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  • 09/30/2013 7:06 PM | Anonymous
    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.
  • 02/20/2013 2:37 PM | Anonymous

    Announcing the All-New At-Issue Newsletter

    At-Issue Vol. 1 - Issue No. 1.pdf


    Dear Members,


    In pursuit of providing information for sharing updated news and events, I am pleased to announce that San Francisco Paralegal Association (SFPA) is launching its first issue for 2013 of the At-Issue Newsletter! I am so grateful to all the contributors for making this newsletter happen.  The At-Issue newsletter will be published quarterly.  We are providing this newsletter for our members, vendors, and affiliations to aid with updates on important developments of SFPA and important developments in the legal profession.     


    Members and readers, if you would like to become a writer or contributor to this newsletter, provide suggestions of topics you would like to read about, or simply leave a comment, please email me at marketingmembership@sfpa.com


    Thank you for reading and enjoying the At-Issue.  Please look out for issue number two in a couple of months.


    Sincerely,

    Michele K. Ho

    Marketing & Membership Chairperson 

  • 02/06/2013 10:47 PM | Anonymous
    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.
  • 10/20/2012 11:19 AM | info @sfpa.com (Administrator)
    The San Francisco Paralegal Association would like to congratulate Charles Curtis, student of the San Francisco State University Paralegal Studies program, for winning the 2012 F. Chantal Russell Scholarship!  The $1,000 scholarship will be used to pay for costs incidental to the pursuit of a paralegal studies certificate.

    Below is his winning essay:

    Chantal B. Russell Scholarship Essay: Implications of MCLE Definitions for California Paralegals


    Paralegals and attorneys in California are required by statute to complete a prescribed number of hours of mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) on an ongoing basis. Though the requirements for each group are similar, there are also some significant differences, which raise a number of concerns when closely examined.


    All paralegals are subject to the same two-year compliance period; the current period ends December 31, 2012. During this time, each paralegal must complete a minimum of four hours on legal ethics and four hours on general or specific legal topics. These hours must be certified with the paralegal’s supervising attorney.


    Attorneys, on the other hand, are divided by last name into three staggered, three-year compliance groups; the next reporting deadline, for attorneys with last names starting with the letters A through G, is February 1, 2013. Each attorney must complete 25 hours of education, including at least four hours on legal ethics; one hour on prevention, detection, and treatment of substance abuse or mental illness; and one hour on elimination of bias in the legal profession. These hours must be reported to the California State Bar.


    Multi-year compliance periods allow for busy lives, both personally and professionally, but they may also encourage those in the legal field to postpone completion of the requirements and to work for extended periods of time without engaging in any continuing education. Further, the disparity in the length of the respective compliance periods means that attorneys who meet only the minimum requirements will complete just two-thirds the number of ethics hours completed by paralegals over the same number of years. Is it reasonable to think that attorneys require less ethics education than do paralegals?


    Of perhaps greater concern is the way that the MCLE requirements are defined. California Business and Professions Code section 6450(d) describes the nature of the requirements for paralegals and refers to BPC section 6070, which describes the requirements for attorneys and indicates that the State Bar will approve education activities. Section 6070, in turn, points to the California Rules of Court. There, rule 9.31 reiterates the basic requirements for attorneys and notes that the State Bar is responsible for establishing and administering an MCLE program. Finally, the Rules of the State Bar (Title 2, Division 4, where the M in MCLE stands for minimum, not mandatory) provide an extensive description of the approved, and unapproved, types of educational credit and activities -- but these rules are written for attorneys, not paralegals. While some of the general principles might reasonably apply to paralegal MCLE, it is clear that the guidelines were not developed with paralegals in mind. In fact, the most specific and relevant description of the continuing education requirements for paralegals appears in the first link of the chain of definitions, BPC section 6450(d). Subsequent statutes and rules point, ultimately, to rules that simply don’t apply to paralegals.


    The regulation of paralegals is a fairly recent, and evidently incomplete, development in California. Setting standards for education and behavior helps elevate the profession, but insufficient acknowledgment of the unique role of paralegals calls into question the adequacy of the recognition. If paralegals are subject to continuing education requirements, they deserve to have those requirements defined more specifically by rules tailored to their distinct place in the legal field.

