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Study Tips for the NCLA Paralegal Exam

Author: NALA
Category: Oklahoma

Study Tips for the NCLA Paralegal Exam  

In order to pass the NCLA Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) examination for paralegals, you must answer three questions:  

  1. What’s the Exam Syllabus?  

  1. What’s the Exam Schedule?  

  1. What Exam Prep Resources Are at My Disposal? 

Created in 1976, the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) Certified Legal Assistant designation is the oldest in the industry. Because of its legacy within this industry, the majority of employers deem this designation to be the most desirable. Although the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) offers its own paralegal certification designation, Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE), this article will primarily focus on the NALA CLA examination. 

The Paralegal Exam Syllabus 

According to sources like Paralegal Certification, as well as many esteemed professionals within this profession, the NALA CLA exam is considered the absolute best when it comes to testing the working knowledge of paralegals. In fact, this examination only has a 45 to 50 percent pass rate, which should indicate its difficulty. In order to earn either the CLA or the Certified Paralegal (CP) credentials, you must successfully pass a two-day examination.  

The exam features a total of five sections that focus on federal law and procedure. These sections include: Communications, Ethics, Legal Research, Judgment/Analytical Ability, and Substantive Law.  

The last portion of the exam (Substantive Law) features five parts. The first is a general overview of the American justice system and its subsequent courts. However, the remaining four parts of the examination are chosen by you. You may choose one of nine subject areas: Real Estate, Family Law, Estate Planning/Probate, Criminal Law/Procedure, Contracts, Civil Litigation, Business Organizations, Bankruptcy, and Administrative Law.  

NCLA Exam Schedule 

The National Association of Legal Assistants uses a two-day exam schedule. The exam always begins on Fridays and goes throughout Saturday afternoon. Each section of the examination is given several hours. Typically, the Friday exam lasts from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. while Saturday generally lasts from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 a.m., which also includes a 90 lunch break on both days. 

Exam Prep Resources 

There are literally hundreds of different methods and procedures you can use to study for either the CLA or CP examination. What’s best is these methods are broken down into your preferred study method. If you’re a more independent learner, then you can review one of the three study guides offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants. There are also several self-study programs offered by NALA to guide you through the study materials.  

If you’re a social learner, many states and local paralegal associations offer group study sessions for the certification examination. 

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