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INVEST ***** SACRIFICE ***** BECOME


 INVEST in yourself; INVEST in your career; INVEST in NCPA

 SACRIFICE time; SACRIFICE energy; SACRIFICE resources

 BECOME empowered; BECOME a leader; BECOME an officer or director of NCPA

 

Take the first step towards achieving one of the greatest investments that you will ever make:  Get involved in tNCPA leadership.  If  you are interested in learning more, or would like to get involved in NCPA leadership, please contact us.

You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make.

 -       Gorden B. Hinkley

 

Always wondered what a NALA Liaison is? Does the Treasurer really get to count money? What does the Student/School Relations Committee do? Answers to these questions and more are below. Remember, this association is yours! Be an integral part of the decision-making process! For more information or questions about a particular office or committee, view the appropriate section below.
 
  

PRESIDENT

The President is responsible for the day-to-day operations and reports to the Board of Directors ("Board") the activities of the Executive Committee (officers and committee chairs are known as the "EC"). You are also responsible for keeping the EC informed of actions and requests by the Board. This doesn't mean you have to do all the jobs yourself. There are Officers and Committee Chairs to help you complete these tasks. The Master Calendar tells you what task needs to be done and by when. The Orientation Manual tells you how each task should be accomplished and suggests sources to help you accomplish the tasks. You make sure each officer and committee chair stays on track and completes the assigned task. You also coordinate the tasks of the NCPA Coordinator.

All right, this is a simplified version of your job duties. Basically, you have to be good at delegating the tasks that need to be done and seeking others to help fill in when vacancies occur. A lot of business is conducted via the telephone, by mail, by facsimiles, and by email. Your busiest time is the week prior to an EC/Board meeting and right after. You will do a lot of coordinating between committees and the Board. You don't have to know how to do all the minute details of each job, such as Treasurer, only to be able to understand the overall picture to make sure each committee chair and officer is doing the best job possible.

 

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT (Education)

As First Vice President, you are responsible for the educational needs of the association. You work with the Executive Committee ("EC") in planning and coordinating the Annual Meeting and Seminar, Mid-Year Seminar, and CLA Review Course. You supervise the responsibilities of the committee chairs in planning each educational event, including confirming topics and speakers, soliciting and coordinating exhibitors and sponsors, compiling registration brochures and manuscript materials, summarizing seminar evaluations, maintaining and updating the speakers bank, and coordinating the annual banquet, hospitality events, and cocktail parties.

Your responsibilities include the preparation of reports for presentation at each EC meeting, as well as the preparation of periodic reports to the President, editing the press releases for each educational event, preparing committee reports for publication in NCPA FORUM, communicating with the hotel staff concerning all aspects of each educational event, preparing estimated budgets for upcoming educational events, and maintaining all files and disks related to the EC.

Serving is an extremely rewarding experience and one that allows you the opportunity to work with an excellent group of peers comprising the EC and the Board of Directors. The position also affords you the opportunity to contribute directly toward the educational needs of the members, as well as allowing you to incorporate your own personal expectations into future educational endeavors.

   

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT (Membership)

The orientation manual does a good job of describing what the Second Vice President position entails and it is a great resource. It gives just about step-by-step instructions on what to do and what the different positions are responsible for. It is updated every year as the association grows and positions change.

What is not found in the orientation manual is the invaluable experience of holding any position. There are so many positions the association relies on to function. Yes, some, particularly the officer and director positions, are more demanding of time than others, but there is something for everyone. Even being a part of a committee helps out tremendously.

You will make wonderful friends and contacts during your involvement and it will allow you to meet more people than if you had only just attended the seminars. It is great working with people from all over the state and learning how things are done in different counties. You can even improve your working skills by learning new things from people and from what you are responsible for.

You are provided with lots of support and as stated before you can pick a position that fits in with your time constraints.

 

SECRETARY

The Secretary is responsible for taking the minutes during the Annual Meeting and the meetings of the Executive Committee. The Secretary maintains a current list of officers, directors, and committee chairs for the association and the Master Calendar. The Secretary coordinates with the Parliamentarian in sending out the Notice of Annual Meeting and Proxies to the membership.

