Association Spotlight - Philadelphia Association of Paralegals

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PAP Board2013 PAP Board
Photographer:  Mark Tarasiewicz, Associate Executive Director, Philadelphia Bar Association.

PAP logo

What are the highlights of the organization’s past? PAP hosts an all-day Education Conference annually. Magna Legal Services has hosted a free paralegal week luncheon for our members each July for several years. We served as the host for the 2010 NFPA Annual Convention and held a 30th Anniversary Gala at the Pyramid Club in 2003. Many of our members have served as NFPA coordinators and we have been recognized as NFPA award recipients for several years, the most recent being the Paralegal Certification Ambassador Award in 2012 (Vivian Luckiewicz). PAP also won the Association Pro Bono Award in 2009.

Pro Bono Service Night
PAP’s 2013 Pro Bono Committee Co-Chairs, Lisa Dean and Desiree Purvenas-Hayes, RP® coordinated PAP’s monthly pro bono service night at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) on Wednesday, January 16, 2013. Desiree and Lisa are working with their alma mater, Peirce College, to involve paralegal studies program students in volunteer service, and had a record turnout.
Back row:  Co-Chair Lisa Dean; Peirce Student (PS) Soheila (Gigi) Nikpour; Co-Chair Desiree Purvenas-Hayes, RP®,PAP Member (PM) Michele Dougherty; PS Dara Hackett; PS Monique Richardson; PS Dana Tobin; PS Chameca Wilson; PS Kareema Coles; PM Mary Lou O’Connell
Front row:  PS Sarah Johnston, PS Carol Jordan, PM Darlene Melton, PS Jessica Reider
Photographer: Judy Stouffer, RP®

How is your organization celebrating its 40th Anniversary?  We are planning a 40th Anniversary Gala – an evening reception at a local venue TBD, most likely in early September.

What fundraising efforts does your organization undertake? We attempted a Yankee Candle sale in 2011, which had limited participation. (see future projects)

What pro bono efforts does your organization undertake? Our Pro Bono Committee volunteers on the third Wednesday of each month at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. We just started awarding pins for participation at our quarterly luncheons. In addition, many of the area non-profits contact us to solicit assistance for limited projects, which we publicize in a weekly e-mail blast to members, sponsors, friends in surrounding counties and even non-members. Standing projects include Wills for Heroes and the Mortgage Foreclosure Assistance Program through the Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program. Since 2007, we have been awarding $1,000 annually to an individual (members and non-members are eligible) in recognition for pro bono service, with the caveat that the $1,000 is donated to the local non-profit of the winner’s choice.

SJPA meeting
PAP members supported our friends at SJPA by attending their January 22 meeting. Pictured are Susan Witte, Pa.C.P., NJCP®; Judy Stouffer, RP®; Christine Flynn; Desiree Purvenas-Hayes, RP®; and Lisa Dean. Our photographer was Lyman Hopper of Signature Information Solutions, one of PAP’s 2013 Platinum Sponsors.

What types of scholarships does your organization offer its members? We offer an annual $1,000 scholarship in memory of a past president, Joan Weldon. We also offer three special achievement awards (Board members only) and up three special recognition awards (non-Board members) annually.

How do you attract and/or increase membership? PAP has a monthly section in the local, weekday legal newspaper, which is widely read by lawyers, administrators, paralegals and secretaries (The Legal Intelligencer). Our Board members generally write; our monthly calendar and upcoming events are also published. Our weekly e-mail blast and LinkedIn page are each very popular, and a good way for us to advertise upcoming events – especially those that are free to members -- or to report on recent events. We have an excellent rapport with local educators and regularly speak and network at schools with ABA-approved paralegal programs.

What are the top 3 events your organization has each year? PAP hosts an annual Paralegal Week celebration; an annual, all-day Education Conference; and an Earth Day event at America’s first zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo (2010, 2011; will resume in 2013).

What types of companies sponsor your organization? PAP is traditionally sponsored by legal vendors, such as court reporting services, record search companies (medical and real estate), E-Discovery companies, copy services and educational institutions.

What schools are associated with your organization? Peirce College (annual Gold sponsorship), Community College of Philadelphia, Manor College, Saint Joseph’s University and Widener University.

SCCA photo
Flanking the Executive Director of the Support Center for Child Advocates, Frank Cervone, at the annual benefit kickoff on January 30th, are PAP members and volunteers Desiree Purvenas Hayes, RP® and Lisa Dean; Peirce Student, Monique Richardson; and PAP members Judy Stouffer, RP® and Mary Lou O’Connell.

Are you founding members still actively involved in your organization? They are not active at this time, but are accessible to us. Many of our past presidents attended our 30th Anniversary Gala and we hope they will return for the 40th this year.

What future projects is your organization working on and/or planning for? In addition to our annual events and 40th Anniversary celebration, PAP is planning the return of an annual membership directory, as well as a 40th Anniversary Cookbook. Also, we are pleased to partner with the Philadelphia Bar Association this year in offering a discounted membership to voting PAP members when joining both associations simultaneously.


modified 7/22/2013

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