If you are a legal assistant and you want to improve your professional standing, studying for a CLA (Certified Legal Assistant) qualification, awarded by the National Association of Legal Assistants would be a very good career move. Although this is only one of several legal assistant certifications, it is nationally recognized and probably the most widely used certification standard.
In order to gain your legal assistant certificate, you need to study a program that can be taken either part time or full time. The legal assistant certification examinations cover a wide range of topics, and the subjects you study will include legal research, legal terminology, the American legal system, communications, and ethics as well as chosen areas of law that you want to specialize in.
You can also gain advanced legal assistant certification in specialty areas such as bankruptcy, civil litigation, business law, criminal law, intellectual property, estate planning and real estate. This advanced certification allows your specialty to be recognized, along with your advanced knowledge and experience in these areas.
Legal assistant certification is a good way of gaining recognition of your knowledge and skills as a legal assistant, and of strengthening your resume to help build your career. Certification is an objective measure of your level of knowledge and abilities as a legal assistant, and you will find that it really helps in promotion prospects and in gaining new jobs.
You will need to renew your legal assistant certification every five years. You are expected to do this by participation in continuing education, including seminars and workshops, projects and formal classes. This ensures that your knowledge and skills as a legal assistant are up to date, and you will benefit from this procedure.