   

TREASURER

The Treasurer's duties include:

1. Maintaining one general checking account and three other checking accounts. These other three accounts have very little activity, perhaps one or two transactions yearly.
2. Reviewing, approving, and paying Expense Claim Forms submitted by the Executive Committee ("EC") and Board of Directors ("Board").
3. Once a month balancing all four accounts.
4. Completing the monthly Treasurer's Report. The Treasurer's Report is kept on an Excel spreadsheet, so Excel knowledge is a must.
5. Periodically preparing reports on the Annual Seminar, Mid-Year Seminar, and CLA Review Course.
6. Quarterly sending Treasurer's Reports to our accountant.
7. Quarterly sending reports to the Audit Chair for review.
8. Annually preparing a proposed budget for review and approval of the EC and Board.
9. At the seminars, displaying and selling the association's store items (car decals, sweatshirts, etc.).

 

PARLIAMENTARIAN

The Parliamentarian job description can be described in two parts. One part is specific in scope and the other part is more general.

In terms of specific job responsibilities, you maintain all the Bylaws and Standing Rules of the association. This consists of drafting proposed Bylaw and Standing Rule amendments and implementing all approved amendments. The proposals for amendments may be initiated by you, other officers, the Board of Directors ("Board"), and the general membership. Another specific responsibility is the preparation of the annual meeting script.

The second part is more general. You provide support to the leadership of the association by attending all Executive Committee and Board meetings in order to offer assistance with parliamentary procedure. Lastly, you offer general ideas to the leadership to help the association achieve its goals. This office is a wonderful way to initially become involved, to experience how the association operates, and to learn what the association does to support and advance the paralegal profession.

   

NALA LIAISON

As the name implies, the NALA Liaison acts as a contact between NCPA and NALA, making sure that communication lines stay open and information received about each association is promptly provided to the other. For example, NALA receives a copy of our membership directory, our annual meeting booklet, and each issue of NCPA FORUM. NCPA receives a copy of each issue of FACTS & FINDINGS and other membership and Certified Legal Assistant mailings. This information is disseminated to NCPA's membership through newsletters from your District Directors and articles in NCPA FORUM. You must become familiar with the Bylaws and Standing Rules of NCPA which pertain to this office, but you must also be familiar with NALA's Bylaws and Standing Rules. Understanding the latter helps you follow the minutes of NALA's meetings and more accurately report that information to the membership.

While most of the other officers (with the exception of the President) are only members of the Executive Committee ("EC"), one of your duties is being a member of both the EC and Board of Directors ("Board"). You participate in the discussion of matters which the EC recommends to the Board as well as participate in the Board's decision-making process on the recommendation. You know why the recommendations were made and know quickly whether the Board passes the recommendations.

Each quarter you must submit to NALA a report of NCPA's activities. These reports provide information about our officers, educational events, scholarships, etc. Each year you submit an annual report to be published in the NALA Affiliated Associations booklet which is given to every affiliated association. This booklet summarizes the activities of each association and is a great resource for other associations looking for new or better ways to serve their memberships.

Immediately after NCPA's annual meeting, you send NALA a list of NCPA's new officers, directors, and committee chairs as well as any bylaw amendments passed during the meeting.

The most fun duty is representing NCPA at the Affiliated Associations Meeting during NALA's Annual Convention. Each year the convention is in a different state. You must write a summary of these events to be published in the fall issue of NCPA FORUM.

Throughout the year, you will be contacted to provide information about NALA (membership application, catalog of educational materials, CLA Program Brochure, etc.) or to find out how to get the information that is needed.


 

AUDIT COMMITTEE

As Chair of the Audit Committee, you conduct periodic audits of the books for the fiscal year as well as the Annual Treasurer's Report to ensure all receipts are properly posted, all disbursements are supported by an Expense Claim Form, and the bank statements are in complete agreement with the records and balanced.

