By Kay Stawick, Cohen & Malad LLP
I became a member of the IndyBar Paralegal Committee in 2014 and have just completed my first year in that role. Naively, I joined the committee as a member at large with the thought that the majority of my involvement would be attending monthly meetings. Thankfully, I was completely wrong. I have very much enjoyed being a part of the council and being involved in the various projects and events the Paralegal Committee supports and/or sponsors.
Thanks to my position on the committee, I have met and become friends with some wonderful people, all of whom have a lot in common, share similar interests and understand what being a paralegal truly means.
The Paralegal Committee participates in community service, paralegal education and outreach. My involvement in the community service projects/events has given me the greatest satisfaction! I have always loved to contribute to children’s causes, but to become active in providing a platform for others to contribute has been even more rewarding than I anticipated.
My favorite event that the Paralegal Committee sponsors is the “Bears on Patrol” collection, which is held annually at the Paralegal Holiday Luncheon. IndyBar paralegal members collect stuffed animals through a challenge to paralegal employers in the Indianapolis and surrounding areas to benefit the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Indianapolis Fire Department and Indianapolis EMS. These first responders use the bears to give to children they encounter in emergency situations. Seeing the bears roll in and the genuine appreciation of the various departments receiving them is truly heartwarming.
The committee organizes events for students in the paralegal studies programs at various institutions, which are designed to give the students a firsthand perspective of what it means to actually work as a paralegal. These events are a great way to demonstrate the diverse areas within which someone can work as a paralegal. The Speed Dating events are fun and all IndyBar paralegal members are welcome to participate (not just the members of the Paralegal Committee).
I am very proud of the work that the Paralegal Committee has done during my first year as a member of the committee and I look forward to spending more time in helping the committee in its mission to promote, encourage and educate those in the paralegal field.