The State Bar's paralegal certification program promotes the proper utilization of paralegals and assures that legal services, although delegated to a lawyer's professional assistants, are professionally and ethically offered to the public. The Plan for Certification of Paralegals approved by the NC State Bar and adopted by the NC Supreme Court in 2004 has assisted the development of paralegal standards, raised the profile of the paralegal profession, and standardized the expectations of the public and other legal professionals.
The State Bar has worked diligently with lawyers and paralegals across the state to establish a voluntary North Carolina certification program with requirements that are properly defined and that ensure the credential has value. Through education and experience, the North Carolina certification plan assists lawyers and administrators to identify paralegals who meet or exceed the skills required for certification. As multi-skilled professionals, paralegals have a diverse knowledge base and must practice effective interpersonal communication skills to maintain collaborative relationships within the legal team. Paralegals, like lawyers, continue to be held accountable to high ethical and professional standards.
The Plan for Certification of Paralegals is located in Chapter 1, Subchapter G of the North Carolina State Bar's administrative rules. The rules were adopted by the North Carolina State Bar Council and approved by the North Carolina Supreme Court pursuant to N.C.G.S. §84-21.