CLI Requirements

The National Association of Legal Investigators, Inc. sets national certification standards for legal investigators and confers the designation of Certified Legal Investigator® upon those who meet professional requirements and who successfully pass stringent written and oral examinations. For this reason, the Certified Legal Investigator designation is a most honored and sought-after credential. Once conferred, Certified Legal Investigators must advance their professional careers by earning continuing educational credits and by maintaining the high standards of the Certified Legal Investigator Program.

To become a Certified Legal Investigator, applicants must:

  • Provide litigation support and investigative services to attorneys in the private practice of law, and be employed by law firms, public defenders’ offices, and/or privately-owned investigations firms.
  • Be licensed, if required, by the state or jurisdiction in which the applicant is practicing/employed.
  • Have a minimum of five years of verifiable work experience as a legal investigator. Applicants may substitute one year of work experience for successful completion of 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of course work at an accredited college or university.
  • Prepare and submit a white paper of not less than 1,000 words, on any investigative subject no later than 30 days before the exam.
  • Complete a written and oral examination prepared and administered by the professional certification board (the CLI Committee). The examinee must obtain a passing score (70% or more) in each section (white paper, oral exam and written exam).
  • Submit the application form and fee no later than 30 days before the exam.
  • Agree to obtain Continuing Education Credits (CECs) and submit Reports of Compliance (ROCs). After a CLI has initially completed two (2) consecutive three-year compliance periods of 50 hours of Continuing Education Credits (CECs), all future compliance periods shall require 36 hours of CECs. After 20 years of uninterrupted reporting, no Reports of Compliance (ROCs) are required. For more information about CECs and ROCs, click here.

NALI feels that this professional certification program is the most important and significant program it has undertaken in its history.

Learn more about the CLI Exam