Honors and Awards - 2020
Melissa J. Hamilton, ACP, was elected NALA Vice President.
NALA – The Paralegal Association installed the 2020-2021 Board of Directors during July’s 2020 NALA Conference @ Home, the organization’s first virtual annual conference. During this historic conference, long-time NALA member Melissa J. Hamilton, ACP, was sworn-in as NALA’s new President.
“As President, I want NALA to lead the way in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion among members, volunteers, staff, and potential members,” Hamilton said. “I also remain committed to keeping NALA the preeminent resource for individual and professional success.”
Honors and Awards - 2019
Alice Johnson, ACP, 2019 Affiliated Associations Award
The NALA Affiliate Awards are presented yearly to Affiliate members or to committees of a NALA Affiliated Association, in recognition of their contribution to the goals and programs of an affiliated association. Designees are nominated by their respective Affiliated Association for contributions such as assisting with and organizing CP study groups, working with bar associations on behalf of the legal assistants in the area, planning educational programs, and developing pro bono or other community involvement programs for the affiliate.
Honors and Awards - 2018
Melissa J. Hamilton, ACP, was elected NALA Vice President.
Installation was on Friday, July 12, 2018.
Leigh Johnson, 2018 Affiliated Association Award
Honors and Awards - 2016
Alice M. Johnson, ACP, has been awarded the Advanced Certified Paralegal designation by NALA. Alice completed the requirements in January of 2016 in the area of Contracts Administration/Contracts Management. She is now authorized to use the “ACP” designation.
Honors and Awards - 2015
Congratulations to Charlene B. Smith, ACP for being the only paralegal in the nation to successfully complete individual courses and all course requirements in all four courses in Family Law! This accomplishment earned Charlene an Advanced Paralegal Certification credential in Family Law.
Honors and Awards - 2014
Melissa M. Klimpel, ACP, was reelected Director of Region VI of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) at the association's 39th Annual Meeting on July 25, 2014, in Charleston, South Carolina.
She will serve on the NALA Board of Directors for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 years.
Melissa J. Hamilton, ACP, was elected Secretary of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) at the association's 39th Annual Meeting on July 25, 2014, in Charleston, South Carolina.
She will serve on the NALA Board of Directors during the 2014-2015 year.
Charlene Smith, ACP, has successfully completed the Advanced Paralegal Certification course on Family Law – Child Custody, Support and Visitation and Family Law – Division of Property and Spousal Support. She is now entitled to use the "ACP" (Advanced Certified Paralegal) credential.
Shari L. Erdman, ACP, has successfully completed the Advanced Paralegal Certification course on Trial Practice. She is now entitled to use the "ACP" (Advanced Certified Paralegal) credential.
Honors and Awards - 2013
Shari L. Erdman, CP, has successfully completed the Paralegal Certification Exam. She is now entitled to use the "CP" (Certified Paralegal) credential.
Charlene Smith, CP, has successfully completed the Paralegal Certification Exam. She is now entitled to use the "CP" (Certified Paralegal) credential.
Honors and Awards - 2012
Char Jacober, ACP, has successfully completed the Advanced Paralegal Certification course on Business Organizations: Incorporated Entities. She is now entitled to use the "ACP" (Advanced Certified Paralegal) credential.
Jen Defoe, ACP, has successfully completed the Advanced Paralegal Certification course on Personal Injury – Automobile Accidents. She is now entitled to use the "ACP" (Advanced Certified Paralegal) credential.
Shari L. Erdman, was awarded with WDALA's Scholarship at the annual meeting on September 20, 2012. This is the second year that WDALA's Scholarship has been awarded.
Melissa Hamilton, ACP, has been elected Treasurer of the National Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals at the association's 37th annual meeting on July 27, 2012 in Omaha, NE.
Melissa M. Klimpel, ACP, has been elected Director of Region VI of the National Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals at the association's 37th annual meeting on July 27, 2012 in Omaha, NE. Region VI is comprised of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. As a Region Director, she will serve on the NALA Board of Directors for two years.
