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The year was 1929. The city was Long Beach, California, and the woman was Eula Mae Jett. She and five other legal secretaries in California, with the support of their employers met and developed the concept of an association for legal secretaries, assisting them in being better prepared for their careers.

Eula Mae Jett

NALS Founder


Are You Maximizing

The Potential

of Your Legal Staff?



Warner Norcross & Judd LLP and its support staff appreciate and highly endorse the NALS training materials.  Having the ability to customize and incorporate our Firm's specific practices and procedures into these excellent educational materials is cost-effective and ensures continued excellence in our legal support staff.


NALSoffers you a one-stop source for training, educating, and developing a professional staff who will be committed to their legal career and to your law office and practice.

  • NALS has the resources and experience to assist in training, educating and maintaining long-term support staff who understand their position on your legal services team.
  • NALS has over 75 years of experience in providing support to its nationwide membership of legal professionals through education, professional development and networking.

NALS is:

  • Nonprofit
  • Nonunion
  • Nonpartisan
  • Nonsectarian
  • Professional Association


“Dedicated to enhancing the competencies of members in the legal services profession.”


Affordable Legal Education

  • Local Chapter – Monthly CLE Programs
  • State Association – Quarterly Conferences
  • Regional – Annual Conference

NALS Professional Development& Education ConferenceMarch 12-14, 2009DoubleTree Warren PlaceTulsa, Oklahoma




Affordable Legal Education

  • National Educational Conference (Fall)
      • 2005 – Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY
      • 2006 – Reno, NV
      • 2007 – St. Louis, MO
      • 2008 – Norfolk, VA
      • 2009 – Irvine, CA

NALS 57th Annual Education Conference & National ForumNorfolk, Virginia

September 11-14, 2008

Celebrate Life & Career, Head East with NALS!



No matter where you live, we've got education, networking and fun for you!


ALS...Accredited Legal Secretary

The Exam Covers

PART 1: Written Communications

PART 2: Office Procedures and Technology

PART 3: Ethics, Human Relations, and Judgment Skills


ALS...Accredited Legal Secretary

  • Eligibility
  • One year of general office experience; or
  • Completion of an accredited office curriculum; or
  • Completion of a NALS Legal Training Course.

PLS...Professional Legal Secretary

The Exam Covers

PART 1: Written Communications

PART 2: Office Procedures and Technology

PART 3: Ethics and Judgment

PART 4: Legal Knowledge and Skills


PLS...Professional Legal Secretary

  • Eligibility
  • Any person who has had three years' experience in the legal field may take the examination.
  • A partial waiver of the three-year legal experience requirement may be granted for post-secondary degrees, successful completion of the ALS exam, or other certifications. The maximum waiver is one year.

The Professional Paralegal certification was 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.

The Exam Covers

PART 1: Written CommunicationsPART 2: Legal Knowledge and SkillsPART 3: Ethics and Judgment SkillsPART 4: Substantive Law


Professional Paralegal

  • Eligibility
  • Five years’ experience performing paralegal / legal assistant duties
    • (A candidate may receive a partial waiver of one year if he or she has a post-secondary degree, or other certification, or a paralegal certificate; a candidate with a paralegal degree may receive a two-year partial waiver.)

Legal Assistant / Paralegal Definition Adopted

In July 2002 the NALS Board of Directors adopted the following definition of a 'legal assistant/paralegal,’ as also adopted by the ABA. 

The current definition reads as follows:

'A legal assistant/paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.'



To maintain certification as a PLS or PP, you must accumulate 75 points in education credits.

PP recertification requires a minimum of 50 points on substantive areas, minimum of 5 points onethics and a maximum of 20 points on other areas.

You must recertify every 5 years.


Which statement is true?

a. Assault: A harmful touching of someone else.

b. Defalcation: The misuse or misappropriation of funds.

c. Escheat: The lessening of potential damages.

d. Riparian right: The right of a lender to repossess property because the lendee is in default.


The standard five-part citation format is written with the case name first, followed by __________.

a. book name, volume, page, year

b. page, book name, volume, year

c. volume, book name, page, year

d. year, volume, book name, page


Take Advantage of All That NALS Has to Offer

  • Affinity Programs members enjoy discounts on a variety of goods and services.
  • For example, if you are a NALS member, you and your law firm can save 16% on

You Asked for it and Now it is Here!

This online forum is the best way for legal professionals to share ideas, opinions, news, and discuss the profession. Visit the NALS Online Community by clicking on the icon located on the NALS Home page and get started in the latest form of networking! Visit the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and even on holidays, it truly is an open forum for the legal community!


Simply go to the Online Community by clicking the banner on the NALS Home page, register, log in and express yourself and converse instantly with other members of the legal services profession.

It really is a simple and easy to learn process. There is also a “Help” menu available to help you learn the ins and outs of the online forum.

We want this to be an open arena for discussion but there are some rules. They are located on the main forum page with a “READ ME FIRST” heading. Take a look and enjoy!


The Online Community gives you the opportunity to post topics and replies to other’s topics whenever you feel like. If you need help on a case and need to find someone around the country this is a great place to start.

Learn about industry trends or what other states and chapters are doing.


Learn more about NALS…

inside NALS is your source for information about NALS...from the inside! Use this blog to learn what is new and what is coming soon in the land of NALS. The NALS President and President-Elect as well as the Resource Center Staff will be making posts to help keep you in the know.


The NALS Foundation funds quality education programs for legal professionals working with attorneys and the public to enhance their skills and provide them with the latest information on their profession.

The NALS Foundation has played a major role in providing grants to NALS, local chapters, and state associations, as well as regions. The Foundation also funds keynote speakers at NALS conferences.


For less than $.50 a day, members receive all of these benefits as a NALS member, plus many more.