My Argument for Certification or Registration of Paralegals

There has been a lot of discussion around paralegal certification/registration.  Although I am a bigger proponent of paralegal certification over the paralegal registration.  I think either would be better than what we currently have.  Certification/registration would serve to establish guidelines and standards for the profession.

In a recent podcast of two of my favorite paralegals, Lynne DeVenny and Vicky Voisin, there was a discussion around this same topic by two representatives of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). Suffice it to say that NFPA is in favor of registration.

Regulation of the Paralegal Profession Podcast

For the life of me I cannot figure out a good reason as to why anyone would be against regulation of the profession.  I have heard some arguments by opponents of registration:  1) registration would make it more expensive on employers to hire a paralegal because salaries would go up due to the fees incurred by registration.  This in turn would make services to the public more expensive.  2)  Billable hours for paralegals would go up also because of the fees incurred by registration; Most paralegals pay for their own education, CLE courses (the ones that actually attend them) and memberships to any organization they want to belong to.  All of the above have not been a factor in paralegal salaries and neither would registration.

In my opinion registration/certification is not about money.  It is about the natural evolutionary process of a profession.  It’s about providing the best service to and for the public.

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