FAQ's

Purpose and Effect of Paralegal Certification Program
Qualifications: Education
Application Procedure
Exam
Renewal
Miscellaneous


Purpose and Effect of Paralegal Certification Program

Q1: What is the “Plan for Certification of Paralegals” (the “Plan”)?

The Plan (27 NCAC 1G) is a self-funded, voluntary certification program of the North Carolina State Bar, the regulatory agency for North Carolina lawyers. The Plan provides incentives to North Carolina paralegals to meet a minimum level of education to become a “North Carolina Certified Paralegal” and a minimum level of continuing education to maintain the certification. The Plan does not restrict the use of the term “paralegal” nor does it differentiate the services that can be provided by a certified and a non-certified paralegal. However, it does provide a much-needed benchmark to ensure paralegal competency and enhance the quality of legal services provided by North Carolina paralegals.

Q2: Why does the North Carolina State Bar certify paralegals?

The purpose of the North Carolina State Bar’s Plan for Certification of Paralegals is to assist in the delivery of legal services to the public by identifying individuals who are qualified by education and training, and have demonstrated knowledge, skill, and proficiency to perform substantive legal work under the direction and supervision of a licensed lawyer (including any individual who may be otherwise authorized by applicable state or federal law to provide legal services directly to the public), and to improve the competency of those individuals by establishing mandatory continuing legal education and other requirements of certification.

Q3: Why is the program voluntary?

The program is voluntary because it only applies to paralegals who wish to use the titles "North Carolina Certified Paralegal,""North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal," or "Paralegal Certified by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification." A paralegal can choose not to be certified and still perform substantive legal work under the supervision of an attorney using the titles "paralegal" and "legal assistant.”

Q4: Do I have to be certified to work as a paralegal in North Carolina?

No. This is a voluntary certification program. Obtaining certification is not a requirement to be employed as a paralegal/legal assistant or to call yourself a paralegal in North Carolina. However, the titles "North Carolina Certified Paralegal,""North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal," and "Paralegal Certified by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification" are reserved for those individuals who are certified by the North Carolina State Bar.

Q5: Why would I want to commit to the certification track by taking the exam and attending continuing legal education seminars?

Whether you believe North Carolina certification is right for you is a personal decision. Certification demonstrates your commitment to the paralegal profession and provides recognition that you have met high professional standards. Certified paralegals are required to take continuing education courses, helping you stay current in the legal field which, in turn, enhances the quality of legal services you provide to attorneys. For potential employers, it makes the hiring process easier – your credentials are already verified.

Q6: How will obtaining certification help me find employment?

The Plan may not have any immediate impact on employment possibilities. However, as the certification process becomes more familiar to attorneys and legal employers, some employers are beginning to hire only North Carolina Certified Paralegals. In addition, although the Plan is voluntary, it does give the attorney a much-needed benchmark for hiring.

Q7: If I am an attorney, how will this affect my law practice?

As attorneys confront the daily challenges of providing quality legal services to their clients, they need to be assured that the paralegals they employ to assist them are educated and qualified to provide legal services. Members of the public indirectly rely on the work performed by paralegals and many times directly rely upon information given to them by paralegals. Paralegals should know and understand their ethical duties and their limitations under the authorized practice of law statutes. They should meet minimum standards of paralegal competency. Although the Plan is voluntary, it does give the attorney a benchmark for hiring practices and, hopefully, will reduce ethical violations, the unauthorized practice of law, and malpractice claims. The Plan will not prevent attorneys from hiring an uncertified non-lawyer as a legal assistant or paralegal, but it will help attorneys to identify qualified candidates. It will also allow the attorney to publicize the employment of a certified paralegal.

Q8: Will the Plan create competition between attorneys and paralegals?

No. The Plan continues to require paralegals to be supervised by an attorney unless authorized by law to provide services directly to the public (e.g., social security disability representatives). The Plan will also enhance compliance with the authorized practice statutes by improving paralegals' understanding of the requirements of the law.

Qualifications: Education

Q1: What are the requirements to apply for the certification exam?

To be eligible to sit for the certification exam, and applicant must:

1. Be a legal resident of the United States.

2. Education (3 options):

a.  Have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in any discipline from any college or university that is accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the US Department of Education AND have a certificate in paralegal studies from a qualified paralegal studies program. To be a qualified program, the program must be approved by the American Bar Association or qualified by the Board of Paralegal Certification. You can check the ABA website at to see if your school is approved by the ABA. There is also a listing of NC Qualified Paralegal Studies Programs on our website; OR

b. Have an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree from a qualified paralegal studies program; OR

c.  Have a JD degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.

