Professional Knowledge

Working as a Paralegal and possessing a great deal of interest in the law, the one organization that came to mind was the Arizona Paralegal Association, otherwise known as APA. This is a non-profit organization for legal assistants. Members of the APA consist of Legal Assistants, and students around the Phoenix area. The APA was formed so paralegals can maintain the professional standards and code of ethics that governs this demanding job.   APA also provides Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and job banks for members.

      A membership application needs to be filled out, for one to become a part of the APA. The application consists of name, address and law firm that currently employs the paralegal. If a student would like to become a member and he or she is still attending school for a paralegal certificate, membership can be obtained for $25.00. If he or she has already completed a certified program, a diploma must be shown, and fee paid. When membership is purchased, one will have access to the job bank which, only list jobs for legal assistants. Attorneys and firms can have an ad on the website at no charge.

      This organization can contribute to paralegals professional knowledge in number of ways. Too often there is a change in new laws, judicial decisions, and changes to the local rules of civil procedure. To keep up to date on new laws there is CLE training. CLE keeps the paralegal up to date on laws, and training to better assist the attorney’s. Seminars are also offered to members out the Phoenix area which makes a remarkable place to mingle with different paralegals. This could be detrimental to a person’s career because it allows him or her to network. This year’s seminar was about Forensic psychiatric evaluation, and legal writing. Legal writing would have been a much needed seminar. Learning new techniques in legal writing could have benefitted me immensely. The local rules of Civil Procedure can change, when the rules change it is very...