NYCPA

A while back I was invited to join the New York City Paralegal Association Advisory Committee. Thus far I have been of little assistance to the group. However, while in NYC last week I did have the pleasure of meeting with four members of the NYCPA Executive Board: Mariana Fradman, President, Cynthia Bynum, Vice-President, Nicole DeMent, Treasurer, and Channet Jusino, Secretary.  These Board Members reflect the NYCPA as a whole: remarkably diverse, knowledgeable, competent, and professional. And they pretty much cover the range for the paralegal profession, including a single attorney law office, a very large law office, corporate in-house counsel office, and a “hybrid.”  While the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the association’s involvement in access-to-justice programs, I also learned a lot about NYCPA. I was impressed.

This relatively new paralegal association appears to exemplify the best of professional associations. The creation of a nation-wide advisory committee is just one example. The association also provides CLE programs designed to meet the needs of the membership – no small task given the diversity of the membership, networking events, newsletters, and the other standard benefits of a professional association. This association also goes further providing pro bono opportunities through NYC Housing Court and immigration access-to-justice programs. It also has entered into at least one international agreement with the goal of establishing standards for paralegal practice. 

Thanks in particular to the contribution of one of the members of the Board, the association also seems to have a unique sense of branding. I left the meeting with one example, a notebook/pen set bearing the NYCPA logo.

 All-in-all the group seems to be admirably living up to its Mission Statement:

New York City Paralegal Association, Inc. (NYCPA) primary objectives are education: providing members with career guidance and Continue Legal Education (CLE) seminars; network opportunities; global, national, and state proficiency standards; and Professional recognition. The NYCPA is dedicated to promoting the professional growth of paralegals and the advancement of the paralegal profession. Our vision is to develop a strong association that encourages interaction among students, entry-level and experienced paralegals to facilitate the exchange of insightful information, advice, and guidance to build successful careers.
One final note. There are some virtues of an association that cannot be easily ascertained from the websites, event lists, and other indicia of accomplishment. The members of the Board with whom I met exhibited a level of personal interest in and support of each other, as well as their profession, that is really the bedrock of any successful organization.
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