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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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Be There—Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Posted By NALS Admin, Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Don’t forget—you are invited to participate in the Grassroots-Level Think Tank! The first in-person meeting will be held at the NALS Professional Development Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Thursday, February 26, 2015, at 8:00 a.m. Make plans now to be part of the decision-making process for the future of your association! 

 

Sign Me Up! NALS is important to me! I want to be part of the decision-making process for the future of our association. I will be in attendance and participate on Thursday, February 26, 2015, at 8:00 a.m. at the NALS Professional Development Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If this describes you, fill out the interest form on our website: www.nals.org/?page=GLTT, or email board@nals.org, providing the following information:

  • Name
  • Chapter/State
  • Address
  • Email
  • Cell Phone

Through a generous grant from the NALS Foundation, a few lucky recipients may now receive financial assistance—in the form of a scholarship—to attend the NALS 2015 Professional Development & Education Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma! A limited number of $150 scholarships will be awarded to individuals wishing to participate in the NALS Grassroots-Level Think Tank (GLTT) scheduled for Thursday, February 26, 2015. Scholarship applicants will be vetted to ensure that a diverse representation of NALS members are selected. The purpose of this diversity is for NALS to achieve optimal results during the GLTT discussion. A scholarship is NOT required in order to participate in the NALS Grassroots-Level Think Tank, and it is our hope that many members will be able to participate regardless of whether scholarship funds are awarded. The Scholarship Application is available at www.nals.org/?GLTTscholarship. The deadline to apply is November 1, 2014.

 

- NALS 2014-2015 Board of Directors

 

Tags:  GLTT  grassroots  scholarships  think tank  Tulsa 

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You Asked and We Answered!

Posted By NALS Admin, Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NALS launched its new website and association management system last month. The new website provides members and nonmembers alike a level of functionality not seen in many legal industry-related association websites. The new system encompasses what you told us you wanted from NALS. You are now able to:

  • Network with fellow members through forums. 
  • Track your continuing legal education hours online. 
  • Download webinars on demand. 
  • Register for events from the device of your choice. 
  • Investigate a myriad of legal industry-specific website links. 

We hope you will take the time to explore the website and become more familiar with what it can offer you. NALS merged information from more than one source into this system and, as a result, we would like you to review and update your information as needed. If you require assistance to correct data you are restricted from changing, please submit a contact form at www.nals.org/contact and a member of NALS staff will be in touch with you. 

 

Utilize the NALS forums to reach your network of peers regarding your questions or open a dialog on issues you are facing in your job or association work. Take the time to navigate through the site and think about how you can best utilize its functions to your advantage. We will be creating how-to videos in the coming months on how to best utilize the different features of the site. 

 

Additionally NALS premiered the NALS2GO app version 1.0 in Houston and it will be available in just a few short weeks! It is currently in the submission process with the Apple, Google, and Kindle stores. More information will be shared as soon as it is available for download.

 

- NALS 2014-2015 Board of Directors

 

 

Tags:  app  website 

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Share What You Have Learned in NALS and Change Your Employer’s Awareness of NALS

Posted By NALS Admin, Thursday, August 7, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, October 21, 2014

At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. - Eric Hoffer 


From time to time, we all should share what we are doing in NALS with our employers. Especially since they are the ones that will ultimately make the decision to support our membership in NALS. What is your employer’s “soft spot”? What fits in with their direction? Find the NALS benefit that aligns with their “soft spot” and share it with them. 

 

Every now and then we need to challenge ourselves to share what we have learned at a conference, a lunch and learn, or simply from another member with our legal administrators, attorneys, and our coworkers. Next time you return from a meeting and regroup from being away from the office, ask if you could share some of the information that you gained with the other legal professionals in your office. If your employer is currently supporting you, they will see their dollars at work through you. If you are looking to gain their support, they will see the value you are gaining from the meetings and hopefully will realize that you are fertile soil to plant their dollars. Let them see the value of NALS. 

