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The History of NCPA
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North Carolina can be proud of its progressive attitude concerning the paralegal profession. About the same time the National Association of Legal Assistants Inc. was incorporated, a group of paralegals in the Greensboro area formed a professional organization known as the North Carolina Paralegal Association. That group provided the base for our present organization. Warren Kidd, a member of the original NCPA, served on the founding Board of Directors of the present North Carolina Paralegal Association.
As early as 1978, the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers looked into the possibility of organizing a legal assistants division. Bylaws were drawn and submitted to NCATL's Board of Governors. In 1979, another group of paralegals were working together to form a State organization. When the legal assistants division concept was rejected by NCATL's Board of Governors, the two groups of paraprofessionals joined together in late 1979 to organize and draft Bylaws for NCPA. The North Carolina Paralegal Association became a reality in 1980. Thus, NCPA was formed by a concerned, dedicated group of professionals who recognized the need for a statewide organization in order to provide its membership with a continued flow of current national information.
What has the North Carolina Paralegal Association accomplished in twenty-five years? Let us take a walk down memory lane.
In 1981 the Board of Directors recommended to the first meeting of the membership that NCPA affiliate with the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA). The first continuing legal education seminar was held in April 1981 in Raleigh and our Banquet Speaker was the Honorable Sam J. Erwin III, from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The first NCPA plaque was presented to Marge Dover, Executive Director of NALA. NCPA had 177 members. Tom Masuda became the first President. Alice W. Penny became the first Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In 1982 the NCPA FORUM became the official publication of the organization; the first membership directory was printed; and the Job Bank was formed. NCPA was invited by the North Carolina Bar Foundation to participate in a Seminar in Charlotte by providing a paralegal speaker. The first CLA Review Course was conducted. Membership stood at 180.
In 1983 NCPA continued in cooperation with the North Carolina Bar Association by sending representatives to the Association's Annual Meeting in Asheville to display information on NCPA. Bumper stickers with the slogan "Legal Assistants: A Lawyer's Best Friend" were copyrighted. The North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers offered a new category of membership designated Paralegal Affiliated Members. The NCPA logo pin was created. The student essay contest for paralegal students was finalized and the first student scholarship was awarded. Joan Brinson Dressler became the second President of the NCPA. Governor James B. Hunt declared the first North Carolina Paralegal Week.
In 1984 membership stood at 202. The Annual Meeting and Seminar was held in Winston‑Salem. NALA offered for the first time CLA testing sites for affiliates to be held in December of each year. North Carolina had eight Certified Legal Assistants. The Honorable Charles L. Becton, from the North Carolina Court of Appeals was the Banquet Speaker. Charlene H. Pridgen, CLA became the second Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In 1985 NCPA endorsed the NALA Guidelines for Utilization of Legal Assistants. NCPA and the North Carolina Bar Association held a joint seminar. Paul G. Ulrich, then a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistants, was a speaker. NCPA was invited by the North Carolina Bar Association to send delegates to meetings of the Paralegal Committee and the Law Office Management Section. The first Mid‑Year Meeting was held in Asheville. A membership packet was approved to be sent to all new members. Patron and Sustaining members became a reality. The Long‑Range Planning Committee was formed. Membership stood at 243. Lee T. Deuto, CLA, became the third President of NCPA.
In 1986 advertising in the NCPA FORUM was approved by the Board of Directors. The position of Bar Liaison was created. Exhibitors were invited to participate in the Annual Meetings. The North Carolina State Bar invited representatives from NCPA to attend the meeting of the Committee on Non‑Lawyer Personnel. Amy J. Hill, CLAS, became the third Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In 1987 membership stood at 330. Senate Bill 457 came and went. The Board authorized placing ten percent of seminar proceeds into an Education Fund Account for paralegal students. The Annual Meeting and Seminar was held in Durham, North Carolina. Camille Stuckey Stell, CLAS became the fourth President of NCPA.
