ALA Logo

Certified Legal Manager Exam: Prep and Study Tips

Exam Expectations

Successful CLM candidates will likely tell you the key to passing the exam is structuring a study plan — and sticking to it. Here are some suggestions on how to study for the exam and what to expect for the test.  

It helps to visualize the test, so we’ve got a synopsis of what to expect on exam day. The exam is based on the Content Outline of the Body of Knowledge. Consider it your blueprint for your CLM study efforts and the exam. It also provides the percentage breakdown of each section.

The exam itself includes 125 questions, 25 of which will be included on a pilot basis and will not contribute toward the examinee’s test score. Pilot items are distributed among all categories and are unidentifiable from other questions. Responses to pilot items are analyzed to determine if they qualify and are suitable for use in future exams.

The multiple-choice exam covers topics detailed in the Content of Outline of the Body of Knowledge. The practice analysis upon which this outline is based was accomplished with the assistance of an independent testing contractor, the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO).

We’ve included a few sample questions so you’ll have a sense of what's on the exam.

1. An asset placed in service today would be most commonly depreciated for U.S. federal tax reporting purposes using which of the following methods?

(a) Alternative Minimum Tax

(b) Accelerated Cost Recovery System

(c) Double Declining Balance

(d) Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System


2. According to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), when are medical examinations for potential new hires allowed?

(a) Once a job has been offered but prior to the commencement of employment

(b) Within 30 days of commencement of employment

(c) Prior to a position being offered

(d) When the employer doubts the applicant’s ability to perform

3. The term “selection procedure” as used by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) includes:

(a) Standardized tests only

(b) Interviews only

(c) Physical examinations only

(d) Any procedure used as a basis for selection decisions

Study Time

ALA is here to help you on your CLM journey. We have educational content that satisfies some of the requirements you need before the test that also builds your knowledge base for the actual exam. You can get all the credits and education you need to apply or recertify for the CLM through ALA HQ, many chapters or other CLM-Approved Providers.

Here are some study resources to get you started. 

We’ve got two bundles to help you study and save! 

  • You can get the Legal Industry/Business Management e-learning supplements for free when you purchase the package. It provides 7 hours of CLM credit. Members pay $329, and nonmembers pay $429 for this bundle. Purchase the package.
  • The best way to save: For maximum information (and savings) purchase the above bundle with the The Study Guide for the CLM Exam: Practice Questions, Preparation and Reviews. We recommend reading the section in the Study Guide and then heading over to the corresponding e-learning module to test what you’ve just read. This package includes 7 hours total of CLM credit. Members pay $409, and nonmembers pay $509. Purchase the Study Guide package today!
  • Also, check out the bundle CLM: A Good Start that covers many of the Financial Management and HR information you'll need for the exam.

The Study Guide for the CLM Exam: Practice Questions, Preparation and Reviews was designed to help you prepare effectively to earn your CLM credential. It’s the most comprehensive resource in your study toolkit. It presents comprehensive information relating to the four functional areas covered in the exam, along with review questions and a 100-item practice exam. (Though written in 2018, it remains relevant. An update to it is underway.) Purchase the Study Guide here.

The CLM Webinar Bundle includes 10 on-demand recordings to help you prepare for the CLM exam. It includes materials that meet all five of the Management Skill Categories.

Interactive Learning: We surveyed CLMs to find the most challenging topics in each of the subject areas: Finance, Human Resources, Legal Industry/Business Management and Operations. The result of that feedback is these interactive supplemental e-learning modules that focus on the topics CLMs told us they needed more assistance with.  Plus, every course comes with at least 1 hour of CLM credit:

Still Have Questions About the CLM Exam?

We’re here to help you navigate your CLM journey. Email us at [email protected]

CLM Register

Up Your Legal Management Game

Get Certified
Back to Top