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Frequently Asked Questions

Benefits of Certification

What can the CLMSM do for me? What are the benefits?

When you ask a mountain climber “why did you climb the mountain,” he tells you because the mountain was there. Besides taking the CLMSM exam purely for the challenge, most people feel that it will add to their professional portfolio and may enhance future career choices. After successful completion of the exam, many CLM’s have discovered new confidence in their abilities, and some have obtained exciting new positions with the CLMSM designation being a critical factor in the decision process.

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Does the designation make a difference in how I’m perceived or how I perform my job?

Once you pass the CLMSM exam, your mastery of the technical competencies to be a law firm administrator is validated. Moreover, many people have told us they obtained a great deal of valuable knowledge from just studying for the exam. We’ve also heard from many CLM's that it was one of their most rewarding accomplishments, and that it shows you have the knowledge and dedication to the profession that employers are looking for, providing you with an important edge in the marketplace.

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How does the CLMSM designation benefit my firm?

Preparing for and taking the test broadens one’s view on structure, procedures and infrastructure issues in the firm, plus helps to identify weaknesses in current firm practices. Interaction with members in a study group provides understanding of the differences of other firms’ structures, which you may be able to interpret and apply to your own firm. Additionally, some insurance companies are now offering discounts on liability insurance, if the firm’s administrator is a CLM. This can amount to a substantial savings on liability insurance, depending on a firm’s coverage. For example, SwissRe offers as much as a 7.5 percent discount. See if SwissRe has a discount in your state.

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What leadership benefits do I get once I’m certified? Do you now have to be a CLMSM to be elected to the ALA Board of Directors or any other leadership position?

The CLMSM is not a requirement for future ALA leaders. However, the CLMSM process allows a person to grow, gain confidence and learn, qualities that will enhance your chances of becoming a future leader in ALA. Attaining the CLMSM designation demonstrates a commitment to the profession and yourself, thereby garnering respect and recognition from your ALA peers who nominate future ALA leaders.

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