional designation awarded by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). It is an indication of a paralegal’s knowledge and experience in the legal field. To become certified, paralegals must pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as legal ethics, civil litigation, contracts, real estate law, family law, and other areas of law.

The process to become a Certified Paralegal typically takes between six months and one year. First, applicants must meet certain educational requirements. They must have either an associate degree or a bachelor's degree in paralegal studies from an accredited college or university, or they must have completed at least 60 semester hours of coursework in paralegal studies from an accredited institution and obtained two years of full-time work experience as a paralegal.

Once these requirements are met, applicants can register for the CP exam through NALA’s website. The cost of the exam is $395 for members and $495 for non-members. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that cover all areas of the legal profession. After passing the exam, applicants receive their certification from NALA and can use the designation “CP” after their name to demonstrate their expertise in the field.

3. Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP)

Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) is a certification program offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). It is designed to recognize paralegals who have achieved a high level of competency and experience in the legal field. The ACP certification requires that applicants demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in areas such as legal research, document drafting, litigation support, client interviewing, and other legal tasks.

In order to obtain the ACP certification, applicants must first pass an exam administered by NALA. This exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as legal terminology, ethics, professional responsibility, and substantive law. Applicants must also have at least five years of work experience as a paralegal or legal assistant.

The cost of taking the ACP exam varies depending on the applicant's location, but typically ranges from $150-$250. Once an applicant has passed the exam and met all eligibility requirements, they will receive their official ACP certificate from NALA.

The ACP certification is valid for three years and can be renewed by taking continuing education courses or retaking the exam. Renewal fees are typically around $100-$150.

4. Advanced Litigation Specialist (ALS)

Advanced Litigation Specialist (ALS) is a professional designation offered by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC). It is designed to recognize attorneys who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge, skill, and experience in the area of civil litigation. The ALS designation is intended to provide assurance to clients that the attorney they are working with has the necessary expertise to handle their case.

To obtain the ALS designation, an attorney must meet several criteria. First, they must have been licensed to practice law for at least five years and have handled at least 25 civil litigation matters during that time. Second, they must pass a comprehensive written examination that covers all aspects of civil litigation. Third, they must demonstrate a commitment to continuing legal education in the field of civil litigation by attending at least 12 hours of approved courses within two years prior to application for certification. Finally, they must submit letters of recommendation from three attorneys who can attest to their qualifications as a litigator.

The cost of obtaining the ALS designation varies depending on your jurisdiction and other factors such as whether you are taking the exam online or in-person. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000 USD for application fees and exam fees combined. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with travel expenses if you choose to take the exam in-person or attend any required continuing education courses.

In most cases, it takes approximately six months from when an attorney submits their application until they receive their results from NBLSC regarding whether or not they passed the examination and earned their ALS designation.

5. Certified Litigation Support Professional (CLSP)

Certified Litigation Support Professional (CLSP) is a professional certification for those working in the legal field. It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency and knowledge in the areas of litigation support, e-discovery, and trial technology. The certification is offered through the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS).

To become certified as a CLSP, applicants must meet certain educational requirements, pass an exam administered by ACEDS, and demonstrate at least two years of experience in the field. Applicants are also required to complete continuing education credits each year to maintain their certification status.

The cost of the CLSP certification varies depending on the applicant's location and other factors. Generally speaking, it costs around $400 to take the exam and additional fees may apply if applicants need to retake any portion of the exam or purchase additional study materials.

The CLSP exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as data collection, processing, review, production, presentation technologies, project management principles and practices, e-discovery law and regulations, ethical considerations related to e-discovery workflows, and more. The entire process typically takes about six weeks from start to finish.

6. Certified Litigation Management Professional (CLMP)

Certified Litigation Management Professional (CLMP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize experienced litigation management professionals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage the litigation process. The CLMP designation is awarded by the Association of Litigation Management Professionals (ALMP), an international organization that promotes best practices in litigation management.

The CLMP program consists of two parts: an online examination and a case study project. The online examination tests your knowledge of legal principles, dispute resolution strategies, and litigation management techniques. The case study project requires you to analyze a real-life dispute and develop a strategy for managing it from start to finish.

