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The APC Program

The APC Program . Advanced Paralegal Certification by NALA. APC Program Background. The CLA Specialty Program Decision to look at this in 2002, the program’s 20 th anniversary mark Did the program need changing

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The APC Program

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  1. The APC Program Advanced Paralegal Certification by NALA

  2. APC Program Background • The CLA Specialty Program • Decision to look at this in 2002, the program’s 20th anniversary mark • Did the program need changing • Could it be changed and maintain the high standards of NALA certification and serve paralegals and employers

  3. The CLA Program • The CLA – serves to recognize those who have demonstrated mastery of general skills required of all paralegals • Analytical ability • General knowledge of substantive areas • Knowledge of ethical limitations • Communications skills • Legal research skills • Based on 30 years of research and development; suitable for paper-pencil test

  4. What about the Specialty Program • Does it meet needs of paralegals? • Ease of access • Clearly defined program objectives • Requests for advanced certification in numerous areas • Does it meet needs of employers? • Ease of access • Demonstration of skills and knowledge

  5. Needs of Today’s Paralegals • Is there a different model for certification that would work . . . • The need for advanced certification is established • Today’s pressures - no time • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of specific subject • Allow for workplace mobility as well • Curriculum based certification • Web based • Subject specific

  6. APC Certification Program Criteria • Relevance to the workplace – A certification model to recognize advanced knowledge of a specialty practice area should relate as closely as possible to real-life situations • Defensible national standards – Program built on a list of standard for the practice area • Accessibility – ideally on an as-needed basis, at reasonable cost • Fair and consistently applied standards • Successful completion of the CLA examination required for the credential

  7. Curriculum Based Certification • Subject Specific • Conducted Openly • Provides detailed information to employer about what was covered in the program • Accepted model utilized in some fashion by many organizations • Certified Professional Manufacturers Representative • Certified Financial Planner • Certified Life Underwriter • Registered Employee Benefits Consultant

  8. Course Development • Define the course – what are paralegals doing in the practice area • Input from those in the field • Input from employers • Develop working outline • Start writing • Review by APC Board • Review by those working in the field • Course launch

  9. Course Development • Includes expert advice throughout • Ph.D in technical writing • Ph.D in psychology with emphasis on training and instruction • Not created in a vacuum – it is vital to the program to include input from all avenues during course creation

  10. Components of a Course • Outline of Presumed Knowledge • Learning Contract • Course Modules • Audio and visual presentation • Assessments • Excercises • Glossary

  11. Assessments • How do you know if someone knows the material?

  12. Security Issues • Learning Contract • Part of registration process • CLA is on the line • Identity • Monitor computer access • Contact with certification candidates • Printing difficult, cannot access course materials

  13. Where are we today? • Several programs exist and will be introduced in 2006 • Web based programs offering 24/7 access

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