In 1988 T‑shirts with the NCPA logo were a "hit". Arthur Littleton, Esquire, immediate past Chairman of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistants, was the Banquet Speaker. The first NCPA History was compiled. A new membership folder imprinted with the NCPA logo for all new members was designed. "Take‑Me‑To‑Your‑Paralegal" cards with dates of Mid‑Year and Annual Meetings were a successful "hand‑out" at the North Carolina Bar Association meeting. NCPA had its first lobbyist.
In 1989 the Audit Task Force's recommendation of a new accounting system for NCPA was approved by the Board of Directors. The Incorporation Task Force considered reorganization of NCPA. NCPA's first survey was mailed to the membership. To promote the Association as it approached its 10th Anniversary Celebration, an information article was submitted to over 170 newspapers. Gayle D. Green, CLA, became the fifth President of NCPA, and Richard H. Reich became the fourth Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In 1990 membership certificates were approved by the Board of Directors. NCPA implemented use of Lotus 1‑2‑3 Accounting Program for financial purposes. Cooperation between the Office of the Secretary of State and NCPA produced North Carolina Business Corporation Act Seminars in the Districts. NCPA and the Virginia affiliates co‑hosted a reception at NALA's 15th Annual Convention in Washington, DC in July. The CLA Review Course was expanded. On June 29, 1990, a transfer of assets and liabilities of the North Carolina Paralegal Association to the North Carolina Paralegal Association, Inc. became effective. NCPA expanded contacts with the paralegal education programs across the state and provided free seminar manuscripts for their libraries. NCPA agreed to cooperate with the North Carolina Bar Association in disseminating information about its Pro Bono Program. NCPA's Second Annual Survey was mailed to the membership. The 1991 Scholarship Contest had its largest number of participants. The NCPA Board of Directors created the Meredith R. Pollette CLA Scholarship. Membership stood at 516.
In 1991 the Meredith R. Pollette CLA Scholarship was awarded to the first recipient. In recognition of the special contributions made by Tom Masuda, NCPA's first President, the Board of Directors adopted and presented a memorial resolution to the Masuda family. NCPA held its first Leadership Luncheon during the Mid‑Year Seminar in Asheville. A Document Retention Policy was implemented. The Executive Committee and Board of Directors took a look at how to improve its benefits to the membership. A Special Budget Committee was formed to evaluate the use of the members' fees and to make sure that all funds were being spent wisely. A new membership category was created for local and school associations within the State of North Carolina that desired to become an affiliate of the NCPA. Pitt Community College Student Paralegal Association became the first affiliate of NCPA. T. William Tewes, Jr., CLA, became the sixth President of NCPA and Gayle D. Green, CLA became the fifth Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In 1992 an Orientation Manual was introduced to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. The purpose of this manual was to lend consistency on a yearly basis with changes in the leadership and to continually improve the management of NCPA. A meeting was held between the North Carolina Bar Association President and representatives of the North Carolina Paralegal Association, Inc., to open discussions on possible paralegal associate membership with the North Carolina Bar Association.
