Legal Management Specialist Certificates

ALA Legal Management HR and Finance Specialist Certificate Programs

Earning ALA’s Legal Management Specialist Certificates will increase your professional standing by demonstrating your knowledge and capabilities in one of the most crucial areas of law firm management.

Legal Management Finance Specialist Certificate

Completing the FM 1 and FM 2 courses and passing the certificate exam will help you deepen your knowledge about law firm finances, ensure your achievement of the learning objectives, and give you a credential that sets you apart.

Legal Management HR Specialist Certificate

Completing the HR 1 and HR 2 courses and passing the certificate exam will help you deepen your knowledge about law firm human resource management, ensure your achievement of the learning objectives, and give you a credential that sets you apart.

How do I earn the certificate?

After successfully completing either both HR courses or both FM courses, you will gain FREE access to the certificate program. You will have six months after completing HR 2 or FM 2 to review the material from both courses and take an online exam to earn your certificate (one retake is allowed).

If you have successfully completed both HR or FM courses and are ready for the exam, go to, log in, and go to My Dashboard. If you see Legal Management FM or HR Specialist Certificate Exam, click on this to proceed. If you registered for a package of courses, scroll down to My Packages and then select Legal Management FM or HR Specialist Certificate Exam. Good luck!

Do I have to participate in the certificate program to successfully pass the Web-Based courses?

No, the instructor-led Web-Based courses each have assignments and quizzes that must be completed to pass. The Legal Management Specialist Certificates are offered at no additional cost as an option for those who want to enhance their learning experience after completing the required courses.

What is the time-frame?

HR 1 and HR 2 or FM 1 and FM 2 must be successfully completed within a 24-month period. Participants will have six months from the end of HR 2 or FM 2 to pass the comprehensive exam with a score of 70% or higher.

Do I need to purchase additional course materials?

No, materials from the courses already taken will be used as references for the exam. No new content will be introduced. You will have access to the course materials until your access to each course ends. It is advisable to make note of when your access ends so you can download the materials.

Note that the HR courses do require participants to purchase The Big Book of HR by Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem.

When will I gain access to the exam?

Once you complete the requirements for both HR courses or both FM courses, you will be given FREE access to the certificate exam.

The courses have “Audience Levels” listed on their pages. What does this mean for me?

Each learner brings a unique skill set to the table, and ALA wants to ensure that you are taking a course that advances your knowledge and skills. For this reason, the following terms are used to describe the courses:

Basic-Intermediate: Presents essential terms and processes and builds on them with higher-level content to provide a deeper and/or broader understanding (FM 1 and HR 1 Courses).  Suitable for learners with some degree of skill or competence.

Intermediate: Higher level content will be shared so learners can deepen their knowledge and develop new skills (FM 2 and HR 2 Courses). Basic terms and processes may be referenced, but only as a recall mechanism. Suitable for learners that already have essential knowledge of the topics.

What is a 6-week instructor-led, Web-Based course?

Each course is 6-weeks in duration with 1 lesson per week. The week begins on Monday and ends on Sunday. Learners will have access to a course instructor and an administrator who are accessible throughout the duration of the course to instruct and support learners.

Learners also gain access to the online classroom approximately 1 week prior to the official start date to access the syllabus and explore the learning management system that houses ALA’s courses. Once a course has ended, learners will be able to access the classroom for an additional 10 weeks to view and download course content. In total, learners will have 16 weeks to access the course.

Each week consists of a focused topic of discussion and weekly assignments. These assignments include discussion questions, reading and topic-related assignments (i.e. writing assignment, interviews, web-related research work). The topic of the week is discussed between the instructors and learners within a discussion area in the learning management system. To receive a course completion certificate, learners must complete the minimum course completion requirements by the last day of the course.

What can I expect to be my weekly investment of time for a 6-week course?

Approximately 2-4 hours per week should be set aside to complete course requirements. Actual time varies per learner.

What will I receive with my registration purchase?

Learners will have one-on-one access to our experienced faculty and 6 weeks of online discussions as well as the sharing of ideas and best practices. For courses that require textbooks, learners must purchase them separately. Additional recommended reading materials and multimedia programs, such as recorded webinars, may also be provided within the course.

Please note, a registration includes access to the course for only one individual. If more than one learner from an organization would like to participate in the course, a separate registration will need to be completed for each.

How long will I have access to the course materials?

Learners will have full access to course content for 16 weeks from the start date of the course.

What types of continuing education credits are offered?

Learners can earn credits for the Certified Legal Manager (CLM) program when they meet the minimum course completion requirements. Six Professional Development Credits (PDCs) from SHRM are also available for the HR 1 and HR 2 courses.

What are the minimum course completion requirements?

Each course has a start and end date. All weekly assignments must be completed and quizzes passed with 70% or higher by the last day of the course in order to receive course completion certificate and CLM/SHRM credits.

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.

Certificates vs. Certifications

PurposeProvides 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 RequirementsUsually 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 AchievementCertificates 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.

Contact [email protected] for more information.