You maintain your national certification through a process known as recertification. Recertification is the act of having one’s certification renewed after the original award date. NALS considers recertification to be continuing one’s education in the legal field by obtaining continuing legal education credit hours. Recertification is required because of the ever-changing profession to which we belong. Laws, rules, and regulations are continuously changing, and by requiring recertification, NALS ensures that certified professionals remain up to date with current legal practices. Recertification is required every five years.
The validity period for certification is indicated on the certificate issued when the examinee passes an exam or on the most recent recertification certificate. The recertification renewal date may also be found in the Professional Development section of your online member profile. If a Certified ALP, CLP/PLS, or PP comes to the realization that they did not recertify within their five-year recertification period and desires to maintain their certification, the Certified ALP, CLP/PLS, or PP must immediately contact the NALS Certification and Education Manager and provide a written account of why the certification was not renewed.
Otherwise, the individual is to remove the certification designation and is requested to no longer use the designation Certified ALP, CLP/PLS, or PP. There are three categories of recertification. The first category, mandatory recertification, applies to all ALPs, CLPs/PLSs, and PPs who are currently employed or seeking employment. The cost for recertifying an ALP designation is fifty dollars ($50.00). The cost associated with recertifying a PLS, CLP, and PP designation is seventy-five dollars ($75.00). The second category, voluntary recertification, is recommended and encouraged for those achieving PLS certification prior to March 1994. PLSs who voluntarily recertify must meet the same requirements and established criteria as for mandatory recertification. The third category is Emeritus. Emeritus status is available to the following:
(1) certified ALPs, CLPs/PLSs, or PPs who are 62 years of age or older;
(2) certified ALPs, CLPs/PLSs, and PPs who are about to retire within the next 90 days or currently retired from employment in the legal services field; or
(2) certified ALPs, CLPs/PLSs, or PPs who are permanently disabled. If Emeritus status is being requested because of a permanent disability, proof of disability should also be submitted.
Upon notification of approval of Emeritus status, the Certified ALP, CLP/PLS, or PP will not be required to accumulate points to recertify. The Emeritus status application fee is a flat rate of $75.00 per candidate. Certification(s) must be in good standing at the time of application.
Recertification fees and Emeritus status application fees are non-refundable.
If you need an extension to complete your recertification, please fill out this form.
If you are a current certification holder and you would like to order another copy of your certificate, you can do so at this link.
The Process Defined
- Earn Recertification Points: You can participate in educational activities to earn points toward recertification. Please review our Recertification Guide for details about which educational activities earn points.
- Get Organized: CLE credits earned through NALS will be automatically added to your NALS journal. For credits earned outside of NALS, you may either add them manually, or maintain a file of CLE certificates and submit as an attachment with your recertification. To determine the number of CLE credits earned towards this recertification period, you will need to filter by Continuing Legal Education. Recertification itself does not count as CLE. If you have not yet used your NALS journal before, click here for an overview (NALS log-in required): NALS' Certification Journal Tool.
- Documentation to Send to NALS: At any time prior to the expiration of your current validity period, submit the following application, supporting documents and payment online.
- Review Process:
Recertification review may take up to 30 days (depending on volume). Please plan accordingly when submitting. Please note that once your expiration date has passed, you will no longer appear on the Current Credential Holder list until your recertification is approved and your new expiration date set. If it is important to you that there is no lapse, please submit your recertification and payment at least 30 days in advance.