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About NALA

"NALA leads the paralegal profession by providing a voluntary certification program, continuing legal education, and professional development programs for all paralegals."   NALA Mission Statement

This area is your introduction to NALA. It summarizes the major programs of NALA and describes the association's mission. In addition, this area also discusses the role of the NALA board of directors in leading the association, and provides links to directories of the NALA board members, and staff.  This is also your source for new membership information.

"The American legal system is vital to protecting the constitutional principles on which our Nation was founded. By contributing to our fair and equitable system of justice, paralegals help advance the ideals that make our country strong. The National Association of Legal Assistants improves the legal profession by providing educational development and promoting the discussion of opportunities and issues facing paralegals."
 -----President George W. Bush, in a letter to NALA dated July 12, 2005, on the occasion of NALA's 30th anniversary.

This section is sponsored by:

  National Registered Agent Service

The NALA Annual Membership Meeting is the one time that members gather to participate in terrific educational programs, as well as association business meetings. 

Each year, NALA publishes an Annual Report, summarizing the association's work for the year, and a snapshot of the association's financial standing. The report is distributed to NALA members at the July Annual Meeting and posted on the NALA web site.  

 Click here to read the 2015 Annual Report of NALA.


News & Upcoming Events
Certified Paralegal Program Receives National Accreditation

The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) has accredited the NALA Certified Paralegal certification program for a five year period, expiring April 30, 2019 ...

Paralegal CLE App for iPad and Androids Now Available

NALA Advanced Paralegal Certification courses, and NALA Campus self-study programs are now available from the Apple Store and Google Play! Paralegals may now purchase or login to courses in which they are currently enrolled through this app. The app features a free course preview for each of the 32 programs, and access to course pre-tests for CP Exam prep courses!

New Advanced Certification Course - Child Custody

A new Advanced Paralegal Certification (APC) course in Family Law – Child Custody, Support and Visitation is now available to paralegals seeking advanced certification in this specialty practice area ...

Certifying Board Releases Job Analysis Report

The report is used by the Certifying Board to validate and update the Certified Paralegal exam as needed and ensure NALA has current information about the roles and responsibilities of paralegals.

Need a product or service for your office?

The NALA Vendor Directory is a terrific place to start. This is a list of legal vendors offering a great range of help including deposition services, document services, and investigations. Click the link below...

Click here for more news articles
NALA Board of Directors

Governance of NALA

NALA is first, and foremost a membership organization. This means that the individual members of NALA  are the leading force of NALA programs and policies. Through NALA, paralegals across the nation have come together to develop programs and standard setting codes to help them grow in the work place.

The board is composed of the NALA President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Continuing Education Council Chair, Professional Development Committee Chair, 9 Regional Directors, and the Affiliated Associations Director. Each of the officers and 9 directors are elected by the NALA members. Representatives of NALA affiliated associations, who are also NALA members, elect the affiliated associations director. (Only NALA members may determine the composition of the Board of Directors). The President is elected annually (in March) by the Board of Directors from among its members. The Continuing Education Council Chair, and Professional Development Chair are all appointed by the NALA president and the appointments are approved by the Board of Directors. Non-voting members of the board are the Chair of the Certifying Board, Chair of the Advanced Paralegal Certifying Board, and the NALA Executive Director.

The Board of Directors is the only body in NALA that is charged with focusing on the big picture of NALA - how it's doing and where association programs are moving.  The board is responsible for:

  • Defining association goals
  • Providing the means to accomplish the stated purposes of NALA as defined in the bylaws and member directives
  • Enhancing the value of NALA membership.

NALA 2014-2015 Board of Directors

Email addresses of board members are included in Facts & Findings, or contact them through NALA Headquarters.

Kelly A. LaGrave, ACP
Lansing, MI
Advanced Paralegal Certification
Board Chair
Dawnne L. Linenbrink, ACP
Region I Director
Elisse R. Stern, ACP
New York, New York
Region VI Director
Melissa M. Klimpel, ACP
Bismarck, ND
First Vice President
Cassandra Oliver, ACP
Tulsa, OK
Certifying Board Chair
Jaye L. Koch, ACP
Virginia Beach, VA
Region II Director
Jaye L. Koch, ACP
Virginia Beach, VA

Region VII Director
A. Theresa E. Phillips, ACP
Salt Lake City, UT

Second Vice President
Jill Francisco, ACP
Huntington, WV
Continuing Education Council Chair
Nancy L. Jordahl, ACP, FRP
Orlando, Florida
Region III Director
Debby J. Sawyer, ACP
Nashville, TN
Region VIII Director
Annette Brown, ACP
Missoula, MT
Melissa J. Hamilton, ACP
Bismarck, ND
Professional Development Committee
Jillian L. Sherman, ACP
Henrico, VA
Region IV Director
Elizabeth (Beth) Nellis, ACP
Jenks, OK

Region IX Director
Mary Theroux, ACP
Los Angeles, CA

Debra L. Overstreet, ACP
Porter, OK

Affiliated Associations Director
Jane McKinnon, CP

Region V Director
Cheryl J. Nodarse, ACP
Lansing, MI