This past Thursday through Saturday, the Board met in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the NALS Resource Center. To start our retreat, Carl, Tammy, Tara, and Amylyn went to The Escape in Tulsa, a physical adventure game in which players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve puzzles in order to escape the room. We were tasked with saving Oklahoma City’s water supply from being poisoned. We are happy to report that we came together as a team, solved the problem, and saved Oklahoma City with 12 minutes to spare!
While Darlene and Nakia were not able to join us in person due to family emergencies, through the wonders of modern technology, we were able to communicate with them throughout the weekend.
Equipment Provided by NALS Foundation through Crowdfunding
Speaking of the wonders of technology, did you happen to catch the Facebook Live video we did on Saturday afternoon? If not, you can click here to see Carl, Tara, and Amylyn in all of their glory in the midst of a couple of intense days of brainstorming, problem solving, and decision making. The rest of this blog will expand in more detail the items we highlighted in our video!
If you attended the conference in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, then you know that NALS and the NALS Foundation asked members to help us raise the money we needed to purchase equipment to record and post information and potentially some educational sessions at our conferences. We have only purchased one set of the equipment for now but will continue to raise funds and hope to have at least one more set by the time we are in Norfolk this October.
Without the generosity of the NALS Foundation and our members, we would not have been able to purchase this equipment. Thank you again to everyone who donated to help make this happen and to allow NALS to move forward into the future of providing video clips, information and educational offerings for our members and the legal industry. You can still donate to the equipment crowdfunding campaign. The NALS Foundation can always use your support.
Please consider clicking here and making a tax-deductible donation to Foundation.
Your NALS Board meets at least once a month to discuss the status of the association, projects, committee work that is taking place, and future endeavors of NALS. This year, we want to make sure you, the member, have the most up-to-date information available. Therefore, after each of these meetings, one Board member will do a Facebook Live session to let you, the members, as well as those in the legal industry, know what we are doing at NALS. We will announce these live sessions a couple of days in advance, in case you want to join for the live broadcast. However, if you cannot attend the live broadcast, you can always watch it at a later date. Please ask us any questions you may have, comment, and share the video with your fellow NALS members in your chapters. We want to make sure you know what is going on in the association, because it is OUR association.
You will also see a Board Blog within a few days after the Board meetings. These Board Blogs will expand upon the information provided in the Facebook Live sessions and provide you with links to the information.
Last year the members were asked if they wanted one or two conferences per year. The majority stated one conference, so NALS listened. However, we know that our members still want the help to excel as leaders for NALS, they want professional development sessions, and they need ways to get CLE credits for their certifications. Out of these needs comes the Virtual Conference. Here are some specifics for you on the conference:
What is it? The Virtual Conference is a way for you, the member, to gain education to help you (1) be an effective NALS leader, (2) gain professional development skills, and/or (3) earn CLE credits for recertification of your ALP/PLS/CLP/PP.
Attendees can earn up to 22 hours of CLE. If you purchase both the leadership and the CLE tracks, at the price of $299, you are essentially paying $13.60 per CLE credit. What a deal!! If you do not want or need the leadership portion, you can purchase just CLEs for $199. NALS is offering 14 CLEs for $199! That means that you are only paying $14.22 per CLE credit! When is the last time you paid under $15 for an hour of CLE? You will receive a unique link to the CLE sessions for your use throughout the year. This means you can get the education and CLE credits that you need while sitting in your pajamas! You get to put these sessions into your schedule instead of having to move your schedule around the times the CLEs are offered.
There are three launch dates for the materials for the conference, February 15, March 20, and April 1. Access to the leadership materials is made available to you after your registration and you have access to them for 30 days. After April 1 all the sessions will go on sale separately but at an increased cost, so take advantage of the conference rate and register prior to April 1 to get the best deal. Please note that the information you receive in the leadership portion has been enhanced with videos and links on where to find tips and tricks to enhance your members’ experience with NALS. If your chapter used to encourage your leaders to attend the Professional Development conference in Tulsa, then your chapter and leaders should consider purchasing the leadership materials portion of the conference.
For more information on the professional development and educational CLE sessions that are being offered, visit NALS.org/Virtual2017.
NALS 66th Annual Education & Networking Conference
You may have already noticed that the registration for our October conference in Norfolk is open. Make sure to take advantage of the early bird registration. Also, last year’s hotel room block sold out way in advance of our cutoff date. If you are planning on attending the conference, make sure to get your room reservation made! For more information on how to register for the conference and the hotel contact information, visit here.
This year, NALS will be providing two fun, inexpensive events for attendees on Thursday and Saturday nights. Thursday’s event will be based on the Escape Room theme in a table format. Due to the nature of this event, we will have to limit it to the first 50 people who sign up. Saturday’s event will be a scavenger hunt designed to get you out of the hotel and to see some of the items in the nearby area.
The registration for Norfolk will be updated in the very near future with the information for the two added evening events. We will post online when those are added and remember the Thursday night event is limited to 50, so you will want to get your registration in asap to reserve your slot.
Certification Exams and Study Materials
The Board would like to congratulate everyone who sat for any of the NALS exams this month. If you are currently studying for one of the exams, we want to remind you that we have many materials out there to help you in this endeavor. One of the newest study aids is one that NALS has been working towards offering for quite some time! Thank you again to the NALS Foundation. Because of their dedication to NALS, we have the ability to offer mock exams for people who are studying for all three exams!
The funding from the NALS Foundation allowed NALS to purchase the Learning Management System (“LMS”) that makes these mock exams available. This is also the system that was used for the online leadership conference.
When you purchase access to the mock exams, you are purchasing access for either 30 or 60 days. If you miss a question while taking a mock exam, you will have information provided to you with citations and references on where you can learn more about the information in each question. The LMS system allows you to take the mock exams over and over again during that time period and will give you the questions in a random order. This will help you know if you are truly studying the materials and understanding them, instead of just knowing the answers to a mock exam. You can purchase access to the mock exams by following this link.
National Industry Certification Update
As you know, our certification recognition among the industry is very important. We wanted to share with you some exciting things that recently occurred. First, the South Carolina Board of Paralegal Certification has met and voted on recommending to the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, the PP certification as an appropriate basis for applying for the South Carolina Certified Paralegal program. This is GREAT news! A lot of hard work went into making sure NALS was equally recognized. A special thank you goes out to the NALS Industry Certification Task Force and members in South Carolina in helping us see this through!
Other exciting trends include the Washington State LLLT program, which is in the process of expanding into Estate and Healthcare law. They are working to develop a testing procedure concerning these new areas. Also, the Utah Supreme Court has approved the creation of the Limited Paralegal Practitioner program, very similar to the LLLT program in Washington State. Currently it will cover Family law but they will be expanding into Landlord tenant law. The Oregon State Bar has also restarted the conversation of the creation of their version of the LLLT program. We share this information with you so that you can see that these governing entities for these new paraprofessional roles all equally recognize the PP as a method to demonstrate a paralegal’s core competency. More work is to come on making sure our certifications are weighted equally across the country, so we will need your help!
The next Board meeting is currently scheduled on Saturday, April 15.
Look for an announcement regarding the date and time for our next live broadcast shortly thereafter.