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Board of Directors

Quick Links: NALS Board BlogNALS Past Presidents I Governing Documents | Board Nominations and Application


About the National Board

The Board of Directors is the governing body of NALS. The Board oversees every aspect of the association, always acting in the best interest of the legal services community. One of the primary roles of the NALS Board of Directors is to create and maintain the mission and vision of the organization including long-term planning, financial oversight, determining and monitoring programs and services, and advocating for NALS. NALS Board members are all volunteers. Above you'll find quick links to board-related pages, and below is a listing of the current board members and their bios. Feel free to email the Board, as a whole, with questions, comments, or suggestions at board@nals.org.

NALS National Board of Directors



Nakia Bradley-Lawson
 is the Director of Operations and Facilities at Gevurtz, Menashe, P.C., the Northwest’s premier family law and estate planning firm. Nakia has been with the firm for over 13 years as the legal assistant to the managing partner. She joined the firm’s management team this year. Prior to working at Gevurtz Menashe, she was a Judicial Assistant for three years before being promoted to serve as one of the Oregon Judicial Department’s first Family Court Facilitators, a position she held for five years.


Nakia was inspired to join NALS after meeting the dynamic, intelligent, and ambitious women in her local chapter. She lives by the philosophy   of Richard Tirendi – “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” She believes it is important to surround herself with inspiring people, and she finds she is in the right room every time one is filled with NALS members. Nakia is also on the Board of Directors for Youth, Rights & Justice – a non-profit law firm that specializes in legislation and litigation for the benefit of Oregon’s foster children. She is the Chair of the Development Committee, whose main charge is to plan and execute the annual fundraising gala, which raises over $200,000 in one night! 


Nakia has also volunteered as a personal shopper for Dress for Success – a global non-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women. When she is not at Gevurtz Menashe, working with non-profits, or at NALS events, Nakia enjoys spending time with her daughter, who she feels is her greatest contribution to the world. She believes the challenges that come with being a single mother have benefited her both professionally and personally. Nakia looks forward to the opportunity to apply the skills she has acquired throughout her career to engage, inspire, enhance and promote legal professionals through NALS.




Laleise Curtiss has worked in the legal field for 35 years.  Previously working in the public and private sector for attorneys, judges, and senators, she is currently employed as a paralegal with a law firm. She received her paralegal certificate from Old Dominion University and is currently pursuing a degree in Organizational Leadership and Digital Media from Arizona State University. Laleise joined NALS in 2016 and attended her first annual meeting and state conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She immediately hit the ground running by serving on several local, state, and national committees and leadership positions within the organization.  She is committed to professionalism, innovation, growth, and excellence.  She considers her most significant accomplishment to be that she donated one of her kidneys to a family member and saved their life.  She considers NALS to be a family and is excited to be a member of NALS and doing what’s best to advance NALS and the members. She will take on the role of Secretary on this year's NALS Board of Directors. 



Barry Pickreign, CLP, ALP
, has worked in the legal field for over 10 years. During this period he has worked as a legal secretary, paralegal, and his current position as a Deputy Clerk in the Harrison County Circuit Clerk’s Office in Mississippi. He has an Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies, a Bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies with a concentration in Law and Legal Process with a minor in Psychology, and is currently working on a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with focus on Forensic Counseling. He has been a member of NALS for the past nine years and has been very actively involved. He has served as a Chair and task force member of various NALS Task Forces. He serves the Mississippi Legal Professionals Association (MSLPA), his state chapter, as the current Executive Advisor, CLE/Seminar Chair, Certification Chair and is a Past-President. He serves his local chapter as the current Treasurer and is a past President. He is an Award of Excellence recipient for MSLPA, a three-time recipient of the Member of the Year Award for his local chapter, a past recipient of the Award of Excellence for his local chapter. He has also served as Treasurer, President, and as chair of various committees for his local chapter. Barry is excited to be joining the NALS Board of Directors and looks forward to continuing to serve NALS



Darlene Howard Holt, PP-SC, 
a Paralegal at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in Alexandria, Virginia, has served the legal support profession for over 12 years.  Darlene is continuing her second term on the NALS Board of Directors. During her first term, Darlene spent two years as the national President and one year as  Secretary. As a dynamic and bold leader, Darlene is unafraid to take the risk, even if she might fail. She strongly believes in the Japanese proverb, "fall seven times, stand up eight." Darlene's advice, in her own words, "Always believe in yourself, the only thing that can stop you from reaching your goal is you." Darlene believes in herself, she believes in NALS, and we are lucky to have her. 


Julie A. Abernathy, Emeritus PP, PLS has been a member of NALS since 1975.  She has served in numerous chairmanships and offices at all levels of the association, including President of Austin LPA, Waco LPA, and Texas ALP.  In addition, Julie has served the national association as Region 6 Director, Membership Director, Secretary/Treasurer, President-elect, and as the 39th President in 2009-2010.  She served as a Trustee on the NALS Foundation 2010-2014, and served as the Foundation Chair from 2011-2014. She continues to be active on all levels.  Julie is currently president and webmaster of Waco LPA and the webmaster for Texas ALP.  She received her PLS in 1995, recertifications in 1999, 2004, 2009, 2013, 2018, and currently has an emeritus status.  Julie received her PP in 2002, with recertifications in 2007, 2013 and emeritus status in 2019. 


Julie currently resides in Waco, Texas.  She has 3 granddaughters, one grandson (whose adoption will be final in April) and a step-granddaughter and step-grandson.  Julie retired after 45 ½ years in the legal field and is currently working part time at CASA of McLennan County (Court Appointed Special Advocates) who serves the foster children in the Waco area.





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