Last updated May, 2018
The role of President is described in part by Legal Secretaries Incorporated (LSI) as being the general troubleshooter of the Association and the person whom elected and appointed officers will turn to with questions, problems and complaints. The President is to remain neutral in all matters, working in conjunction with the Board Members to ensure all decisions made by the Executive Board and Committee Chairs have been carried out. I look forward to carrying out my responsibilities in my role as President to the best of my ability with the best interest of this Association in mind at all times.
Today, this Association, like so many Chapters comprising LSI, works to keep Legal Secretaries, Paralegals, and other Attorney Support Staff at the top of our game. We also adhere to a strict Code of Ethics that binds us to act in accordance to the highest standards of professional conduct.
For those who have worked as legal support providers for fifteen years or more, we know that the greatest change to our profession is due to the rapid advancement of technology. We are no longer tasked with supporting one or two lawyers simultaneously, but most staff now support five to seven attorneys in the law firms where we work. For the rest of you readers who have been working as Legal Secretaries, Paralegals, and other attorney support roles for under a decade, you may be tired of hearing how it used to be because advanced technology is second nature to you and you do not share in the tech jet lag the paper-pushing generation has experienced.
So, it is my mission during my term as President, to bring these two sides together to work as one unit toward empowering each of you with the tools and knowledge you will all need to advance yourselves in your profession. I see the “oldies” teaching the “newbies” and vice versa. Because the truth is, in order to get the most out of what we do in the office every day, one needs to learn the best way to do things from each other.
This Association, in combination with LSI, provides the perfect platform for us to learn the best way to handle everything that comes up in our daily workloads. It also allows us to use advanced office technology to have some control over the future of our distinguished profession in the legal industry.
All of this being said, I am pleased to tell you that our Board of Directors have some great educational programs and events in store for you, including our annual Legal Secretary Training Course held in January and/or February over a period of 24 hours divided into three Saturdays. We also will continue with our monthly Brown Bags, that have turned into two-a-month Brown Bags in some cases due to popular demand and the great variety of topics that affect our daily roles in the office.
We have a private tour of San Francisco Superior Court coming up very soon as well as another mock trial in late Fall. Both of these events will be as much fun as they are informative.
The social networking aspect of this Association will continue as we hold events like our Open House, which was successful last year, and fund raisers designed to enrich our legal knowledge while enriching our operating funds at the same time since we are a non-profit organization.
There are other important priorities that factor into our 2018-2019 fiscal year. The first involves introducing more of our members to LSI Quarterly Conferences by making it financially viable for all members who want to go to a conference to do so on the Association’s dime. (But first we have to raise that dime which we plan to do.) This Association will be hosting its first LSI Conference in more than a decade in November 2019 and we will need all members on board to make that successful. The purpose behind hosting LSI Conferences is to allow an Association to showcase their “City of Origin” while raising money to offset expenses and give members the opportunity to attend programs and events without having to pay out of their own pockets. It is no secret to those who know me that raising the perks for being a member is a major focus of mine this year.
Second, we need to indoctrinate younger members into our Association because as I indicated above, they have as much to contribute to the future of our profession as we have to show them – in the way of the values of professionalism and why we set our standards higher than our counterparts employed in industries other than the law.
Finally: Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, Social Media, our Bulletin and our Website. These entities governed by an appointed few, have what is probably the most important task to perform this coming year in order to strengthen the growth and means to keep this Association operating and thriving in the process. We happen to have three brand new Board Members filling these posts (and Legal Procedures) which I am very happy to have aboard because I know they bring new perspectives and ideas to the table.
I am also still looking for members to fill vacant or Pro Tem Committee Chairs like Programs, Ways & Means, and Bulletin Editor. But I am confident we are headed down best path for our Association to work wonders for its members.
I look forward to meeting each of you throughout the next year and encourage you to get involved in whatever Committee might interest you. We never turn away volunteers and encourage your ideas. Both our Website and our Bulletin called The Hearsay, are undergoing major changes to allow members to be more informed of future events, who our major contributors are, where to look to help you work smarter not harder, and provide a space to get your ideas and suggestions heard. We are also in the process of revising our Bylaws to bring them up-to-date so that they may better serve the Association.
I am very optimistic and pleased by everything in store for our members this year and encourage those of you who are not (yet) members to hurry and join San Francisco Legal Professionals Association and find out firsthand what we have to offer in the way of advancing your career. Incidentally, many law firms will cover your membership dues if you ask.
Very truly yours,
President – 2018-2019