San Francisco Paralegal Association

News

  • 04/01/2014 6:49 PM | Ian Elkus
    New jobs have been added to the Members' Only Career Center, and more jobs are in the pipeline. For those interested in joining in the Association, this is one of many benefits of becoming a member of the San Francisco Paralegal Association. If you would like to become a member, please visit our Join page.
  • 03/16/2014 9:19 PM | Ian Elkus
    SFPA is working with the Eviction Defense Collaborative!

    The EDC is the principal organization in San Francisco helping low-income tenants respond to eviction lawsuits. Volunteers conduct intakes with clients, draft pleadings, prepare for/shadow attorneys at settlement conferences and more. Our office could not function without an incredible team of dedicated volunteers. Please see 
    evictiondefense.org or email volunteer@evictiondefense.org for more information.
  • 03/11/2014 8:19 PM | Ian Elkus
    Members:  to all those who sponsor MCLE events, here are some guidelines and things to know for 2014

    Submitted by Michele Pfeiffer, CAPA

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    With new representatives throughout the year, here are the guidelines with bullet points so you have a checklist.  If we follow the same format we can meet our due diligence in providing timely, relevant meetings, and be in compliance. 

    • As soon as you have a speaker, bio, topic and handouts/outline, etc., send them to MCLE chair for approval, otherwise, your flyer needs to say MCLE Pending approval; once done you can start advertising the event;
    • For examples of flyers contact MCLE Chair, it must State To All Attorneys, Paralegals & Legal Professionals” on the flyer; state amount of MCLE credit and statement re Providership on all promotional material
    • Print out the State Bar MCLE forms to be used (either using State Bar forms & typing in the info and copying or creating exact verbatim replicas prepared by CAPA MCLE chair, which can then be copied);
    • There are three forms:  The Official Record of Attendance; The Speaker Evaluation Sheet (must include speaker(s)’ name at bottom); and the Certificate of Attendance for CA MCLE Credit sheet;
    • All pertinent information should be completed as required, including the speaker's name(s), topics, etc. (please refer to brochure or flyer, if you have questions re this), assuring that the ‘wording’ is not altered from the State Bar forms when typing up the forms; Be sure to mark if its Ethics or General credit
    • CAPA’s MCLE providership number is 10628 (or use your own association’s or speaker’s);
    • A few fully completed sign in sheets for each section should be available based on attendance (20 signatures per page).  It's better to have more than run out.  (Note: I saw in the past that names were signed to odd pieces of paper and attached without any of the proper headings on the paper, this is improper and must be avoided (it could give the State Bar reason to not approve a program);  
    • Also be sure to fill out and prepare the NALA Certificate of Attendance; I have a blank copy (not for CA MCLE);
    • Also, if your association is a member of NFPA, be sure to fill out and prepare their form as well (as above);    
    • Please make arrangements to have someone available that can sign for the credit for NALA/NFPA members at each session (not for CA MCLE requirements);  
    • Please assign a volunteer(s) that is in charge of making sure everyone signs in, passes out the speaker evaluation sheets, welcome the speaker(s), collects the evaluation sheets/forms, thanks the speaker(s), passes out the CLE certificate at the end of the meeting on their way out as they turn in their evaluation sheet, and, finally can sign the forms for NALA/NFPA; this will make each program run more smoothly and professionally;  
    • Speakers must sign in on the same form as the attendees and can receive the same Certificate of Attendance, there is no longer a requirement that they receive a different and/or separate form;
    • Also please remind your speaker(s):  (1) if they have presented this program before, they only get the hour (and/or actual speaking time, i.e., 1.5), they cannot double bill for ‘preparing’ for same; they only get the preparation time when a program is presented for the first time; and (2) if there are a panel of speaker(s) they only get a portion of that time divided by the number of speaker(s) (i.e., if it is an hour program and there are three speakers, they only get credit for 20 minutes each for speaking and 40 minutes for attending, yet the attendees do get the full hour; if you have any questions, please contact me;
    • Once completed let the volunteer(s) know who is collecting the packet(s), so they can get it back to either your MCLE chair or if it is for CAPA, then get it to me;
    • Until further notice from the State Bar, please assign an attorney to attend each breakout session and keynote speaker program for conferences and this includes individual 1.0 hour programs.  Please be sure to confirm with them the day before.  Please note:  if no attorney is present at our co-sponsored events, then that session cannot be counted towards CA MCLE credit, but will suffice for NALA/NFPA credit.  (NOTE:  I also noticed in the past that an attorney had signed in and then just wrote in "attorney", instead of using their State Bar No.  This is not acceptable.  Please remind the volunteer(s) in charge, to check and make sure that the attending attorney(s) actually write in their State Bar No. correctly;
    • Be sure to follow-up with the speakers by including a thank you letter, send them copies of all the Evaluation Forms, and if they forgot to pick up their Certificate of Attendance, be sure to include one for their records; and
    • If you feel I have left something out, please let me know, I welcome your comments. 
    Only attorneys, judges, DA, or the like & already approved MCLE providers can be automatically be approved; all others including paralegals, teachers, &  most vendors must be sent to State Bar for approval; please get all forms to MCLE chair at least 1 month prior to event for approval and before you advertise the event (unless it can be automatically approved); 
  • 02/21/2014 6:51 PM | Ian Elkus
    Congratulations to SFPA Board member and President emeritus (2013)
    Kristin Schieber and her husband Paul on the arrival of baby Truman , born at 1:22 this morning, happy and healthy at 8 lbs, 7ozs, 22.25 inches.
  • 02/20/2014 8:00 PM | Ian Elkus
    For the fantastic response to our Pro Bono committee.  Don't forget the April 26 planning meeting

    Please contact Rolayn Tauben at communityserviceprobono@sfpa.com if questions.
  • 01/22/2014 6:50 PM | Ian Elkus
    Beginning in January 2014, the Board of Directors has voted to gradually eliminate the Associate Membership category in favor of all fully paid and current members being extended the right to vote for directors and officers.  As of now, fully-paid Associate Members will be eligible to vote at the Annual Meeting in the fall.