  • 10/20/2012 11:01 AM | info @sfpa.com (Administrator)
    Thank you for your membership with the San Francisco Paralegal Association.  I would also like to thank all of you who attended the 2012 Annual Meeting.  We had over 50 members attend, and the evaluations were overwhelmingly positive.

    As President, I would like to extend my congratulations to the newly elected 2013 Board and Officers:

    President
    Kristin Schieber

    Treasurer
    Trinh Doan

    Secretary
    Latosha Wakefield

    Board of Directors
    Carolyn Archibald
    Lisa Craft
    Ian Elkus
    Susan Jaffe
    Atia Schreiber
    John Stewart

    I encourage each and every one of you to please attend our next Board meeting on November 6, 2012 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.

    Our next event will be the Winter Social to be held on Thursday, November 8, 2012 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at Ozumo, 2251 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612.  We encourage all members to attend to network and enjoy free food and drinks.  Hope to see you all there!

    Sincerely,

    Brian Metzker
    President, San Francisco Paralegal Association
  • 09/05/2012 9:27 PM | info @sfpa.com (Administrator)
    Every year, the San Francisco Paralegal Association awards a $1,000 scholarship to a student member of the Association who writes an essay about an issue important to the paralegal profession in California.  This year's prompt is as follows:

    The paralegal profession in the state of California is governed by California Business and Professions Code sections 6450 et al.  California Business and Professions Code section 6450(d) states the following:

     

    Every two years, commencing January 1, 2007, any person that is working as a paralegal shall be required to certify completion of four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in legal ethics and four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in general law or in an area of specialized law.  All continuing legal education courses shall meet the requirements of Section 6070.  Certification of these continuing education requirements shall be made with the paralegal’s supervising attorney.  The paralegal shall be responsible for keeping a record of the paralegal’s certifications.

     

    Please identify the current compliance period, and discuss the benefits and consequences of how this compliance period is statutorily defined.  Please compare this compliance period with the compliance period for attorneys.  (See Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 6070.)


    To be eligible to receive the $1,000 scholarship, a student member must write a 500-word, double-spaced, 12-pt. font size essay and submit it to the Professional Development Committee Chair at professionaldevelopment@sfpa.com no later than Monday, October 1, 2012.  The winner of the scholarship will receive the award at the Association's Annual Meeting, to be held on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) at 654 Mission Street in San Francisco, CA.  If you have any questions about the scholarship, please send your questions to info@sfpa.com.  We look forward to receiving your essays!

  • 09/02/2012 10:10 PM | info @sfpa.com (Administrator)
    The San Francisco-based Asian Law Caucus will be offering the Bay Area community three (3) law clinics next week, starting with a mandatory training on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 from 5:00-8:00 PM in the Mission Neighborhood.  The clinics will be held on:

    Thursday, September 6, 2012, 5:30-8:30 PM at the Asian Law Caucus
    Friday, September 7, 2012, 4:00-8:00 PM at Mission High School in San Francisco, CA
    Saturday, September 8, 2012, 9:00 AM-1:00 PM at Mission High School in San Francisco, CA

    For more information on how to participate in the training and clinics, please contact Layma Ahmadzi at laymaa@asianlawcaucus.org.
  • 07/02/2012 12:04 PM | info @sfpa.com (Administrator)
    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.
  • 06/18/2012 9:47 AM | info @sfpa.com (Administrator)
    Thanks to the San Francisco Paralegal Association's leadership, the Paralegal Day coordinators and volunteers, and the members and non-members in attendance, the Association held a very successful Paralegal Day! A total of five (5) hours of MCLE—two (2) hours of ethics MCLE and three (3) hours of general MCLE—were offered, along with a continental breakfast and a catered lunch.
     
    We would especially like to thank our speakers who took the time on a beautiful Saturday in San Francisco to speak with our attendees on a variety of legal topics. All of your presentations were well-received, and we do hope you will join us again at future Paralegal Days and other Association events.

    The Association looks forward to another successful event, the Annual Meeting, on Thursday, October 18, 2012 where the other two (2) hours of ethics MCLE and one (1) hour of general MCLE will be offered to attendees to complete their MCLE requirement for the 2011-2012 compliance period. Please continue to check back for more information on that event and, until then, have a great summer!
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San Francisco Paralegal Association • 1 Sansome St., Ste. 3500 • San Francisco, CA 94104-4448 • (415) 946-8935 • info@sfpa.com