   

EDUCATION COMMITTEE

The Education Committee, chaired by the First Vice President, is responsible for the planning of the educational seminars. Members of the Education Committee include the Annual Seminar, Mid-Year Seminar, CLA Review Course, Registration, and Convention Coordinator Subcommittee Chairs. Each subcommittee chair is responsible for planning the topics, finding speakers, obtaining speaker manuscripts, locating exhibitors and sponsors, publishing the registration brochure, and making the final arrangements with hotel staff on the meeting room arrangement for their particular event.

Annual Seminar

The Annual Seminar is held in the spring (usually in mid-March).

CLA Review Course

The CLA Review Course is a two-day seminar covering all subjects tested on the Certified Legal Assistant Examination.

Mid-Year Seminar

The Mid-Year Seminar is held in the early fall (usually in mid-September). As Chair, you are responsible for planning and organizing the seminar, which is held concurrently with the CLA Review Course. You work closely with the First Vice President in coordinating the seminar. In doing so, you gain approval of speakers and topics, work on brochure format and content, make final hotel arrangements, and solicit assistance from members for duties relating to hospitality bags, public relations, and a wide variety of other tasks.

While planning the seminar, the duties can be divided among co-chairs. One co-chair usually contacts potential exhibitors and sponsors and coordinates with participating exhibitors and sponsors to provide suitable exhibit space, door prizes, and items for the hospitality bags. Most of this co-chair's time will be spent setting up the exhibitors' locations on the day of the seminar and coordinating with them to make sure they have access to everything they need for their exhibits. You will also assist in the preparation of the registration brochure and coordinate with the printer when needed.

The other co-chair's duties include selecting the topics and speakers. You will be responsible for obtaining copies of each of the speakers' manuscripts and compiling the large manuscript which will be distributed to the attendees. You will also assist in preparing the registration brochure by obtaining the proper credit hours for Certified Legal Assistant Education credit and preparing the brochure for mailing to the membership.

It will be a great experience and a good way to get involved. You will meet a lot of nice people and establish new friendships, which you will look forward to continuing.

   

REGISTRATION COMMITTEE

The Registration Chair is a great way to get to know many members. You work closely with the Treasurer to assure that all expenses are paid and revenue properly accounted for.

The Second Vice President and NCPA Coordinator will help you confirm the membership status of registrants. You will work closely with the other officers and committee chairs to make all our seminars meet the needs of our members and run smoothly. Member volunteers will help you with registration and you will meet many members and non-members during the actual registration.

Remember the ribbons and name badges of many colors? You will be responsible for keeping an adequate inventory of badge holders and various ribbons. This may not seem like much, but the ribbons and name badge colors help other participants to quickly identify officers, directors, and committee chairs when they have questions or would like to get involved. The ribbons also identify candidates at the Annual Meeting so that members have an opportunity to meet and talk with the candidates before voting time.

During seminar time, this is a very demanding but rewarding position. Few other positions offer the opportunity to meet so many people in such a short time.

   

CONVENTION COORDINATOR

The Convention Coordinator is responsible for locating and making the initial contact with hotels for future seminars. This includes discussing with the hotel planners the meeting and sleeping rooms needed during the event and obtaining proposed contracts for review by the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.

   

ETHICS COMMITTEE

If any members have questions regarding the unauthorized practice of law, they should contact the Ethics Committee Chair.

   

HISTORIAN

Were you on the yearbook staff in high school or college? Do you like to take photographs? Is your life chronicled by a series of scrapbooks? If any of these questions describe you, you might enjoy being the next Historian.

The Historian keeps a record of events through photographs and scrapbooks. Pictures of the Annual Meeting and the Mid-Year Seminar provide the time line that shows how the association has grown over the past 20 years. It gives us a glimpse of people we may not have known or some that have moved away. It gives us a way to remember the people, places, and events of the past, while we move forward.

If you love pictures and scrapbooks or if you are looking for a way to get involved and learn the names that go with those familiar faces, consider becoming Historian.

