One of the many reasons that NALS is THE association for legal professionals is our diversity of membership. Our members range from legal secretaries, paralegals, and legal assistants, to paralegal educators, judicial administrative staff, court reporters, and more. In 1785, the poet William Cowper first penned—in his very appropriately titled work, The Task—“Variety is the very spice of life, [t]hat gives it all its flavor.” And our association, as well as its membership, is a working model of this now famously adopted and oft-repeated proverb.
And with diversity comes the inherent need for constant change. Our national association has undergone changes in the areas of governance, technology, as well as in the way we deliver products and services to the legal industry. We have delivered a new website, with many useful features like our forums, which have proven to also be a tremendous association management and networking tool. The value of a NALS membership is increased through our offering of a discount program through Your Membership Rewards. With help from the NALS Foundation, NALS was able to deliver a new “version 1.0” mobile app, NALS2GO, giving people access to NALS while on-the-go and on a variety of mobile platforms. NALS has also updated our Career Center to assist members and their employers to easily and affordably match available jobs with qualified job seekers. And the list goes on and on . . .
The flowing landscape of the legal industry is naturally no different than our association by way of initiating changes to benefit the legal community. As you may or may not have already heard, in 2012, the state of Washington became the first to approve a new “class” of legal professional—the Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT). Just this June, seven people passed the examination to become LLLTs in the state of Washington. Other states, like California, have also taken notice of the actions of their neighbors to the northwest and have begun exploring this trend as a possibility in their states.
Why is this important to mention to our members? Well, did you know that there is still a window of time for a “limited waiver” of the education prerequisites for taking the LLLT examination? Until December 2016, and in lieu of the required education, individuals who have passed the NALS Professional Paralegal (PP) certification exam, are current and active on their PP certification, and can provide proof of 10 years or more substantive law-related experience (within the 15 years preceding the application) may be eligible to take the LLLT exam. If approved for a waiver, the individual will have until December 2018 to sit for the exam.
Even for individuals who do not live in the state of Washington, this is still an opportunity for advancement and enhancement of your career and is even more proof that while the industry evolves, so must we as an association and as individuals. Being competent, qualified, and knowledgeable in our careers is just one of the many spices we add to our lives. NALS strives to engage, inspire, enhance, and promote the legal industry, its members, and all members of the legal community. We hope you are as excited as we are about the constantly evolving nature of things in our association and our industry.
- NALS 2015 Board of Directors