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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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Top tags: #NALSPD  app  GLTT  Professional Development & Education Conference  Board  certification  NALS  videos  Website  2016-105  ABA  ABA Model Regulatory Objectives for the Provision   Access to Justice  Accredited Legal Professional  ALP  American Bar Association  Celebrate  committee  Foundation  Fun  Fundraising  grassroots  leadership  legal  Murfreesboro  NALS2Go  Nashville  Reach Higher Initiative  Resolution  Scholarship 

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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Professional Development Goals. Where do you begin?

Posted By The 2016-2017 NALS Board, Thursday, February 16, 2017

Professional Development GoalsThe November 1981 issue of Management Review contained a paper by George T. Doran called There's a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management's Goals and Objectives. It discussed the importance of objective goals and the difficulty in setting them.

The SMART method can be applied to setting professional development goals. SMART is a mnemonic device for remembering five characteristics of a desirable goal. The exact word that corresponds with each letter varies, but a common variant is:

  • Specific –  What are you going to do? Why is this important? What do you want to ultimately accomplish?
  • Measurable –   If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Establish a concrete criteria for measuring progress.
  • Attainable –   You will feel a little stretched, but with real commitment you should be able to do this!
  • Realistic –   Be clear on how what you’re doing is going to benefit you. It will go a long way to keep you motivated.
  • Timely –   By when? “Someday” is not an answer. Establish an end date. Hold yourself to it.

As the economy fluctuates and business priorities change, funding for employee professional development is often the first to be cut. It is no secret professional development allows us, as employees, to function more efficiently and prepares us for future roles.

NALS continues to recognize the importance of professional development and we’re very excited to offer a new way for you to have access to the wealth of knowledge our membership holds. The Ed on Demand Task Force is diligently working on an NALS 2017 Virtual Leadership Course and Education Series. You are now able to invest in yourself and your career whenever it is convenient for YOU. Our goal is to equip you, our members, with the skills to keep up with the changing trends in the legal support profession, perfect your current skills, learn new skills to align yourself with new job opportunities, and learn tips and tricks to make your NALS chapter more successful.


Dale Smith Thomas, our keynote speaker at the 2016 NALS Murfreesboro Conference, very clearly advised, “Any goal that isn’t written down is a wish.” Having a place where you can create a list of things you want to accomplish, track your progress, and hold yourself accountable is the recipe for success! Now that you know what you want, let us help you get there. Register today for NALS’ first ever online leadership course and education series and take the first step to reaching your professional development goals!






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Many Hands Make Light Work: Why YOU Should Be A NALS Volunteer

Posted By The NALS Board, Tuesday, January 17, 2017

We have all heard this idiom before, but have you ever thought of it when you think about all the opportunities and benefits that NALS provides to you, both professionally and personally?  Volunteering for anything—whether for an association, for a charity, or for a project at work or in your local area—offers more than just a benefit for the community you are serving.  

According to an article in Forbes, there are five benefits to volunteering that many do not often realize are possible,:

  1. Volunteering time makes you feel like you have more time.  Surprisingly, research has shown that individuals who give time to a cause outside of their regular work or personal routines often feel as if they have more time. We know there are only 24 hours in a day, but wouldn’t it be nice to feel you are not as rushed because you are remarkably accomplishing more in that time frame than you thought possible?

  2. Volunteering your skills helps you develop new skills. Before you volunteered, did you know how to organize a big fundraising event or lay out a newsletter or build a website?  Learning new skills is just one of the many benefits of volunteering.  Employers and organizations have found the technical and leadership skills that people attain through volunteering to be beneficial, and thus many have begun to invest more in those programs and in the people who seek out volunteer opportunities.

  3. Volunteering your body helps you have a healthier body.  When you volunteer, you increase your physical activity level and some have even been able to combat depression through social activity.  Studies have even shown that volunteering can lower your risk of heart disease.  This sure sounds easier than going on a strict diet, doesn’t it?

  4. Volunteering your experience helps build your experience.  This may seem like a no-brainer statement, but many who have taken time to volunteer have gained enough experience to make a career switch or bolster their résumé enough to advance beyond their current positions.  Have you been looking to expand your role at work, make more money, or broaden your experience base?  Volunteering can help you do just that!

