Archive for the ‘Professional Associations’ Category

NALS Introduces a New Board of Directors

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Also from Vicki Voisin, The Paralegal Mentorwe hear that NALS has a new board of directors:

The 2014-2015 NALS Board consists of Tina Boone, PLS, Mimi Mangrum, Carl Morrison, PP-SC, AACP Audrey Saxton, PP, PLS, and President, Karen McElroy, PP, PLS.This board marks a significant governance restructure, and the consolidation intends to mark great growth and collaboration on a national platform.

Vicki provides a short bio of each board member and links to youtube videos of the Board in action here.

NALA Receives Accreditation of the Certified Paralegal Program

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Vicki Voisin, The Paralegal Mentor, posts:

The NCCA has accredited the NALA Certified Paralegal certification program for a five-year period, expiring April 30, 2019.

Founded in 1975, NALA is a professional association providing continuing education and professional certification to paralegals. Currently, over 8,900 paralegals may use the Certified Paralegal (CP) designation. The CP credential has been awarded to over 17,822 paralegals in its span of almost 40 years. The Certified Paralegal (CP) program is the first certification program accredited by NCCA which serves the legal community.

NALA has received accreditation of the Certified Paralegal program from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)

NALA received NCCA accreditation of the Certified Paralegal program by submitting an application demonstrating the program’s compliance with standards outlined in NCCA’s Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs.  NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). Since 1987, the NCCA has been accrediting certifying programs based on the highest quality standards in professional certification to ensure the programs adhere to modern standards of practice in the certification industry.

Follow the link for more on this.

2014 NFPA/Thomson Reuters Scholarship

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Pat Lyons, President-Elect of the American Association for Paralegal Education passed this along on the AAfPE listserv:

NFPA has posted the application for the 2014 NFPA/Thomson Reuters Scholarship.  The deadline to submit the application and required documents is July 1, 2014.
I know many of our programs have had a student win one of the two scholarships over the years and this is another opportunity to have your students apply and win a scholarship to help with their paralegal education!

The scholarships will be awarded at the 2014 NFPA Annual Convention to be held in Dallas, TX.

If you go to the NFPA website www.paralegals.org and click on the link in the middle of the page for the scholarships.
Please share with your students.  What a great Spring Break project!

A Goddess in Disguise

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

When Odysseus went off to fight in the Trojan War, he placed his friend Mentor in charge of his son Telemachus. Odysseus was gone twenty years, ten to fight the war and ten on his Odyssey traveling back home. During this time, the goddess Athena visited Telemachaus often. She guided him in his search for his father and his efforts to stave off the many suitors seeking to marry his mother on the assumption that Odysseus was dead. She offered encouragement and practical advice during Telemachus’ quest. In order to hide her involvement, Athena disguised herself as Mentor. Today we use the term “mentor” to refer to an experienced and trusted person who advises and guides aspiring new members of a profession.

This was all brought to mind by a post by Philip Haebig on the Paralegal Group LinkedIn discussion board, describing the difficulty he had finding a mentor and encouraging the use of LinkedIn and similar media for mentoring purposes. He states in part, “In closing, it took forever to get someone to be brave enough to say yes to mentoring a young starter. It took respect and dedication in heeding that mentor’s advice. And most of all it cost me very little for the growth it has facilitated, which is why I make the most of my connections in my network. After all, one’s network can truly be their net worth. Seeing as LinkedIn and the Internet are the exact place(s) to do this with very little hassle to both potential Mentor and Mentee, I am happy to share my knowledge, resources, and encouragements. And I suggest that you do too!”

I join Philip in encouraging experienced paralegals to become goddesses/gods in disguise as mentors of new paralegals. The comments to his post reinforce the notion that paralegals associations can and do play a role in connecting mentors and mentees:

Connie Johnson
Paralegal at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

Hi Philip – I am the President of the Inland Counties Association of Paralegals in California. My association is actually working on getting a mentoring program together something like what you have discussed. I am sharing your link with my other board members. Would you mind if we include it in a future newsletter? We have a lot of student members, we are all on advisory boards of local educational facilities, and are hopeful we can get some people to step up and be mentors such as you detailed above.

Mariana Fradman, MBA
Senior Legal Assistant, Chadbourne & Parke LLP

Dear Philip – can I please share your post with my mentees? You said exactly what I was trying to deliver during my presentation about the benefits of LinkedIn at the NYCPA Mentor Program Workshop last Thursday.

NALA Webinar

Monday, November 11th, 2013

I just returned from a very active and informative AAfPE conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ll have more to say on that later as I’m now faced with the usual pile of work resulting from a week’s absence. For now I’m just relaying information about a free webinar from NALA being put on as part of The Professional Identity Project:

For Students, Recent Graduates,
and those beginning a paralegal job search

Thursday, January 16, 2014
3 PM CENTRAL TIME

Check here for registration information as we near the webinar date.

This free webinar is for paralegal students or newly-graduated paralegals who are ready to begin their interviewing process. Attendees will gain insight into the skills needed for successful job interviews. Discussions on current career trends will assist attendees in determining tools needed to get THE job.

The webinar will include instruction to enhance interviewing skills, and resume writing. The webinar will conclude with examples of the correct make-up and dress to assist in creating the polished appearance needed for a successful job interview.

