Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs — Board of Directors
What is the purpose of having a President-Elect?
DAPA is a big corporation, with approximately 400 members. The President is responsible for every facet of the affairs of the corporation. Such a demanding job requires careful training. The President-Elect has the benefit of learning the job of President for an entire year, prior to taking office. Thus, the President-Elect uses this training period to perform such duties as may be assigned to this office from time to time by the President or the Board of Directors and becomes thoroughly familiar with the controlling instruments of the Association and the functions and activities of the Association. If you have any questions, please contact DAPA's President Elect.
What is TAPA?
TAPA is an acronym for the Texas Alliance of Paralegal Associations. The first meeting of TAPA was held in Dallas in 1980 or 1981, organized by Dallas paralegal Z. Locke. Z. later became President of the Dallas Association of Legal Assistants, now known as the Dallas Area Paralegal Association. It is unknown how many associations participated in this first meeting, but it was small enough to meet in a law office conference room. Today, there are approximately 25 member associations in Texas, representing hundreds of paralegals throughout the state.
TAPA meetings have continued from year-to-year since that time (previously TAPA met twice per year in the spring and fall), and exist as a virtual entity, as there is no formal membership, organizational structure, no dues or officers. TAPA provides benefits of sharing among Texas associations and assists new groups in organizing new associations. Such sharing includes association management, project ideas, member recruitment tools, retention of members, program suggestions, and a long list of other activities.
TAPA member associations meet once a year (previously TAPA met twice per year in the spring and fall) and the meetings alternate among the associations acting as hosts in their locale. Usually, one or two representatives from each association attend, including a liaison from the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas, although additional persons may attend as observers. DAPA’s official representative is the President-Elect, to foster alliances with other associations when he or she takes the office of President. Occasionally TAPA has included seminars in addition to association reports. (Prepared with the assistance of Michele Boerder, CP, DAPA Past President and Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas Past President.)
If you have any questions, please contact DAPA's President-Elect.
What is the Pro Bono/Community Services Committee?
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. DAPA members work closely with the Dallas Bar Association’s Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, by assisting the attorneys in their legal clinics during which provide free legal services to those who qualify. DAPA members also participate in Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas's projects, KERA Public Television Station Channel 13’s pledge drives and Habitat for Humanity. Some DAPA members serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates, as members of Dallas and Collin County CASA, to provide CPS children with a voice in court. Some of DAPA’s Sections also adopt community projects related to their specialty areas.
The President-Elect is the board advisor to the Pro Bono/Community Services Committee. If you have any questions, please contact DAPA's President-Elect.
What is the NFPA Leadership Conference?
NFPA is an acronym for the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. DAPA joined as a member association of the NFPA in 1978, so that DAPA members could benefit from their alliance with a national paralegal organization. Part of our DAPA dues ($25 per voting and non-voting member and $20 per student member) is paid to NFPA for our individual membership. DAPA members have access to the Members Only area of the NFPA website, which is replete with factual and historical information about the progress of the paralegal profession, CLE programs and leadership materials. NFPA is the oldest and largest national paralegal federation of associations and continues to be a pioneer in advancing our profession. For additional information about NFPA, please contact DAPA’s NFPA Primary Representative.
NFPA presents an annual Leadership Conference aimed at presidents-elect of the member associations to strengthen their leadership skills in preparation for their presidency the following year. NFPA conducts seminars and workshops on how to run the local association effectively and with fiscal responsibility.
If you have any questions regarding the Leadership Conference, please contact DAPA’s President-Elect.
What is the Membership Survey ?
The President-Elect is charged with the responsibility of preparing a survey or inquiry into the opinions of the members and the interests the members have in working for the Association. The President-Elect analyzes the responses of the membership to spot problem areas and re-evaluate goals for the year in which this officer will serve as President. Using the responses, the President-Elect also provides the newly-elected officers and newly-appointed committees with a list of members who have shown interest in serving on their respective committees.
If you have any questions, please contact DAPA’s President-Elect.
I want to get more involved with DAPA. How can I help?
Contact the board member or section chair involved in the area in which you want to be more active. If you have no particular preference, email or speak with a board member, section chair, committee chair or the person leading the meeting you last attended. They will direct you to the right person(s).
If I want to volunteer for a committee, who do I contact?
Contact the Chair of the committe in which you want to participate. If there is no chair or you can't easily find that person, contact any Board member for assistance. We're here to help.
When and where are the DAPA Board meetings held?
The DAPA Board meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month, beginning at 6:00 p.m. While Members are encouraged to attend board meetings, the Board respectfully asks that any member wishing to speak at a meeting notify DAPA's President or DAPA's Secretary to ensure that sufficient seating will be provided.
How may I become more involved in DAPA?
The heart of DAPA is the efforts of its volunteers. As such there is always a need for volunteers. DAPA has a place for everyone – whether you can make the time commitment of one hour or a full year! There are a variety of committees on which to serve, pro bono activities to participate, and behind the scenes work available. Email DAPA's President for more information.
I am not happy with DAPA. To whom should I address my concerns?
The entire Board of Directors, Section and Committee chairs are here to assist you. Please feel free to contact any one of us with your concern. If you have a specific remedy for your issue, please let us know. A good start is always the President: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have to have an accounting degree in order to be DAPA's Treasurer?
No, however, a background in accounting is helpful. DAPA uses QuickBooks as its accounting program so knowledge of that program is helpful as well.
Does one need the QuickBooks program to be DAPA's Treasurer?
No. DAPA has the program that it purchased in 2003 and the most recent updated version that the accountant is using. DAPA’s accountant provides updates of the program when it updates their own.