This just in from NFPA:
Posts Tagged ‘NFPA’
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.
The NFPA National Paralegal Reporter for December/January, among several articles worthy of reading announces the winners of the Thomson Reuters Scholarship Winners (Melissa Jurik and Anne Caitlin Griffin) and the Chancellor University Scholarship Winner (Shelly L. Bender.) Their winning essays are included.
Melissa’s “Our Mantra – Learn As Much As You Can” was particularly interesting to me as it relates to my recent post on professional self-assessment in which I made the point, “The professional paralegal strives to move beyond just “doing the job” – average or satisfactory work. So as we do our year end assessments, we should each ask ourselves, ‘Am I doing “A” work?’” While I was speaking of already practicing paralegals, Melissa applies the principle to paralegal students and newly minted graduates. She points out, “In that diverse group of students, there are a myriad of personalities and work ethics. Some have the mantra of ‘C’s get degrees’ and are doing just enough to get by, while a larger group of us are on a mission to learn as much as we can to make sure we are prepared to enter into the workforce.” She then argues in favor of completion of a voluntary exam such as The Paralegal CORE Competency Exam as a way of showing employers that the “individual has met the standards that are objectively established and verified by a third party.”
Those of you who read my previous post are aware that I agree with Melissa on the need for students to be doing “A” work if they expect an “A” grade. That can best be accomplished by adopting Melissa’s mantra: Endeavor to learn as much as you can rather than work for a passing grade. That same attitude applies to getting and keeping a job. It certainly applies to any paralegal who sees themselves making a career as a professional paralegal.
I’m just now making my way through the August/September 2012 issue of NFPA’s Paralegal Reporter which you can subscribe to here. I subscribed during a special offer. I don’t know if the offer is still special, but the Reporter is well worth the regular subscription price. This issue has a number of good articles including one on Cloud technology, Estate Planning in the Digital Era, Retaliation in the Workplace, and Medicaid: Estate Recovery and others. I was particularly interested in “Stress Management, A Plan for Working Paralegals.” The article works off the same premise as The Empowered Paralegal: Effective, Efficient, and Professional, i.e., that stress in best managed by managing your work (and personal life), rather than allowing it to manage you. While TEP discusses time, workload, workspace, client, and attorney relationship management, this article focuses on time management. It has quick, concise, clear suggestions for ten steps to follow and suggests following them for 28 days to establish their bona fides: 1. Assessing How You Spend Your Time, 2. Scheduling, 3. Setting Reasonable Goals, 4. Prioritizing, 5. Evaluating Tasks Once, 6. Learn to Say No, 7. Delegating, 8. Limiting Interruptions, 9. Investing Time (an interesting concept), and 10. Maximizing Rewards.
Check it out. I best the time it saves will outweighs the time it takes to read it!
Several items of interest today from NFPA (National Federation of Paralegal Associations.) They serve to illustrate the benefits to paralegal professionals and the paralegal profession of active membership in paralegal professional associations such as NFPA, NALA, and NALS. Check out this blog’s blog roll for links to many of these fine organizations.
1. Through Patricia Lyons of Roger Williams University on the AAfPE (American Association for Paralegal Education) listserv:
The NFPA-Thomson Reuters Scholarship deadline is fast-approaching! All scholarship packages must be submitted to NFPA by July 1, 2012! The first place scholarship is $3000 and second place is $2000 plus a stipend for travel to attend the NFPA Convention in Anchorage, Alaska!
The link to the application, etc. is at href=http://www.paralegals.org/associations/2270/files/2011content/2012_Thomson_Reuters_Scholarship_Application.pdf<
Also, for those who work with practicing paralegals or know of lawyers who work with paralegals, there are additional links to awards information so that paralegals can be recognized for their accomplishments to the paralegal profession. They can be found at: href=http://www.paralegals.org/associations/2270/files/2011content/2012_Awards_Brochure.pdf
2. From NFPA through a LinkedIn announcement:
The new NFPA website (www.paralegals.org) is a complete redesign…We designed for both the technology of today and tomorrow…Behind the scenes, there are many ways the new website design will help NFPA HQ be better able to serve you and many more additions will be worked on over the summer.
Moreover, the new site’s technological underpinnings are very extensible. We will be able to add new features and enhance existing ones using HQ resources, not expensive web design firms. We feel that what we are unveiling is great in its own right, but more than that, we see it as a foundation to build upon for even more member value in the future.
3. From a LinkedIn discussion forum post by Rebecca Vazquez:
Statistics project…anyone’s stats would be greatly appreciated!!
I’m doing a Statistics project with regard to paralegals/paralegal students. Can anyone weigh in with the following stats:
1. Did you go to school for a certificate or degree?
2. What area(s) of law do you work in?
3. How many years experience do you have?
4. If you are no longer a paralegal but were once, how many years did you work before you quit?
I’m trying to determine the percentage of years that paralegals who graduate with a certificate/degree work in the field compared to the percentage of years those who don’t have a degree or certificate work.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
I can’t vouch for the scientific validity of a statistics project done through LinkedIn, but the results will be of interest in any case. If you’d like to add to the data, post a comment here or email me and I’ll forward the info to Rebecca through LinkedIn. Or you can do it yourself through the NFPA LinkedIn group.
I’ve received this notice from several sources, so you probably have already seen it also, but just in case….
2012 NFPA/Thomson Reuters Scholarships!
NFPA will again co-sponsor the 2012 Scholarships with Thomson Reuters! Over the years, these scholarships have assisted many students in AAfPE programs obtain paralegal degrees.