    The Board's intention in this matter is to ensure that all of our professional members--be they newly downsized, outsourced, laid off, between jobs or just seeking different opportunities--have the right to still participate in the decisions that help decide their Association's future.  The Board also anticipates that this change will encourage more member participation in the Association going forward.
  • 12/31/2013 4:50 PM | Anonymous
    As we come to the close of 2013, we here at San Francisco Paralegal Association would like to express our appreciation to our members and thank you for your continued support.

     

    We wish you and your family a peaceful, healthy and prosperous New Year!

  • 10/29/2013 8:45 PM | Anonymous
    Thank you for your membership with the San Francisco Paralegal Association.  I would also like to thank all of you who attended the 2013 Annual Meeting.  We had over 44 members attend.

    As President, I would like to extend my congratulations to the newly elected 2014 Board and Officers:

    President
    Ian Elkus
     
     
    Vice President
    Elizabeth Olvera
     
     
    Treasurer
    Trinh Doan

     
    Board of Directors
    Susan Jaffe
    Matthew Nevitt
    Kristin Schieber
    John Stewart

    I encourage each and every one of you to please attend our next Board meeting on November 11, 2013 at 5:30 PM at the Association's headquarters on 1 Sansome Street, Suite 3500, San Francisco, CA 94104.  We will wait to induct the new leadership at the December Board meeting, but would like to begin discussing the transition to make it as smooth as possible.

     
    Sincerely,

    Kristin Schieber
    President, San Francisco Paralegal Association
  • 10/27/2013 3:31 PM | Anonymous
    The San Francisco Paralegal Association would like to congratulate Joan M. Douglas-Fry, student of the San Francisco State University Paralegal Studies program, for winning the 2013 SFPA Scholarship!  The $1,000 scholarship will be used to pay for costs incidental to the pursuit of a paralegal studies certificate.                                                  

    Below is her winning essay:

                                                                                                                                             

     Limited License Legal Technician Program

                                                                                                           

    In the medical field, there are physician assistants and nurse practitioners who can offer limited medical diagnosis and treatment without a medical degree. So, why shouldn’t there be a category of legal professionals who can offer legal advice in certain situations who aren’t licensed attorneys?

    California is facing an access to justice crisis, where many people are increasingly unable to afford legal help.  Although legal aid, pro bono service and court-employed family law facilitators try to fill this gap, too many people need legal assistance and simply cannot afford it at today’s legal market rates; thus, many are often forced to turn to non-lawyers or self-represent because of costs

    In response, the California State Bar is considering implementation of a limited-practice licensing program that would create a new class of legal professionals who could give legal advice in certain situations.  The plan is that the limited licensing program would provide legal services to clients who couldn't otherwise afford attorneys, while allowing law students and others who haven't passed the bar, such as certified paralegals, to put their skills to use.

    In 2012, Washington State adopted the Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Rule28 [1] , which authorizes non-attorneys who meet certain educational requirements to advise clients on specific areas of law. For now it is limited to family law, but expects to roll out other practice areas soon.  APR 28 allows legal technicians to select and complete forms, inform clients of procedures and timelines, review and explain pleadings and identify additional documents that clients may need. 

     It is certainly true that California currently allows non-lawyers to perform some legal tasks that don't constitute the practice of law, such as helping people fill out legal forms. For instance, paralegals working under the supervision of licensed attorneys (Business and Professions Code Section 6450 et seq), unlawful detainer assistants, legal document assistants (Business and Professions Code Section 6400 et seq) and immigration consultants (Business and Professions Code Section 22440 et seq) registered by county clerks or California’s Secretary of State all can assist consumers with legal needs in limited ways, short of practicing law.

                  

    The services of a LLLT would be most useful in cases concerning family law, landlord-tenant disputes, foreclosures, end-of-life planning, and general consumer issues, areas where people usually find themselves needing legal assistance and many times having to self-represent.  A certified paralegal would typically have the skills needed to serve clients in these areas, including research and discovery, preparing forms, compiling documentation, interviewing, and preparing pleadings.  It is not being argued for LLLTs to practice independently in criminal cases. 

    Thus, the time has come for the legal profession to offer consumers better access to legal services in a more affordable manner.  California State Bar Board President Patrick Kelly says that doing nothing about the spiraling costs of legal services is not an option.  “Despite fundamental changes in society and the needs of clients, the basic legal service delivery system we use today has not fundamentally changed for more than 150 years,” said Kelly. “It is time to re-examine how legal services are being delivered, and the State Bar’s examination of limited-practice licensing is a strong step in this direction.”                                               

     

     

    [1]Washington State Supreme Court under Rule 28 of the Admission to Practice Rules (APR), adopted September 1, 2012. APR 28 authorizes non-attorneys who meet certain educational requirements to advise and assist clients on specific areas of law. 

                                                                                                        

     

     

                                                       

     


     

San Francisco Paralegal Association • 1 Sansome St., Ste. 3500 • San Francisco, CA 94104-4448 • (415) 946-8935 • info@sfpa.com