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CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT: Houston Association of Legal Professionals

Posted By Diane M. Stanley, RP, Monday, September 19, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Houston Legal Professionals



Front row, left to right: Kip Hall, Suzanne Beatty, Katrina Husmann, and Rita Alesi


Back row, left to right: Lida Vega, Jeanine Broyles, Helene Wood, Mica DeScioli, Diane Stanley, Vickie French, Marty Olson, and Cherilynne Owen


Not pictured: William Kesman, Myra Miles, Norma Rios, and Patricia Phelps


2016-2017 Officers: Katrina Husmann, President, Suzanne Beatty, President-elect, Kip Hall, Vice President, Mica DeScioli, Treasurer, Diane Stanley, Director and Secretary, Helene Wood, Executive Advisor, Myra Miles, Parliamentarian


Awards: Legal Professional of the Year Award 2016, Katrina Husmann, Mentor Award 2016, Vickie French, Inspiration Award 2016, Katrina Husmann, Rookie of the Year Award 2016, William Kesman, Boss of the Year Award 2016, H. Miles Conn, Esq.


In 1955, a group of 13 legal secretaries decided to establish a local association for legal secretaries.  With the help of Judge Arthur C. Lester, Jr., Florence Sandy and Patricia Nelson formed an association to be known as “Attorneys’ Secretarial League.”  Application was made to the Secretary of State for a charter.  While corresponding with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General in complying with the rules of the formation for the association, an ad was noticed in a secretarial publication regarding a national association of legal secretaries.  The group wrote for information about the national association and learned of the newly formed Texas Association of Legal Secretaries.  After notification in the Houston newspapers, 13 legal secretaries attended the first public meeting in an assembly room in the Chamber of Commerce Building in downtown Houston on November 15, 1955.  The group decided at that meeting to join the Texas Association of Legal Secretaries and thus become a member of the National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS).  The Houston Association of Legal Secretaries (HALS) received its charter from NALS as Chapter No. 0055 on January 25, 1956, with 33 charter members.  With the progression of time and the industry, HALS is now known as the Houston Association of Legal Professionals (HALP), and the rest is history!

Our focus is education!

Our Mission:  “We are committed to delivering quality legal services through continuing education and increased professionalism, promoting a standard for members, and recognition in the legal profession through the certification program, and providing networking opportunities for members.”

Dorothe A. Monell Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Houston Association of Legal Professionals scholarship program has been in place almost since inception in 1956.  Following Past President Dorothe A. Monell’s death in 1990 from cancer, the scholarship was renamed to honor her memory.  Under the program, a scholarship is periodically awarded based upon merit and financial need for a scholarship.  In years past the scholarship was awarded annually and open to high school graduates or students reenrolled in a school of advanced education seeking a career in the legal field who met the criteria for the program.  Currently, a scholarship is awarded four times a year and is directed to the graduating students of the paralegal classes at the University of Houston.  The scholarship program exists through the generosity of association members, law firms, personal contributions, bequeaths, and special projects.

2016 Super Saturday CLE

Each year Houston ALP hosts a Super CLE Saturday seminar series.  As you might imagine, a great effort is undertaken to organize the event.  The 2016-2017 Super CLE Saturday sessions will include:

Nuts & Bolts of Texas Real Estate, September 10, 2016, 7.0 hrs.

Nuts & Bolts of Business Organizations, October 15, 2016, 7.0 hrs.

Nuts & Bolts of Intellectual Property, November 5, 2016, 7.0 hrs.

Texas Civil Litigation (Advanced), January 21, 2017, 7.0 hrs.

CLE Lagniappe, February 25, 2017, 7.0 hrs.


2016 Preparatory Course for the NALS Accredited Legal Professional Certification Exam

This four-week preparatory course is geared to the person who has completed a paralegal training course with a solid foundation in substantive law and wishes to sit for the NALS ALP certification exam.  The course focuses on the non-substantive law portions of the NALS ALP exam, including grammar, written communications, office procedures, ethics, computers in the law firm, billing and basic accounting procedures, preparation of legal documents, human relations, and judgment.

