In February of this year, 30 paralegals from across the state – myself included – took the first California Certified Paralegal (CCP) exam sponsored by the California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA) This exam tests a paralegal’s knowledge in the following three areas:
- Core Paralegal Competencies: Communications, California’s Legal System, Legal Research and Legal Terminology.
- Ethics, which includes California Rules of Professional Conduct and B&P 6450 as well as judgment and analytical skills.
- Substantive law in the following practice areas: Civil Litigation, Corporate, Criminal, Employment, Family, Probate & Trusts and Real Estate.
The exam itself consists of 200 multiple choice and true and false questions. You have four hours to complete the exam.
For those interested in learning more, visit the CAPA website. Applications for the exam are available its website, www.caparalegal.org. Once the application is approved, an introductory fee of $50 is paid. CAPA has offered this introductory rate to the first 500 paralegals taking this exam. After that, the fee is $125 for CAPA member associations and $150 for non-members.
CAPA has made available a study guide for those approved to take the CCP exam for $15. This study guide is e-mailed to you once you pay the fee and provides a list of tasks a paralegal is expected to know in each are of substantive law as well study aids and information concerning renewing your designation.
To renew your designation, you must complete 40 hours of CLE every five years, including ten hours of ethics. According to the study guide I received, the fee to renew the CCP designation at the end of five years is $50 for CAPA member associations and $75 for non-members. I’ve been told this fee, however, may increase to $200.
More information and additional test dates can be found on CAPA’s website, www.caparalegal.org.
Victoria M. Newman, RP®, CCP is the former chair of BASF’s Paralegal Section and is one of seven paralegal who passed the California Certified Paralegal exam in February 2018.