Association Spotlight - RIPA
NFPA Association Spotlight
Rhode Island Paralegal Association
The Rhode Island Paralegal Association ("RIPA") was incorporated in Rhode Island in 1979, and became a voting member of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. ("NFPA") in 1982.
RIPA’s membership year begins on July 1st and ends June 30th. RIPA has the following member categories available: Voting, Non-Voting, Student, and Sustaining Membership.
One of the outstanding events RIPA held this past year for its members was the Annual Dinner Meeting held in June. This event was held at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick, Rhode Island. It was great to see so many new members attend. RIPA's Business Meeting was held immediately before the Annual Dinner Meeting, which also included guest speaker’s remarks. RIPA elects a slate of officers and the officers and directors are appointed at the July Board meeting. This year, there were many new members who volunteered to serve on the RIPA Board. With the new Board Members have come many new ideas that RIPA is looking forward to implementing this year!
RIPA also holds events for Rhode Island's two paralegal programs: Community College of Rhode Island and Roger Williams University. Each year the top graduating student (from the date of the previous year’s Annual Dinner through May) is awarded RIPA's Thomas Wright Book Award.
Earlier in the year, RIPA hosted an informational session with students at the Community College of Rhode Island. Three members of RIPA were guest speakers. The students were very enthusiastic to learn about the NFPA certification exams, the benefits of RIPA and NFPA membership, interview preparation, networking, etc. Gift bags from RIPA were presented to each attendee. New student memberships were submitted to RIPA as a result of this event and some have volunteered to serve on committees for the 2017-2018 year!
As with most associations, an increase in membership is always a goal. This past year, we have increased our membership and are looking for new ideas for membership retention as well as obtaining new members.
Other goals this year are to offer a variety of educational brown bag luncheons or after work seminars. We are receiving suggestions for topics and have been in contact with potential speakers. In addition to educational events discussed above, we are looking forward to starting study groups to prepare for certification exams. Quite a few members have expressed interest in the exams so we are looking forward to assisting with these study groups so we will add more CRPs and RPs to the RIPA list of successful candidates!
Fundraising is always a discussion topic at the RIPA Board meetings. In the past, we have worked on fundraisers with Bertucci’s and that has been successful. We are discussing new opportunities to raise money for the association.
A popular fundraiser is Event Wines d/b/a Benefit Wines. Information relating to the varieties and how to order online or by mail is found at www.BenefitWines.com/RIPA. The banner for the wine is Motion to RelaxI! This has been a popular fundraiser, especially for the holiday gift-giving. There is very little work our members have to do to raise money - - just buy and enjoy the wine!
RIPA has been very interested in national affairs and will again this year attend the NFPA Annual Convention. Agenda topics to be presented are discussed with the RIPA board and membership to solicit comments our delegates can bring to the floor of the policy meeting.
RIPA is always looking for new ideas to improve our association from local members as well as NFPA. One feature that is always appreciated is the sharing of information from other members of NFPA.