Posts Tagged ‘NYCPA’

NYCPA’s Strategic Alliance with UK

Friday, February 18th, 2011

I’ve previously mentioned that one of the New York City Paralegal Association’s most interesting projects is an alliance with the United Kingdom’s Institute of Paralegals to create transatlantic paralegal competency standards. The February edition of KNOW Newshas a story with more details about this project. It notes, “The Standards will reflect the usual paralegal career structure, being set at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels. Modelled upon the IOP’s existing UK competency standards, the draft transatlantic paralegal competency standards will be circulated for comment to all UK and US transatlantic firms.” More important it provides the contact information for those organization that might wish to have input into the standards:

Contact Details

Any firm or other relevant organisation interested in either being on the Joint Standards Working Party or having a watching brief should contact either:

James O’Connell at james@theiop.org or Nikki Doughty at internationalliaison@nyc-pa.org

Read more here or check out the KNOW News for this and several other interesting articles.

Transatlantic Competency Standards for Paralegals

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Just yesterday I posted on my meeting with the NYCPA Executive Board at which I learned, inter alia of that organization’s joint project to develop internations competency standards for paralegals. The past couple of weeks have been quite hectic, so I have not had the time to check paralegal related press releases. It was only this morning that I found many of you may have already heard of the project through a 11/22 release on PR Newswire entitled “Project to Create Transatlantic Competency Standards for Paralegals.”

The story states:

LONDON, Nov. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Many UK law firms have an office in the United States of America, and vice-versa. A significant number of UK and US law firms have merged in a trend that shows no sign of abating.

Typically such transatlantic firms seek to apply uniform expectations and standards to all their fee-earners across the firm. To assist firms achieve this goal, the UK’s Institute of Paralegals (IOP) is proud to be partnering with the New York City Paralegal Association (NYCPA) to produce paralegal competency standards relevant to both UK and US paralegals.

The standards, which will be available at no charge, will assist firms to standardize paralegal recruitment, appraisal, development and competency benchmarks.

World’s First International Paralegal Standards Project

This project is the first by paralegal representative bodies to create international standards. It highlights the growing sophistication of the paralegal profession in both the UK and US.

About the Project

The IOP and NYCPA have formed a joint working party to create competency standards for paralegals working in transatlantic law firms. The Standards will reflect the usual paralegal career structure, being set at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels.

Check the story for more details and contact information.

NYCPA

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

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.

The Buzz About NYCPA

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

I am often impressed with and post about the work done by local paralegal associations. They provide their members with CLE, networking opportunities, and the opportunity to present their profession in the best light to both the bar and the public while satisfying their ethical obligations to the legal system and the community.  Here, for example, is recent information received from the New York City Paralegal Association:

The NYCPA board is gearing up this month to present a Legal Writing and Analysis seminar being led by Cicely Barber, Esq., who has been teaching Practices and Procedures for the paralegal program at Emory University since 2005. Later in the month we will be presenting a CLE on Advanced Adobe Acrobat for Legal Professionals with the help of Barkley Court Reporters.

Through our Pro Bono program, led by pro bono chairperson Stephanie Yuzzi, NYCPA members will be volunteering this month to assist in an immigration clinic for Haitians living in the NYC area who would like to file for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Last month, Stephanie helped to organize the delivery of two care packages for the Military Paralegal Program benefiting paralegals who have been stationed overseas and coordinated nineteen NYCPA members who participated in immigration clinics held by The City University of New York.

The NYCPA board is looking forward to presenting a Paralegal Career Fair and/or NYCPA Paralegal Week programs this coming Fall. If you have any ideas to share with us on how we can make it a successful event, please contact us, we would love to hear any suggestions.

The NYCPA has also taken a step not often taken (to my knowledge) as indicated by this:

While the NYCPA board is comprised of dedicated and experienced professionals, we are seeing to add a new level of expertise to our governing body with the creation of the NYCPA Advisory Panel>

The latest issue of the NYCPA “Paralegal Buzz” indicates that 14 “professionals, attorneys, educators and innovators accepted the association’s advisory panel. I am pleased to be one of those 14 and look forward to assisting NYCPA in their work for their members and the paralegal profession.