It typically takes between four and six months to complete the CLMP program. During this time, you must complete both the online examination and the case study project. You can take as much or as little time as you need to complete these tasks; however, ALMP recommends that you allow at least four months for completion.

To get certified as a CLMP, you must first become a member of ALMP. Membership costs $150 per year, which includes access to all ALMP resources and services, including discounts on continuing education courses and conferences. Once you are a member, you can register for the CLMP program by submitting an application form along with payment of $450 for the exam fee and $200 for the case study project fee. After completing both components of the program successfully, you will receive your CLMP designation from ALMP.

7. Certified Legal Nurse Consultant (CLNC)

A Certified Legal Nurse Consultant (CLNC) is a registered nurse who has been certified to provide legal advice and consultation services to attorneys. The CLNC credential is granted by the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC). This certification requires passing an exam that demonstrates knowledge in the areas of medical-legal issues, legal research and analysis, and communication with attorneys.

The process for becoming a CLNC takes approximately six months, depending on the individual's experience and background. The first step is to complete an application with AALNC. Once accepted, applicants must then complete a comprehensive education program that includes both online and in-person instruction. Following completion of the program, applicants must pass an examination administered by AALNC to receive their certification.

The cost for becoming a CLNC varies depending on the type of program chosen. AALNC offers several different programs ranging from self-study courses to full-fledged training programs that include mentoring and hands-on practice sessions. Prices range from $200-$3,000 depending on the program chosen.

8. National Association of Legal Assistants' Registered Paralegal Program (NALA-RP)

The National Association of Legal Assistants' Registered Paralegal Program (NALA-RP) is a voluntary certification program for paralegals. This program is designed to recognize the professional achievement of paralegals who demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in the field. It also provides employers with a way to identify qualified, competent legal assistants.

In order to become NALA-RP certified, an individual must meet certain educational and experience requirements, pass an examination administered by NALA, and adhere to the association's Professional Code of Conduct. The educational requirements include either an associate degree or a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, plus completion of at least six semester hours in specified legal specialty courses.

The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions covering topics such as legal research, analysis and writing; civil litigation; contracts; torts; family law; real estate; criminal law; ethics; and other areas related to the practice of law. The exam takes approximately four hours to complete and must be taken at a testing center approved by NALA.

To get certified, applicants must submit a completed application form along with their transcripts and proof of experience (if applicable). The fee for this program is $195 for members of NALA or $295 for non-members. Once all documentation has been received and approved, applicants will receive notification that they have been accepted into the program and can register for the exam.

Once applicants have passed the exam, they will receive their official certificate from NALA indicating that they are now Registered Paralegals (RP). They will also need to renew their certification every three years in order to maintain their status as a Registered Paralegal.

9. National Federation of Paralegal Associations' Advanced Paralegal Certification Program (NFPA-APC)

The National Federation of Paralegal Associations’ Advanced Paralegal Certification Program (NFPA-APC) is a voluntary certification program that recognizes paralegals who have achieved a higher level of professional development and expertise. It is designed to demonstrate the highest standards of professional competence, knowledge, and ethical conduct in the field of paralegal work.

In order to be eligible for the NFPA-APC, applicants must meet certain requirements, including having at least five years of experience as a paralegal and having completed at least 60 hours of approved continuing legal education courses within the last three years. Applicants must also pass an exam administered by the NFPA.

The process for obtaining the NFPA-APC takes approximately six months from start to finish. First, applicants must submit their application along with all required documentation and fees to the NFPA. Once their application is approved, they will receive an invitation to take the exam. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and takes four hours to complete. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their certification within two weeks.

The cost for taking the NFPA-APC exam is $495 for members of the NFPA and $595 for non-members. This fee includes access to study materials, practice exams, and other resources provided by the NFPA in preparation for taking the exam.

10. National Federation of Paralegals' Basic Paralegal Certification Program (NFPA-BPCP)

The National Federation of Paralegals' Basic Paralegal Certification Program (NFPA-BPCP) is a voluntary program designed to recognize the professional competency of paralegals. The NFPA-BPCP provides paralegals with a nationally recognized credential that demonstrates their commitment to the profession and their knowledge of the law.

