Tennessee does not regulate licensing for the paralegal profession because lawyers are required to supervise and instruct their paralegal employees directly. The lawyers also have to accept all responsibility for the work their paralegals do. Tennessee does not have any set education or training standards. However, the numbers of paralegals seeking education are increasing.
There are voluntary programs that encourage a high-level of achievement from which paralegals can get a certification. The Certified Legal Assistant/ Certified Paralegal program was established in 1976. This program has allowed the paralegal profession to develop an impressionable and enduring voluntary aid that offers a nationwide credential for paralegals. The National Association of Legal Assistants administers a Certified Legal Assistant/ Certified Paralegal examination. It is a two day test. After they complete and pass the examination they are able to add CP (Certified Paralegal) or CLA (Certified Legal Assistant), whichever they choose, to the end of their name. The ability to do this indicates that they are able to provide superior services to firms and corporations. NALA provides specialty tests in many areas including: bankruptcy, intellectual property, civil litigation, probate and estate planning, business entities, real property, and criminal. If a Certified Paralegal or Certified Legal Assistant completes an examination in any of these specialty areas, he/she has the right to use the designation Certified Legal Assistant Specialist (CLAS). On February 1, 2006, surveys reported that there were 247 Certified Legal Assistants/ Certified Paralegals in Tennessee. Certified Legal Assistants and Certified Paralegals are required to complete fifty hours of CLE over five years to retain their CLA or CP certificates.
Tennessee Paralegal Association (2010). Certification. http://www.tnparalegal.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53&Itemid=53 National...