In response to a need for a strong unified
voice to represent legal assistants nationwide, the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. ("NALA") was
incorporated in April of 1975, as a non-profit organization. NALA encourages legal assistants to commit themselves to the
concepts of professional development and continuing education.
In 1976 NALA established the nation's only voluntary certification program at that time for legal
assistants. The Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) examination is a national professional credential for legal assistants.
In 1987, the certification program was recognized by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Assistants as
a high-level professional achievement designation. Speciality certification (CLAS) was initiated in 1982 and is available
to Certified Legal Assistants in various areas of law.
Each year NALA conducts a variety of national and regional seminars in conjunction with its affiliates. There
is also an annual convention held in July attended by paralegals/legal assistants across the United States.