In 1993 Board members attended a meeting of the Community College Paralegal Educators Network (CCPEN) during the 1993 Annual Seminar. There was a tremendous increase of student participants in the student scholarship essay. The Board continued to support NCPA's interest in pursuing associate paralegal membership for paralegals in the North Carolina Bar Association. NCPA was represented at the NCBA Annual Convention in Asheville. The Mid‑Year Seminar was held in Winston‑Salem and the CLA Review Course in Charlotte, during which time NCPA sponsored its first CLA Specialty Review Course. The third annual Meredith R. Pollette CLA Scholarship was awarded. NCPA's official publication, NCPA FORUM, took on an improved professional aura in appearance and content. The Board approved an increase in NCPA membership dues. NCPA was represented at NALA's mid‑year meeting in El Paso, Texas, and at NALA's Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. NCPA also presented a "position statement" to the ABA Commission on Nonlawyer Practice. Mary F. Haggerty, CLA became the NCPA's seventh President and Camille Stuckey Stell, CLAS became the sixth Chairman of the Board of Directors. Membership stood at 386. In 1994 President Mary F. Haggerty, CLA and Chairman Camille Stuckey Stell, CLAS led NCPA through another exciting year. NCPA was represented at the North Carolina Bar Association's Annual Convention in Mrytle Beach and at the NALA Annual Convention in Reno, Nevada. During NALA's Annual Meeting, NCPA member Amy J. Hill, CLAS was elected NALA First Vice‑President. The Mid‑Year Practical Skills Seminar was held in New Bern and the CLA/CLAS Review Course was held in Burlington. A special long range meeting was held to discuss the future of NCPA. Sweat shirts embroidered with NCPA's logo were offered for sale. Membership stood at 411.
In 1995 the Annual Seminar and Meeting brought a new meeting format to NCPA members with in‑depth sessions on real estate, litigation, and other general areas of law. The Board approved the hiring of Bonnie Holloman as NCPA Coordinator to assist in the day‑to‑day activities of membership and the publication of the NCPA FORUM. NCPA established a central telephone number for its membership. Through its Bar Liaison, NCPA monitored the progress and provided comment on Proposed RPC 216 to the North Carolina State Bar Ethics Committee. NCPA was represented during NALA's 20th Annual Meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma where NCPA members Amy J. Hill, CLAS was re‑elected NALA's First Vice‑President and Camille Stuckey Stell, CLAS was elected NALA's Region II Director. NCPA established the Regulation Task Force to investigate certification, regulation, or licensure in North Carolina. NCPA Coordinator Bonnie Holloman and second Vice‑President Patricia A. McGill revitalized our 1995‑1996 Membership Directory. The 1995 Mid‑Year Practical Skills Seminar was held in Boone and the CLA/CLAS Review Course was held in Rocky Mount. Sharon L. Wall, CLA was elected as NCPA's eighth President and Sharon G. Robertson, CLAS became the seventh Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In 1996 President Sharon L. Wall, CLA and Chairman Sharon G. Robertson, CLAS, guided NCPA through another productive and successful year. The 1996 Annual Meeting and Seminar was held in Research Triangle Park. NCPA was represented at the NCBA Annual Convention in Myrtle Beach and the NALA Annual Convention in New Orleans. During NALA's Annual Convention, NCPA members Amy J. Hill, CLAS was installed as NALA President, Valerie Chaffin, CLA as NALA Secretary and Camille Stuckey Stell, CLAS began her second year as NALA's Region II Director. The Bar Liaison continued to monitor the progress of Proposed RPC 216 through the North Carolina State Bar Ethics Committee. The Board continued to support NCPA's request that the North Carolina Bar Association revisit the question of associate paralegal membership and consider paralegal membership within the individual sections. For the first time in NCPA's history, the Mid‑Year Practical Skills Seminar in Wilmington was cancelled due to Hurricane Fran. The CLA/CLAS Review Course was held in Burlington.
In 1997 NCPA's working relationship with NCPA Coordinator Bonnie Holloman continued to improve the organization in all facets. Another huge success was the development of a Master Calendar which informs the Officers and Board of upcoming events. Significant improvements were made to the Orientation Manual and the President's Manual was created. NCPA established a Pro Bono Committee to participate in Project Together, a program designed for attorneys and paralegals to work together in teams to provide assistance to low‑income families concerning family law matters. The 1997 Annual Meeting and Seminar in Greensboro was a great success. NCPA continued its commitment to the profession by establishing goals and objectives at the Long Range Planning Meeting held in April. The Regulation Task Force continued to research issues regarding licensure, registration, or certification. The hard work and dedication of former Bar Liaisons Sharon L. Wall, CLA and Laura P. Lee, CLA, were rewarded when the NCBA Board of Governors approved the report of the Special Committee To Consider Paralegal Affiliation and voted to allow paralegal affiliation through the creation of the "Legal Assistants Division". NCPA Bar Liaison continued to monitor the progress of Proposed RPC 216. The Association continued to build a strong foundation of members whose hard work, dedication and commitment helped to promote the paralegal profession in many positive ways. Sharon G. Robertson, CLAS was elected as NCPA's ninth President and Sharon L. Wall, CLA became the eighth Chairman of the Board.
