2021 Convention Workshops
2021 Convention Workshops
Thursday, October 7 | 3:45-4:45pm
Workshops are interactive and informative sessions, providing you with new tools and skills to help you grow in your profession.
Workshops are not eligible for CLE credits.
- Student Success: Legal Etiquette and Courtroom Decorum
Etiquette is essential for making a good impression. This is especially true in your office and the courtroom where there are many stated and unstated rules of conduct for paralegals. It is during the student’s legal studies that they learn about the professional requirements of their careers. This workshop will focus on introducing paralegal students with the lessons and fine points of courtroom decorum and legal etiquette such as dress, presentation, timeliness, speaking and electronic devices being used in the courtroom.
Presented by: Sonjanita Jordan
Sonjanita Coleman Jordan has been a paralegal for 17 years, with an impressive career that spans several areas of law. She is a 2004 graduate of the University of New Orleans Paralegal Studies Program where she received her ABA Paralegal Certification. She is a current member and a past President of the New Orleans Paralegal Association (2015-2017). Sonjanita began her legal career at the law firm of Hunter, Scott, Blue and Johnson as a legal secretary in January 1995. She has worked for the Law Firm of Forman Perry Watkins Krutz & Tardy, the Louisiana Supreme Court, the Federal Public Defender’s Office, Louisiana State Bar Association, and Sher Garner Law Firm. Currently Sonjanita is the owner of LA Paralegals, LLC, providing Freelance/Contract Paralegal services and is also the CEO of DUAL Support, Inc.
Sonjanita was awarded the inaugural 2018 Justice Champion Award presented by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (NFPA) and the New Orleans Paralegal Association's (NOPA) 2016 Paralegal of the Year Award. She also served as NOPA's Mentor Committee Chair for two years. She is a former member of the Louisiana State Paralegal Association (LSPA) and was awarded LSPA’s 2011 Outstanding Paralegal of the Year Award. Sonjanita is also a member of the National Federation Paralegal Association's Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Committee. She was on the LSPA’s board for four years as their District Director for Region I, 1st Vice President, and the Marketing and Professional Development Chair. She is the past chair for the State of Louisiana for The National Congress of Black Women and she currently serves on the Tulane University General Legal Studies Advisory Board.
Sonjanita has a heart and a passion for students and wants to see each and every one of these upcoming paralegals succeed!
Local Association Management
Association leaders bring people together to improve agility and strengthen resiliency to the people they serve. Post pandemic, leaders will muster all resources to manage, adapt and rethink what it means to serve in leadership positions. Members look to leaders who inspire, engage and effectively manage their organizations. Develop your leadership skills and get to know this distinguished panel of seasoned leaders who will share their perspectives on inspiring others to maintain success, manage meaningfully, embrace innovation, attract growth, and support inclusiveness in a rapidly changing world. Stick around till the very end of this session and be entered in an end-of-the-session giveaway to further guide you in developing your leadership skills.
Presented by: Aaron B. Bath, CEDS, RP®, Angela M. King, and Jessica M. Mieles
Aaron B. Bath, CEDS, RP® is President of the Dallas Paralegal Association. Angela M. King is Board Advisor and Immediate Past President for the National Capital Area Paralegal Association. Jessica M. Mieles is Secretary and Chair of the Bylaws Committee for the New York City Paralegal Association, Inc.
Dealing with Difficult People
Presented by: Erin Ruff
Erin Ruff,J.D., Mediator
Erin Ruff, JD., brings her deep career in conflict management to In-Accord. She is passionate about effective, interest-based problem solving. Erin also supports the work of Clackamas County Resolution Services where she mediates workplace cases, teaches and mentors mediators, resolves court-connected, community and parent-teen cases. She facilitates victim-offender dialogue and foreclosure interventions.
A mediator since 1996, Erin worked for the Oregon Judicial Department as a mediator and dispute resolution policy advisor for 12 years. She has facilitated dozens of groups, including State and County collaborative policy and rule-making. Erin teaches conflict management theory and technique to students aged 10 to 99. She developed and delivered specialized courses for attorneys, judges, law enforcement officers and staff, therapists and social workers, and parents. She was an adjunct professor at Marylhurst University and Willamette College of Law.
Erin holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and a J.D. and Certificate in Dispute Resolution from Willamette University College of Law. She lives in West Linn with her husband and two middle-school aged children. She is a Girl Scout leader, knitter, and Portland Thorns supporter.