June Volunteer Spotlight – Dana Welcker, ACP
NALA Volunteer Spotlight – June 2023
Dana Welcker, ACP
Dana Welcker, ACP, is NALA’s Area 1 Director. She has previously served on NALA’s Professional Development Committee and Continuing Education Council. She has also been President of the NALA Affiliated Association, Northeast Florida Paralegal Association.
Dana started out as a paralegal in Charleston, South Carolina, before moving to Jacksonville, Florida. She has three NALA Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) credentials in Contract Administration/Contract Management, Trial Practice, and Real Estate Principles.
She went to her first NALA conference in the mid-1990s as a NALA liaison for an Affiliated Association.
“I was so impressed with everything, from the education to the inclusivity. I started making friends right away. Once they see that first-timer badge, they latch onto you. I try to pay that back when I see a first-timer badge. It was such a welcoming experience.”
It was experiences like that one that shaped Dana’s decision to volunteer with NALA. Her favorite part about it is mentoring. In her years of service with NALA, she has written 10 articles for Facts & Findings.
For Dana, being a paralegal has always been a career and not just a job.
“I like constant learning, which is why I keep getting ACPs.”
She has noticed that the paralegal field is growing, and it even hits close to home.
“There are more opportunities for paralegals than ever before. My son is going for his paralegal degree. He was so excited for the first semester.”
As for new paralegals, Dana has some advice.
“Take it slow. Ask questions to help you prioritize your work.”
From her time as a paralegal, Dana has discovered that she likes litigation. She has always been on the defense side. She likes doing chronologies, preparing for trial, and putting the cases together.
With three ACPs under her belt and more to come, Dana understands the importance of NALA certification.
“If an employer is choosing between someone who is NALA certified and someone who isn’t, they’re usually going to go with the certified person.”
She says that having a CP/ACP builds your resume.
In her personal life, Dana has been married for 37 years. She has two sons and a 3-year-old granddaughter.
She loves to read historical fiction and books on medieval history. Her favorite book is The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. She also loves swimming and binge watching true crime.
If she could meet anyone, it would be Christopher Lee. She has loved every movie she has seen him in. She would love to hear his opinion on things and finds it interesting that he is a distant relative of Charlemagne.
“I love talking to older people because you can get more history from them than you can from reading a book.”