At the 1998 annual meeting in Raleigh, Sharon G. Robertson, CLAS was elected for her second term as President and Linda Lee Marion, CLA became the ninth Chairman of the Board. One of the most successful accomplishments of the past year was the North Carolina Bar Association's approval of NCPA's request for paralegal affiliation and the creation of the Legal Assistants Division. RPC 216 was adopted. The Regulation Task Force, chaired by Sharon L. Wall, CLA, was active in collecting data and educating working paralegals on the issues of regulation and licensure. As we move into the next year, this will continue to be an issue of serious discussion and debate. A Technology Committee was established to design the NCPA website. This website will become a source for information about NCPA and its programs. At the NALA convention in Washington, DC, Sharon L. Wall, CLA and Mary F. Haggerty, CLA were honored with NALA Affiliate Awards. The mid‑year seminar was held in Charlotte. The CLA Review course was held in Burlington with 18 registrants for the basic course and 6 for the specialty areas. Membership stood at 543. In North Carolina, there are now 200 paralegals that have attained their Certified Legal Assistant designation and 31 paralegals who have achieved specialty status.
In 1999 Marsha L. Johnson, CLAS became NCPA’s newly elected President and Linda Lee Marion, CLA continued to serve as Chairman of the Board. The Regulation Task Force worked diligently through the year gathering and presenting information. A cumulative RTF report was presented to the membership and discussed at the annual seminar. A new membership application and brochure were designed and mini-membership drives consisting of mailings were held in four districts. NCPA was well represented at the NALA Convention and Amanda A. Folk, CLAS was elected Region II Director. The Mid-Year Seminar and the CLA Review Course were held together in the fall of 1998 and this new format worked well by reducing costs and increasing attendance. NCPA’s long term goal for a website was realized and domain names of ncparalegal.org and .com were purchased. Members and non-members are able to request information from NCPA over the internet.
In 2000, NCPA celebrated its 20th Anniversary in Greensboro with a gala celebration: Spotlight on the Past, Present & Future. During the annual meeting, the general membership voted to approve the recommendation of the Regulation Task Force that NCPA define a recognized, professional standard for the paralegal profession in North Carolina. Sharon L. Wall, CLAS and the RTF committee were commended on their diligent work on this issue. Marsha L. Johnson, CLAS was elected to a second term as NCPA President and Sharon G. Robertson, CLAS was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors. For the second time in NCPA history the 1999 Mid-Year and CLA Review Course were cancelled due to a hurricane … this time Floyd. A mini seminar was held in District III.
In 2001, there was a three-way tie for the first place student scholarship award, and NCPA awarded three first place student scholarships and one second place scholarship at the Annual Meeting and Seminar held in Wrightsville Beach. Theresa (Terry) Irvin, CLA was elected President and Barbara A. Booker, CLA was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors. During the 2000-2001 year many exciting and positive things took place. As part of NCPA’s commitment to education and professional achievement, the Board approved an additional scholarship award for NALA’s specialty exam fee. Mini-Seminars were held throughout the year in Districts III, V and VIII. In an effort to recognize their continuing and valued support, the Board created a Lifetime Membership category for Past NCPA Presidents. The Regulation Task Force spearheaded the formation of the Alliance for Paralegal Professional Standards whose initial members consisted of North Carolina paralegal associations and paralegal educators.