Professional Development Mixer

Houston ALP is committed to educating and providing valuable tools necessary for our student members to grow and become successful in the legal community.  With the help of our corporate sponsors, vendors, and members, HALP offers a class on topics to address résumé preparation, dress for success, interview techniques, professional conduct, ethics, and oral and written communications.  The 2016 “Professional Development Mixer” is to be held on Saturday, October 22, 2016 covering the topics: A career in the paralegal field and membership in a professional association.

Court Appreciation

Houston ALP takes pride in its display of appreciation for our courts each year during “Court Appreciation Week.”  In line with NALS’ 2016 theme, “More than Words,” Houston ALP will be highlighting the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona at our monthly membership meeting to be held on October 11, 2016.

Headlines Newsletter

Houston ALP’s newsletter, Headlines, highlights current and upcoming events, birthdays, member news and spotlights, and other noteworthy communications received from our members and in concert with our tri-level association.  This publication is e-distributed to the membership and friends of our chapter.

Houston Bar Association Book Drive

Houston ALP members and local law firms support the Houston Bar Association’s annual book drive.  Gently used books are collected for people of all ages.  Drop boxes and flyers are placed at designated locations, gathered by HALP members at the conclusion of the drive, and delivered to the HBA office for distribution

Wreaths Across America – Houston

Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring and thanking our military veterans for their service and sacrifice.  In 1992, Wreaths Across America began the tradition of placing wreaths on the headstones of our nation’s fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery.  This ceremony is now performed at military cemeteries around the country.  The Houston ceremony will take place at the Houston National Cemetery on December 17, 2016.

Houston ALP has joined this worthwhile project through creation of our fundraising page.  Wreaths are purchased for $15 each.  As well as supporting a worthy cause, our association can raise money by selling wreaths.  We are eligible to receive $5 for every wreath purchased through our fundraising page.  The money received is designated as scholarship funds for the Dorothe A. Monell Memorial Scholarship Fund to support the scholarship awards provided throughout the year.

Tri-level Association


We are exceptionally proud of our members and their service to the Houston Chapter, as well as those members who also serve on the national and state levels:

Rita Alesi, TALP Treasurer

Helene L. Wood, NALS Education Products Committee Member; TALP Communications Chair

Vickie French, NALS Certification Board

Diane Stanley, NALS Editorial Board; TALP Director

Marty Olson, TALP Education Chair


Houston ALP comprises 101 members at this time and we continue to grow thanks to our dedication and commitment to our student members in association with the University of Houston Paralegal program.  The future of our association lies within the youth of our industry and Houston ALP pledges to grow, prosper, mentor, and encourage these students to successful careers and productive lives, respect for oneself and others, discipline and leadership.     


As you can see, Houston ALP is serious about quality education, training, and leadership.  Our officers and board work tirelessly to provide each member the opportunity to meet and achieve their personal and professional goals!

Diane M. Stanley, RP, is a recently retired legal professional with over 50 years of successful progressive work experience in the areas of banking, finance, real estate, oil, and gas and legal.  She began her career in banking while in high school, in an after school work program for career development.  Diane continued in the banking industry upon graduation from high school for 15 years, while attending junior college, progressing from general banking to loan administration.  The substance of her banking career piqued her interest in the legal profession, so Diane enrolled in a paralegal program through Texas Paralegal School, Houston, Texas.  Upon graduation, she was anxious to transition to the legal field and, two years later, Diane finally had the opportunity.  Her legal career, encompassing corporate legal and real estate, generated her desire to expand her knowledge in the real estate realm, so she attended Champion School of Real Estate School, Houston, Texas, and obtained her real estate sales certification.  So the story goes, check sorter, bank teller, loan administration officer, legal secretary, legal assistant/paralegal.  Just took her 50 years, but what a ride!


Education is the key and Diane is proud to say it served her well.  Diane very proud of her legal association, Houston ALP, and continues to serve as Director.  She is also a past president of the association, president-elect, and secretary.

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Kip Hall PLS says...
Posted Thursday, September 22, 2016
So proud of our local chapter and the commitment of our board. We are dedicated to supporting our members and the legal profession. I'm honored to be a Houston ALP member.
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