 

Thinking of value in NALS, did you realize that we have some great Affinity Programs? This could also be a selling point to your employer. For instance, if you are in an office that does not have a FedEx or UPS account, ask if you could use the NALS Affinity Program discount. Share with them that as a member of NALS, you receive up to a 16% discount on domestic letters, which includes the letter and legal envelope packages. If you have a package that would normally cost $15 to overnight, with your NALS discount, it will only cost you $12.60—a savings of $2.40. If you overnight at least six packages a week for a year, your NALS membership will have saved your company over $720 a year. Hmm!! That’s a benefit worth letting them know about! If it can be saved, it can be allotted towards your NALS participation. 

 

What about student members in your legal community? What if you created an internship program that would give a student an experience within your law firm and, in turn, will help the law firm with certain tasks and needs during this period of internship? What if at the end, your employer realized how valuable this program has been to both the student and the law firm and decides to hire the student after he or she graduates from the paralegal or secretarial program? What if your employer then decides to continue the internships? You have engaged your firm to become proactive in allowing students to gain valuable experience and, in turn, your firm has gained talented employees. 

 

Sometimes we have to invest our time, shake up the normalcy, and show them that we are committed to NALS. 

 

- NALS 2014-2015 Board of Directors 

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NALS Puts Certification In the Forefront

Posted By NALS Admin, Monday, June 16, 2014
Since its inception, NALS has dedicated itself to education, providing opportunities for individuals to grow and advance in their careers. NALS continues to provide those opportunities to not only its members, but nonmembers alike. The greatest opportunity we provide those individuals for career advancement is by offering certification. Certification is a great way for a successful legal professional to demonstrate his or her preparedness for the demanding field of law—whether it be as a legal secretary, legal assistant, or paralegal. The current board has picked up where the previous board left off, encouraging and inspiring individuals to take the Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) exam. The Florida Department of Education had previously approved our ALP certification examination to be included on the Florida Career and Professional Education Act Comprehensive Industry Certification list, affording high school, vo-tech and community college students, and educators access to our professionally developed and highly skilled exam. And as of May 6, 2014, NALS secured the same approval for both the PLS and PP exams. As of the time of publication, and as a result of this venture, over 290 individuals have taken the ALP exam since March of this year! Securing this approval within the state of Florida provides NALS with greater opportunities to reach out to individuals who are interested in the legal profession. Currently, NALS is researching and investigating the same or similar processes within other states in order to replicate the success occurring in Florida.


First Lady Michelle Obama recently announced the Reach Higher Initiative, which is an effort to inspire more young people to take control of their future through higher education. The Reach Higher Initiative will focus on things such as financial aid, summer learning opportunities, college visits, and supporting school counselors so that more students can complete their education. Here is a link to read more: http://tinyurl.com/pupwcpd. Through its dedication to education and enhancing legal career opportunities, NALS is positioned to promote and engage new legal professionals in a very similar manner by reaching out to high school, vo-tech, and community college students throughout the country. This is an opportunity for all NALS chapters to grow our nation’s economy by providing the tools NALS has already created—the Basic Legal Training Course (“BLTC”) and the ALP certification exam. This is the first step in the career ladder that will educate and position aspiring professionals for a chance to get a better job and improve their skills for career advancement. NALS is currently designing an online version of the BLTC, but there are still many educational institutions that offer in-person, classroom applications, and NALS wants to be in each and every one of them. You can help make this happen by contacting your area high schools, vo-techs, and community colleges to make them aware of this opportunity for their students.

 

Even though this school year is nearing its end, think about the summer learning opportunities your NALS chapter could offer to enhance a student’s chance of gainful employment. Possibly an ALP Camp or a social forum to engage career legal professionals, students, counselors, and educators who can help someone fulfill a chance to pursue a dream of becoming a legal secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, or an attorney. It all starts somewhere and now is the time! NALS has a new bright spot with the ALP—so let’s get excited about lighting the way to a better future by sharing and spreading the word! As always, thanks to all of you for your dedication to NALS and to the legal industry.