The 2002 Annual Meeting and Seminar was held in New Bern. Theresa (Terry) Irvin, CLA was elected for a second term as President and Belinda T. Pruitt, CLAS was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Sharon L. Wall, CLAS received the NCPA Outstanding Service Award for her dedication, commitment and service to NCPA. The 2001-2002 year was very active. NCPA was well represented at the NALA Convention in Reno, Nevada. Sharon G. Robertson, CLAS was elected NALA Affiliated Associations Secretary and was the recipient of the NALA Affiliates Award. The Regulation Task Force (RTF) forged ahead and represented NCPA on the Alliance for Paralegal Professional Standards (APPS). Sharon L. Wall, CLAS served as chair of the Alliance. The RTF presented the latest developments of APPS at the Mid-Year Seminar in Boone and APPS made a panel presentation at the Annual Seminar in New Bern. NCPA’s proudest accomplishment was the donation of the net profits derived from the Mid-Year Seminar to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, a fund that assists the educational needs of the families affected by the September 11th terrorist attacks. The goal of adopting a formal mission statement was realized and it serves as a useful resource for our members and the public.
The 2003 Annual Meeting and Seminar was held in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Belinda T. Pruitt, CLAS, was elected as President and Teresa (Terry) Irvin, CLA was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The 2002-2003 year was incredibly eventful! Ruth H. Goodman, CLA, Survey Chair, received 149 responses to the 2002 Survey. The AMICUS and portions of the FORUM were added to the NCPA web site under the Publications Page and articles on “Spotlight on a Member” and “Life as NCPA (officer/committee chair/board member)” debuted. Sharon L. Wall, CLAS, represented NCPA and the Legal Assistants’ Division of the North Carolina Bar Association speaking before the Ad Hoc Committee for Residential Real Estate Closings at their Investigatory Meeting, June 7th, 2002. Sharon L Wall, CLAS received the NALA Affiliate Award at the NALA Convention in Savannah, Georgia. NALA also recognized the Regulation Task Force Committee members, Gayle D. Green, CLA, Linda Lee Marion, CLA and Richard H. Reich for their remarkable contributions as well. For the first time in NCPA history, a special meeting of the membership was held on November 2, 2002 to discuss the Regulation Task Force’s recommendation regarding regulation. The membership overwhelmingly passed the recommendation. NCPA, represented by Connie Burris, joined an informal alliance among the North Carolina Land Title Association, The Real Property Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and The North Carolina Register of Deeds Association to discuss current real estate issues.
The 2004 Annual Meeting and Seminar was held in Raleigh, North Carolina. Belinda T. Pruitt, CLAS, was elected for a second term as President and Theresa (Terry) Irvin, CLA was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The 2003-2004 year was another historical year for the paralegal profession. The Paralegal Profession Act was introduced into the North Carolina Legislature as Senate Bill 922 on April 2, 2003 and House Bill 957 on April 8, 2003. The introductions of the bills initiated discussions between the North Carolina State Bar and APPS for a regulatory scheme for North Carolina paralegals. The North Carolina State Bar Legislative Study Committee on Paralegal Regulation finalized a Plan for Paralegal Certification and proposed statutory amendments on February 20, 2004. Seminars and meetings were held throughout the year in Districts I, II, III, IV, V, VII, VIII and XI and NCPA noticed a sizeable increase in the number of student members. NCPA also received affiliate memberships from Alamance County Paralegal Association, Cumberland County Paralegal Association, Greensboro Paralegal Association and Pitt County Paralegal Association. Anita Watts Wing and Belinda T. Pruitt, CLAS, gave a presentation on Long Range Planning at the NALA Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Also at the convention, Theresa (Terry) Irvin, CLA was awarded the NALA Affiliated Association Award and Sharon G. Robertson, CLAS, was elected as Region II Director.
