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A chartered local chapter of NALS . . . the association for legal professionals.

PLS Examination and ALS® Examination

PLS Examination

 

1.  PLS. . . an advanced certification for legal professionals --A Professional Goal

 

How do your skills compare with the hallmark of a professional?  PLS is the designation for lawyer's assistants who want to  be identified as exceptional.  Certification is received after passing a one-day, four-part examination which demonstrates not only dedication to professionalism but acceptance of the challenge to be exceptional.  Personal motivation is necessary to attain such a goal.

 

The purpose of the examination is to certify a lawyer's assistant as a person who possesses:

 

a mastery of office skills;

the ability to interact on a professional level with attorneys, clients, and other support staff;

the discipline to assume responsibility and exercise initiative and judgment; and

a working knowledge of procedural law, the law library, and how to prepare legal documents.

 

 

2.  PLS Examination Eligibility

 

Any person who has had three years' experience in the legal field may take the examination.  Membership in NALS is not a requirement.  A partial waiver of the three-year legal experience requirement may be granted for post-secondary degrees,  successful completion of the ALS exam, or other certifications.  The maximum waiver is one year.

 

 

3.  The PLS Certification Exam Covers

 

Part 1:  Written Communications

Part 2:  Office Procedures and Technology

Part 3:  Ethics and Judgment

Part 4:  Legal Knowledge and Skills

 

 

ALS®  Examination


1.  PLS. . . an advanced certification for legal professionals --A Professional Goal

 

How do your skills compare with the hallmark of a professional?  PLS is the designation for lawyer's assistants who want to  be identified as exceptional.  Certification is received after passing a one-day, four-part examination which demonstrates not only dedication to professionalism but acceptance of the challenge to be exceptional.  Personal motivation is necessary to attain such a goal.

 

The purpose of the examination is to certify a lawyer's assistant as a person who possesses:

 

a mastery of office skills;

the ability to interact on a professional level with attorneys, clients, and other support staff;

the discipline to assume responsibility and exercise initiative and judgment; and

a working knowledge of procedural law, the law library, and how to prepare legal documents.

 

 

2.  PLS Examination Eligibility

 

Any person who has had three years' experience in the legal field may take the examination.  Membership in NALS is not a requirement.  A partial waiver of the three-year legal experience requirement may be granted for post-secondary degrees,  successful completion of the ALS exam, or other certifications.  The maximum waiver is one year.

 

 

3.  The PLS Certification Exam Covers

 

Part 1:  Written Communications

Part 2:  Office Procedures and Technology

Part 3:  Ethics and Judgment

Part 4:  Legal Knowledge and Skills

 

 

ALS®  Examination


1.   ALS® -- A basic certification for legal professionals - a Career Goal

One way to demonstrate your preparedness for the demanding field of law is by becoming an ALS®. This designation is awarded after passing a four-hour, three-part examination. Attaining this goal demonstrates your commitment and aptitude for succeeding in the ever changing legal environment.

 

The ALS® Examination:

demonstrates ability to perform business communication tasks

gauges ability to maintain office records and calendars, and prioritize multiple tasks when given real-life scenarios

measures understanding of office equipment and related procedures

denotes aptitude for understanding legal terminology, legal complexities, and supporting documents

assesses recognition of accounting terms in order to solve accounting problems, and

appraises knowledge of law office protocol as prescribed by ethical codes.

 


2.    ALS® Examination Eligibility

 

To sit for the examination, you must have completed one of the following: 

an accredited office curriculum course, 

the NALS Legal Training Course, or 

one year of general office experience. 

Membership in NALS is not a requirement.

3.    The Exam Covers

 

PART 1: Written Communications

PART 2: Office Procedures and Legal Knowledge

PART 3: Ethics, Human Relations, and Judgment


4.   Examination Guidelines

All three parts of the examination must be taken on the first attempt. If you do not pass the entire examination on the first attempt, you may retake the examination parts you did not pass. All failed parts must be retaken at the same time. You will be charged the full exam fee each time you sit. Those passing the exam will receive a certificate which is valid for five years.  Certification may be extended through continuing education, based on NALS guidelines, for one year.

5.    Examination Dates

March: First Saturday
June:First Saturday *
July: In conjunction with the regional conferences held in July
September: Last Saturday
December:First Saturday *

6.    Application Deadlines

March: Postmarked by January 1
June: Postmarked by April 15 *
July: Postmarked by June 15
September: Postmarked by August 1
December: Postmarked by October 15 *

* June and December testing are for those who've completed the Basic or Advanced NALS Legal Training Course.


7.    Examination Fees

Full-time student -- $50
NALS member (not a full-time student) -- $75
Nonmember (not a full-time student) -- $100


8.    Transfer/Refund Policy

 

You may transfer your examination or retake fee once per payment; the fee, less a 25% processing fee, may be refunded if requested 30 days or more before the examination. If the fee is transferred, no refund is then available for that payment.

9. Preparing for the Exam

  • ALS Resource Manual* -- the ALS® Resource Manual is designed to help you achieve the ALS designation. It contains information about the program, including an application to take the exam, an overview of the topics covered by each part, and the primary and secondary reference lists as additional study guides. The manual can be used for studying alone, with a study group, or by an instructor preparing lesson plans.

  • NALS Basic Legal Training Course -- Many state and local chapters sponsor the NALS Legal Training Course. This course emulates a classroom study style in preparing for the exam. Check the NALS Calendar for an upcoming course in your area.

10. ALS Extension Guidelines

*These materials are available for purchase through the The Marketplace.

For more information, contact:

Certification Department
NALS Resource Center
314 E. 3rd Street, Suite 210
Tulsa, OK 74120
(918) 582-5188
Fax: (918) 582-5907
E-mail: shatwell@nals.org .

 

 

Hawaii Legal Support Professionals, P.O. Box 692, Honolulu, HI  96809