Successful CLM candidates will likely tell you the key to passing the exam is structuring a study plan — and sticking to it. This section will detail everything you need to know about the exam to get started, including:
Applying for the Exam
Congratulations! You've made the decision to take the CLM exam. You're on your way to demonstrating your mastery of legal administration. Your first step is to make sure you qualify to take the exam. You must meet one of the following experience conditions:
- You have three full-time years of experience as a principal administrator or a branch office manager of a law firm or legal department in an exempt-level position.
- You have three full-time years of experience in a supervisory position as an exempt-level specialist in a law firm or legal department in any of the functional areas (financial management, human resources management, systems management, facilities management, marketing management, or practice management).
Additionally, you must complete at least 10 hours of qualifying coursework within the 24 months preceding the date of application. See the full application requirements for details.
About the Exam
The examination will include 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. Check out some sample questions here.
The multiple-choice examination covers topics detailed in the Content 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). Read more about your experience during the exam here.
Earning the CLM demonstrates a mastering of the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) ALA has identified as paramount for managing a law firm. We've compiled the complete list for you:
- Principal Administrator KSA Ratings (sorted by importance)
- Principal Administrator KSA Ratings (sorted by subject area)
ALA has produced many resources to help you prepare for the exam, including the Study Guide. Additionally, your Chapter may offer resources like a study group or credit through education. We've also compiled some outside resources to help get you started. They are representative of the types of materials that have been used as the sources for writing test items. See the list of materials here.
After the Exam
Once you've done the work, you'll be eager to find out how you did. Here's what you can expect after you've taken your exam.