The 2005 (NCPA’s 25th) Annual Meeting and Seminar was held in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Much fun was had at the 25th Anniversary Banquet Friday evening as we celebrated our proud past and toasted those who have served NCPA so faithfully. North Carolina Bar Association President Grover Gray Wilson, Esq. was the guest speaker. At the Annual Meeting, Erin N. Burris, CP was elected President and Belinda A. Thomas, CLAS was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors. The 2004-2005 year was truly a milestone year for the profession in North Carolina as a plan for paralegal certification was approved by the North Carolina Supreme Court and now is a part of the North Carolina Administrative Code. Approval of the plan was gained in large part due to the efforts of APPS and the Regulation Task Force. Seminars, “Meet and Greet” socials, and meetings were held throughout the year in Districts I, II, III, V, VI, VII, and IX. Additionally, NCPA welcomed its first Educational Program members, Caldwell Community College and Guilford Technical Community College. At the NALA Convention in Reno, Nevada, Belinda A. Thomas made a presentation during the Member Exchange entitled “Managing the Equitable Distribution” and North Carolina’s own Amy J. Hill, CLAS was presented with the President’s Award.
The 2006 Annual Meeting and Seminar was held in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. The guest speaker for the event was Ms. Jane Terhune, one of NALA’s charter members, who spoke about the creation of the paralegal profession and what advancements have been made during the past 50 years. Erin N. Burris, CP, NCCP, was elected to a second term as President. Beverly G. King, NCCP, was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors. The 2006 Meredith R. Pollette, CLAS, Scholarship was awarded to Belinda A. Thomas, CP, NCCP, and to Judy Weeks.
The North Carolina Board of Paralegal Certification continues to receive and process many applications each month. Certification is raising the standard of the paralegal profession. It gives attorneys confidence during the hiring process by supplying individuals who have met certain minimum requirements and are dedicated to ongoing paralegal education and training.
NCPA has formed a partnership with Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC). This partnership assists attorneys in providing pro bono services to the 24 LANC offices across North Carolina. NCPA members are able to use their skills, available time and interests to assist LANC offices with specific projects.
2006 brought about an exciting change in NCPA’s online capabilities. MemberClicks now provides an online membership database. This database provides NCPA members with secure access to complete membership applications, view and search the membership directory, edit individual contact information, register for seminars, pay dues via credit card, contact other members and join a Career Center. An event calendar is also maintained to keep members up to date on all NCPA activities.
The 2007 Annual Meeting and Seminar was held in New Bern, North Carolina. Kaye H. Summers, CLA, NCCP, was elected as President. Beverly G. King, NCCP, was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors for a second term.
The paralegal certification process began a new phase in 2007 with the expiration on June 30, 2007, of the "grandfather" period. Beginning July 1, 2007, a paralegal who wishes to become certified by the North Carolina Board of Paralegal Certification is required to (1) have formal paralegal education before applying for certification and (2) pass an exam administered by the Board.
In July President Kaye H. Summers, CLA, NCCP, and Cindy Frye, NCCP, NALA Liaison, attended the NALA annual meeting in New Orleans. The paralegal profession is certainly continuing to grow and change, and North Carolina is in the forefront of that growth. NCPA was well represented again this year. Our table, which Kaye and Cindy displayed during the affiliates’ exhibition on Friday morning, was visited by many paralegals who were interested in North Carolina’s state certification program.
The NALA President’s award is one that is given every year to recognize significant achievements by a member or members of NALA who have been leaders in the paralegal profession, and who have a record of establishing programs which promote the professional standards among paralegals. This year the President’s Award was given to Theresa (Terry) Irvin, CLA and Mary E. Willard, ACP, both active and outstanding members of NCPA. It was obvious by the comments made that North Carolina is really respected among the NALA Board and members. Congratulations Terry and Mary for your award, it is well deserved!
