The Student Relations Committee serves as the bridge between the Paralegal Division and the students enrolled in paralegal programs across the state. The Committee would like to shine the spotlight on Lauren Eddings, a paralegal student at Coastal Carolina Community College.
Membership in the Paralegal Division of the North Carolina Bar Association is FREE to student members. Click here to join.
Mrs. Eddings discusses pursuing her interest while finding balance with her family life and work.
Happy Friday, everyone! We hope this last week before the unofficial start of the holidays has been productive. Before you kick off your weekend, check out these recent announcements of interest.
Electronic Filing with the U.S. Supreme Court
On Nov. 13, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court’s electronic filing system began operation. While paper remains the official form of filing as under existing practice, parties represented by counsel will also be required to submit most documents through the new electronic filing system. Attorneys who expect to file documents electronically will need to register in advance for the system. Click here for additional information and to register.
N.C. Court System Launches Online Request for Reduction of Speeding Offenses Statewide
Citizens may now request online reductions of speeding offenses in every county with the statewide launch of the N.C. courts’ newest online service, the AOC reported last week. The efficient, user-friendly service provides 24/7 convenience for motorists who receive a speeding ticket and meet eligibility criteria to potentially reduce and process their citation without ever having to appear at the courthouse. Click this link for details, as well as other news from N.C. Courts.
The Student Relations Committee serves as the bridge between the Paralegal Division and the students enrolled in paralegal programs across the state. The committee would like to shine the spotlight on Brianna Huff, a paralegal technology certificate student at Coastal Carolina Community College. Ms. Huff is a recent graduate of UNC Charlotte with a bachelor of arts in history and communication studies with minors in journalism and Spanish.
Membership in the Paralegal Division of the North Carolina Bar Association is FREE to student members! Register here.
Ms. Huff discusses how volunteering as a paralegal student can garner real world experience and networking opportunities.
The North Carolina Secretary of State’s office would like to share the following announcements:
New Secretary of State Website Design is On the Way
Look for our new www.sosnc.gov website design this fall.
We are updating the look and feel of our website to improve your experience. The new website design, created under the statewide Digital Commons initiative, features:
- Improved navigation,
- Modern design,
- Mobile device optimization, and More!
We will provide additional information about the roll-out of the new design on our current website front page. We will also be supplying information about the roll-out in a variety of other ways over the coming months.
Our Corporations Division is now Business Registration
On Sept. 1, the Corporations Division began rebranding its name to the Business Registration Division. This improvement is in response to growing needs of the business community. Business Corporations now represent a minority of the entities we administer, given the growth of limited liability companies, nonprofit corporations, and partnerships.
The new title should minimize confusion about the name and make internet searches for information easier. This change will be spreading across all N.C. Secretary of State materials and platforms in the weeks ahead.
So please, make a note: The Business Registration Division is now your destination for your business registration needs in North Carolina. Your bookmarks do not need to change.
The Student Relations Committee serves as the bridge between the Paralegal Division and the students enrolled in paralegal programs across the state. The committee would like to shine the spotlight on Felicia Atkinson, a paralegal student at Pitt Community College. Ms. Atkinson has a Bachelor of Science in Finance with a minor in Accounting.
Ms. Atkinson discusses what she enjoys most about the program and the benefits the paralegal program can offer to other professionals.
As this bar year kicks off, the Paralegal Division Council wants to introduce the members that are serving in leadership roles this year. The Paralegal Division offers members the opportunity to play a role in shaping the direction of the division in a variety of ways, from serving as an officer, council member, committee chair or section liaison to planning CPEs, volunteering for a pro bono opportunity or contributing to the blog!
Please take a minute to get to know this year’s officers and be on the lookout for future posts introducing more members of the council.
Ever wonder what the Paralegal Division Council does? Do you want to be more involved? Are you interested in leadership opportunities within the division?
We hope so. The council wants to provide members a better understanding of the workings of the Paralegal Division. For starters, the council is composed of a chair, vice chair, secretary, treasurer, council members (12 total in groups of 4, each serving a 3-year term), and committee chairs. The council meets approximately on a quarterly basis to discuss and vote on business matters of the division. At the beginning of each bar year, council members gather for a Strategic Planning Meeting to discuss goals for the upcoming year. We’d like to kick off the year by sharing some of our plans and goals for the year. Below are the highlights:
- Collect short bios/headshots of council members to introduce the council to our members.
