PACE® Eligibility / Overview

Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam

The requirements for a paralegal to take PACE include work experience and education. The paralegal cannot have been convicted of a felony nor be under suspension, termination, or revocation of a certificate, registration, or license by any entity. The requirements are:

  • An associate’s degree in paralegal studies obtained from an institutionally accredited school, and/or ABA approved paralegal education program, and six (6) years substantive paralegal experience; OR 
  • A bachelor's degree in any course of study obtained from an institutionally accredited school and three (3) years of substantive paralegal experience; OR 
  • A bachelor's degree and completion of a paralegal program with an institutionally accredited school, said paralegal program may be embodied in a bachelor's degree, and two (2) years substantive paralegal experience; OR 
  • Four (4) years substantive paralegal experience on or before December 31, 2000.

PACE Overview

PACE is a two-tier exam, each tier addressing different areas. Tier I addresses general legal issues and ethics. Tier II addresses specialty sections.

The exam is divided into five “domains,” each with a weighted percentage. The exam specifications and percentages for each domain are as follows:

Tasks in Domain I
Administration of Client Legal Matters – 23%

  • Conduct a conflicts check.
  • Develop, organize and maintain a client file.
  • Develop and maintain a calendar / “tickler” system.
  • Develop and maintain databases.
  • Coordinate events, activities, and services related to client matter.

Tasks in Domain II
Development of Client Legal Matters – 30%

  • Interview prospective client.
  • Analyze facts and information gathered from client.
  • Serve as liaison among client, counsel, and other resources.
  • Collaborate with counsel, client, consultants, and other resources on an ongoing basis.
  • Prepare and/or coordinate the preparation of legal and factual documents, exhibits, evidence, and/or other information related to client matter.
  • Prepare, file, and serve documents related to client matter.
  • Prepare client, witnesses, experts, counsel and other individuals for legal proceedings and events.
  • Assist client, counsel, and other individuals.
  • Facilitate disposition of client legal matters.

Tasks in Domain III
Factual and Legal Research – 22%

  • Obtain factual, procedural, legal and other types of information.
  • Investigate and compile facts and information from internal or external sources.
  • Inspect and evaluate relevant evidence and/or information.
  • Ascertain legal authority.
  • Analyze relevant legal authorities to determine their applicability to the client’s matter.
  • Validate and update legal research.
  • Acquire current information.

Tasks in Domain IV
Factual and Legal Writing – 20.5%

  • Communicate with client, counsel, and other individuals or entities.
  • Prepare and/or draft documents.
  • Prepare and/or draft analytical documents.

Tasks in Domain V
Office Administration – 4.5%

  • Coordinate activities to create an efficient and effective work environment.
  • Acquire technology and materials.
  • Coordinate and utilize vendor services.
  • Create and maintain a library of legal and factual resources.
  • Develop and maintain a billing system.
  • Manage workflow.
  • Educate current and prospective clients.

Vermont Paralegal Organization
Vermont Paralegal Organization

PO Box 5755, Burlington VT 05402-5755 Contact Us