The terms paralegal and legal assistant are generally used interchangeable, like attorney and lawyer. MPA uses the word paralegal throughout its communication. 

MPA is affiliated with the National Association of Legal Assistants ("NALA"). NALA offers the Certified Paralegal ("CP") and Advanced Certified Paralegal ("ACP") credential.

What is NALA Certification?

Obtaining the Certified Paralegal credential is different from being awarded a Certificate of Completion from a school or training program. The professional certification earned through NALA "signifies that a paralegal is capable of providing superior services to firms and corporations." *

The American Bar Association recognizes the CP credential as a mark of high professional achievement. 

"NALA is the only National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accredited paralegal certification program. NALA's Certified Paralegal program has been recognized both nationally and internationally for over 40 years!"*

Certified Paralegal

The Certified Paralegal program has guided the profession as it developed a self-regulated program while setting the standard high for paralegals nationwide. Beginning in 1976 through today, the CP credential is recognized as the national professional standard for paralegal certification. 

According to NALA's website, in 2017 there were over 19,000 paralegals who achieved the Certified Paralegal credential, and over 3,400 who achieved the Advanced Certified Paralegal credential in the United States. Since its inception, over 28,000 paralegals have participated in the program. 

As of August 2018, there are 102 Certified Paralegals in Mississippi, seven of those are retired and 21 hold the Advanced Certified Paralegal credential. 

To be eligible for the Certified Paralegal exam, a paralegal must meet certain requirements. 

The exam consists of two comprehensive sections: Knowledge and Skills. A paralegal must successfully pass the Knowledge Exam to be eligible for the Skills Exam. 

Certified Paralegal Exam
Advanced Certified Paralegal

The Advanced Certified Paralegal program allows paralegals to obtain continuing legal education in specific areas of law through a web-based format available all day and night. 

Although anyone can take an ACP course, only a current Certified Paralegal may use the designation: Advanced Certified Paralegal. 

"NALA's ACP credential has been awarded to more than 3,500 paralegals since its inception in 2006."*