   

JOB BANK COMMITTEE

The Job Bank Committee Chair assists paralegals, whether transferring into North Carolina or currently in North Carolina, and prospective employers in finding jobs by maintaining a confidential list of applicants' resumes and potential employers' job descriptions.

   

LONG-RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE

The aim of this committee is to project the future needs and goals of NCPA and to formulate recommendations to the President and the Board of Directors which will enable this association to meet the future as a fully prepared professional association. Standing Rule VIII(A)(12).

The Long Range Planning Committee ("LRPC") meets at least once annually. LRPC meetings provide an open forum for expressing concerns about how the association is operating and for sharing suggestions for improvements or projects which the association should undertake. The LRPC Chair prepares and distributes prior to the meeting an agenda and presides over the meeting. While the meeting is open to all interested association members, attendees usually include current and immediate-past members of the Executive Committee ("EC") and the Board of Directors ("Board"). For the past few years, the LRPC meeting has been held the same day as the orientation session for officers and directors.

After the meeting, the Chair compiles a summary of items discussed at the meeting. Some topics may warrant further exploration, some may require specific tasks be carried out, and others may be tabled or rejected outright. The Chair submits the report to the EC and Board for their consideration. If recommendations are adopted, the appropriate officer or committee chair is responsible for handling matters which fall under his particular area of responsibility. The Chair monitors activity on approved projects.

Throughout the year the Chair should take note of concerns or suggestions expressed by members. While no action may be possible during that fiscal year, the Chair should record ideas for consideration by the next year's LRPC. Also, the Chair must be cognizant of deadlines pertaining to the association Bylaw and Standing Rule amendments.

The Chair is a member of the EC and is expected to attend all EC meetings.

   

NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS COMMITTEE

The Nominations and Elections Committee is responsible for the call for candidates for office and nominations for District Director. It is comprised of two subcommittees: (1) The Recruitment Subcommittee is responsible for soliciting interim and full-term officer and director candidates. (2) The Annual Meeting Elections Subcommittee is comprised of one member from each District who act as tellers during the Annual Meeting and are responsible for counting votes.

   

PATRON AND SUSTAINING MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

The Patron and Sustaining Membership Committee consists of one person, the Chair. You will advise Patron and Sustaining Members of deadlines for NCPA FORUM and the membership directory, obtain exhibitor information for the Annual and Mid-Year Seminars, and provide them with a copy of each issue of NCPA FORUM. In addition, you will attempt to recruit new Patron and Sustaining Members. If you want to become involved with the association and are looking for a committee which does not consume a lot of time, then Patron and Sustaining Membership Chair may be right up your alley.

   

PRO BONO COMMITTEE

The Pro Bono Committee was created to assist in a program called Project Together. The primary goal of Project Together was to form a model program, suitable for use around the state, that will increase the number of attorneys participating in pro bono programs. The program is directed to an area of critical need--legal assistance to low income families regarding family law matters. Unlike conventional volunteer programs administered by the Volunteer Lawyers Program, this program is specifically designed to attract attorneys who typically practice in other areas of the law and who have not traditionally been available to provide pro bono services. This program will attempt to reach out to those individuals and allow attorneys to give back to the community by assisting those individuals in need and thereby both further the integrity of the legal profession and help to equalize any economic barriers existing in our legal system. The primary areas of concentration (at least initially) will be 50B and custody.

It is a further goal of the program to recruit paralegals to help North Carolina Legal Services by staffing critical positions, such as intake, to increase the availability of legal programs to the public. Each of these goals should increase the number of volunteers participating in pro bono programs and proportionately increase the number of cases the Volunteer Lawyers Program can accept each year.

The Pro Bono Committee is primarily responsible for:
 

1. Attending all meetings of Project Together.
2. Working with Project Together to incorporate paralegal guidelines in its training program and update the guidelines as needed.
3. Assisting Project Together with paralegal training.
4. Recruiting paralegals in Wake County to participate in Project Together.

In the future, the Pro Bono Committee will expand its work to other pro bono activities that the association decides to participate in.

