To become a NC Certified Paralegal you must fulfill the educational requirements and successfully pass the certification examination. Applicants should read the full standards for paralegal certification listed in 27 N.C. Admin. Code 1G.0119.
To qualify to sit for the certification examination, an applicant must satisfy the following criteria:
1. Be a legal resident of the United States.
2. Education or Work Experience - The applicant must have earned one of the following:
(a) an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree from a qualified paralegal studies program (consisting of at least 9 semester credits or 150 contact hours, or the equivalent, taken in a traditional classroom setting—live, real-time, or simultaneous broadcast via satellite or webinar); or
(b) a certificate from a qualified paralegal studies program (with at least 9 semester credits or 150 contact hours, or the equivalent, taken in a traditional classroom setting—live, real-time, or simultaneous broadcast via satellite or webinar) plus an associate's or bachelor's degree in any discipline from any institution of post-secondary education that is accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education (an accredited US institution) or an equivalent degree from a foreign educational institution if the degree is determined to be equivalent to a degree from an accredited US institution by an organization that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credentials Evaluators (AICE); or
(c) a juris doctorate degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association; or
(d) a high school diploma or equivalent plus five years of experience (comprising 10,000 work hours) as a legal assistant/paralegal or paralegal educator and, within the 12 months prior to the application, completed one hour of CLE on the topic of professional responsibility. Demonstration of work experience may be established by sworn affidavit(s) from the lawyer(s) or other supervisory personnel who has knowledge of the applicant’s work as a legal assistant/paralegal during the entirety of the claimed work experience.
3. National Certification. If an applicant has obtained and thereafter maintains in active status at all times prior to application (i) the designation Certified Legal Assistant (CLA)/Certified Paralegal (CP) from the National Association of Legal Assistants; (ii) the designation PACE-Registered Paralegal (RP)/Certified Registered Paralegal (CRP) from the National Federation of Paralegal Associations; (iii) the designation of Professional Paralegal (PP) from the National Association for Legal Support Professionals; or (iv) another national paralegal credential approved by the board, the applicant is not required to satisfy the educational standard described in #2 above.