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There are several forms of voluntary certification available for paralegals. Some certification programs require that you have certain qualifications and that you complete a substantive examination process to attain the certification. The following are the credentials recognized by OPA. 

OPA is a member of NFPA®, the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (“NFPA”).  NFPA sponsors both the PACE® certification program (“Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam®”), which bestows the Registered Paralegal or RP® credentials, and the PCCE™ certification program (“Paralegal Core Competency Exam™”) which bestows the Core Registered Paralegal or CRP™ credentials.

What is OCP? The OPA Regulation Committee drafted a voluntary certification program, the Oregon Certified Paralegal (OCP), to establish a standard of competency and accountability for paralegals in Oregon. This program is an opportunity for Oregon paralegals to validate their qualifications, offers a paralegal credential to Oregon paralegals that meet certain education and experience requirements and brings Oregon in line with other states who have enacted a voluntary certification program, whether through the local paralegal association or the local bar associations. Want more information? Click here.

What is PACE? PARALEGAL ADVANCED COMPETENCY EXAM® (PACE®), an advanced exam offered by NFPA to test the skilled and experienced Paralegal.  PACE® tests critical thinking and problem-solving skills used by experienced paralegals.  Please note, the PACE® is not for entry-level paralegals as there are strict eligibility requirements.  

Want more information? https://www.paralegals.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3298


What is PCCE™? PARALEGAL CORE COMPETENCY EXAMINATION™ (PCCE™), a base exam offered by NFPA® to test the competency of the early-career and entry-level paralegals. The PCCE™ Exam tests the knowledge, skills and ability of individuals who are working as paralegals or just entering the profession.

Want more information: https://www.paralegals.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3297


The National Association for Legal Assistants, or NALA, also sponsors a certification program called the Certified Paralegal (CP) and the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA). For more information:  https://www.nala.org/certification/certified-paralegal-cp-program

The Association of Legal Professionals, or NALS, also sponsors a certification programs called the Accredited Legal Professional (ALP), the Professional Legal Secretary (PLS), and the Professional Paralegal (PP). For more information: https://www.nals.org/page/certification

Need to renew your credentials?   https://www.paralegals.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3299

Need to find a Prometric testing center?  https://www.prometric.com/nfpa

To learn more or for any questions about the certification options available, contact the OPA Certification Ambassador, Jennifer Stammer at jhauge74@gmail.com

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Disclaimer: Paralegals are not permitted to practice law in the State of Oregon and may not provide legal services to the public except as permitted by law. Read more from the Oregon State Bar here

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