Posts Tagged ‘professional association’

NFPA Scholarship Deadline

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

I often post on the benefits of belonging to paralegal professional associations. There are benefits to the members, the association as a whole and often to the public. This post is just to illustrate the point by passing along a post made by Theresa A. Prater, RP on the NFPA LinkedIn group board:

Group: National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc.
Subject: Announcement from National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. – SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE 7-1-11

A reminder to students in this group — the deadline to apply for one of two NFPA/Thomson Reuters Scholarships is JULY 1, 2011. Application and essay topic are located at:

Scroll down to Thomson/Reuters Scholarships for the PDF of the application and the essay topic.

SBPA “Law in Motion”

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Barbara Liss was kind enough to send me a copy of the Santa Barbara Paralegal Association’s February, 2011 issue of its newsletter, “Law In Motion,” mainly because it contained a re-print of a post I made on this blog. I learned several things from the newsletter:

(1) I ought to proofread my posts better. Unfortunately they are frequently done “one the run” squeezed in between classes or cocktails. Often I re-read them later when linking to them for a new post and wince! For awhile a reader was informally monitoring my posts and emailing me regarding typos and the like, but I have not heard from her in awhile. The lack of admonitions from her is clearly not because the errors have stopped. So if there is anyone out there that wants to take on the task, please feel free to email me pointing out errors and omissions.

(2) My “About” page was woefully out of date. I’ve updated it, but I’m a lawyer, educator,  and author, not a webmaster or marketing person, so any and all suggestions are welcome.

(3) SBPA appears to be a very good professional association. The newletter itself goes well beyond just informing the members of upcoming events. This issue include my comments, an excellent piece by Lynne Devenny, and information from a book by Carole Bruno.  The 2011 calendar shows a robust group with CLE, community service, and social events, including at least one done in conjunction with the Bar.  Here’s a bit of advice for the members from the President that I’m sure must be repeated by every officer of every association, so I’ll include it here:

As always, the success of each of these events depends upon the membership of the SBPA and each member’s willingness to help out. As I have reiterated so many times in the past, the organization is only as strong as its membership. We need your support which translates into “warm bodies” doing much of the work, so please contact any of the board members to express your willingness to assist.

California Paralegal Day Celebration

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

The San Francisco Paralegal Association’s website announces a Paralegal Day celebration this Friday, June 18th. I’m a fan of declarations establishing a day to recognize the contributions of paralegals to the legal profession and the communities they serve and I’m a fan of celebrations. This celebration is particularly noteworthy because it appears to involve the San Francisco Bar Association acting together with the paralegal association. The keynote speaker, Michael P. Carbone, Esq.,’s topic is “Paralegal Utilization,” a frequent topic here. I’d love to hear from anyone who attends and takes notes on the speech. If it’s good perhaps we can prevail on Mr. Carbone to go a guest post for this blog – or at least crib a post from the notes!

I can’t end this post without noting that the brochure for the celebration contains this notice:

(Beef jerky, toiletries, gum/hard candy, paperbacks, stamps, notepaper, single serving powders drink packs, band aids)

Even if you do not attend the celebration, San Francisco paralegals, send over an item or two from the list with a colleague who is attending.

LAPA Pro Bono Fair

Thursday, May 13th, 2010
The Los Angeles Paralegal Association (“LAPA”)’s website states it “is dedicated to developing, strengthening, and advancing the paralegal profession. LAPA provides networking opportunities, continuing legal educational programs, and pro bono activities for paralegals and members of the legal community throughout the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.” I like this opening because it acknowledges the link between networking, CLE, pro bono work and the advancement of the paralegal profession – a topic of several posts on this blog.

Some professional associations just talk the talk, but LAPA also walks the walk. It not only has a webpaage at its site dedicated to pro bono activities, it has announced it’s annual pro bono fair. This is an excellent idea for paralegal professional associations, although it likely works better in larger metropolitan areas. Here some info from the announcement and the link to the LAPA site where the announcement appears:

LAPA’s Pro Bono Section presents its annual

Pro Bono Fair

June 19, 2010

National University
5245 Pacific Concourse Drive, Suite 301
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(near LAX)

Admission: $5.00 and a new unwrapped toy to be donated

Must pre-register for event. For additional information, contact

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Insights. These major organizations are going to be providing useful information about the services they deliver to their clients

Connections. Take advantage of the great opportunity to meet and learn about volunteer positions or paralegal internships in one location.

Opportunities. Find your match here and learn how you can meet your volunteer goals.

Alliance for Children’s Rights

Bet Tzedek Legal Services

California Women’s Law Center

Disability Rights Legal Center

Inner City Law Center

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Learning Rights Law Center

Public Counsel Law Center

and others…..

South Dakota Paralegal Association Member of Year Named

Monday, September 14th, 2009

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports “The South Dakota Paralegal Association has named Vicki Blake of Sioux Falls the 2008-2009 recipient of the Member of the Year award. Blake is a certified paralegal who works at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole in Sioux Falls.” I look forward to hearing more about Vicki and her accomplishments. Paralegal Associations are run for their members through the active participation of their members.

The Paralegal Voice – Episode Three

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Practical Paralegalism announces today,

The third episode of Legal Talk Network’s monthly podcast, The Paralegal Voice, “E-Discovery Trends in the Paralegal World”, co-hosted by “The Paralegal MentorVicki Voisin and Practical Paralegalism’s Lynne DeVenney, is now available. This episode, featuring Tom Mighell, legal technology expert and a consultant at Fios, and paralegal Dorothe Howell, a paralegal with extensive experience in gathering electronic data, as the expert guests, explores everything from the basics of e-discovery to what it takes to train for a career in this growing legal specialty area.