See Q7-Q9 for more information regarding qualified paralegal studies programs.

3. Submit a completed application along with the filing fee ($125). The application must be accompanied by an official transcript from your paralegal program as well as be signed in the presence of a notary.

Q2: Will I qualify for certification if I only have a high school diploma?

No. As of July 1, 2007, to be certified, all applicants must satisfy the educational requirements of Rule .0119(a) explained in the answer to Q1 immediately above, and must successfully pass the certification exam. See Q7-Q9 for more information regarding qualified paralegal studies programs.

Q3: Will I qualify for certification if I do not have a degree in paralegal studies, but have been working as a paralegal for many years?

No. As of July 1, 2007, to be certified, all applicants must satisfy the educational requirements of Rule .0119(a) as explained in the answer to Q1 above, and must successfully pass the certification exam. See Q7-Q9 for more information regarding qualified paralegal studies programs.

Q4: Will I qualify for certification if I have a degree in another field, but have taken some paralegal coursework?

No. As of July 1, 2007, to be certified, all applicants must satisfy the educational requirements of Rule .0119(a) as explained in the answer to Q1 above, and must successfully pass the certification exam. See Q7-Q9 for more information regarding qualified paralegal studies programs.

Q5: Will I qualify for certification if I have a degree in another field, but have not taken any paralegal coursework?

No. As of July 1, 2007, to be certified, all applicants must satisfy the educational requirements of Rule .0119(a) as explained in the answer to Q1 above, and must successfully pass the certification exam. See Q7-Q9 for more information regarding qualified paralegal studies programs.

Q6: Will I qualify for certification if I graduated from a “qualified paralegal studies program?”

You may apply to sit for the paralegal certification exam after graduation with a certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree from a paralegal studies program that has been approved by the Board of Paralegal Certification as a “qualified paralegal studies program.” If you seek to qualify by reason of a paralegal certificate, you must also have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from a college or university that is accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the US Department of Education (the degree can be in any discipline). Please note that any paralegal studies program that can be completed entirely online (without any “real time,” live instruction) will not be designated by the Board of Paralegal Certification as a “qualified paralegal studies program.”

Q7: What is a “qualified paralegal studies program”?

A paralegal studies program can be “qualified” by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification if it is an institutional member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or other regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, and is either: 1) approved by the American Bar Association; 2) an institutional member of the American Association for Paralegal Education; or 3) offers at least the equivalent of 18 semester credits of coursework in paralegal studies as prescribed by the American Bar Association Guidelines for the Approval of Paralegal Education. Please note that any paralegal studies program that can be completed entirely online (without any “real time,” live instruction) will not be designated by the Board of Paralegal Certification as a “qualified paralegal studies program.”

A determination that a paralegal studies program is qualified under the Plan for Certification of Paralegals does not constitute an approval or an endorsement of the program by the Board of Paralegal Certification or the North Carolina State Bar.

Q8: Why aren’t online programs able to be qualified?

The Board of Paralegal Certification follows the same qualification guidelines as the American Bar Association, which state that a paralegal studies program must require students to complete at least 10 semester credits of their legal specialty courses in a live, traditional classroom setting or in a live, real-time, simultaneously broadcast via satellite or webinar.

Q9: How do I know if the paralegal studies program I attended or in which I am about to enroll is a “qualified paralegal studies program” under the Plan for Certification of Paralegals?

Here is a list of qualified paralegal studies programs in North Carolina. All American Bar Association (ABA)-approved programs are qualified paralegal studies programs. You can review the ABA requirements and approved programs here.

If your program is not ABA-approved, it may be “qualified” by applying to the Board of Paralegal Certification. The program director for your program should complete and return the Application for Designation as a Qualified Paralegal Studies Program with a copy of the course catalog for the year in which you graduated. If the administration of your program cannot apply for qualification for some reason, you may complete and submit the application for the program.

Information on how to choose a paralegal education program can be found on the website of the American Association for Paralegal Education.

Q10: I have a degree in paralegal studies, but it is not from a “qualified paralegal studies program.” What can I do?

