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What are Legal Investigators?

Legal investigators are licensed private investigators, law firm staff investigators or investigators employed by the government who specialize in preparing cases for trial for attorneys. Their job is to gather information and evidence which advance legal theories to benefit the client’s case. The legal investigator must possess knowledge of statutory and case law, local rules of court, civil procedure, forensic sciences, techniques of evidence collection, its preservation and admissibility.

Legal investigators assist attorneys by reviewing police reports and discovery materials, analyzing and photographing crime or accident scenes, interviewing parties and witnesses, obtaining signed or recorded statements, performing background investigations, preparing documentary and demonstrative evidence, recommending experts and testifying in court. Legal investigators must exhibit the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct.

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 designation Certified Legal Investigator® 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.

You are encouraged to read the following requirements and to submit an application to become a Certified Legal Investigator®.

Why Become a CLI?

The CLI credential is respected by clients and sets you apart from your competition– Lawyers and other professionals can relate to the effort required to earn a certification. Moreover, they deeply respect the continuing education requirements of the CLI Program, recognizing Legal Investigators who are intent on learning as much as they can each day to better themselves in their chosen field. CLI’s are committed professionals who quote and earn higher rates!

The CLI designation provides you more referrals – There is no question that the CLI designation is a wonderful marketing tool for investigators. Clients who recognize any case may end up in litigation, either in or out of the courtroom, prefer to hire those Legal Investigators who can offer evidence of their background that includes education and earned certifications in their chosen field. When asked by colleagues for an investigator referral, a NALI Certified Legal Investigator is one they are happy to endorse and recommend.

The CLI program is a personal accomplishment – The Certified Legal Investigator designation is not handed to candidates for payment of a fee. It is earned by candidates who demonstrate superior knowledge in legal investigations. The designation is conferred upon those who meet professional requirements and who successfully pass written and oral examinations. It is an honored and highly regarded credential.

Sets you apart from your competition – Once you have earned your CLI designation, you are instantly elevated in your current and prospective client’s eyes.

For a list of Certified Legal Investigators® in the United States, or for more information regarding the CLI Program,
please contact the CLI Chairperson, Diane Cowan, CLI, CCDI, at 215-546-7400.