Archive for the ‘Awards and Honors’ Category

Air Force Paralegal of the Year

Monday, August 31st, 2015

 

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – An Airman from the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing legal office recently won the title of Air Force Paralegal of the year, proving she is the best legal aide in the Air Force.

Master Sgt. Natasha Hoglund, 455th AEW legal office superintendent, demonstrated excellence throughout the year earning her this prestigious award. Hoglund, deployed from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, has performed exceptionally at home and in the Area of Responsibility.

Congratulations, Master Sargeant Natasha Hoglund!

For the full story click here.

Paralegal Student Wins Back-to-Back LEX Scholarship Contests

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

The Deer Park Broadcaster reports:

San Jacinto College paralegal student Karen Cardenas’ essay about parental rights of same sex couples recently earned a $500 scholarship awarded by the Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX) national paralegal honor society.

Cardenas became the first-ever repeat winner in the national scholarship contest, which attracts applicants from nearly 200 universities and colleges throughout the nation. The LEX honor society awards only five of the national scholarships annually.

“This is the first time in the LEX scholarship history that we have had a repeat winner,” commented Mary Flaherty, LEX national coordinator. “Karen deserves a great deal of credit for this impressive accomplishment.”

In 2014, Cardena’s essay about a legal procedure known as “Replevin” earned her a LEX essay scholarship. Replevin is a complex legal action used to have property returned to its rightful owner when it is being held unlawfully by someone other than the owner. The Replevin procedure frequently involves cases in which someone buys stolen property without knowing it is stolen.

You can read the full article here. Congratulations, Karen!

40 Years at NALA

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

A highlight of the NALA conference was the festive retirement send-off given to Marge Dover, CAE, NALA’s Executive Director since 1975. I was impressed by the honor, respect, and collegiality shown to Marge by all those present – members, officers, and staff. It is clear that she will be greatly missed by all. I only met Marge a couple of times, but her contribution to the growth and stability of NALA well-known. This is from the program for the banquet:

Marge Dover, CAE, has been NALA’s Executive Director since its inception in 1975. She has been a part of the growth of NALA and an observer of the developing paralegal field for almost 40 years. The NALA Board of Directors presented Marge with the 2000 NALA Founders Award to recognize her extraordinary leadership and her devotion to NALA.

Marge’s career focus prior to leading NALA in 1975 was her work with nonprofits including the Association of Petroleum Geologists in Tulsa. Marge also served on the boards of directors for several nonprofit organizations in Tulsa, including the Zoo Friends and the Retired senior Volunteer Program.

Congratulations, Marge, and best wishes for your well-deserved retirement!

16 Awarded Ohio State Bar Association’s Paralegal Credential

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

According to a Hudson Hub-Times (I have no idea where Hudson is other than in Ohio) article, sixteen people were recently award the Ohio State Bar Association’s Paralegal Credential. I, of course, offer them my congratulations, but the bigger story is that the OSBA recognizes the role of paralegals in this way. So, aside from the individual acheivment of these 16 individual, here’s the real take-away from the article:

“The OSBA includes paralegals as members of the Association in recognition of their valuable service to lawyers and to the public,” said OSBA President John Holschuh. “We applaud those OSBA Certified Paralegals who are bringing objective, uniform standards of competence and professionalism to their work.”

An applicant for paralegal certification must first meet specified education/experience, continuing legal education and reference requirements, and then must pass a written exam.

I realize there can be some problems with having a bar association in charge of paralegal credentials including a possible conflict between the bar’s interest in protecting its own monopoly and the interest of providing the public with both the protection and legal services it needs. However, all state bar associations should be including paralegals as members of the association and recognizing their valuable service to lawyers and to the public.

Seven Pass Washington’s First LLLT Exam

Monday, June 8th, 2015

According to Robert Abrogi’s website, “LawSites” fifteen candidates completed the paperwork to become LLLTs, nine took the exam, and seven passed. Here are the seven:
Leisa Bulick, White Salmon, WA.
Christine Carpenter, Auburn, WA.
Michelle Cummings, Auburn, WA.
Kimberly Lancaster, Shoreline, WA.
Melodie Nicholson, Auburn, WA.
Priscilla Selden, Entiat, WA.
Angela Wright, Granite Falls, WA.