To be eligible to sit for the certification exam you must have a degree in paralegal studies from a “qualified paralegal studies program.” If you have completed a paralegal studies program but it is not qualified, you can take your transcript to one of the qualified paralegal studies programs for evaluation. Some of your completed credits may transfer to the qualified program, and the program director can tell you how many additional credits you would need to complete a new, qualified degree.

Q11: I am currently a student in a paralegal program. Can I apply to be certified?

You may only apply to sit for the paralegal certification exam after graduation from a paralegal program that has been approved by the Board of Paralegal Certification as a “qualified paralegal studies program.”

Q12: If a paralegal studies program appears on the list of qualified paralegal studies programs on your website, are all of its different degree programs qualified?

Not necessarily! For example, some schools offer an associate’s degree in paralegal studies that is qualified, but their certificate or diploma in paralegal studies may not meet the requirements for qualification. Check the list of qualified paralegal studies programs in North Carolina carefully or ask your school’s program director to make sure your particular degree program has been qualified.


Application Procedure

Q1: When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline to apply for the spring exam is January 15, and the deadline to apply for the fall exam has been extended to August 5. If you miss the deadline you can apply late, but due to our review process there is no guarantee that you will be able to sit for that exam. If we receive your application after the deadline, or if an incomplete application is not completed in time, your application can be held for the next exam administration.

Q2: How do I apply?

To apply, complete the Application for Certification, enclose the $125 application fee and an unopened official transcript, and mail them to:

Director
North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification
PO Box 25908
Raleigh, NC 27611

Q3: What is the cost to apply?

The initial application fee is $125, which must be mailed with your application. Once your application is approved (see Q6 below), you will be required to submit a $50 exam fee prior to sitting for the exam. Do not send the exam fee with your application or before being instructed to do so.

Q4: Can I pay the application fee or the exam fee with a credit card?

No. At this time we cannot process credit card payments. Acceptable payment methods are personal or business check, cashier’s check, or money order. Cash and credit card payments cannot be accepted. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification.

Q5: How will I know that you have received my application?

Once your application is processed you will receive a confirmation of receipt by email. Due to the large number of applications we receive, it could be several weeks after you mail your application before you receive the confirmation email. You can also go to the PARALEGAL SEARCH page to check your status.

Q6: How will I know if my application is approved?

All applications are reviewed and approved by the board at their meeting in mid-February (for the spring exam) or mid-August (for the fall exam). Once your application is approved at one of these meetings, your exam admittance letter will be sent to you by mail and your status will be updated on the PARALEGAL SEARCH page to “Approved for Exam.” The exam admittance letter will contain the exact location of the exam, additional information about the exam, and instructions for payment of the $50 exam fee. You will need to bring the exam admittance letter with you to the exam.

Q7: I am currently a student in a paralegal program. Can I apply to be certified?

You may only apply to sit for the paralegal certification exam after graduation from a paralegal school that has been approved by the Board of Paralegal Certification as a “qualified paralegal studies program.”

Q8: I do not have a degree in paralegal studies, but I have been working as a paralegal for many years. Do I have to take the exam to be certified?

As of July 1, 2007, all applicants must satisfy the educational requirements of Rule .0119(a) by having a degree in paralegal studies from a qualified paralegal studies program, and must successfully pass the certification exam to be certified.

Q9: I have a criminal conviction. Can I still apply for certification?

A criminal record does not necessarily preclude you from certification. All applications are evaluated individually. When you apply and indicate a criminal conviction, the Board of Paralegal Certification reviews the information on an individual basis. Make sure you include a full explanation of the conviction with your application, including the outcome of the charges and any restitution that was made. The board may also ask for letters of reference or recommendation. Once the board has received all of the requested information, they will make a decision at their next quarterly board meeting. If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal pursuant to Rule .0122. If you are denied again, you are entitled to a refund of $100 of the application filing fee.


Exam


Disclaimer - All information provided on the exam is subject to change without notice at the discretion of the North Carolina State Bar or the Board of Paralegal Certification.

Q1: How many questions are on the exam, and how long do I have to complete it?

There are 150 multiple choice questions on the exam, which you will have three hours to complete. There are no essay questions on the exam.

Q2: How often will the exam be administered and what is the cost?

The exam is offered twice a year, in the spring and in the fall (usually April and October). There is a $125 application fee that must accompany your application, and a $50 exam fee that must be paid after your application is approved and before you take the exam.

Q3: Where will the exam be administered?

