The Dallas Association of Legal Assistants was formed on October 23, 1976. The organization's Bylaws were adopted in 1977 and have been periodically revised in response to the changing needs and sophistication of the Association. In October 1996, the Association's members voted to change the name of the organization to the Dallas Area Paralegal Association. The goals of DAPA are to:
In 1978, DAPA became a member association of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. ("NFPA"). NFPA represents approximately 9,000 paralegals nationwide. DAPA has been active in various local bar association projects, including Law Day activities, National Moot Court Competition and pro bono work. DAPA also provides service-oriented functions and seminars for the community as well as for its members.
- Promote the professional objectives and goals of paralegals;
- Encourage, promote and conduct programs of continuing legal education and professional development;
- Adopt codes of ethics and standards of conduct governing its members; and
- Promote the advancement of professionalism for paralegals.
DAPA publishes a newsletter, On the Record (the "Newsletter") and a weekly update, E-news (the "E-news"). The Newsletter is either sent to each member in hard copy form or posted on the Association's website, www.dallasparalegals.org (the "Website") and notification of such posting is sent via e-mail, as soon as practicable after such posting, to each member who has provided the Association with a valid e-mail address. The E-news is sent every Monday (except when a Monday is a federal holiday, in which case the E-news will be sent the next business day), via e-mail to each member who has provided the Association with a valid e-mail address.
DAPA awards scholarship(s) annually to students enrolled in paralegal programs at local schools. Additionally, DAPA members are often selected to speak at seminars, teach in local paralegal programs and serve on the boards of directors of various corporations serving the paralegal community. DAPA continues to strive to attain the goals established in 1976.
DAPA celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2011.
DAPA is a non-profit corporation pursuant to Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended. DAPA is composed of paralegals working in all areas of the law, who are interested not only in furthering their own professional development, but are also dedicated to the advancement of the paralegal professional as a whole. The purposes of DAPA are to:
- Promote the professional development of the paralegal profession;
- Foster creative expansion of paralegal roles;
- Offer continuing legal education to paralegals;
- Educate employers and consumers about the utilization of paralegals as an integral part in the delivery of legal services;
- Maintain relationships with local, state and national bar associations;
- Communicate with other paralegal associations; and
- Provide services to the legal community.