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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, interim report and substantive change reporting forms, are required to be submitted through the System. Paper submissions will no longer be accepted.  

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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 uses an electronic reporting system to administer the ABA Paralegal Education Program Approval Process. To begin the process of approval a program must request access to the electronic reporting system. A program may do so by completing the following steps:

·       Go to the ABA online reporting system portal HERE, using the Firefox Browser.

·       On the Login screen, select the “Register” link on the lower left corner.

·       Complete all the required fields in the form and submit.

Once the form has been received by ABA staff, an invoice for the initial application fee of $2500 will be sent to the program. After the ABA has received payment from the program, access to the system will be granted to those indicated in the access request form and the program director may create the initial application report at any time. Applications for initial approval must be completed within six months due to data calculations inherent in the system.

You may download an example of the initial application report HERE. This example document is strictly for the purpose of seeing a complete report and may not be used by a paralegal education program seeking initial approval. 

Approved Programs

Approved programs may download an example of the Reapproval Report HERE and the Interim Report HEREThese 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.

Practical Guide

A Practical Guide to the ABA Approval Process (2020)
This 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. 

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The Practical Guide content is divided into two separate volumes: The ABA Practical Guide, Part I: Guidelines for the Approval of Paralegal Education Programs and The ABA Practical Guide, Part II: Obtaining and Maintaining Approval of Paralegal Education Programs. The appendices that follow the narrative portion of The ABA Practical Guide, Parts I and II are extensive and include ABA required forms, samples of various documents required throughout the process, as well as examples of completed forms.


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