The exam is usually administered at the following locations in North Carolina: Asheville at South College; Charlotte at UNC-Charlotte; Greensboro at Guilford Technical Community College; Raleigh at Meredith College or Campbell School of Law; and Greenville at Pitt Community College. These locations may change due to scheduling or other conflicts. The Board of Paralegal Certification reserves the right to cancel any examination site if there are less than five applicants registered for a location.

Q4: If I do not pass the exam, can I retake it?

If you do not pass the exam, you will be given the opportunity to take the exam again one time within one year of your original testing date without needing to submit a new application or the $125 application fee. The only fee to retake the exam is the $50 exam fee. If you do not register to retake the exam before the deadline specified, or if you retake the exam and do not pass again, certification will be denied and you will need to submit a new application with the full $125 application fee to take the exam again.

Q5: Can I just retake the sections I did not pass, or will I need to retake the whole exam?

The exam is not divided into sections for grading purposes, so you must retake the entire exam.

Q6: I was approved to take the exam, but could not attend due to a family emergency. What happens now?

If for some reason you do not take the exam on your specified exam date, you will be given the opportunity to register for the next available exam. If you do not register for the next exam before the deadline specified, certification will be denied and you will need to submit a new application with the full $125 application fee to take the exam.

Q7: What is the passing score?

Each exam will cover the same areas of law but will consist of different questions. Therefore, the passing score will vary from exam to exam.

Q8: When will I receive the results of my exam?

Exam scores are sent by mail approximately 60 days after the exam. Additionally, you can check your status on the PARALEGAL SEARCH page. Statuses will be updated approximately 60 days after the exam. Your status will continue to say “Approved for Exam” until this time. If you do not pass the exam, your status will change to “Pending.” If you pass the exam, your status will change to “Certified” and will show the date on which recertification is due. No information regarding your results will be provided prior to 60 days after the exam

Q9: What areas of law will be tested on the exam?

Civil Litigation; Commercial Law; Criminal Law; Ethics; Family Law; Legal Research; Real Property; and Wills, Trusts & Estate Administration. Please note that the exam questions are written to test the domains and tasks discussed in Q11 below. The questions may not be equally distributed among the different areas of law.

Q10: How were the legal subjects determined?

The legal subjects to be tested are generally based upon a review of the core curriculum required by the community college system for paralegal studies programs in North Carolina, which generally follow the core curriculum for ABA-approved paralegal studies programs; however, the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification reserves the right to add or remove legal subjects at its discretion.

Q11: How is the test structured/organized?

The test is organized into five “performance domains.” Performance domains can be tested in questions on a particular area of law (e.g., civil litigation), and identify the core competencies required for the proficient performance of a North Carolina Certified Paralegal in his/her job. Within these performance domains there are several tasks that will be tested. The following table shows the performance domains or core competencies with the associated tasks:

Domain

Tasks

Communication

Discuss and comprehend work tasks, gather and report investigative information, relay initial and follow-up information, interact with client and attorney, adhere to ethical standards of the legal profession

Research

Determine applicable sources, understand primary and secondary authorities, gather research information

Analysis

Determine relevant information, assess client situation and suggest possible courses of action for attorney consideration, analyze proposed courses of action

Documentation

Draft documents and correspondence, coordinate document execution, coordinate filing and recording, coordinate service of process, create form documents, review documents to maintain validity

Organization

Coordinate schedules; maintain tickler system; create, utilize, and maintain proper file management techniques; prioritize workload assignments

Q12: Will the exam test only North Carolina law?

The exam is based primarily on North Carolina law; however, some federal and/or common law questions may be asked to the extent that they are relevant to the core knowledge required of a North Carolina paralegal.

Q13: Will any review courses be offered?

Neither the Board of Paralegal Certification nor the North Carolina State Bar offers or sponsors any review courses. However, the North Carolina State Bar has developed a study guide to assist those studying to take the certification examination. Additionally, review courses may be developed and offered by various public and private providers, such as paralegal associations, organizations, or schools.

Q14: What should I study to prepare for the exam?

The North Carolina State Bar has developed a study guide to assist those studying to take the certification examination. Reviewing materials from your paralegal studies program courses is also suggested. Additionally, review courses may be developed and offered by various public and private providers, such as paralegal associations, organizations, or schools.

Click here to view sample questions from the certification exam.

Renewal

Q1: I recently became certified. Now what?