If you are interested in pro bono work and would like to join the committee, please contact the Pro Bono Committee Chair.

   

PUBLIC RELATIONS AND OFFICIAL PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE

The Public Relations and Official Publications Committee consists of the Senior Editor (Chair), Articles Editor, Association News Editor, Advertising Editor, and Public Relations Editor.

The Senior Editor is responsible for and has final authority over all matters related to public relations and official publications of the association, including the production of NCPA FORUM.

The Articles Editor is responsible for locating educational or professional development news articles related to the paralegal profession for publication in NCPA FORUM, obtaining reprint permission if necessary, and working with the NCPA Coordinator to typeset all articles.

The Association News Editor is responsible for reviewing and editing all reports received from the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, providing other association-related news (including calendar of events and information of upcoming events), and assuring other association items are published.

The Advertising Editor is responsible for communicating with anyone who wishes to advertise in NCPA FORUM.

The Public Relations Editor is responsible for marketing the association.

   

STUDENT/SCHOOL RELATIONS COMMITTEE

The Student/School Relations Committee promotes the ideals and purposes and provides information about the association to all paralegal programs across the state. You will keep a current record of the paralegal training programs and furnish material pertaining to the association and associate membership to all students enrolled in a paralegal training program. The list of schools offering paralegal training programs is available by NCPA Districts.

Letters with the rules and deadlines for the Student Scholarship Contest are sent to each school offering paralegal training programs in the fall of each year. The Scholarship Contest is also advertised in NCPA FORUM in the Fall and Winter issues. The association awards four student scholarships at the Annual Meeting Banquet in the spring.

 

SURVEY COMMITTEE

The Survey Committee prepares the annual utilization survey covering issues affecting paralegals in North Carolina. You will distribute the survey, receive replies, tabulate the results, and prepare an article reporting on the survey's responses.

 

TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE

The Technology Committee is charged with the responsibility of evaluating the association's computer needs and maintaining the Internet web site.

   

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

The association's Board of Directors ("Board") elects a Chairman from among its members at each Annual Meeting. The COB presides over all meetings of the Board and serves at the pleasure of the majority of the Board.

The COB's responsibilities include:
 

1. Acting as the spokesperson for the Board and providing guidance, subject to the Board's ratification, on all matters involving policy or other directives of the Board.
2. Maintaining a close working relationship with the President, keeping the President informed of policy decisions or other matters of interest which will assist in the day-to-day operation of the association.
3. Approving, together with the President, all mailings to the membership and articles for publication, news release, publicity, and printed brochures in a timely manner.
4. Keeping informed, by copy, of all mailings other than routine and customary correspondence.
5. Submitting to the Association News Editor, a COB report for publication in each issue of NCPA FORUM.
6. Seeking nominations from the districts to fill vacancies on the Board to serve as Interim District Directors until the next Annual Meeting.
7. Submitting to the President the annual report of the Board for the Annual Meeting booklet.
8. Coordinating the proposed budget for the ensuing fiscal year with the President and Treasurer.
9. Coordinating with the Board Secretary the notice of Board meetings and reviewing the drafts of the minutes of the Board meetings.
10. Conducting orientation or training sessions for Board members.
For Board meetings, the COB's responsibilities include:
 
1. Preparing an agenda for the meeting after consultation with the President.
2. Seeing that a quorum (a simple majority of the Board) does exist for each Board meeting for the transaction of any business. Proxy voting is not allowed.
3. Calling joint meetings of the Board and Executive Committee ("EC") when necessary.
4. Limiting the time for debate on any subject, with a speaker being permitted to speak not more than twice on any one subject for not more than three minutes except at the request or by permission of the COB.
5. Requiring any main motion, amendment, or instructions to a committee be in writing, if necessary.
6. Bringing an issue to the Board for resolution if and when the President and COB cannot agree on a matter.
7. Preparing a memo after each Board meeting to those Directors who did not attend to make them aware of any information they need to know immediately.