In September the Mid-Year Seminar was held in Boone and was well attended by NCPA members. The weekend began with the Board and Executive Committee being sent through a "Time Machine" built by Long Range Planning Chair, Belinda Thomas. She wrote a skit in which each member of the Board and Executive Committee was sent through the Time Machine to show what NCPA would be doing 20 years from now. Thanks to Belinda and the Time Machine, many ideas were presented to make sure that NCPA stays alive and well into the future.
One of NCPA’s most important functions is that of providing a forum for members to share experiences, ideas, opinions, and knowledge with their peers. Through its education and information network, NCPA strives to help its members better assist the legal community in fulfilling its duty to clients and the public. The future of the organization and of the profession itself is the paralegal students who value their involvement as a significant part of their training to become paralegals.
Challenge is a stirring call to action or endeavor. The challenge of 1980 was obvious. The North Carolina Paralegal Association, Inc. is a reality and a strong professional organization for legal assistants within the State of North Carolina.
North Carolina can certainly be proud of the past twenty-five years of dedicated service accomplished by the North Carolina Paralegal Association, Inc. As it continues to build upon its strong foundation, NCPA is certain to have an explosive impact on our American justice system.
The 2008 Annual Meeting and Seminar was held in Concord, North Carolina. Kaye H. Summers, CLA, NCCP, was elected as President, and Beverly G. King, NCCP, was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors. The NCPA Student Scholarship winners were Charlotte Crone, Kathy Eichenbrenner, Kelly Garwood and Sheri Varner. At the close of this year’s Annual Meeting NCPA Coordinator, Mary F. Haggerty, CLA, retired after 24 years of service to NCPA. On Friday night, Mary was the honored guest at this year’s banquet and was presented with a Distinguished Service Award. Many of her friends paid tribute to “Mother Mary,” and shared their fondest memories of how Mary has touched their lives throughout the years. Mary will be greatly missed by NCPA, but her deep commitment to the paralegal profession and strong sense of ethics and training will live on in each of us who have had the privilege to know and work with Mary Haggerty. Brenda J. Mareski, CP, NCCP, assumed the position of NCPA Coordinator upon Mary’s retirement.
President Kaye H. Summers, CLA, NCCP, Cindy Frye, NCCP, NALA Liaison, Brenda J. Mareski, CP, NCCP, Erin B. Galloway, CP, NCCP, Debby Sawyer, CP, and Mary F. Haggerty, CLA, attended the NALA annual meeting in Oklahoma City July 30-August 2, 2008. Brenda and Erin represented NCPA in presenting an outstanding program highlighting the benefits of today’s technology, Debby was reelected as Affiliated Associations Secretary and Mary was presented with a NALA Affiliates Award.
Legal Assistants Today awarded its 2008 Paralegal of the Year Award to NCPA member, Mary Willard, CLA, CLAS, NCCP.
On May 3, 2008, the North Carolina Board of Paralegal Certification administered the first ever NCCP exam to 92 paralegals in five different locations across the state (56 passed the exam). One hundred North Carolina paralegals sat for the exam on October 4, 2008, and 75 of those passed. Congratulations to everyone involved.
In September the Mid-Year Seminar was held at the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons and was well attended by NCPA members. The weekend began with a meeting of the Long Range Planning Committee, headed by its chair, Belinda Thomas, ACP, NCCP. She led the group in a game of NCPARDY, a take-off on television’s “Jeopardy.” The committee discussed several exciting new long range goals for the future of NCPA. The Board and Executive Committee meeting followed. The first ever CLA/CP Exam Cram and NCCP Review Course was also held concurrent with the Mid-Year Seminar in Greensboro with 19 attendees present.
2008 also brought about NCPA “going green.” Beginning with the Winter 2008 edition, the Forum is now an online newsletter. Also beginning this year, seminar manuals will now be e-mailed to registrants. Way to go NCPA for doing our part to help the environment.
North Carolina paralegals continue to be in the forefront of new and exciting milestones in our profession.
The North Carolina Paralegal Association, Inc.