Paralegal Certification, Credentialing, Licensing and Having a Paralegal Certificate

This is frequently a source of confusion.  In short:

  • If you have completed a paralegal education program for which you have a certificate hanging on your wall, you could say you are certificated.  This is different from being certified.
  • Licensing is how a governmental authority controls certain professions.  There is no single authority in the United States which oversees the paralegal profession.  Also, at the time of this writing, no state has paralegal licensure.
  • If you have successfully passed a paralegal certification exam.  This confers a credential which you put after your name, such as Jane Doe, CP.  Maintaining that credential requires ongoing Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and keeping your address current with the organization that issued the credential.  These credentials can be verified by prospective employers by contacting the issuing organization. 


States with paralegal certification