The importance of understanding e-discovery in today’s legal practice cannot be easily overstated. In this regard, you should check out OLP, the Organization of Legal Professionals, a new organization presently focused on E-discovery Certification as previously discussed here. The professional paralegal makes a point of being up-to-date on important trends in legal practice.

A Day of Educational, Professionalism and Networking Benefits in Michigan

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Today The Empowered Paralegal gives a “Tip of the Hat” to The Michigan State Bar Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section which publishes a very good newletter. The most recent issue reports on “Day of Education 2009,”

The 2009 Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section’s Annual Day of Education kicked off in an exciting way. The event began Thursday evening as an intersection between paralegals, litigation support professionals, and a variety of vendors at the Crush Nightclub located in the B.O.B in Grand Rapids. This intersection was spearheaded and hosted by ALSP and provided attendees an opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues and also allowed for a fantastic atmosphere for making new contacts in the legal arena…
The following morning …. Aggressive tracks of sessions were offered, in which there were a total of 15 topics during the course of the day. These topics included Legal Research, Constitutional Law, E-Discovery, and a look at the Michigan Court Rules as they deal with ESI….[I]n celebration of Paralegal/Legal Assistant Day in Michigan (May 3), Marcy Jankovich provided everyone with a truly enjoyable and entertaining keynote speech on the history of legal assistants/paralegals and the history of how May 3 became Paralegal/Legal Assistant Day in Michigan….All in all, it was an event that provided a lot of educational, professional, and networking benefits.

This kind of event does indeed provide many benefits for the professional paralegal and those striving to gain or improve their professionalism. They also illustrate the importance of professional associations. This particular event also struck me as an illustration of what can happen when the members of an association are active participants in that association. These events do not just happen, the members and leaders of the organization make them happen. As discussed previously, the professional paralegal honors their obligation to improve their profession by volunteering to assist in producing both these kinds of events and the newsletters that report them.

Filling a Gap

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I’ve spoken often here about the importance of belonging to and participating in paralegal professional associations. Recently I began listing state associations and mentioned that NALA and NFPA have lists of local affiliates on their websites. Still there are some gaps – areas where there are no existing associations or associations that have gone dormant. Don’t let this stop you! As is the case with almost all aspects of your career and your work, be (I dislike this word) proactive – take charge. Here’s an example excerpted from a report on

Paralegal group fills void in county


The Intelligencer

In the growing field of paralegals, some Bucks County Community College students believed there was a void. So, they decided to fill it.

BCCC students and alumni recently formed the Bucks County Paralegal Association. The group’s goal is to collaborate and network with other legal support staff.

“There is a real need for it,” said interim association president and BCCC student Kara McClenahan. “People want the organization so they can bounce ideas off each other, to network for employment opportunities and continue their education, and to keep up on the business, legal terms and how the community’s changing.”

The group took shape in BCCC Professor Tracy Timby’s “computers in law offices” class. The students researched the subject, and when they interviewed those in the legal community, they found people wanted such an organization. Timby, a Newtown attorney, is also director of the BCCC paralegal program

Remember when it comes to paralegal professionalism you are seldom alone. In this case you  may obtain assistance from either NALA or NFPA. It is likely there is a paralegal down the street or in the next office thinking the same thing you are.

A Professional Contributes to the Profession

Friday, August 7th, 2009

The Philadelphia Association of Paralegals notes that

Volunteering time enables members to experience the satisfaction of contributing to their professional association. Committee participation gives PAP members the opportunity to network with other area paralegals. Furthermore, working on various committees contributes to the growth and professionalism of the paralegal field.

While it is possible to maintain professionalism without belonging to a professional association, I highly recommend joining in some fashion with other members of your profession. A professional paralegal should:

  • Become involved in professional associations
    • Be active in a local branch of the National Association of Legal Assistants or similar groups.
    • Subscribe to paralegal listservs and participate in discussions.
    • Read, learn from and contribute to publications designed for paralegal
    • Become certified by your organization
    • Attend seminars and conference, especially those that include continuing legal education credit. (Excerpted from The Empowered Paralegal: Effective, Efficient and Professional.)

Certainly, participating as a member of association committees is a welcome addition to this list!

New Hampshire Bar Association Recognizes Paralegal Professionalism

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Each year the NH Bar Association presents its Paralegal Award. The NHBA Paralegal Professionalism Award is presented annually to the nominee who best exhibits a high degree of professionalism, which includes: having an outstanding level of knowledge about his/her job; having motivation that exceeds expectations; is considered a role model for other paralegals; and promotes paralegal work as a profession. Nominations for this year’s award closed on August 1. It will be awarded on September 18 at the New Hampshire Paralegal Association’s Annual Meeting. Last year the NHPA’s vice-president, Aniko Bouley was honored with this Award.

In addition,New Hampshire’s Governor John Lynch has declared the third week in September, “Paralegal Week.”

According to the New Hampshire Bar Association, “The purpose of the governor’s declaration is to remind employers to recognize the contributions and the dedication of their paralegals. 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.”

If you are aware of other states or bar association that recognize paralegal professionalism, please let me know. You can comment to this post or email me at