Tulsa Area Paralegal Association

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ABA's Definition of Paralegal

“A legal assistant or paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.”​​​

What Can Paralegals Do?​​

Paralegals can be delegated any task normally performed by a lawyer, as long as the lawyer supervises the work, except those proscribed by law. ​     ABA Model Guidelines for the​    Utilization of Paralegal Services.​


NALA has developed a certification program for those paralegals wishing to demonstrate their standard of competence.  The Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal examination extensively covers Communications, Ethis, Legal Research and Writing, Judgment and Analytical Ability, as well as substantive law with four specific types of law of the participant's choosing.  This is to certify that the successful participant possesses a well-rounded, comprehensive understanding of the legal system, legal procedures and substantive law. This exam has recently gone to a computer-based exam that allows the participant to schedule each section individually during a month-long testing window. TAPA has developed a study program to be utilized in preparation for this CLA/CP Examination.  TAPA's CLA/CP Study Group is a benefit of membership to our association.  Visit the Study Group page for more information.