- Create a division-focused “e-Bar” type of update with committee updates, upcoming division events, volunteer opportunities, etc.
- Make the division’s Orientation Manual available on the website so those who are interested in leadership opportunities can find out more about council duties and obligations.
- Promote our committees with a solicitation to get involved, along with a link to the Committee Sign-Up Form.
- Move the scholarship application period to January through March of each year in an effort to increase application submissions.
- Reach out to the Law Practice Management Section to offer to be “boots on the ground” for new technology.
- Promote the new NCBA Member App (iPhones and Androids). There are many valuable discounts available on the app (and not just things for work). There is more information about this on the NCBA website and ncbarblog.com. The Member App Code is memapp.
- Increase networking opportunities to enhance the membership experience.
- Change the Distinguished Paralegal nomination period to October through January.
- Revive the Pro Bono Award with the winner(s) will be announced at our May CPE. The application will be revamped to allow for a group winner, instead of being limited to an individual winner.
- Announce and recognize all of our award winners (Distinguished Paralegal, Student Scholarship Application, Member Scholarship Application and Pro Bono) at the beginning of the General Session at the May CPE. This way lunch can be used for the Annual Meeting and other announcements.
- Create new essay topics for each of the Student and Member Scholarships.
- Develop new topics for Webinars/Webcasts.
- Research pro bono project opportunities.
- Determine the location and date for the 2019 Annual Meeting (we are still under contract with Pinehurst for 2018).
Wow! It is a lot of items, and you may ask how it all gets done. All of the above is accomplished by a dedicated group of paralegal volunteers and we would love for more members to come aboard and make this another great year! Please contact Debbie Harris with any questions.
By Kimberly Johnson
Legal Research and Writing was my favorite (required) class at Midlands Technical College.
This Palmetto State institution is well-known for its paralegal program. That’s one reason why I decided to attend and graduate from it. Plus, I wanted to know how my journalism background would stack up in this particular field of study.
Legal Research and Writing was my favorite class.
Why? Quite simply, I enjoy writing, period. My high school newspaper, The Viking, started the ball rolling. It picked up full steam into a full time staff position at a small newspaper after graduating from college. At the Newberry Observer and Florence Morning News, I authored feature articles about a renovated opera house, a local high school basketball team, a Teacher of the Year award and a couple of local elections. Switching gears, I entered the world of technical writing. I explain it this way–I wrote training manuals for accounting software company.
Legal Research and Writing was my favorite class.
Why? I learned the IRAC method (Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion). I learned about Westlaw and LexisNexis. I learned about researching property deeds and titles. I learned how to locate facts and figures using old and new school techniques.
Legal Research and Writing was my favorite course.
Why? This class greatly contributed to my legal footprint. The instruction and training gave me the confidence when I tackled research projects and written assignments. The homework and long hours in the library prepared me for the “burning the midnight oil” sessions at work.
As I look back at my education, training and work experiences, I realize that Legal Research and Writing is still my favorite course.
By Debbie Harris
First of all, I would like to say thank you for allowing me to serve as your Chair for 2017-2018. I am truly humbled by the honor. It is hard to believe how fast the past three years have flown by since I took over as treasurer for the Division. It seems like just yesterday that I sat in nervous excitement, wide-eyed and full of wonder in my first retreat/council meeting in 2012 at the North Carolina Zoo. Several years have passed, but I still sit wide-eyed and full of wonder at the amount of talent, intelligence, and experience that sits around me at our council meetings. We are truly fortunate to have such a hard-working, engaged group of professionals in our Division.
By Annette Phelps
It seems like it was only a month ago when I submitted my first blog as your Paralegal Division Chair. It has been a great year for the division with a lot of new and exciting changes, challenges, and proud moments.
The year started off with my focus on how to change the internal structure of the Paralegal Division to be completely in touch with what all the sections and other divisions are involved with and how to disseminate all that information to the council and members. A new Section Liaison Committee Chair was appointed to breathe life back into a committee that was struggling for participation. All section liaisons are now invited to participate in all council meetings so that they have a first-hand experience of everything our division is doing. They can then report back to each section and division for which they are a liaison, and report back to our division what opportunities are available by way of pro bono work, technology, education, and many opportunities. There are still section liaisons spots available and we welcome anyone interested in joining a section and becoming a liaison to contact us. The networking that comes from being a section liaison is priceless.