- NALS 2014-2015 Board of Directors 


Tags:  Accredited Legal Professional  ALP  certification  Reach Higher Initiative 

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Recap: 2014 Professional Development & Education Conference

Posted By NALS Admin, Wednesday, May 28, 2014
In spite of the threats by Old Man Winter, attendees at the 2014 Professional Development & Education Conference warmly welcomed the new Board of Directors and the diversity of each. With the assistance of the Leadership Identification Committee and members like you, this diverse group was elected based on their respective skills and talents to help take NALS into the future. From the first meeting of the Board, the energy, excitement, and passion were quite evident and they did not waste any time to start the “visioneering” work to ensure that the organization remains relevant, not only today but also in the future.


Changes to the conference this year included the implementation of a Conference Kick-Off Reception and a “Meet & Greet” networking cocktail hour with breakouts for state and local chapter leaders. Networking is a key component for any successful professional, and these new events allowed conference attendees to meet and mingle with the NALS Leadership Team, state and local chapter leaders, and conference attendees nationwide. These exciting changes are just the beginning of what the Board envisions for NALS.

 

During its first official strategic planning meeting, the NALS Board of Directors came together to develop the vision that will propel the organization into the future, setting us apart from the competition. From previous and current SWOT analyses, the Board realized that the greatest strengths of NALS include networking, our members, and the knowledge that is shared inward. As an organization, we have the urgency to remain relevant within the industry and within the world. However, while NALS members possess a wealth of knowledge, NALS as a whole has not been actively sharing that knowledge outward. Imagine the power unleashed if we share our “centers of excellence” outward and allow the world to experience our strengths! NALS staff and Board are currently researching mechanisms that will allow us to begin sharing NALS’ knowledge, not just with our members, but also with the legal community and beyond.

 

Also as a result of its first meeting, the Board noted that education and certification are extremely important to our members. However, we realized that in order to remain relevant, the means for delivering the education and certification to our members must be revamped. Technology is the future. The Board is currently addressing the fact that education at your fingertips and the ability to track certification credits online must be made available to our members, potential members, and all others interested in NALS.

 

Based on their studies and feedback from the 2014-2015 committee leaders, the NALS Board has conceptualized a new website, with enhanced functionality for CLE tracking, and a new smartphone app that allows us to network with others around the world, acting as a conduit for answers to legal questions. The Board held an open forum where they shared this vision. Below are two videos of the Board’s presentations during this forum.





We ask you, and especially our chapter leaders, to please carve out about 30 minutes of time at your upcoming annual state conferences and/or local meetings and present these videos to your members. Our goal is that we engage the members in attendance and receive their immediate ideas and feedback on the vision of the future of NALS that we have presented. We are also providing a downloadable link to a facilitator guide (bottom of page) to aid you in leading the discussion and returning feedback to us, as well as a handout for each member in attendance. Please help us gather the valuable and necessary feedback that we know each of you has to offer.

 

The Board was able to obtain feedback from state and local chapter leaders, members of the NALS national leadership team, and all other conference attendees. The feedback is currently being analyzed and used as the Board researches options for our new website and smartphone app. All suggestions are welcome as we begin the research phase, so feel free to send comments to board@nals.org.

 

The biggest strength of NALS is our amazing members. Without each and every one, we would not be what we are today, and the potential of what we will become tomorrow would not be as great. The legal knowledge and answers can be found within our very own members, and the Board is ready to reach out and join hand and hand with the membership in moving NALS forward to create the “NALS of Tomorrow.” Be ready, members, as we are coming to YOU for the answers!

- NALS 2014-2015 Board of Directors 


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Tags:  #NALSPD  Professional Development & Education Conference 

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