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Certification (CLM)

Become a Certified Legal Manager

As the legal services industry becomes more diverse and competitive, the need for capable managers has never been greater. That’s why earning the Certified Legal Manager (CLM)® credential — regardless of the stage in your career — shows your commitment to staying on top of the legal management profession.

It’s not an easy credential to earn — but that’s the point. The CLM credential demonstrates to your firm that you’ve mastered the knowledge, skills and abilities to operate at a high level of expertise in the field of legal management.

ALA is the exclusive credentialing body of the CLM program, and CLM Certification is offered twice a year — in the Spring and the Fall. (See below for important 2024 dates.) 

First Steps to Certification 

  • Read the application and education requirements: Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to take the CLM exam. Here’s what you need to know about the application requirements. This details employment and education criteria.
  • Sign the ALA Code of Ethics: Now that you’ve met the application requirements, read and sign the ALA Code of Ethics. ALL CLMs must sign and adhere to these principles.
  • Submit your application: Our online application walks you through all the steps outlined in our application and education requirements.
  • Purchase the CLM Study Guide: The best way to prep! The study guide was designed to help you prepare effectively to earn your CLM. ALA members get a discount on the cost. (Note: Although still relevant, it was created in 2018. An update is in progress.)

Looking for more information? Check out Certify Your Career in the January 2022 issue of Legal Management. CLMs discuss their certification journey and how sitting for the exam boosted their legal management careers. Also, check out the ALA-hosted webinar Your Pathway to Certification and get all the info on how to achieve the certification. Or, listen to this episode of Legal Management Talk, as Rita Nielsen talks about what ALA’s Certified Legal Manager (CLM)® program is, the benefits it offers and what the process is to achieve it. Bonus: She gives some study tips!

If you’re looking to connect with someone who has earned this credential, visit our Certified Legal Manager Directory. (You must be a member to view this.) 

Fall 2024

Application deadline: September 5
Test dates: November 4-30

The following tables outline the cost for taking the CLM Exam — and then maintaining it. 



Exam Retake

Exam Reschedule

ALA Member$529$259$159

CLM Maintenance

CLM Recertification 

ALA Member and Nonmember $59 due annually by spring or fall of the recertification date — except for in the year you recertify.  $189 due every three years or on your spring or fall certification date. 
CLM Retired Status1 x fee of $99 


Danielle Cerny, CLM Lydecker LLP  Miami, Florida
Summer S. Jurrells, CLM, PHR, SHRM-CP Husch Blackwell LLP Austin, Texas
Michelle Howe, CLM, PHR Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP Chicago, Illinois
Laura Holler, CLM Harris Hunt & Derr PA Tampa, Florida
Thomas Nicolas Tyszka, CLM Handler Thayer, LLC Hinsdale, Illinois
Ray Hanna, CLM  Frantz Ward, LLP Cleveland, Ohio
Kathryn S. Walton, CLM Epstein Becker & Green, PC New York, New York
Terah J. Drent, CLM Bezaire & Leathers San Clemente, California

We’re Here to Walk You Through the Steps to Certification

Should you have questions at any time, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected].

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