Become an Indiana Registered Paralegal
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Posted by: Carissa Long
If you are seeking the State Bar's Indiana Registered Paralegal status (requirements for IRP status listed below), you can sign up when renewing your dues online. Or, if you've already renewed your dues, you can sign up by clicking here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The ISBA Affiliate Membership Committee is pleased to announce that the State Bar has adopted a voluntary paralegal registration program. The ISBA House of Delegates approved paralegal registration at its annual meeting last October, and in March the Board of Governors approved the program with a target implementation date of July 1.
The movement toward paralegal registration is not a new concept in Indiana. The House of Delegates first considered paralegal registration in 2006. The 2014 proposal was for the Indiana Supreme Court to add a new Rule 9 to the Rules of Professional Conduct, with administration of the program to be delegated to the ISBA. In December the Supreme Court declined to adopt a rule at this time but indicated that it saw nothing that would prevent the ISBA from creating and administering a paralegal registration program.
An applicant seeking the State Bar’s Registered Paralegal status must be a member in good standing of the ISBA and meet certain education or credential criteria. Upon approval, the paralegal will become an Indiana Registered Paralegal and identify said status with the initials IRP following his or her name.
The following are requirements for the IRP status:
- Currently employed as a Paralegal: Paralegals are those persons, regardless of job title or classification, who are employed by a lawyer, law office, government agency or other entity in Indiana and working under the direction of an attorney in a capacity that involves the performance of substantive legal work that usually requires knowledge of legal concepts, and who perform those duties at least 70 percent of the time. Substantive legal work is defined as work for which an attorney is ultimately responsible, and absent such paralegal, the attorney would perform the task.
- Affiliate Member of ISBA in good standing for 3 consecutive years.
- One of the following:
• Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of 12 hours of undergraduate credit in law or paralegal studies from an institutionally accredited paralegal program;
• Bachelor’s Degree and a Paralegal Certificate from an institutionally accredited paralegal program;
• Bachelor’s Degree from an institutionally accredited program plus at least 2 years of paralegal experience;
• Associate’s Degree in paralegal studies from an institutionally accredited paralegal program plus at least 2 years of paralegal experience;
• Certification in paralegal studies from an institutionally accredited paralegal program plus at least 2 years of paralegal experience;
• Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE) (as offered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations) and is in good standing;
• Paralegal CORE Competency Exam (PCCE) (as offered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations) and is in good standing;
• Certified Legal Assistant/ Certified Paralegal (CLA/CP) certification (as offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants) and is in good standing.
To maintain the IRP status, there is a CLE requirement consisting of 18 hours of substantive CLE, 3 hours of which is an Ethics Component, over a 3-year period. A minimum of 6 hours of CLE, of which 1 hour must be an Ethics Component, is required per year.
More good news! From July 1, 2015, through July 1, 2017, the Indiana State Bar is reopening its grandparent provision for paralegal membership in the ISBA. This grandparent provision enables paralegals to apply for membership with a waiver from the educational or testing requirements. To qualify for the waiver for ISBA membership, the applicant needs work experience consisting of not less than 70 percent of substantive legal work performed for a minimum of 3 years of the previous 7 years in the employ of an attorney, law office, corporation, government agency or other entity while performing specifically delegated substantive legal work for which an attorney is ultimately responsible, and absent such paralegal, the attorney would perform the task. An attorney affidavit of work experience must be attached to the application for membership.
The Affiliate Membership Committee is extremely excited about this new chapter in the development of the paralegal profession in Indiana. For paralegals who aspire to a higher goal, the Indiana Registered Paralegal status will both recognize and convey a person’s commitment to competence with the emphasis on professional education and minimum standards for the profession.
For questions, please contact Susan Jacobs at 800.266.2581 or firstname.lastname@example.org.