Subjects include:

Paralegal Career Trends
Resume Do’s and Don’ts
The Interview Process
Survival in the Legal Arena
Does this Briefcase make My Butt Look Big?

For more information and registration click here

PANH Celebrates 30th

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

From my old stomping grounds (northern New England) comes this:

The Paralegal Association of New Hampshire will celebrate 30 years of service to the paralegal community during its annual meeting at the Bedford Village Inn on Friday, Sept. 20.

The keynote speaker will be New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster…

The third week of September traditionally has been declared Paralegal Week by the governor of New Hampshire, and PANH schedules its annual meeting during this period.

The fact that PANH continues to not only survive, but strive speaks for itself. Here’s what the New Hampshire Bar Association has to say anyway:

“The purpose of the governor’s proclamation is to remind employers to recognize the contributions and the dedication of their paralegals,” according to the New Hampshire Bar Association. “In busy work environments, people tend to take for granted the hard work done by paralegals. These professionals assist in providing high-quality legal representation to clients by ensuring accurate work content and making other overall contributions to the legal team.”

NFPA Scholarships Applications Available

Friday, March 1st, 2013

This just in from NFPA:

NFPA is proud to announce the essay topic for the 2013 NFPA/Thomson Reuters scholarships is now available at http://www.paralegals.org/uploads/TR_Scholarship_app_2013.pdfwith the Application form. There are two scholarships available: first place is $3,000 and second place is $2,000.
This scholarship opportunity is open to both member and non-member students of NFPA. The deadline for submission of completed applications and accompanying documents is July 1, 2013. Winners will be provided a travel stipend to attend the NFPA Annual Convention in Hartford, CT in October and will be recognized at the Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 5. Notification will be provided to the winners on or about August 26, 2013.
Please share this information with any students you may know and with paralegal programs in your area.

NYCPA and City Bar Justice Center: Pro-Bono Volunteer Opportunity

Monday, February 25th, 2013

I’ve post here frequently about the value of volunteering and pro bono work to individual paralegals, the paralegal profession, and the communities the paralegals serve. Today I’ve just enough time to pass this opportunity from NYCPA on:

Dear Volunteers:
You are invited to participate in a Superstorm Sandy Helping Legal Handbooks Project as per the details below:                
  • Volunteers to apply stickers to multiple Superstorm Sandy Helping Legal Handbooks.
  • Before these legal handbooks can be mailed to the victims of the hurricane, an error in the handbooks must be corrected.
  • These legal handbooks are in great need in the areas hard-hit by the storm.
  • We will coordinate one mailing project date and time according to the majority of the available volunteers.
Potential Volunteer Dates: February 27, 2013, February 28, 2013, or March 01, 2013
Times: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM or 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
RSVP: This event is open to New York City Paralegal Association members and non-members. Please send an E-mail to the Pro-Bono Chairperson at probono@nyc-pa.orgwith two potential volunteer dates and times, your contact information (Full name, address, and cell phone number).The Pro-Bono Chairperson will confirm the date and time of the mailing project and provide you with the address and time of the project. Please do not go down to the mailing project without receiving a registration time and date. If you have questions you can leave a message at 516-851-4007.

NY State Paralegal Day?

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Several states now have special days recognizing the contributions of paralegals to the legal system and the public. I do not have a complete list (if your state has one please let me know,) but have posted about Pennsylvania’s and Washington’s Paralegal Week, and Paralegal Day proclamations in Ohio and Mississippi. New York state has had paralegal days in the past, but apparently it’s a year-to-year sort of thing. If you are from New York you can now assist the Empire State Alliance of Paralegal Associations in establishing a 2013 paralegal recognition day, according to this announcement in the NYCPA’s Paralegal Buzz newsletter:

Do you want to showcase the support of your law firm, business or employer in a significant way to the New York State Legal Community? Then consider supporting the Empire State Alliance of Paralegal Associations by joining us to obtain a proclamation for Paralegal Day for paralegals in New York State.

For more details on how to be listed as a supporter please visit www.empirestateparalegals.org and click on “News and Events” to see how your firm or business can be featured on the proclamation that will be signed by Governor Cuomo.

If you have any questions please contact Cynthia Bynum @ 347-974-2874 or via email esapaprimary@nyc-pa.org.

I do hope you will join Cynthia, NYCPA, and ESAPA in this effort. While proclamations such as these may seem trite to some, they are one step in building “self-esteem” for the profession and greater awareness among the public of the essential role paralegals play in our legal system.

Washington State Licensing Board Moving Forward – with Paralegal Help

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

We’ve previously noted the new Washington Admission to Practice Rule 28 which creates a new legal service provider category named Limited License Legal Technician. The NFPA LinkenIn Group discussion board recently posted the following announcement:

Brenda Cothary, President of the Washington State Paralegal Association, has been appointed by the Washington State Supreme Court to serve on the Limited License Legal Technician Board.

Washington recently passed a law where certain paralegals can provide services directly to the public. Brenda will be on the inaugural board which will establish the requirements and procedures for paralegals who wish to work in this capacity. Brenda is very excited to be appointed and NFPA is proud of the work that WSPA members put into this project.

I join in congratulating Brenda and extend that congratulations to all the WSPA members who worked on moving the profession forward. Not every paralegal will or can be appointed to boards of this nature, but each can contribute to their own professional growth and the growth of the profession by actively participating in professional associations, civic affairs, and pro bono projects.