Join the American Alliance of Paralegals, the national paralegal association that continues to set standards that others follow. The American Alliance was the first to host the National Paralegal Summit, the first to host a webinar, and the first to set educational standards for voting membership. The successful leadership of the American Alliance has been echoed by other paralegal organizations and proprietary educational groups, thus affirming the old adage that copying someone else is the highest form of flattery.
Be a member of the association that leads the way instead of follows; be a part of the future with the American Alliance.
NOTE - Our web site has no connection with the commerical web site - americanallianceofparalegals.com. This commerical web site is endorsing paralegal programs. The American Alliance does not endorse paralegal programs.
IN THE NEWS!
In January 2013, the American Alliance celebrated its tenth anniversary. From the early days of its inception, when a group of paralegals met in Phoenix, Arizona, to form the American Alliance, the focus was on education. The original Board felt that experienced paralegals needed a way to differential themselves from persons who merely performed clerical duties in a law office or corporate setting, and thus the American Alliance of Certifiied Paralegal (AACP) program was formed. Although a paralegal exam is not required, the Certification Commission follows strict protocols before approving an AACP, and 18 hours of continuing legal education each 3 years is required of anyone choosing to renew his/her certification.
Another State Defines the Term "Paralegal":
Montana signs bill defining the term "paralegal" and further providing for the inclusion of paralegal fees as a component of attorney fees. The bill was signed by the Governor of Montana on May 5, 2009 and became effective October 1, 2009. The bill approved was Montana H.B. 301 which was introduced in the 2009 legislative session.
The definition of a paralegal, as set forth in the bill is as follows: Section 2. Paralegal defined -- use of title. (1) As used in [section 1] and this section, "paralegal" means a person qualified through education, training, or work experience who is employed or retained to perform, under supervision by a licensed attorney, substantive legal work that:
(a) requires a substantial knowledge of legal concepts; and
(b) in the absence of the paralegal, would be performed by an attorney.
(2) An individual may use the title "paralegal" if the individual:
(a) has received an associate's degree in paralegal studies from an accredited institution or a baccalaureate degree in paralegal studies from an accredited college or university;
(b) has received a baccalaureate degree in any discipline from an accredited college or university and has completed not less than 18 semester credits of course work offered by a qualified paralegal studies program;
(c) has received certification by the national association of legal assistants or the national federation of paralegal associations;
(d) has received a high school diploma or its equivalent, has performed not less than 4,800 hours of substantive legal work under the supervision of a licensed attorney documented by the certification of the attorney or attorneys under whom the work was done, and has completed at least 5 hours of approved continuing legal education in the area of legal ethics and professional responsibility; or
(e) has graduated from an accredited law school and has not been disbarred or suspended from the practice of law by any jurisdiction.
(3) A person may not practice as a paralegal except under the supervision of a licensed attorney and is prohibited from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.
The Montana bill did not take in to account certification by the American Alliance of Paralegals as a qualifying factoc.
Wisconsin has embarked, once again, on mandatory regulation and licensing of paralegals in Wisconsin via the State legislature, based on the recommendations of the Wisconsin Supreme Court in their decision of April 2008. Currently, the bill is in its drafting phase within the Legislative Reference Bureau and the Paralegal Association of Wisconsin anticipates that they will have a draft of the bill to review after the first of the year. The bill will provide for regulation and oversight through the Wisconsin Department of Regulation & Licensing. More news will follow as the bill is finalized.
ARTICLES WORTH READING:
Interested in learning more about American Alliance's board members? Read the interviews with LawCrossing.com under the Articles tab.
Position Statement on Paralegal Education Standards in New York State Adopted January 2006 by the Empire State Alliance of Paralegal Associations.
Deborah McKinney, RP, AACP, AAPI’s past Education Director and Carolyn Saenz, AACP, AAPI’s President, co-authored two articles titled "How to Hire a Quality Paralegal" and "Do Paralegals Need to be Certified?" that were recently published in the Cincinnati Bar Association Report. Congratulations Deborah and Carolyn!
AACP RENEWAL GUIDELINES ARE ON THE WEBSITE UNDER THE CERTIFICATION TAB.
Below is an excerpt from an interview with one of the American Alliance's newest AACPs, Renée Cipriani. The complete interview is in The Alliance Echo, a quarterly publication of the American Alliance.
Renee earned an Associate Degree in Applied Business/Legal Assistant Program from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Paralegal Studies from the College of Mount St. Joseph. She is an American Alliance Certified Paralegal, OSBA Certified Paralegal, and Pace Registered Paralegal.
As you can see, Renée is no stranger to education in fact she has a strong belief in paralegal education. She endorses regulation and believes it will provide standards for ethics, discipline, education, and competency by which paralegals can validate their value to the legal industry. She believes that regulation will provide a standard by which clients can evaluate a paralegal’s competency and allow for the expansion of paralegal roles. She believes that some form of regulation is inevitable and hopes that paralegals are able to maintain a proactive role in influencing the direction of regulation.
In Renée’s opinion, the most valuable skill for a paralegal is resourcefulness.
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