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The official blog of the NALS Board of Directors, used as a timely resource for sharing information directly with NALS members.

 

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July 2017: Have You Joined A Section?

Posted By NALS Board of Directors, Wednesday, July 12, 2017

NALS Networking and Specialty SectionAs you have undoubtedly heard, NALS…the association for legal professionals (NALS) celebrated its 88th birthday on July 5th with our Leadership Appreciation Day.  Thank you to everyone who registered for this event.  We loved seeing all of the notes in my Facebook feed about the people who received their pins and cards from NALS.  While many things have changed since NALS was started in 1929, a couple of things remain consistent.  One – our members are our most important asset, and two – we work hard to move with the needs of our industry.  Without these two things, NALS would not have stayed around for the last 88 years.

 

One of the ways that NALS is working toward becoming the association of the future is making sure that we are helping our members have the information they need at their fingertips.  The NALS Networking and Specialty Sections that you have read and heard about are one of the many stepping stones in this never-ending quest to make sure our members have resources that they need to succeed in their jobs.

 

Currently, we have the following interactive sections for members:

- Criminal Law – hosted by Robert Harmon, PP.  

- Corporate Law – hosted by Carl Morrison, PP-SC, RP, AACP.

- Real Estate – hosted by Lisa Cadungug, PP, PLS. 

 

The Criminal, Corporate, and Real Estate sections are interactive sections meant to be a place where members who work, or are just interested in, these areas can go to get the latest information, help from a fellow NALS pal regarding a situation, and discuss items that come up in your workday.  Not only will the section hosts be posting information in these groups, the members of these sections are encouraged to post information, ask questions, and help each other survive!  In fact, in the Criminal section, Robert has developed a couple of fun items already.  First, he has Topic Tuesday, where he posts information and hosts a discussion about a case or criminal law topics.  Robert has also introduced Podcast Fridays.  The podcasts he shares have either an interesting story or informative topic. 

 

NALS also currently has two additional sections that are the beginnings of one-stop resources for those members who work in multiple city, county, and/or state jurisdictions.  These sections will be a never-ending work in progress, but here is a sample of what can be currently found in these sections.

 

- Resource: Courts In All 50 States – being managed by NALS.  The cost to join this section is $20 a year.

- State Court Resources: Here you will find Court forms and instructions

- State Constitution and Legislation Information

- Judiciary Links For The State: Here you will find links to Court Rules, Court Opinions, and other information from the judiciary for the state

- Regulations and State Agency Information

- Additional State Resources: such as the Attorney General, State Government, Law Library, and Bar Association.

 

This section is a true work in progress.  Soon NALS will be adding county information for each state.  Members of this section are welcome and encouraged to let us know the links/companies/resources that they use in their state and county, as well as those that they run when they have to navigate into new jurisdictions.  Chances are if they need/use a resource, other members will need to use that information too.

 

We would like to give a shout out to all of Amylyn's students this quarter for helping add to the county information to the Courts In All 50 States Section.  Your hard work will be added to the sections in the appropriate states in the very near future.

 

Resource: Federal Courts – being managed by NALS. The cost to join this section is $10 a year.

 

This section, like the State Resources section, is all things for federal courts.  It too is a work in progress.  To those of you who practice in federal court, we would love to hear what other resources/information you would like to see included in this section.

 

Joining one, or all, of these sections is easy.  Just:

  1. Sign into your NALS account at NALS.org/Login
  2. Go to NALS.org/Sections and click on the sections you would like to join
  3. Put the desired section into your cart and check out
  4. Be sure to check that you have received the confirmation email, because this is where NALS will send the final notice that you have been added to the section. If you do not receive your confirmation email, send an email to communications@NALS.orgYou will receive that notice within 48 hours of purchase.

Once you are a member of any Section, here is how you access that group:

  1. Sign into your NALS account at NALS.org/Login
  2. Click on Groups in the top menu
  3. Click on the section and see what is new, post questions/information, etc.

