AAJ Names “Paralegal of the Year”
Nominees were judged by paralegal affiliate members and one attorney member of the AAJ Paralegal Advisory Task Force. Judges looked for contributions to the paralegal profession through teaching, speaking/lecturing, mentoring paralegal students, involvement with paralegal associations and publication of articles in legal publications.
Whipple is active in her local paralegal association (Northeast Florida Paralegal Association) and served as their first vice-president in 2003-04. She became a part of the over 3,000 voluntary registered paralegals in March 2008 through the Florida Bar administered program.
“Becoming a registered paralegal through the Florida Bar is voluntary now, but I think that will change in the near future,” said Whipple. “It will become a requirement.”
The certification program was approved by the Florida Supreme Court in 2007 with the goal of setting high professional standards for the profession. The program requires paralegals to abide by a code of ethics while performing their duties under the supervision of a member of the Florida Bar. Registered paralegals must complete 30 hours of continuing education courses over a three-year period, with five of those hours in professionalism or ethics courses.