The Richmond Paralegal Assocation (RPA) was presented with a NALA Affiliate Award as a Committee for “Spring Forward in Your Job Search” at the 2009 NALA Convention in San Diego, California. View the plaque here 2009 NALA Affiliates Award Plaque.
NALA Affiliate Awards are presented annually to NALA members or committees of affiliated associations, where a majority of the committee members are NALA members, who have received a special award or have been recognized for their contributions and service to their NALA affiliated association. Affiliated associations submit their nominees based on their own selection criteria. Affiliated associations may designate one designee for an award each year.
Each recipient of the NALA Affiliate Award is automatically a nominee for the Affiliated Associations’ Outstanding Contribution Award. This award will recognize exceptional achievement among the recipients of the Affiliate Award.
As part of the application process, RPA provided the following information to the NALA selection committee .
Summary of Event: When the Richmond metro area experienced the largest number of unemployed paralegals in the Richmond Paralegal Association’s history – RPA was there. In response to this unprecedented time, RPA recognized that being prepared is important now more than ever. RPA wanted to boost the morale of its members and reach out to other paralegals in the area.
RPA held a wine and cheese networking event entitled “Spring Forward in Your Job Search” on April 9, 2009. The law firm of Hirschler Fleischer graciously offered its beautiful conference area as the event’s venue. The event supported paralegals not to become over whelmed with the staggering numbers of paralegals seeking employment. It revealed strategies to assist paralegals to stand out from the rest. Besides a chance to support members and guests with networking, the event’s committee assisted participants with an agenda of the evening’s activities.
Many people got on board to make “Spring Forward in Your Job Search” a success – law firms, career consultants, recruiting agencies, area colleges and universities and investment firms. Participants carried away valuable knowledge to set themselves apart. Participants were drawn in by the interactive panels of speakers which gave them tools to prepare as they only have a very limited time with potential employers and need to make a good impression and gain valuable information quickly. Participants learned ways to be flexible with their career path. After the sessions the air brewed with a sense of how to be prepared to meet the need of a potential employer with what educated, experienced paralegals have to offer the legal community.
This committee planned, organized and held this event in six weeks. To make this event a reality, members attended local events to make contacts and obtain suitable panel presenters , called on local law firm human resource departments to provide panel discussions, invited area recruiters, area colleges and universities, and investments firms to form a network and future contact benefit avenue for participants. Committee members arranged for an alcoholic beverage license; planned, shopped, set-up, and served refreshments for the reception; arranged meeting rooms; contacted vendors to assist with signage for meeting rooms and lobby; designed and circulated a flyer, registration form, agenda, and name tags; ordered fresh arrangements; accepted registrations and hosted a registration table, monitored panels, served as greeters and parking attendants, and provided all around support to vendors, schools and most important – participants. This free event reached out to current members and area paralegals to promote and benefit the paralegals in RPA’s community.
Committee Members: NALA Members: Amy C. Vaughan, Catherine W. Eagles, Donna Strauss, Teresa Clark, CP, Kimberly K. Fernandez, and Virginia Butler, CP and Non-NALA Members: Brenda McGill, Marcia Meekins, Nancy Donlon, Theodore R. Stone, David Richardson, and Michael Yager.