Monday, July 30, 2007

NALA's 32nd Annual Convention - New Orleans

Logoartblack The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) held its 32nd annual convention July 10-14 in New Orleans. Three institutes, three educational tracks and one very special leadership program = Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler! The Convention was fabulous, to say the least.

I serve on NALA's Board of Directors as Chair of its Advanced Paralegal Certification Board so of course that was the primary reason I was there. However, even if I didn't serve on the APC Board, missing Convention would be out of the question! It seems that every year this event gets bigger and better and I just love attending. True, Convention is all about education and leadership training but it also offers an opportunity to re-connect with old friends and to make new friends. This year was no exception.


While the entire Convention was spectacular, there were two outstanding events that I believe deserve to be highlighted. Both events demonstrate that NALA is all about "vision." First, NALA President Tita A. Brewster, ACP, announced NALA's Leapwebwindow brand new LEAP Program that will focus on leadership training. LEAP is an acronym for "Leadership Enhancement And Preparation" and is a new training program coordinated by NALA's Professional Development Committee. LEAP is designed to explore various facets of leadership and prepare volunteers for the challenges of national leadership roles with NALA. Since I am Past President of NALA, I realize the value and importance of training future leaders.

As if that were not enough, the Membership forum featured nationallyLevin_tif_2 recognized professional speaker, Mark Levin, CAE, whose very entertaining audience participation session was available to all convention registrants at no charge. What a benefit! Mr. Levin stressed that effective leaders not only have the ability to do things, they also have the ability to get things done... but they must be able to influence others to work with them.

Mr. Levin's interactive session covered: identifying the biggest challenges to leaders; determining what it takes to be a successful leader; bridging the generation gap; getting others to do their part; and planning for success. He is truly a gifted speaker who has the ability to combine laughter and learning.

Just one more comment about the LEAP Program. Fifteen NALA members from across the country were chosen to participate in the first LEAP class. It is my pleasure to mentor Lorena Shingleton, ACP, of Charleston, West Virginia during this year-long program. Congratulations to all who were chosen for this first class. I urge my readers to acquaint themselves with this program and consider participating next year.

And, last, congratulations to NALA President, Tita Brewster, ACP and all the NALA staff, particularly Executive Director, Marge Dover, CAE on an another outstanding Convention. See you all next year in Oklahoma City!

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