PP Certification Requirements

Established in 2004 at our members request, the Certified PP designation is an attainable goal for paralegals who wish to be identified as exceptional in all areas of law. The certification is received after passing a one-day, four-part examination. Successful completion of the PP examination demonstrates:

  • A mastery of procedural skills and communication skills.
  • An advanced knowledge of procedural law, the law library, and the preparation of legal documents.
  • A working knowledge of substantive law and the ability to perform specifically delegated substantive legal work under an attorney’s supervision.
  • The ability to interact on a professional level with attorneys, clients, and other staff.
  • The discipline to assume responsibility and exercise initiative and judgment while adhering to legal ethical standards at all times.

Working under the supervision of a practicing lawyer or a judge, the Professional Paralegal is expected to possess:

  • The same high standard of ethical conduct imposed upon members of the Bar.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Knowledge and understanding of legal terminology and procedures, as well as procedural and substantive law.
  • The ability to assume responsibility, exercise initiative and judgment, and prepare substantive legal documents within the scope of assigned authority.
  • Attaining this goal demonstrates dedication to professionalism and acceptance of the challenge to be exceptional. Personal motivation is necessary to attain such a goal.

PP Examination Eligibility

To be eligible to sit for the Profession Paralegal exam, candidates must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have a minimum of five years of experience performing paralegal/legal assistant duties.
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies.
  • Have graduated from an ABA-approved Paralegal Program.
  • Have graduated from another accredited paralegal program which consists of a minimum of 60 semester hours and/or 900 clock hours, of which a minimum of 15 semester hours and/or 225 clock hours were in substantive law.
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field and have a minimum of one year of experience performing paralegal/legal assistant duties.

*Membership in NALS is not a requirement.

Student Waiver

Students of an accredited or ABA-approved paralegal studies program who are near graduation may sit for the PP exam provided that NALS receives a Paralegal Student Waiver Form, signed by the program director confirming the student’s graduation date (must be within a three-month window), and by the student agreeing that if the student does not successfully graduate from his/her program, the results of the PP exam will become null and void and the exam fee forfeited.

Request For Partial Waiver

A partial waiver of the five-year requirement for paralegals is possible if an individual has a minimum of three years experience performing paralegal duties. The maximum waiver is two years.

The Exam Covers

PART 1: Written Communications
PART 2: Legal Knowledge and Skills
PART 3: Ethics and Judgment Skills
PART 4: Substantive Law

For more information about this exam, deadlines to register, and study materials, visit

© Copyright 2022 NALS of Washington. All rights reserved.