I have listed below an assortment of options for paralegal or e-discovery certification. I have marked my recommendations with a *. I would be happy to discuss the different options in more details if you aren’t sure of the differences or aren’t sure which option is right for you. Feel free to contact me if you need help determining if you qualify or have other questions – if I can’t help you, I will make sure to put you in touch with someone who can.
Are you interested in Paralegal Certification? Check out:
Visit my Paralegal Bookstore for Certification Exam Study Guide
Are you interested in E-Discovery Certification? Check out:
Are you interested in a Florida Registered Paralegal (FRP)? Check out:
Florida Bar – Florida Registered Paralegal (FRP) - if your title isn’t “paralegal” – don’t worry. The Florida Bar says “A paralegal is defined as a person with education, training, or work experience, who works under the supervision of a member of The Florida Bar and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a member of The Florida Bar is responsible.” If you are doing “substantive legal work” but your employer chooses not to “title” you paralegal, you will still qualify. If your work experience is from another state, it won’t count unless the attorney you worked for was a member of The Florida Bar. Also, your time doesn’t have to be billable, you can be doing substantive legal work for your attorney and he may choose not to bill for it, that’s ok too!!
In order to be a Florida Registered Paralegal, an individual must meet 1 of the following requirements.
(a) Educational and Work Experience Requirements. A person may become a Florida Registered Paralegal by meeting 1 of the following education and paralegal work experience requirements:
(1) a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from an approved paralegal program, plus a minimum of 1 year of paralegal work experience;
(2) a bachelor’s degree or higher degree other than a juris doctorate from an institution accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency approved by the United States Department of Education or the Florida Department of Education, plus a minimum of 3 years of paralegal work experience;
(3) an associate’s degree in paralegal studies from an approved paralegal program, plus a minimum of 2 years of paralegal work experience;
(4) an associate’s degree from an institution accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency approved by the United States Department of Education or the Florida Department of Education, plus a minimum of 4 years of paralegal work experience; or
(5) a juris doctorate degree from an American Bar Association accredited institution, plus a minimum of 1 year of paralegal work experience.
(b) Certification. A person may become a Florida Registered Paralegal by obtaining 1 of the following certifications:
(1) successful completion of the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE certification as offered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations “NFPA”) and good standing with NFPA; or
(2) successful completion of the Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal examination (CLA/CP certification as offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants “NALA”) and good standing with NALA.
A person who does not meet the requirements of (a) or (b) may become a Florida Registered Paralegal by providing attestation from an employing or supervising attorney(s) that the person has paralegal work experience as defined elsewhere in these rules for 5 of the 8 years immediately preceding the date of such attestation. Any such attestation must be received by The Florida Bar not later than 3 years after the effective date of this chapter.
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING GRANDFATHERING – As of March 1, 2011, you may no longer use grandfathering in order to register as an Florida Registered Paralegal. Therefore, you may no longer use experience alone as a basis for eligibility for registration. If you wish to register you must meet the education/work experience or certification requirement for eligibility. If you apply under the grandfathering provision after March 1, 2011, your application will be rejected. Please note the application fee is not refundable.