This year there are two (2) scholarships to be awarded: First Place Scholarship is $3000 and Second Place Scholarship is $2000! A travel stipend will also be provided to scholarship recipients to travel to the NFPA Annual Convention to be held in Anchorage, Alaska from September 27-30, 2012!
I have provided links below for the Scholarship Application and procedures. Please share this information with your students. Scholarship winners will be notified by August 17, 2012!
Note: The deadline to submit the Application and all required documentation is July 1, 2012! If all documents requested are not included in the application package, the candidate will be disqualified!
Scholarship Procedures (Scroll towards bottom for Scholarship):
As frequently discussed here (see “Volunteering” category) pro bono work, of course, benefits the persons receiving the services and the public, but provides just as much if not more benefits to the paralegal performing the services in the form of experience, networking, fulfilling ethical requirements, and just plain feeling good about doing good as well as benefiting the paralegal profession. So I please to re-post this announcement posted by Theresa Prater on NFPA’s LinkedIn discussion board:
Announcement from National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. – PRO BONO WEBINAR – MARCH 29 — REGISTRATION OPEN
Here is the link to the registration form for the first NFPA Pro Bono Webinar to be held on March 29: http://paralegals.org/displayemailforms.cfm?emailformnbr=175366
Our speaker is Michael Adler of Philadelphia, whose topic is “Meaningful Giving: The Benefits of Helping Others While Networking Through Pro Bono Work.” This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about networking opportunities while giving back. There is no CLE credit for this webinar.
This is a free event for NFPA members; there is a small charge for non-members. We hope to make pro bono webinars available throughout the coming year.
Whenever the ABA gets involved in anything involving “nonlawyers” (a term that, when used by the ABA using is going to encompass persons with some connection to law not just members of the public, i.e., inter alia paralegals), paralegals ought to perk up and make sure their voice is heard. According to the a post by Robert Hrouda, RP, Vice President and Director of Positions and Issues at National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc., on the NFPA LinkedIn Discussion Board:
NFPA Comments on ABA Discussion Draft Regarding Alternative Law Practice Structures
Good morning everyone. In early December, 2011, the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 published for comment a Discussion Draft with cover memo relating to Alternative Law Practice Structures. In sum, they are discussing changes to ABA Rule of Professional Conduct 5.4 in order to allow nonlawyer ownership in law firms. The ABA Discussion Draft can be found at:
On January 27, 2012, NFPA responded to the ABA in support of this proposed rule change. NFPA’s response is available on the NFPA website, front page banner, and also on the website under the VPPI tab, Regulation (See National section of Regulation tab).
This is one of the many advantages of professional organizations such as NFPA. However, it is only an advantage if the association does indeed speak for you on an issue. Take some time and read the proposed rule change and decide whether NFPA was correct in supporting it. If you are a member of NFPA, let the leaders know whether or not you support its support of the proposed change. NFPA is a good organization in part because of its leadership, but any organization is only as good as its membership in the long run.
There appears to be no escaping headlines like “Paralegal Who Faked Kidnapping and Law Degree Is Sentenced for Embezzlement.” For awhile I referenced such articles in posts collected in the category entitled, “Paralegal Crimes.” Lately, however, I just ignore them unless there is something in the article that sparks a comment about an issue of particular importance to the paralegal profession. Instead, my focus is on those paralegals who exemplify the best what professional paralegals and the paralegal profession can be personally and professionally. Once the dust clears on some other matters requiring my time and attention, I hope to create a page on this blog for articles about paralegals who win “Paralegal of the Year” awards. In the meantime, congratulations to RoxAnn Mack of Longmont, Colorado. The Longmont Times-Call reports in part:
LONGMONT — She rolls up her sleeves to give back in all sorts of ways — by donating blood six times a year, researching arrest warrants for homeless people in Denver, leading a team in the annual Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Race for the Cure and more.
Yet, it surprised Longmont’s RoxAnn Mack in 2011 when her pro bono paralegal work and community service won recognition from the Colorado Supreme Court, the Colorado Bar Association and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.
In December, she got one more kudo when ParalegalGateway.com, a website dedicated to serving and connecting paralegal professionals, named her one of 12 “paralegal superstars” nationwide. She will be featured on the March page of the organization’s calendar.
“I was kind of surprised by all of this because I just didn’t think that I had done enough,” Mack, 51, said.
Take a moment to read the entire article. Of notable significance, it seems to me, is the breadth of the recognition of her achievements – not only fellow paralegals, but the state bar and Supreme Court.
I’ve posted here from time to time about bar associations integrating paralegal professionals into their meetings and membership, and about court recognition of the role and value of paralegal professionals, each such instance being an advancement for the paralegal profession as well as the individual paralegals involved. Today, an additional step – a paralegal appointed to Washington State Bar’s Practice of Law Board. Here’s the announcement from Theresa Prater of NFPA from the NFPA LinkedIn group board:
Congratulations to NFPA Member Sue Beichley, Appointed to the Washington Practice of Law Board!
Sue Beichley, a paralegal at Injury at Sea in Seattle, WA, a member of the Washington State Paralegal Association, was recently appointed to the Washington State Bar’s Practice of Law Board. She attended her first meeting last week in Olympia.
This is a great stride for the paralegal profession — courts and lawyers who value input from our profession.
More information on the Practice of Law Board can be found at http://www.wsba.org/Legal-Community/Committees-Boards-and-Other-Groups/Practice-of-Law-Board.