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 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.