The COB is expected to attend the NCBA Annual Convention as one of the representatives at the NCPA Exhibitor's Booth, along with the NCPA President, NCPA Bar Liaison, and a NCPA District Director (usually from the nearest district to where the NCBA Annual Convention is meeting.)

COB skills include being able to listen to all sides of a question presented, be open and fair minded, and be able to make informed decisions which will benefit the association as a whole.

   

DISTRICT DIRECTOR

Each Director is elected by the general members residing within the Director's geographic region by procedures set forth in the Bylaws and Standing Rules. A District Director must reside or work within the district represented by the Director. The Director's term commences at the close of the Annual Meeting and ends at the close of the Annual Meeting two years from commencement or until the death, resignation, retirement, removal, or disqualification of the Director or the election of a successor or appointment of a successor by the Board of Directors ("Board"). Whether elected or appointed, a District Director may not serve for more than five successive years.

District Directors' responsibilities include:
 

1. Supporting the objectives and purposes of the association as stated in Article 11 of the Bylaws.
2. Developing long- and short-term policies and planning for the association to be implemented by the Executive Committee ("EC") under the supervision of the President.
3. Attending scheduled quarterly Board meetings when so called upon by the Chairman of the Board and any other special called meetings.
4. Coordinating meetings or a mini-seminar within the District at least once a year.
5. Being a liaison among the local associations within the District and to assist local associations within the District when so called upon.
6. Preparing quarterly District newsletters following each Board meeting in order to educate the District members on the issues before the Board. Information for the newsletter is "gleaned" from the Board meeting and reports furnished by the other Directors and EC.
7. Supporting the paralegal programs at the local community colleges within the district by contacting the program directors at least once a year in order to promote association membership among students and school leaders.
8. Responding to inquiries about the association from other paralegals.
9. Presenting issues from paralegals and local associations within the District to the Board.
10. Being a liaison between the local state bar associations within the District and the association.
11. Submitting to the Association News Editor a District Report for publication in each issue of NCPA FORUM.
12. Assisting the Nominations and Elections Chair in seeking nominations from the District to fill vacancies on the EC and Board.
13. Submitting to the President the annual report of the District for the Annual Meeting booklet.
14. Promoting the association and its objectives in the District, including recruiting new members and job placement.

Each Director is provided with an Orientation Manual and attends a Long-Range Planning/Orientation meeting. At this meeting the Chairman of the Board reviews the expectations of the Board and reviews the orientation manual and forms which each Director will need to utilize.

A Director should listen and take notes at meetings, keeping an open mind and encouraging participation by members in the District. Keep in mind what kind of things you as a member (who has no knowledge of the inner workings of the association) would like to know about when drafting the District newsletter. Keeping other members informed of and up to date on the association's activities, upcoming seminars, and announcements regarding local paralegal associations is extremely important.

Sometimes the position can be very frustrating especially when members do not renew. Overall, you will find the position very rewarding. It gives you an opportunity to see your fellow members on a regular basis and to be active in the association.

As District Director, you will find yourself learning how to prepare a newsletter on the computer--not nearly as difficult as you might expect! Following the Annual Meeting, there is a flurry of activity with orientation (very helpful) and learning the duties of the Board. The meetings are on Saturdays and are very organized and informative--no frivolity so you never feel that you are "wasting" a precious day off. There are letters to write to new members, non-renewals, bar association presidents, and paralegal schools--all with forms to go by. Your duties are not difficult, but simply require dedication to a worthwhile cause. It is fun being the first to learn about upcoming events in the association.

 

BAR LIAISON

The Bar Liaison is appointed by the Board of Directors ("Board"). Under the direction of the Board and the President, the Bar Liaison is the primary contact between NCPA and the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina State Bar, and local bar associations.

   

BOARD SECRETARY

The Board Secretary coordinates with the Chairman of the Board to send notice of the Board of Directors ("Board") meetings and provides drafts of the minutes of the Board meetings for the COB's review. The Board Secretary will send copies of the reports from the Executive Committee and the Board to the Directors who were not in attendance.

 
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