October 09, 2018

ABA Paralegal Education Program Approval Process Reporting System


The Standing Committee has implemented the ABA Paralegal Education Program Approval Process Reporting System (the "System"). All applications for approval and/or reapproval, and interim report forms, are required to be submitted through the System. Paper submissions will no longer be accepted.  

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The ABA is in the process of distributing user information to currently approved programs.

Quick Tips & Instructions

New to the System? Get started by downloading the following resources:

Initial Approval Applications

For those programs seeking Initial Approval, the ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals has transitioned to an electronic reporting system for use in the ABA Paralegal Education Program Approval Process and will no longer accept initial approval reports in paper format. All applications for approval are required to be submitted through the System. Passwords are required for access and will be provided upon receipt of the initial application fee. You may download an example of the initial application report here. This document is strictly for the purpose of seeing a complete report and may not be used by a paralegal education program seeking initial approval.

Applications for initial approval must be completed within six months due to data calculations inherent in the system. If a paralegal education program is seeking initial ABA approval of its paralegal education program, please complete this form (pdf | doc). Once the form has been received, an invoice for the initial application fee of $2500 will be sent to the program. After the ABA has received payment, access to the system will be granted and the program director will receive specific log-in information.

Approved Programs

Approved programs may download an example of the Reapproval Report here and the Interim Report here.These documents are strictly for purpose of seeing complete reports and are not to be used by programs to submit a self-evaluation report for reapproval or an Interim Report. The Standing Committee will no longer accept reapproval or interim reports in paper format. All such reports are required to be submitted through the System.

System-Related Info

Updates to the Electronic Reporting System
We continue to work on the electronic reporting system to ensure we are capturing all the information necessary and to provide better user experiences. The document below contains screen shots of the administrative pages the programs will see upon logging into the system. There are new ways to locate appropriate forms, as well as a new historical screen. In some instances, the screens are hidden until you click on the icon in the top right of the screen to expand it.

Uploading Information to the System
Excel spreadsheets are available to gather information on courses and faculty to upload to the system. Enter course information and faculty information according to the instructions and then upload the information under the Courses » Courses tab or the Faculty » Faculty tabs.

Practical Guide

A Practical Guide to the ABA Approval Process
This new publication serves as a guide to the ABA approval process and navigation of the ABA Paralegal Education Program Approval Process Electronic Reporting System. It serves as a step-by-step handbook to understanding the process and includes information on what programs must do in preparation for (1) submitting an application for approval; (2) hosting a site visit; (3) preparing and submitting required interim reports; (4) preparing and submitting reapproval reports; and (5) maintaining compliance throughout the period of approval, including notifying the ABA of major changes in advance of implementation. An appendix of annotated forms for use by program directors throughout the approval process is included.

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The Practical Guide is available for purchase as a hard copy binder, a pdf file or both (package).


Have additional questions? Please contact Approval Process Manager, Jessica Watson.