Pennsylvania Paralegal Requirements & Resources
Becoming a Paralegal in Pennsylvania
Prospective paralegals in Pennsylvania are not mandated by state law to receive specific training or education in order to become a paralegal. Voluntary certification can be earned from the Keystone Alliance of Paralegal Associations (KAPA) with successful applicants being designated as Pennsylvania Certified Paralegal (Pa.C.P.)
Applicants must meet the following requirements and qualifications:
- Be a member in good standing of a Keystone Alliance member paralegal association
- Be a legal resident of the USA
- Satisfy education/experience requirements
- Submit declarations from PA attorney or attorneys
- Certified college transcript or letter indicating the dates of attendance & graduation or a copy of the Diploma/Certificate
- Credential certification and current letter of good standing
- Applicants must be currently employed as a paralegal pursuant to the definition established and approved by Keystone Alliance.
Applicant must meet one (1) of the following education criteria:
- Bachelor Degree in Paralegal Studies AND one (1) year of substantive Paralegal experience; OR
- Bachelor Degree in any discipline from an accredited institution AND a Certificate/Associate Degree from an ABA-approved Paralegal Program AND one (1) year of substantive Paralegal experience; OR
- Bachelor Degree in any discipline from an accredited institution AND three (3) years of substantive Paralegal experience; OR
- Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies from a Paralegal Program OR a Certificate from a Paralegal Program AND five (5) years of substantive Paralegal experience; OR
- Designation of CLA, CP or RP or other Paralegal credential approved and recognized by the Keystone Alliance of Paralegal Associations AND two (2) years of substantive Paralegal experience
There is also a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Requirement:
- Twelve (12) hours with two (2) hours being in ethics for every two (2) years’ renewal
Applicants must submit:
- Fifty ($50.00) Dollars non-refundable Processing Fee for initial two (2) year period. Twenty-Five ($25.00) Dollars non-refundable Processing Fee for each renewal period of two (2) years
Professional Paralegal Associations
Central Pennsylvania Paralegal Association (CPPA)
The Central Pennsylvania Paralegal Association (“CPPA”) was conceived in February of 1984 and became an official non-profit organization in October 1984. The CPPA serves as a forum where professional ideas and concerns of paralegals in all ectors of practice are addressed.
Lancaster Area Paralegal Association (LAPA)
Lancaster Area Paralegal Association is a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation, which has been serving paralegals and legal assistants in the Lancaster area since 1984. LAPA is a charter member of the Keystone Alliance of Paralegal Associations.
NALS of Pennsylvania
NALS of Pennsylvania provides the opportunity to further the knowledge and enhance the ethical standards and professional attainment of our members; to conduct programs of continuing legal education for members and others in the legal profession; to promote fellowship and cooperation among members and with the legal community.
Pittsburgh Paralegal Association (PPA)
The Pittsburgh Paralegal Association (“PPA”) is a voluntary, non-profit association formed in 1977 to promote the professional development and continuing education of paralegals. PPA now has approximately 460 members from the greater Pittsburgh area and receives additional support from affiliate members, area law firms, paralegal training programs and the Allegheny County Bar Association. Members are from all areas of the legal community, including law firms, banks, corporations, hospitals, the public sector and educational institutions.
Keystone Alliance of Paralegals
The Keystone Alliance of Paralegal Associations is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization, formalized in 1995 from groundwork laid in the 1980’s by paralegal associations in Pennsylvania. The Keystone Alliance consists of the following paralegal associations: Central Pennsylvania Paralegal Association, Chester County Paralegal Association, Lancaster Area Paralegal Association, Lycoming County Paralegal Association, Montgomery County Paralegal Association, Philadelphia Association of Paralegals, Pittsburgh Paralegal Association and the York County Paralegal Association.