If you want to become a paralegal or are currently working in the legal field, our guide can help you navigate national, state-level and other paralegal associations.
What is a Paralegal Association?
A paralegal association is an organization of legal professionals, students and educators who offer a variety of services to paralegals. Paralegal associations can be national in scope or they can be dedicated to paralegal professionals in certain states or from certain backgrounds. Much like associations in other fields, paralegal associations support professionals in the field by sharing industry news, career support, paralegal certifications, networking opportunities and more.
In addition, paralegal associations may also provide:
- Business Partner Networking
- Career Growth Support
- Continuing Legal Education
- Conference Access
- Professional Journal Access
- Skills Training
- Special Interest Group Membership
Learn more about online resources for paralegals.
National Paralegal Associations
The United States is home to a number of paralegal associations that offer legal professionals educational resources, networking opportunities, topical publications and more.
National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
The National Association of Legal Assistants was founded in 1975 to provide continuing education and professional development to paralegals and other legal professionals. NALA provides various certifications and educational opportunities, including conferences, self-study and webinars, for paralegals.
National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
The National Federation of Paralegal Associations is composed of 50 member associations and directly represents over 9,000 individuals. Founded in 1974, NFPA offers paralegals professional development, certification, career opportunities and more.
The Association for Legal Professionals (NALS)
The Association for Legal Professionals was founded as the National Association for Legal Secretaries in 1929, before changing its name in 1999. NALS, as it is still referred to, now offers certification, education and publications for paralegals, legal assistants, legal secretaries and others.
American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE)
The American Association for Paralegal Education was founded in 1981 as an offshoot of the American Bar Association’s conferences for paralegal educators. Today, AAfPE offers paralegal students and educators learning resources and organizes professional conferences.
American Association for Justice Paralegal Affiliates
Paralegal Affiliates is an affiliate of the American Association for Justice, an organization for trial lawyers. AAJ members can sponsor paralegals for membership in Paralegal Affiliates, which offers them access to professional education, conferences and certification courses.
American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Paralegals
The American Bar Association is a national organization for attorneys, but it also includes a Standing Committee on Paralegals, which establishes standards for paralegal education and promotes their professional, effective and ethical employment. The APA provides aspiring paralegals a list of approved education programs and publishes guidelines on their work.
American Alliance of Paralegals Inc. (AAPI)
The American Alliance of Paralegals Inc. was founded in 2003 to provide for the education of paralegals and amplify their concerns. AAPI offers cost-effective training via seminars, teleconferences, webinars and self-study resources.
Association of Legal Administrators (ALA)
Founded in 1971, the Association of Legal Administrators provides support to professionals who manage law firms, corporate legal departments and government legal agencies. Members enjoy access to a job bank, professional certification and educational events.
Paralegal Associations for Minorities or Specific Fields
Aside from the national paralegal associations, which exist to serve legal professionals across the country, there are also paralegal associations dedicated to serving professionals from particular backgrounds.
American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC)
Founded in 1989, the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants is dedicated to the professional development of registered nurses practicing legal nurse consulting. Legal nurse consulting is a specialized branch of nursing which focuses on analyzing and evaluating facts and testimony as related to the delivery of health care services.
The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)
The Hispanic National Bar Association was founded in 1972 to represent the interests of Hispanic legal professionals in the United States and its territories. One of HNBA’s banner programs is the Immigrant Legal Defense Fund, which provides grants for low-cost legal representation in defense of immigration cases.
International Practice Management Association (IPMA)
The International Practice Management Association was founded in 1984 as the Legal Assistant Management Association, but recently rebranded. IPMA is a resource for information and education about the management of paralegals and other practice support professionals.
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Paralegal Associations by State
Aside from being dedicated to professionals from certain backgrounds, paralegal associations can also be particular to states.
Information on this page was last retrieved in June 2020