The certification period is 12 months. To maintain your certification you must take six hours of continuing legal education, with at least one of those hours being legal ethics, during each certification period. At the end of the certification period you must renew your certification by applying for recertification. Approximately 60 days before your renewal date you will be mailed the recertification application that you will need to complete and return to our office. Please be advised that this is a courtesy. If an application form is not received, it is the responsibility of the paralegal to download the application form from our website, complete it, and mail it to the paralegal certification program before the deadline. The North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification is not responsible if the application form is not received.

Q2: How do I renew my certification?

Application for and approval of continued certification is required annually prior to the end of each certification period. The requirements for renewal are 1) a completed recertification application, 2) a $50 renewal fee, and 3) 6.0 hours of continuing education with at least one of those hours in ethics. Checks should be made payable to The North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification and include your name and CPID number in the Memo line. Approximately 60 days before your renewal date you will be mailed the recertification application that you will need to complete and return to our office. Please be advised that this is a courtesy.  If an application form is not received, it is the responsibility of the paralegal to download the application form from our website, complete it, and mail it to the paralegal certification program before the deadline. The North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification is not responsible if the application form is not received.

Q3: Do I have to be working as a paralegal to keep my certification? What if I move out of North Carolina?

Continued paralegal work is not a requirement for renewal, nor is living in North Carolina. The only requirements for recertification are completing the CPE hours and returning the recertification application with the fee (see Q2 above).

Q4: I’m not sure when my renewal is due. How can I find my renewal date?

If you are unsure about your renewal date, you can find it on our website. Go to the PARALEGAL SEARCH page, enter your LAST NAME and click on SEARCH. Then click on VIEW beside your displayed name. The “VIEW” page will list your next renewal due date as well as your current status.

Q5: Will you send me a confirmation of receipt once my recertification application is received?

Due to the volume of applications we receive we do not send a confirmation for each application that is received. You can check your current status on the PARALEGAL SEARCH page. A status of “Recertification Pending” means that we have received your recertification application and that it will be reviewed by our full board at the next quarterly board meeting (February, May, August, or November).

Q6: I sent my recertification application in a while ago, and my status on the PARALEGAL SEARCH page still says “Recertification Pending.” What is taking so long?

All applications are reviewed by our full board after their due dates. The board meets on a quarterly basis on the second Tuesday of February, May, August, and November. As an example, if your application is received in November for your January 1 renewal, your application will be reviewed by the board at their February meeting. If you mail your application during one of the grace periods (e.g., at the end of February), your application will be reviewed by the board at their next meeting (in this example, the May meeting).

Q7: Will I be notified when my certification is renewed?   

After the board has reviewed and approved your application at one of their quarterly meetings in February, May, August, or November your status in our database will be updated and notification of recertification will be sent via email. If you have not received the email notification, check your spam folder, or check your current status on the PARALEGAL SEARCH page.

Q8: Why do I have to take continuing legal education courses every year?

One of the purposes of the Plan for Certification of Paralegals is “to improve the competency” of paralegals so they can better assist attorneys and clients. Annual continuing legal education courses can keep you current on changes in the area of law in which you work and help you learn more about your area of law, making you a better paralegal.

Q9: What kind of continuing legal education courses can I take, and how do I find them?

Paralegals can take either continuing legal education (CLE) courses for attorneys or continuing paralegal education (CPE) courses for paralegals. These courses will be offered by many of the paralegal and attorney organizations throughout North Carolina. Any CLE or CPE courses taken to apply towards your recertification requirements must be accredited by the NC State Bar. You can find accredited CLE courses on the CLE website. There is also a list of accredited CPE courses on the CPE page. For both of these search options you will need to contact the sponsor directly to register for a course.  

Q10: Can I take a CLE/CPE course that is not accredited?

If you want to take a CLE/CPE course that has not been accredited you can apply to have the course accredited as CPE just for you by filing the Paralegal’s Request for Approval of a CPE Activity form. The request must be accompanied by an agenda showing the amount of time allotted to each topic, describing the subject matter covered under each topic, and identifying presenters by name and qualification with the application.

Q11: Can I take online CLE/CPE courses?

Yes. Paralegals can take all six hours of their continuing education courses online.

Q12: Can I order a DVD of a previously presented CLE/CPE program and watch that for the CPE hours?

Pursuant to Rule .0202(c), “[a] minimum of three certified paralegals must register to attend the presentation of a replayed prerecorded program.” Thus, if you order a DVD of a previously presented program and watch it yourself, it will NOT count towards your CPE requirements.

