The San Francisco Legal Professionals Association, known as “SFLPA,” is a nonprofit mutual benefit association organized for the purposes of providing educational, professional, and personal development programs to its members. It is the local chapter of Legal Secretaries, Incorporated, which is a statewide organization. Membership is open to anyone working in the legal community. Our members include legal secretaries, paralegals, legal assistants, court clerks, court reporters and other legal support providers. Since its formation in 1936, SFLPA has enjoyed a rich tradition of providing continuing educational opportunities, networking and lifelong friendships to its members and to the community, and service to LSI.
The association continued to grow over the years, offering timely programs of interest to legal secretaries in the community. Today, our continuing education programs are well-known throughout the legal community. SFLPA also assists in the planning of educational workshops through its membership in the Bay Area Legal Forum. Several of our members have served on the Forum, and some have served as officers.
Over the years, SFLPA has supported three of its current members during their service to LSI on the Executive Committee. Betty Lou West, Joyce Seymour, PLA, CCLS and Yvonne Waldron-Robinson, CCLS have each served as LSI’s President. We are also proud to count LSI Past President Christa Davis among our members. We are also proud of the accomplishments of former member Mary Beaudrow, CCLS during her terms as LSI President. Other members have served as appointed officers or chairmen of LSI as well.
SFLPA has been proud to host several LSI Conferences. In the early 1960’s, the association decided to host an LSI Conference. As the planning for the conference was underway, it was brought to the Board’s attention that the Association should incorporate as a nonprofit corporation in order to shield the elected officers from any possibility of personal liability for anything that might happen at that conference. In 1962, during Catherine Ryan’s presidency, the San Francisco Legal Secretaries Association was incorporated. Over the years, SFLPA has hosted several quarterly conferences and annual conferences. In 1986, when Joyce Seymour, PLS, CCLS was installed as president of Legal Secretaries Incorporated, and in 2000 when Yvonne Waldron-Robinson was installed as president of Legal Secretaries, Incorporated SFLPA had the pleasure of hosting the Annual Conference in each of those years. In August 1993 and February 2007 we hosted Quarterly Conferences. And in May, 2016 we co-hosted the Annual Conference with Marin County LPA.
As the legal community has changed, so has SFLPA. In the early days, the Association’s membership was most likely comprised primarily of legal secretaries. As time has passed, our members include court personnel, calendar and docket professionals, court reporters, and one attorney. One of our members is currently attending law school. We have also strengthened our relationship with those members of the legal community who provide services to attorneys and law firms, and have welcomed them as members. It was the recognition of its diverse membership that prompted the San Francisco Legal Secretaries Association to change its name in 2003 to the San Francisco Legal Professionals Association.
Over the years, SFLPA has strived to be more visible in the community at large. We have made ourselves available to talk to students in the Paralegal Program at City College of San Francisco. We have made it a priority to seek out students who may be eligible for the Eula Mae Jett Scholarship, and to create a scholarship program of our own. And we have provided support to the San Francisco community through our annual participation in San Francisco AIDS Walk, local clothing and coat drives, and the local toy drive. We are continuing to look for ways to support our community as we meet those who work in the legal community.