Finally, NALS is in the process of adding more sections, but we want to hear from you as to which sections you would like to have added.  Contact us at board@NALS.org to let us know what you would like to see as future sections.


 

See one of our amazing volunteers post and follow us on Instagram. . .

 

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What's New at NALS?

Posted By NALS Board of Directors, Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Updated: Friday, June 23, 2017

Are you taking advantage of new and exciting member benefits being offered? NALS has made a big push to update and improve member benefits. We recognize times are changing and we refuse to be left behind. You, of course, are invited along for the ride! As an organization, we know our most valuable assets are our members. We strive to provide content and services which allow you to engage with fellow members, inspire you to reach for more knowledge of the legal field, enhance your experience as legal professionals, and promote your specialized skills to current and future employers.

WHAT’S NEW!

SocialLink

Connect with your NALS Pals (explore #NALSPALS) on a platform that looks and feels like social media outlets we use every day. Our new environment allows you to expand your relationships with and easily connect to other members. You can now share articles, register for conferences, access your Professional Development Journal, catch up on the latest news, and offer encouragement to your community in an arena you will find familiar.

There are a couple of ways to access the new platform:

  • Desktop:  Log in to NALS.org just as you always have and then select “My Profile.” You will find a much more user-friendly experience, allowing you to connect to your NALS Pals.
  • Mobile: Additionally, you can search for and download the SocialLink app from the iPhone or Android app store. Use your NALS.org log-in credentials to access this new platform.

@NALSorg on Instagram

NALS has a new Instagram account. It is graduation season and we are reaching out to new members of the legal community to offer our congratulations. Join us in showing the Instagram community how much support NALS members have to offer. Follow us @NALSorg.

 NALS Networking, Specialty, and Resource Sections

You asked for it! Sections are here!! You are now able to connect to people and content geared specifically to the practice area you are in or any practice area you are interested in exploring. Section subscriptions start as low as $10 for one year of access. Currently the Corporate Law, Criminal Law, and Real Estate sections are live and ready for you to subscribe. Be on the lookout as more sections roll out in the coming months. Visit: NALS.org/Sections

COMING SOON!

The Basic Legal Training Course—Online!

The Basic Legal Training Course has been revamped and will soon be accessible to members and nonmembers in a new online format. For years this course has assisted individuals in acquiring the skills necessary to become viable legal support professionals. The objective of the online course is to provide access to updated education and study materials so members and nonmembers can prepare for the Accredited Legal Professional certification exam.

Online Exams

NALS is close to launching online exams. Soon you will have the ability to take certification exams from the comfort of your home or office. Why get certified? You will be verifying your skills and demonstrating your knowledge of the legal support practice. This will naturally lead to unlocking new opportunities. Mock Exams are already available for all current members, future members, and students.

DON’T FORGET!

NALS 2017 Virtual . . . Education Series: CLE still available online!

It is not too late to take advantage of the 2017 Virtual Leadership Course and Education Series. This virtual conference allows you to take advantage of education and leadership training on your schedule. Find out what everyone has been talking about. Links: Education Sessions | Leadership Course

National Conference

Our 66th Annual Education and Networking Conference is fast approaching. Early bird registration ends July 1, 2017. The conference will be in the beautiful city of Norfolk, Virginia, October 4-7. We are proud to present Cheryl Wood as our keynote speaker. You do not want to miss this! Register today!

Webinars and Online CLE

Be sure to review the catalog of online webinars and education series in our OnDemand Library and NALS.org/Store. You have access to 60+ webinars and 100+ presentations and handouts from our most popular conference sessions—most of which are free to you as a NALS member.

These are just a few of the benefits afforded NALS members. NALS is the only place you will find so many resources in one location for legal support professionals. In the real world employers will not provide you with assistance in getting through a tough project; they expect you to just get it done. Let NALS help.

If you are not seeing content that would benefit your career, let us know! We are your professional organization. We are here to work for you.

