By Julia Kleinschmidt, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP
If you are a member already and want to get more out of your membership, or if you are not yet a member and wonder why you should be, read on…I hope to inspire you to greater heights, propel you to the top of your profession ,and answer every question you ever had about the Indy Bar Paralegal Committee; and, if I can’t reach those illustrious goals, perhaps I can convince you of the wonderful opportunities that DO exist when you become a member and participate in the activities of the Indy Bar Paralegal Committee.
As most of you know, Indiana is one of the few states that allow paralegals to become members of their local Bar Association. We celebrated our 20th anniversary of this distinction this year, and I am writing in the hope of convincing non-members to join, and current members to actively engage in and reap the benefits of being an active member: PROFESSIONAL GROWTH…PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION…VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ON BEHALF OF THE LEGAL COMMUNITY…LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES...BUILDING YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS, AND MUCH, MUCH MORE.
Your professional growth and career satisfaction is very much up to you, and the opportunities for professional relationships and professional education that you seek. By being a committee within the Indianapolis Bar Association umbrella, the opportunity to become involved in projects involving attorneys and other law firms is available thus increasing your connection to the Indianapolis legal community. There are also specific membership benefits that include 50% off on all Indy Bar continuing legal education classes, member discounts on various legal publications; access to free downloads of over 70 commonly used legal forms, and discounts on various member events and networking activities. Which brings us to another topic: NETWORKING.
Some of you may shudder at the term, others relish the social aspects of “networking.” I have recently read a definition of networking that defines it as the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients/or customers. Notice it says nothing about the usual “meet and greet” that is often associated with the term. You will meet other paralegals, but not to impress, but to establish that “mutually beneficial relationship” that comes from sharing work challenges and successes. It provides an excellent forum to exchange professional knowledge, ideas and support. Volunteering your services in the many philanthropic opportunities that are available is also a wonderful way to not only “network,” but to build genuine friendships by getting to know others on a more personal basis.
In addition to business and personal networking, the opportunity to develop and refine leadership skills is offered by joining the Paralegal Executive Committee. The Paralegal Executive Committee is not only responsible for carrying out the Paralegal Committee’s traditional “activities,” but also considers new ideas for philanthropy efforts. All of these volunteer efforts offer an opportunity for each member to lead, if they so choose. In addition, all council members contribute ideas for the CLE’s the Paralegal Committee sponsors. For each CLE, a member serves as a Chair of the CLE, which includes responsibility for not only obtaining the speaker, but also working with the speaker and the Indy Bar in preparing for the CLE.
The Indy Bar is an active and vital association, and the Paralegal Committee wants you to become a part of it. Browse below and you will find examples of some of our past and upcoming activities. DON’T WAIT! E-mail me if you would like, and I will be glad to talk with you about joining or gaining a larger role with your local Bar Association as a Paralegal Committee member!
This year we have:
- Produced a quarterly newsletter
- Provided a "Careers in Law" Fair for Shortridge Magnet School for Law & Public Policy
- Hosted a Brown Bag Luncheon on Effective Networking
- Chaired CLEs on Electronic Medical Records, Employment and Labor Law Matters and Consumer Credit Reporting Law
- Sponsored the IndyBar Paralegal of the Year Award and Paralegal Appreciation Luncheon
- Held a 20th Anniversary Celebration of IndyBar Paralegal Membership at the Rathskeller
- Hosted the Annual Holiday Luncheon with the Teddy Bear Challenge to donate bears to public safety officials for "Bears on Patrol"
We hope you join us at our Holiday Luncheon on December 5, 2013 at the Columbia Club and that you become an active member of the IndyBar Paralegal Committee!
- Professional Career Growth
- Developing Professional and Personal Relationships
- Developing a Professional Support Network
- Developing Your Leadership Skills
- Immediate Access to changes in Local Law