Frequently Asked Questions
Benefits of Certification
- What can the CLMSM do for me? What are the benefits?
- Does the designation make a difference in how I’m perceived or how I perform my job?
- How does the CLMSM designation benefit my firm?
- 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?
- What is the difference between a certificate program and CLM certification?
- Does attending local chapter educational events count toward the educational requirements to sit for the exam?
- Does listening to conference tapes count toward the educational requirements to sit for the exam?
- What is the easiest way to obtain the 10 hours of course work in order to qualify for the CLMSM once the experience requirement is achieved?
- In completing the Application to sit for the exam, I am having difficulty determining which category many of the educational programs I have attended fit for the prerequisites - particularly non-ALA programs I have attended. What is the best way to make this determination?
- How do I keep track of my educational requirements of 120 minutes in each of the Management Categories?
- Why are there education requirements for taking the exam?
- Why do I have to have a certain number of years of experience? If I can pass the test,what difference does the amount of experience make?
- Given my years of experience as an administrator, why can't I be grandfathered in as a CLMSM?
- Why doesn’t ALA sponsor a CLMSM test prep course?
- Is there a single source I should use to prepare for the CLMSM Exam?
- What is the most successful way to study for the CLMSM exam?
- How many hours do I need to spend studying each week?
- Is the Law Firm Management Essentials course a good way to prepare for the exam?
Chapter Study Groups
- Are there specific types of programs (other than the core competency sessions) you would recommend to include in a Chapter Study Program?
- What does Core Competency mean?
- I am the only one in my chapter preparing for the exam. How can I get the chapter — or vendors — to help educate me?
- What can ALA do to assist in developing study groups?
- How can chapter leaders help chapters develop CLMSM Study Groups, or programs — especially when many of the members don’t want to tell anyone they are going to sit for the exam?
- What can chapter leaders do to help generate excitement about the program?
- How can chapters use vendors to assist in developing study groups?
- What constitutes passing the exam?
- How important is the issue of confidentiality, and what steps should chapter leaders take to help insure the confidentiality of their members — whether requested or not?
- Why are there 125 questions if only 100 count?
- I have been told by people who took the exam that there is more than one correct answer to a lot of the questions. Is this true?
- Are the test questions the same from test to test?
- Who writes the exam?
- Why isn’t the exam set up like many state bars where you pass each section and you can re-take only the sections that were not passed?
- Why aren’t there more sample questions?
- Why does it cost so much to take the exam?
- Once certified, why do I have to pay an annual fee?
Tips & Ideas
- Talk to local colleges to assist in developing a study program.
- Add a certification section to your chapter website — including sample questions.
- Create a CLMSM library in your chapter with books, tapes and videos.
- Utilize How to Form a Study Group and Legal Management as resources.
- Hold an Adult Learning Techniques program to assist your members in understanding how best they learn.
- Encourage CLM’s to write articles for the Chapter newsletter about their experience, etc. This may help dissuade some of the fear of other chapter members.