 

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Spring Forward to the Rightsize

Posted By 2017 NALS Board of Directors, Thursday, May 4, 2017

NALS Board Blog: May 2017Many folks decide to purge at this time of year.  They get rid of things that are no longer useful.  We call it an annual spring cleaning.  We often declutter the garage or organize the basement.  We pick up those projects that we did not finish last fall.  We transition our homes and offices from winter to summer.

 

In addition to spring cleaning, this is also the time of year when people work off those extra pounds they packed on during the holidays.  I am hitting the treadmill a lot more because my jeans just do not fit like they used to. 

 

Here at the NALS Resource Center, we are spring cleaning too—only this is a little different.  Instead of just cleaning out the office, we are actually planning to “rightsize.”  What does it mean to rightsize?  I am glad you asked.  Rightsizing means to convert (something) to an appropriate or optimum size.  What does that mean for NALS?  Again, I am glad you asked.  It means we are taking this opportunity to move forward and embrace our future.  We are looking forward to finding an office space that is more suitable for our work environment. 

 

In keeping with the technology trends, Lydia, our Communications Manager, has been doing a fantastic job in her new virtual office as she prepares to move to a different part of the country.  With only three full-time staff members remaining in the building, it is appropriate to find a location that better suits our needs.  In preparation for this transition, the NALS Resource Center building has recently been placed on the market for sale.  We are forever grateful for the ten years’ worth of memories and we look forward to creating new memories in our new NALS home.

 

The great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”  Let’s all spring forward to the right size. 

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What does #unshakeable mean to you?

Posted By 2017 NALS Board of Directors, Wednesday, April 12, 2017

NALS Board Blog - UnshakeableWhat does #unshakeable mean to you? This sign was used recently at a high-level club soccer showcase.  At this tournament, high school age girls play several games over the weekend while college scouts watch and evaluate their skills and abilities.  As we all know, sometimes the pressure gets to us and the girls do not always perform their best.  It appears as though the sponsors of this tournament are trying to impress upon the girls that they need to be #unshakeable and not let the pressure get to them so they can perform their very best.  That there is no finish line because the sky is the limit and you are never finished learning the game of soccer and growing as a player.

 

As legal professionals, we work in a high-level, high-pressure environment, where we always have people watching us and evaluating our skills and abilities.  We all feel the pressure at times, and do not always perform at our best but we must remember not to allow the stress and pressure to shake our confidence—we too can be #unshakeable!  There is also no finish line for our careers as we should always be learning and growing as a legal professional.

 

One of the best benefits of being a NALS member is the fantastic community we have.  We are always there for each other, whether we need a referral, help in another jurisdiction, a new job, or just for support.  Our NALS Pals are the absolute best!  With the upgrade to our online member community, is has never been easier for us to connect with each other.

 

NALS also offers CLE, both in person and online.  NALS has webinars for purchase and even webinars that are free to members.  You can use these webinars to learn about a new area of law and get the CLE hours you need to recertify.  You can also use these webinars for your local monthly meetings or to fill a spot for your annual state meetings.  The possibilities are endless!

 

Don’t forget, the 66th Annual Education and Networking Conference is being held in Norfolk, Virginia on October 4-7, 2017.  The Virginia Task Force is working hard to get quality speakers and education for this conference.  Keep checking back for additional details regarding the education opportunities.  This conference also offers you the ability to network in-person with other attendees, including two new exciting events that are available for you to attend.  Check it out and register at NALS.org/Norfolk2017

 

Remember, the sky is the limit and there is no finish line—we need to challenge ourselves continually to remain legal professionals who excel and are known for greatness.  Let NALS help you!  All of the offerings NALS has either at conferences or online are there to allow all legal professionals to continue to learn, grow, and remain excellent.   Be #unshakeable and join in with all NALS has to offer! 

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Board of Directors Retreat Recap

Posted By 2017 NALS Board of Directors, Thursday, March 16, 2017

NALS Board RecapThis 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.

 

Facebook Live

 

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.

 

Virtual Conference

 

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.

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