National Association of Licenced Paralegals
NALP stands for the National Association of Licenced Paralegals and is a non-profit professional membership body for paralegals providing recognised and accredited paralegal training courses and qualifications.
They are the only paralegal membership body and institute that is recognised as an awarding organisation by Ofqual - the regulator of qualifications in England.
The NALP explains that they will strive to ensure that its members are recognised as a key part of the legal profession by the quality of its qualifications and professional development.
The NALP encourages, promotes and develops the role and practice of the paralegal and represents the best interests of its members.
The NALP's Objectives
- to provide for the qualification of its affiliate members as paralegals
- to provide for the career development of its qualified members
- to disseminate information on matters of professional interest
- to represent, promote and express the collective interests of its members
- to act as a consultative body on all things concerned with the paralegal profession
- to provide a forum for all matters affecting the interests of its members
- to provide opportunities for social contacts amongst paralegals
The NALP's aim is to strengthen the voice of NALP Paralegals in the legal world and the NALP has advocated in the past on behalf of its members, to the Law Society, and Bar Council. As it offers membership to a rapidly expanding profession within the legal sector all paralegals are encouraged to join.
The NALP encourages all its members who wish to practise, to gain an NALP Licence to Practice subject to eligibility, insurance requirements and competency.
Brief History of the NALP
The NALP was established in 1987. Its mission - to re-enforce its position as the leading professional organisation catering for the ‘Career Paralegal’ not only within the legal profession but also within commerce, industry and the private and public sectors. Also, to strive to ensure the proper recognition of its members as an integral part of the legal profession by the quality of its qualifications, professional development and the standards of behaviour and rules of membership laid down for its members. Its aim is to encourage, promote and develop the role and practice of the Paralegal and represent the best interests of its members.
The NALP’s main benchmark qualification was introduced in 1988: The Higher Certificate in Paralegal Studies (now the Level 4 Diploma in Paralegal Studies). Since 1989 when the first examinations were held, over 10,000 people have sat for the qualification of Associate Member (A.NALP) - the NALP Level 4 Diploma in Paralegal Studies.
Continuing growth saw the introduction of further qualifications: The Level 7 Post Graduate Diploma in Paralegal Practice which was introduced in 1999, as a result of referrals by The Law Society, to assist law graduates, who were unable to obtain a training contract, to achieve the necessary knowledge and skills in procedural law to progress to the alternative career route as a career paralegal. Success in this leads to graduate membership of NALP (Grad.NALP).
In December 2009, the NALP became an Awarding Organisation regulated by Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) and since 2010 both the Level 4 and Level 7 qualifications have been on the NQF (National Qualifications Framework). In 2013 NALP’s new Level 3 Qualifications were added to this framework.
The NALP, through its training arm (NALP Training) also works very closely with eight universities to offer a Joint Higher Diploma Programme.