Q13: My firm is presenting a CPE program just for employees. Will this count towards my CPE requirements?

No. Pursuant to Rule .0202(h), in-house programs are not approved. However, if a program is presented at your firm and people outside the firm are invited, it could be approved.

Q14: I know that I have taken a few CPE courses this year, but I don’t remember which ones. Do you keep track of the CPE hours I have taken?

No. The Paralegal Certification program is a self-reporting program with regards to CPE. We do not keep track of your CPE hours as that is the responsibility of each certified paralegal. We generally do not receive attendance lists from sponsors of CLE/CPE programs. It is recommended that you take a blank Certificate of Attendance form to each CLE/CPE course that you attend, have it signed by a representative of the sponsor at the end of the course, and keep it in your files until it is time to mail your recertification application.

Q15: Do I need to send you a Certificate of Attendance as soon as I complete a CLE/CPE course?

No. You will need to send copies of Certificates of Attendance with your recertification application, but we will not accept them before that.

Q16: I haven’t had time to complete my CPE hours yet. Should I send in my recertification application anyway to meet my renewal deadline?

No. If you have not yet completed the CPE hours required for recertification, your application will be returned to you.

Q17: I took 10 hours of CLE/CPE last year. Do my excess hours carry over into the next year?

No. Excess CLE/CPE hours do not carry over into the next certification period. Since the six hours is such a minimal amount, the board feels that education about changes in the law would not be adequately maintained if allowed to carry over.

Q18: I can’t find the recertification application that was mailed to me. Can I get another one?

Online is a blank Application for Recertification that you can complete and submit. Please print the application double-sided to help us save on file space. Please note that we cannot accept a recertification application more than 60 days before your renewal date.

Q19: Why haven’t I received a recertification application in the mail?

Recertification applications are mailed 60 days prior to your renewal date. If you haven’t received it within this timeframe, login to verify your contact information (see Miscellaneous Q1). Additionally, there is a blank Application for Recertification available that you can complete and submit if your recertification application is not delivered by the Post Office for some reason. Please note that we cannot accept a recertification application more than 60 days before your renewal date.

Q20: I missed my January 1 or July 1 renewal deadline. Is there a grace period?

There is an automatic 45-day grace period to complete your CPE hours and return the recertification application (until February 15 if your renewal is due on January 1 and until August 15 if your renewal is due on July 1). No late fee is due during this first grace period. There is an additional 45-day grace period after that, during which you must pay a $25 late fee. We cannot accept any recertification application that is received after the end of the second grace period (i.e., over 90 days late).  

Q21: What happens if I don’t renew?

If you do not renew your certification before the end of the grace periods your certification will lapse.

Q22: If my certification lapses, can I get it back?

If you allow your certification to lapse you will have to meet the exam admission requirements in Rule .0119(a) and pass the certification exam to become recertified, even if you were originally certified under the grandfathering provisions.

Q23: Is there an inactive status for certified paralegals?

Yes. You can petition the board for inactive status based on financial hardship, illness, disability, or active military duty for you or your spouse. This inactive status would last for a period of one year, with the requirement that you must either petition the board to remain inactive each year, or file a renewal application to seek reinstatement to active status. You can find more detailed information about inactive status on the Petition for Inactive Status form.


Miscellaneous

Q1: How do I update my contact information?

You can update your contact information online. Click on the PARALEGAL LOGIN page and use your username (which is your CP number, CP#####) and password to log in. If you have not previously logged in, follow the directions for FIRST TIME USERS. If you do not recall your password, click on “Forgot Password? Click here to have it emailed to you.” Your password will be sent to the email address on file.

Once logged in, click on the “Membership” tab and click on “Update Address and Contact Iinformation.”

Q2: My name has changed. Can I update that online?

No, you can update your contact information online, but not your name. Please contact Joy Belk to update your name. No documentation is required for a name change.

Q3: How can I check the status of my certification, application for certification, or application for recertification?

You can check your status on the PARALEGAL SEARCH page. Enter your LAST NAME in the Last Name field, click on SEARCH, and then click on VIEW beside your displayed name. The “VIEW” page will list your CP number, current status, date of initial certification, and next renewal date.

Q4: How do I order a new certificate if it is lost or my name changes?

To order a new certificate, please send a detailed request letter, including your name as you would like it printed on your new certificate, along with a $35 check for the reprinting fee to: Director, North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification, PO Box 25908, Raleigh, NC 27611. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification.

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