The NFPA-BPCP is a comprehensive certification program that requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in legal research, writing, ethics, technology, and other areas related to the practice of law. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have at least two years of paralegal experience or an associate's degree in paralegal studies from an accredited college or university.

The NFPA-BPCP consists of three parts: an online application form, a written examination, and an oral interview. The written exam consists of multiple choice questions covering topics such as legal terminology, case law analysis, legal research methods, and ethical considerations. The oral interview focuses on the applicant’s experience in working with clients and attorneys.

It typically takes about six months to complete the NFPA-BPCP certification process. Applicants who successfully complete all three components will receive their certification from the National Federation of Paralegals.

The cost for taking part in the NFPA-BPCP certification process varies depending on where you live and what materials you need to purchase for your studies. Generally speaking, it costs between $500-$1,000 USD to take part in the program.

11. American Bar Association's Approved Paralegal Education Program (ABA-APEP).

The American Bar Association's Approved Paralegal Education Program (ABA-APEP) is a program designed to provide paralegals with the necessary education and training to become qualified professionals. The program is based on the ABA Model Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegal Services, which provides guidance on how paralegals should be used in legal practice.

The ABA-APEP consists of a minimum of 60 semester hours of coursework, which includes courses in legal research and writing, civil litigation, contracts, torts, real estate law, criminal law and procedure, family law, corporate law and other related topics. The curriculum must also include an internship or externship experience in a legal setting. In addition to these requirements, applicants must also pass the ABA-approved Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE).

The length of time it takes to complete the ABA-APEP depends on the individual student's educational background and commitment to completing their studies. Most students can complete the program within two years if they are enrolled full-time. For those who are enrolled part-time or take longer breaks between semesters, it may take three or more years to finish the program.

To get started with the ABA-APEP program you will need to find an accredited institution that offers it. You can search online for schools that offer this type of program or contact your local college or university for more information. Once you have identified an accredited school that offers this program you will need to apply and be accepted into their paralegal studies program before enrolling in any classes associated with it.

The cost of the ABA-APEP varies depending on the institution offering it as well as any additional fees associated with taking courses or exams required for completion. Generally speaking however, most programs range from $10,000-$20,000 depending on whether you attend full or part time and if you qualify for any financial aid opportunities such as grants or scholarships.

Do You Really Need a Litigation Legal Assistant Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your individual goals and circumstances. If you are looking to enter the legal field and specialize in litigation, then a Litigation Legal Assistant Certificate may be a good option for you. This certificate will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to work in a litigation setting. It will also give you an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs in the legal field.

However, if you already have experience in the legal field or are just starting out, then it may not be necessary to pursue a certificate in this area. You can still perform many of the tasks of a Litigation Legal Assistant without having this certification. Additionally, if you are looking to further your career in another area of law, such as corporate law or tax law, then obtaining a certificate in Litigation Legal Assistance may not be the best option for you.

Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether they need a Litigation Legal Assistant Certificate or not. It all depends on what your career goals are and how much experience you have working in the legal field.

Related: Litigation Legal Assistant Resume Examples

FAQs About Litigation Legal Assistant Certifications

1. What is a Litigation Legal Assistant Certification?

A Litigation Legal Assistant Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates a person’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in the area of litigation legal assistant services. The certification is typically offered by organizations or associations dedicated to providing quality education and training in this field.

2. How do I become certified?

In order to become certified, individuals must typically complete an approved course of study and pass an exam administered by the certifying organization. This course of study may include topics such as legal research and writing, document preparation and review, court procedures, trial strategies, ethics, and more.

3. What are the benefits of becoming certified?

By becoming certified in litigation legal assistant services, individuals can demonstrate their expertise in the field to employers, clients, and colleagues. Additionally, earning certification can open up new job opportunities as well as provide higher salaries due to increased knowledge and experience.

4. How long does it take to become certified?

The amount of time required to become certified will depend on the specific program chosen as well as an individual’s prior experience in the field. Generally speaking, most programs require between one to two years of study before taking the certification exam.

5. Are there any continuing education requirements for maintaining certification?

Yes - most certifying organizations require that individuals maintain their certification status by completing continuing education courses related to the field within specified time periods (usually once every two years). This ensures that certified professionals stay up-to-date on current trends and best practices in their respective fields.