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Success Story: Membership Growth of Legal Staff Professionals of South Carolina

Posted By Katherine Helms, PP, SCCP, Thursday, November 29, 2018
Updated: Thursday, December 6, 2018

Edited By: Jamie I. Early, Certified PP, PLS-SC, SCCP

 

On April 19, 2017, the South Carolina Supreme Court signed an order recognizing the NALS Professional Paralegal (PP) certification as one of three national certifications that paralegals must have earned through passage of a national examination in order to obtain the designation of South Carolina Certified Paralegal (SCCP).  The SCCP is administered by the South Carolina Bar through the South Carolina Board of Paralegal Certification as promulgated by the South Carolina Supreme Court. Our NALS state association, Legal Staff Professionals of South Carolina (LSPSC), utilizes this designation to increase and retain membership and to bring more awareness of NALS to both attorneys and staff in our legal community. For the past two years, LSPSC has held a statewide drawing and funded certification exam registration fees and study materials for three lucky members who plan to take any one of the NALS exams.

 

Since this state designation, we have held paralegal school presentations to create relationships with the students and their schools and to inform them of the SCCP designation which can be obtained through earning the NALS PP certification. We now have two LSPSC members who serve on these schools’ education boards and two who have been appointed by the South Carolina Supreme Court as members of the South Carolina Board of Paralegal Certification. Some of our local chapters waive the students’ membership fees and some of the schools pay for the students’ state fees.  A few of our local chapters even offer free study groups to their members for those who want to take a NALS certification exam. One of our chapters has held a career fair for graduating paralegal students where their resumes have been reviewed and mock interviews conducted prior to their meeting with recruiters. In return for these benefits, our goal is to encourage the schools and students to invest in our associations because they will see we are investing in them.

 

The next step LSPSC has taken is to reach out and network through social media. Facebook pages, such as Perfectly Paralegal, Paralegals Connect, and Paralegals of the Carolinas, have enormous resources for networking and marketing. Our association encourages its members to Like, Follow, Comment, and Post on all these pages and asks others to Like our local, state, and national Facebook pages. Our state association and all six local chapters now have very active Facebook pages. We post job positions, current events, announce membership meetings, welcome new members, and post anything else related to legal topics or association news. Once we began to interact and invite others to our pages, it was very  enlightening to learn that many paralegals had no idea there were even paralegal associations in this state, let alone in their area. In addition to Facebook, we also have LinkedIn pages for LSPSC and some of our local chapters.

 

To encourage retention, we also hold incentive drawings for our state meetings during the year to include CLE seminars, lunch, and meeting registration fees. These drawings are open to all levels of membership, including potential members. We continue to influence attendance at monthly membership meetings by encouraging the local chapters to hold their meetings during different times of the day, such as rotating meetings after work and during lunch. Some chapters provide lunch/dinner for a fee, other chapters welcome you to bring a bag lunch/dinner, and some chapters’ attendees bring light appetizers and desserts. Also, providing speakers in-person at meetings to discuss current topics  in which new or potential members may be interested is a huge plus, as it both encourages attendance by all and offers CLE hours for NALS certified members. We involve others by asking them to assist and reach out to speakers so that they feel invested in the meeting. In addition to these meetings, some of our chapters are becoming sponsors for certified CLEs through the South Carolina Bar. This sponsorship means that the CLE hours from an approved seminar may be counted toward the ten required hours to annually renew the SCCP.     

 

Due to the state certification designation (SCCP), our involvement in local paralegal schools, social networking with other associations, statewide incentives, and the promotion of monthly meetings, our overall membership has grown over 30% in one year, and we are looking forward to creating a new chapter in our state by the summer of 2019.

 

We have so much more work to do, but we continue our dedication to creating and maintaining relationships, while keeping open communication with our current and future members. LSPSC is enhancing membership to be more than numbers, as it’s about them and not us, by promoting new friendships, inspiring others through our passion and love of this association, and engaging everyone around us to the betterment of the legal profession as a whole.  

 


 

You can find Legal Staff Professionals of South Carolina online at LSPSC.org. They are also on Facebook here. 

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Tina C. Barber (Caudle) PP-SC says...
Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2018
That is awesome! I wish North Carolina would do the same!
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