Do I have to become a South Carolina Certified Paralegal to work as a paralegal in South Carolina?
No. This is a voluntary certification program.  However, the title “South Carolina Certified Paralegal” and “SCCP” are reserved for those individuals who are certified by the South Carolina Board of Paralegal Certification.

Why is there a South Carolina Paralegal Certification program?
To assist in the delivery of legal services to the public by identifying individuals who are qualified by education and training, and have demonstrated knowledge, skill, and proficiency to perform substantive legal work under the direction and supervision of a South Carolina licensed attorney.

Will becoming a South Carolina Certified Paralegal help me find employment?
Certification may not have any immediate impact on employment possibilities. However, certification does give potential employers a benchmark for hiring by ensuring paralegal competency.

Can a paralegal become a South Carolina Certified Paralegal based on years of experience in lieu of holding national certification (Certified Legal Assistant (CLA)/Certified Paralegal (CP), Professional Paralegal (PP) or PACE-Registered Paralegal (RP)?
No. There is no provision to allow South Carolina certification based on years of experience.

How do I apply?
To apply, complete the application, enclose the $50 application fee and a copy of your national certification, and mail them to:
Board of Paralegal Certification
P.O. Box 608
Columbia, SC 29202

When can I apply, and how long does certification last?
You can apply at any time during the year. However, all certifications expire on June 30 and must be renewed by July 1 of each year regardless of the original certification date.  

How will I know that you have received my application?    
Once your application has been processed you will receive a confirmation of receipt by email. Your certificate will be mailed around the same time you receive the email.

How do I renew my certification?
A renewal application will be mailed to the address on file approximately 45 days prior to the renewal deadline. The following items are required: 1) a completed recertification application, 2) the $50 renewal fee, and 3) proof of completion of 10.0 hours of continuing paralegal education (CPE) including 1.0 hour of legal ethics/professional responsibility.  

Why do I have to take continuing legal education courses every year?
One of the purposes of the program is to improve competency of paralegals so they can better assist attorneys and clients. Annual continuing legal education courses will keep you current on changes in the area of law in which you work and help you learn more about your area of law, making you a better paralegal.

What kind of continuing legal education courses can I take, and how do I find them?
Paralegals can take either continuing legal education (CLE) courses for attorneys or continuing paralegal education (CPE) courses for paralegals. These courses will be offered by many of the paralegal and attorney organizations throughout South Carolina.

Can I take a CLE/CPE course that is not accredited?
If you want to take a CLE/CPE course that has not been accredited, you can apply to have the course accredited just for you by filing the CPE Approval Application.

Can I get CPE credit for teaching a course?
Yes. Teaching credit is awarded as an incentive for paralegals to enhance or benefit the legal profession by teaching other paralegals. Accordingly, teaching must be in association with an accredited CPE program. Complete the application for Approval of Teaching Credit (insert link) and mail it to:
Board of Paralegal Certification
P.O. Box 608
Columbia, SC 29202

How do I update my contact information?
You can update your contact information by sending an email to Charmy Medlin at cmedlin@scbar.org.

How do I order a new certificate if it is lost or my name changes?
To order a new certificate, please send a detailed request letter, including your name as you would like it printed on your new certificate, along with a $10 check for the reprinting fee to:
Board of Paralegal Certification
P.O. Box 608
Columbia, SC 29202

Portions of this text are used with permission of The North Carolina State Bar.