Ambrogi notes the candidates must still complete additional steps, including providing proof that (1) they have the required 3,000 hours of supervised experience (2) they have insurance and (3) have set up trust account reporting. They also must pay a licensing fee and take an oath administered by the court.

I am hopeful that this is just the first step in the effort to bridge the access to justice gap. We won’t know if the program will actually accomplish that goal until we see it in operation for a while, but it is certainly worth the try!

Governor Proclamations

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Reading through the first issues of Legal Assistant Today, I find that in 1983 the governor of New Jersey proclaimed the entire month of May as “Legal Assistant” month. This is significant because it comes only 16 years after the ABA first started recognizing the role of legal assistants and is less than ten years after the formation of NALA and NFPA. Are any of you aware of an earlier proclamation by a governor?

Paralegal Warrior Challenge

Friday, September 26th, 2014

If you are looking for a reason to be thankful today, perhaps you can be thankful this is not a part of the standard law office role for paralegals:

USARPAC paralegal Soldiers committed to ‘warrior trials’

The top paralegal Soldiers throughout the Pacific region participated in the seventh annual USARPAC Paralegal Warrior Challenge, Sept. 15-19.

The Paralegal Warrior Challenge tested Soldiers’ mental and physical resilience as well as their military occupation specialty knowledge. The challenge was held at multiple locations across Schofield Barracks, Fort Shafter, and Aliamanu Military Reservation, Yongsan, Korea.

“The challenge is designed to test our paralegals that have shined throughout USARPAC and try to identify the best warrior paralegal in the command,” said Sgt. Maj. Craig Williams, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native, Command Paralegal for I Corps. “The Soldiers are learning a lot about themselves and some are finding that mental toughness that they didn’t know they possessed.”

The five-day warrior challenge began like most challenges and that’s with an Army Physical Fitness Test. After the APFT, the Soldiers had to conquer a swim challenge. The following day consisted of an M16 range where noncommissioned officers had to qualify on the M16 and M9. The Soldiers also had to complete a 4.2 miles foot march in 45 minutes. The USARPAC paralegals had multiple written exams to take and a board. To prove their Soldier abilities, they had to perform several warrior tasks and drills.

At the end of the five-day competition, all participants received certificates of achievements and coins of excellence. The overall competition winners received Army Commendation Medals and plaques.

For the Soldier that scored the highest on the APFT that Soldier would receive the Iron Soldier Award. This year Sgt. Chris DeFrancisco, assigned to 8th Army in South Korea, earned the Iron Soldier award for scoring 334 points on the extended scale.

DeFrancisco also won the overall competition and became USARPAC’s 2014 Paralegal Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. Spc. Glen Swanson, assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, was named USARPAC’s Paralegal Soldier of the Year.

Virginia Paralegals’ Week

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Last week I finally  added the Virginia Alliance of Paralegal Associations to my blogroll in response to a June request from Karen Axell, RP, President of VAPA. While looking at the site I noticed this: Governor Terence R. McAuliffe proclaims October 12-18, 2014, as Paralegals’ Week. The Governor’s proclamation includes several reasons for the week including recognition that “the research and administrative duties performed by paralegals are essential to the ability of attorneys to provide their clients with quality legal services.

Paralegal lauded for former nursing home owner prosecution

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Yes, the other members of the legal team – federal prosecutors and an investigator – were lauded also, but the fact that the paralegal was included as an active member of the legal team rather than just an appendage to it is significant:

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Glenn D. Baker, William G. Traynor and Dahil D. Goss; Investigator Donna J. Davis and Paralegal Specialist Barbara A. McIntosh received a Director’s Award for Superior Performance by a Litigative Team for their investigation and prosecution of Houser for healthcare and tax fraud.

The full story is here.

Dennyce Korb of Rapid City was recently named the 2013 AAJ Paralegal of the Year.

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

According to the Rapid City Journal:

A passion for the practice of law and a dedication to clients in need were two of the reasons that Dennyce Korb of Rapid City was recently named the 2013 AAJ Paralegal of the Year.

Korb, a paralegal at the Johnson Eisland Law Offices in Rapid City, has been a paralegal for 30 years and has participated in nearly 100 cases at trial, mostly on behalf of clients injured by nursing home abuse, medical malpractice or defective products.

Korb was nominated for the national award by Gregory A. Eisland; she was unanimously selected by a panel of judges from the American Association of Justice, which administers the award.

Congratuations, Dennyce.