Letter from the President

October 30, 2017

This has been a very productive year to date for the NYCPA. One highlight was the NYCPA hosting the NFPA's Joint Conference on Education and Leadership in April.  A record turnout of members and representatives from around the country came for a weekend of workshops and CLEs.  We capped it off with our tenth (10th) anniversary party and raised five hundred dollars ($500.00) for St. Mary's Children's Hospital in Queens.  

Over the last year our Board’s Secretary, Jessica Mieles, has worked tirelessly helping the Empire State Alliance of Paralegal Associations (ESAPA), both as their secretary and our representative, to successfully plan and execute their Education and Leadership Conference in Syracuse, New York last month.  This was the most successful program they have sponsored.  Workshops included Ethics for the Paralegal, Modern E-Discovery, Social Security Law, Elder Law and the Improper Service of Process.

October 12-15th weekend, marked another highlight in our service to the profession and community. The National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) held its Annual Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The four day conference challenged and enabled paralegals from around the country with workshops on topics as diverse as Digital Due Diligence, Ethics in Evolving Compliance Requirements, Avoiding Unauthorized Practice of Law, Marketing Your Paralegal Skills, and Effective Handling of Conflict in the Workplace. Agenda issues focused on Ethics and the Unauthorized Practice of Law.

With the aid of social media, the paralegal profession is increasingly encountering individuals who offer services as paralegals who have neither the training nor the supervision of an attorney.  As more jurisdictions endeavor to address the issues of access to justice, availability of affordable legal assistance and an increasingly litigious culture, more individuals are presenting themselves as "paralegals" capable of advising individuals as to services and representation.  The patchwork of jurisdictions across the country prohibit a uniform manner to regulate and protect consumers.  These ethical and practical issues present a challenge to our profession and the means to address them.  An ad-hoc committee has been formed to explore possible solutions and means to prevent harm to consumers, paralegals and the profession itself from negative publicity and actively confront it as a threat to our reputation.

We have recently added two (2) new members to our board.  Theresa Squillacote who as our Professional Development Coordinator is addressing new and creative means of increasing our responsiveness to members and sponsors, and   Jasmine Hansen, Events Committee Co-Chairperson, assisting Nikki Doughty in bringing more events for our members as well as working to update, streamline and effectively create a more responsive website social media presence.

Our Bylaws require us to hold elections for members of the board of directors each year. Notice has been sent out for our annual meeting to be held on [Thursday, December 7], 2017.  The nomination process is now open and we encourage each of you to consider a position on the board.  Currently we have openings for Treasurer and Vice President.

On behalf of the entire Board of Directors of the NYCPA, we thank you for your time and continued support. We encourage your deeper participation and welcome feedback on how we may increase the responsiveness of the board to your professional and career aspirations.

William Strachan
President, New York City Paralegal Association, Inc. (NYCPA)

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