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Current Qualifications for Membership

NOTE: for complete information, contact the Membership Committee Chair at membership@dallasparalegals.org.

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AMENDED AND RESTATED
BYLAWS OF THE
DALLAS AREA PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION
(A Texas Non-Profit Corporation)

ARTICLE III
MEMBERS

3.1  Members.  There shall be five (5) categories of members of the Association:

(a)  Voting Member.  A person eligible for voting membership shall be a person employed as a paralegal[1] under the ultimate direction and supervision of an attorney or a person who contracts with a lawyer, law office, governmental agency or other entity to perform substantive legal work under the ultimate direction and supervision of an attorney and:

(1)  Who has obtained a four-year degree in paralegal studies from an institutionally accredited college or university; or

(2)  Who has obtained a four-year degree from an institutionally accredited college or university and paralegal certificate from an ABA-approved program; or

(3)  Who has obtained a four-year degree and paralegal certificate from an institutionally accredited college or university or other post-secondary school; or

(4)  Who has obtained a four-year degree from an institutionally accredited college or university and has at least one (1) year of experience as a paralegal; or

(5)  Who has obtained an associate degree in paralegal studies from an institutionally accredited college or university and has at least one (1) year of experience as a paralegal; or

(6)  Who has obtained an associate degree from an institutionally accredited college or university and has at least five (3) years of experience as a paralegal; or

(7)  Who has successfully completed the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (“PACE”) and has valid proof of such certification; or

(8)  Who has successfully completed one of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (“TBLS”) examinations, has valid proof of board certification and has one (1) subsequent year of experience as a paralegal; or

(9)  Who has successfully completed the Certified Legal Assistant (“CLA”) or Certified Paralegal (“CP”) examination, has valid proof of such certification and has at least three (3) years of subsequent experience as a paralegal;

(10)  Who has successfully completed the Paralegal Core Competency Exam (“PCCE”), has valid proof of such certification and the maintenance thereof, and has at least three (3) years of experience as a paralegal; or

(11)  Who has at least ten (10) consecutive years of experience as a paralegal immediately preceding such application for membership.

(b)  Non-Voting Member.  A person eligible for non-voting membership shall be a person who (1) has met the requirements of subparagraph (a)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10) or (11) above but who is not currently employed as a paralegal, or (2) has not met either the experiential or educational requirements set forth above, or (3) has not met the CLE Requirements for voting membership, as set forth in Article III, Section 3.6. A non-voting member in good standing may fully participate in the affairs of the Association, but shall not have the right to vote, hold any office set forth in Article IV, Section 4.1, or serve as officer/director, section chair or chair of a committee, as set forth in Article VII, Section 7.3.

(c) Student Member (Non-Voting).  A person eligible for student membership shall be any person who is enrolled and actively participating in an accredited baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate, or associate degree paralegal education program. Student members in good standing may participate in the affairs of the Association, but shall not have the right to vote, hold any office set forth in Article IV, Section 4.1, or Article VII, or serve as an officer/director, section chair or committee chair. Student members may not serve as members of the following standing committees: Job Bank, Rules and Bylaws, Ethics, Election, CLE Audit Committee or Scholarship. Student members are required to notify the Director-at-Large of any change in their educational status which directly affects membership requirements.

(d) Sustaining Member (Non-Voting).  A person eligible for sustaining membership shall be any person or entity who has an interest in the paralegal profession and who supports the purposes of DAPA. An individual sustaining member in good standing or representatives designated by an entity may attend Association meetings, seminars and other activities at fees charged to voting members and serve as a non-voting member of the following standing committees: Entertainment, NFPA and other committees, including ad-hoc committees, as approved from time to time by the Board of Directors. Neither sustaining members, nor their designees, shall have the right to vote, hold any office set forth in Article IV, Section 4.1 or Article VII, or serve as an officer/director, section chair or committee chair.

(e) Emeritus Member (Non-Voting). A person eligible for emeritus membership shall be any person who is a former voting member of the Association, who is no longer working as a paralegal and who has either retired from the profession, moved out of the area, taken a leave of absence, or changed careers. Mandatory CLE requirements shall not apply. An emeritus member in good standing may fully participate in the affairs of the Association, but shall not have the right to vote, hold any office set forth in Article IV, Section 4.1 or serve as officer/director, section chair or committee chair, as set forth in Article VII, Section 7.3. An emeritus member may reapply for voting membership (if he/she returns to the paralegal profession) at such time that he/she satisfies the criteria for voting membership by completing and submitting the then-current voting membership application.

 

Questions? Additional information?  Please contact ExecutiveDirector@dallasparalegals.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1]  The person must meet the definition of a paralegal as adopted by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (“NFPA”), which reads as follows: “[a] Paralegal is a person, qualified through education, training or work experience to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of legal concepts and is customarily, but not exclusively, performed by a lawyer. This person may be retained or employed by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency or other entity or may be authorized by administrative, statutory or court authority to perform this work.”  However, it is not the intent of DAPA to exclude any member of the legal profession whose job duties fit the definition of paralegal but whose job title remains “legal assistant” or some other similar title.  Additionally, the term "substantive" shall mean work requiring recognition, evaluation, organization, analysis, and communication of relevant facts and legal concepts.

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