Welcome to CALA! We hope to inspire and support you in making the most of your career!

Founded in 1982, CALA has been dedicated to the promotion of legal excellence in the paralegal profession throughout Charleston and surrounding areas for over thirty years. 

    In 1996, CALA became an Affiliated Association of The National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., which gives members the opportunity to take an active part in the nationwide development and direction of the paralegal profession. 

     On November 12, 2015, The Supreme Court of South Carolina adopted Rule 429, which recognizes and issues certification to paralegals at the state level should the applicant be designated as a Certified Legal Assistant  (CLA)/Certified Paralegal (CP) or PACE-Registered Paralegal (RP) at the time of application. South Carolina Certification is voluntary and several other states have long ago established similar regulations.

The demand for experienced and qualified paralegals/legal assistants is on the rise.

Getting certified nationally with the perks of recognition via South Carolina state certification is invaluable!

Frankly, we are the trail blazers. In the future, Lowcountry Law Firms will better understand, appreciate and offer more compensation to those who go the extra mile.

  National Association of Legal Assistants 

  The National Association of Legal Assistants offers both Certified Paralegal/Certified Legal Assistant (fyi-CLA & CP are equally interchangeable designations and likely vary based solely on the cultural and/or personal preference of your professional environment ) and Advanced Certified Paralegal Certifications (ACP) and is also recognized by the American Bar Association. For more information regarding NALA certification please visit: www.nala.org

National Federation of Paralegal Associations   

The National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) offers the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE) and is also recognized by the American Bar Association. Please click on the link below for more information on NFPA:


Association for Legal Professionals NALS

The Association for Legal Professionals (NALS) offers certification programs to obtain a CLP certification (“Certified Legal Professional”) and is also now recognized by the South Carolina State Bar, with regard to obtain a South Carolina state level certification upon completion of a NALS CLP.

     Completion of Certification from the aforementioned programs through NFPA, NALA or NALS makes one eligible under Rule 429 for South Carolina Certification.

*Please reach out if you have any questions, need support, information, resources, etc.*


*Leanne Duryea, NALA Liaison (Education Chair)    


*Barbara Carter, President (Membership/Newsletter/Social Media Chair)                                                             


*Heather Sharkey, Vice President  (Community Outreach Chair)


*Tasha McNeil, Treasurer (Finance Chair)                                                     


*Jackie Wood, Corresponding Secretary (Job Bank Chair)                         


*VACANT, Parliamentarian (By-Laws Chair)