  5. Volunteering your love makes you feel more love.  Studies have found the more people volunteer, the happier they are.  “Volunteering builds empathy, strengthens social bonds and makes you smile.”  Disneyland may arguably have the right to call itself “the happiest place on Earth,” but shouldn’t you also be able to make your heart the “happiest place” anywhere?  Volunteering with friends helps get you to that place.


NALS has many opportunities for volunteers.  No job is too big or too small when many people get together to do their little bit to advance the greater mission.  

  • Are you afraid to try something new?  Well, we have awesome and skilled volunteer leaders and staff who can help you whenever you have questions.  

  • Don’t have too much time to give?  NALS has task forces and committees which can offer smaller opportunities to contribute for limited periods of time or engagement.  

  • Not sure where to look to volunteer?  Look no further than our website for opportunities big and small, short- and long-term.  And if you are confused as to where you think you might fit in, you can always reach out to a board member (email us at board@nals.org) or to any NALS Resource staff member, and we will be happy to talk to you about your interests and find a place for you.




Tags:  committee  leadership  volunteer 

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Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

Posted By The NALS Board , Tuesday, November 1, 2016

If you missed the 2016 National Education Conference and Forum, you missed a celebration!


We kicked the party off with a wine and cheese reception, then on to pajama parties in the bar.  The next night there was a meet and greet in the Golda Suite.  We also had some "celebrities" who attended the Friday night Foundation event: Dolly Pardon, Naomi and Wynona Judd, folks who saved horses and rode cowboys, and Sugarland too.  The final night was the Nashville Nights & Lights tour of beautiful downtown Nashville, Tennessee.  Thanks to the Nashville task force, there was tons of education.  The speakers gave us tools to take back into our work environments and the exhibitors were awesome!  The NALS Foundation sweepstakes was a hit as usual and some pretty cool prizes were won.  This year the Board wanted to show their appreciation to the committees by inviting the committee members to breakfast.  We are so thankful to have such dedicated members to serve on various committees at the national level.  We wrapped up the party with awesome roundtable discussions where the members shared their feedback about our association. 


During the forum and throughout the conference, members shared suggestions, which we encourage you to do at any time.  One of those suggestions, which we have heard often, was to offer the conference sessions online for those who cannot attend.  You asked, we heard and, with the help of the NALS Foundation, the Board set of goal to raise $5,000 to purchase recording equipment.  There is still an opportunity to donate to this project.  Please visit the NALS Foundation at http://www.nals.org/?page=foundation for more information.  Also, be on the lookout for future sessions available in digital format.


The Board would like to encourage states and chapters to invite surrounding states and chapter members to your conferences and meetings.  There are several chapters in need of new ideas on member recruiting and other helpful suggestions.  If your chapter is thriving, tell us what is working for you.  Share that information so we can help those chapters in need.  We also encourage you to cross-market.  Do not limit the association to just those in the legal community.  Tell everybody!


Click here to view the photo gallery.


So, bring your good times and your laughter too.  We're gonna celebrate and have a party with you!  We want to hear from you and we definitely want to see you in Norfolk, Virginia, for the 2017 National Education Conference and Forum.


As always, we look forward to hearing from you.


Sincerely,  The NALS Board

Tags:  Board  Celebrate  Foundation  Fun  Fundraising  Murfreesboro  Nashville 

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NALS Board Adopts ABA Resolution

Posted By NALS Admin, Wednesday, February 24, 2016

As the Board looks toward the future -- and in light of recent changes in the profession and the landscape of legal services -- and in the interests of promoting access to justice, NALS has adopted the American Bar Association's Resolution 105, ABA Model Regulatory Objectives for the Provision of Legal Services, dated February 2016. 


At the February 24, 2016 meeting of the Board of Directors of NALS … the association for legal professionals (the “Association”), a resolution was proposed and approved by the board. Click here to read the full resolution.

- 2016 NALS Board of Directors




Tags:  2016-105  ABA  ABA Model Regulatory Objectives for the Provision   Access to Justice  American Bar Association  Resolution 

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more Calendar

3/21/2018 » 9/15/2018
NALS Traveling Gavel Challenge

3/21/2018 » 3/21/2019
NALS 2018 Online Leadership Course + Discussion

4/1/2018 » 6/30/2018
NALS Foundation Full Circle 5K

4/16/2018 » 4/16/2019
Online ALP Exam

Amylyn Riedling PP PLS-SC2018 NALS Board of Directors
Nakia A. Bradley-Lawson2018 NALS Board of Directors

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