By Debbie Harris

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is almost upon us – I have found that it’s true that the older you get, the faster time flies by!  We all need to stop, take a deep breath, enjoy all of the blessings we have, and remember the reason for the season! With that in mind, I want to take a minute to update you on a few happenings within the Paralegal Division.

Annual Campaign

I’m pleased to announce that the Paralegal Division is invited and welcome to participate in the North Carolina Bar Foundation’s Annual Campaign (formerly the Patron Campaign).  Your donation will help the following Services:  Middle School Mock Trial Program, 4ALL Statewide Service Day, Law-Related Education programs, NC Free Legal Answers, and NCBF Pro Bono & Public Service Activities Department.  I encourage you to click on this link https://www.ncbar.org/giving/donate-now/annual-fund-campaign/  if you are interested in learning more about the Annual Campaign and any of these very worthwhile programs your donations support.

Pro Bono

Immediate Past Chair Annette Phelps continues to work on an exciting Pro Bono opportunity for the Division, and we should have an update to share with the Division after our January Council Meeting.  Keep an eye out on the Listserv and Blog for all Pro Bono opportunities.

NCBA Annual Meeting

The NCBA is working toward revamping the June Annual Meeting in an effort to make it more appealing to attendees.  Stay tuned for more information on the changes!

Get Involved With Your Division

Once again, I encourage you to become involved in one (or more) of our committees or to sign on as a liaison to a Bar Association Section.  We are always looking for individuals who are interested in working their way up the ladder toward serving on the Executive Committee – I hope you will decide to become more involved with the Division!  Click here to find out more information on our Committees!

October Council Meeting Highlights

The Paralegal Division Council met on October 27, 2017 at the Bar Center in Cary to discuss various business items for the Division.  Meeting minutes are available for members to review on the Division’s webpage.  Below are a few highlights:

NC Bar Foundation.  The Foundation would like to increase engagement with the Paralegal Division, specifically in the following areas:

  • 4All – First Friday in March. Help with reporting.
  • Law-Related Education (Mock Trial) – Help with Mock Trials across the state.
  • Lawyers For Literacy – Paralegals volunteer to read with elementary school students.

Technology for the Division. Pegeen Turner, Chair of the Law Practice Management and Technology Section, provided a brief introduction of the Section and its purpose to collect and share information on technology, as well as find ways to increase access to technology.

Upcoming CPE Schedule – SAVE THE DATE!

  • North Carolina Certified Paralegal Exam Review Course (March 8-9, 2018, Cary)
  • Family Law (April 6, 2018, Cary)
  • IP Institute (April 26, 2018, Cary)
  • Annual Meeting (May 4, 2018, Pinehurst)

Follow-up on Strategic Planning Meeting

  1. “E-Bar” Update (Former “Paralegal Pulse”).  Still under development.  (UPDATE:  Now Paralegal Potpourri Friday.)
  2. Orientation Manual Review/Approval.  Manual to be finalized and include hyperlinks for easy access to content found on the PD website.  (UPDATE: Complete.)
  3. Pro Bono Award.  Potential new award for the Division that would be given to a person or group who does work within the Division.  Karen suggested having the Pro Bono Committee explore and propose qualifications and logistics.
  4. Distinguished Paralegal Award.  Exploring possibility of presenting the award at the Big Bar’s Annual Meeting.  (UPDATE: Working on logistics.)
  5. Committee “Blurbage” for Website/Blog Post.  Leslie drafted “blurbage” for review by the Council and it is ready to be posted.    (UPDATE: Complete.)

Please feel free to continue to reach out to me if you have questions, if there are things you feel the Division needs to be doing, if you have webcast or CPE ideas we can pursue, or feel there are other ways we can enhance your membership.

On behalf of myself, the Paralegal Division Council and the NCBA staff, we want to take the time to wish you and your family, a happy and healthy Holiday Season and a very Happy 2018!