Benefits of Certification

What can the CLM® 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 CLM 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 CLMs have discovered new confidence in their abilities, and some have obtained exciting new positions with the CLM® designation being a critical factor in the decision process. Additionally, there are product savings just for CLMs.

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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 CLM 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 CLMs 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 CLM 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, there are product savings for CLMs. For example, SwissRe offers as much as a 7.5 percent discount on liability insurance. View all the benefits of CLM.

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

The CLM credential is not a requirement for future ALA leaders. However, the CLM 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 CLM designation demonstrates a commitment to the profession and yourself, thereby garnering respect and recognition from your ALA peers who nominate future ALA leaders.

What is the difference between a certificate program and CLM certification?

A certificate program is designed to educate or train individuals to achieve specific learning objectives. Often, an exam or other type of assessment measures whether learners achieved the published learning objectives. Those who pass the assessment earn the certificate.

A certification program usually has eligibility requirements (such as years of work experience), requires passing an assessment, and has ongoing requirements for maintaining the designation. For example, the Certified Legal Manager (CLM) program is a certification program where the focus is on assessing current knowledge and skills within the legal management profession.







Provides education or training and assesses whether an individual has achieved the learning objectives.


Assesses knowledge, skills and abilities that have already been acquired—usually through a combination of employment experience and diverse educational experiences.

Eligibility Requirements


Usually there are not eligibility requirements to participate in a certificate program.


Usually has both experience and education requirements to be eligible to take the certification exam. There are typically requirements to maintain a certification, such as participating in continuing education and paying renewal fees.

Recognition of Achievement


Certificates are awarded and individuals can list the credential on their resume and social media profiles. No acronym or letters are used after the recipient’s name to reference the certificate.


Certified individuals can use an acronym after their names (for example, David Johnson, CLM) to communicate their significant professional accomplishment.

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