Melissa M. Klimpel, ACP, was the 2012 recipient of NALA's Affiliated Associations Outstanding Contribution Award for her contributions to the success of the Western Dakota Association of Legal Assistants. The Affiliated Associations Outstanding Contribution Award recognizes exceptional achievement in leadership and service to a NALA affiliated association.
Honors and Awards - 2011
Vicki Kunz, ACP, was honored with the NALA Presidents Award at the Annual Meeting at the NALA Convention in Dallas/Plano, Texas on July 29, 2011. WDALA nominated Vicki for this award. The NALA Presidents Award recognizes significant achievements by members who have been leaders in the growth and development of the paralegal profession. Recipients are members of NALA for at least five years and have a record of establishing programs promoting high professional standards among legal assistants.
Vicki has played a vital role in the professional development of paralegals on many levels. From the very moment you meet Vicki, her welcoming ways draw you in and make you feel a part of what is special about her, NALA, and the paralegal profession. She has been instrumental in getting paralegals involved in the paralegal profession, whether it is at the local, state or national level. She works tirelessly to promote the paralegal profession and brings her energy, vision, spirit, drive, and ambition to all paralegals.
Vicki was a founding member of WDALA serving as its second President taking over from NALA founder, Dot Jorde, CLA. She returned to serve another term as President 3 years later. She has served in various offices and committees over the past 27 years WDALA. She continues to serve as its Ethics Chair and Professional Development Chair. She is an icon in our association and is always willing to offer help and assistance wherever needed. She brings energy and enthusiasm to WDALA and offers encouragement, motivation, support, and sound advice to all paralegals.
Vicki has served NALA in various positions, and committees, including Chair of the Certifying Board. She was elected Treasurer in 1996, and served as Secretary, Second Vice President, First Vice President and ultimately was elected to serve as NALA President from 2002 to 2004. Vicki brought her energy, enthusiasm, vision, spirit, drive, and ambition to her service of NALA. She always challenged others to improve themselves personally and professionally. She wrote many articles and presented many speeches and seminars on topics aimed at improving the perception and utilization of paralegals. She took on a number of initiatives and saw them through to completion. During her term as President, Vicki always remained in control and focused on the success of NALA and its members, all the while making it look easy.
Vicki's involvement in NALA did not end after her term as President. She continued to motivate paralegals serving as a presenter for NALA Campus Live!, writing articles for the Career Chronicle edition of Facts and Findings, and her service on the Advanced Paralegal Certification Board.
Vicki's continued dedication to NALA and the paralegal profession is best illustrated by the way she has guided and trained the LEAP participants in public speaking. She has been involved with the LEAP program since its inception. Each year she presents a module on communication and works individually with each LEAP participant to improve their public speaking skills. Vicki is an accomplished and motivating public speaker and she brings her knowledge and enthusiasm for public speaking to each LEAP participant. She gives each LEAP participant an assignment to prepare a short presentation. She offers tips and guides for communicating in any situation. After each LEAP member gives their presentation, she offers a well-informed assessment of the participants' speech, offering encouragement and advice, letting them know the areas they excelled in and what areas to work on to improve their speaking skills. She does this with kindness and compassion, working to improve the LEAP participant's skills, growing future public speakers and leaders. She exemplifies excellence, and by her understated examples, she encourages excellence from each LEAP participant.
Vicki's kindness, experience, leadership, and continued contributions to NALA and the paralegal profession, are ageless and very much appreciated. She is a consummate professional and remains dedicated to the continued growth and success of the paralegal profession. WDALA is grateful for the many contributions that Vicki has made and continues to make, both locally and on a national level.
Laurie Guenther, ACP, has successfully completed NALA's Advanced Paralegal Certification course on Entity Medical Liability. Laurie was honored with the 2011 Affiliated Associations Affiliate Award at the Affiliated Associations Awards Ceremony at the NALA Convention in Dallas/Plano, Texas on July 28, 2011. WDALA nominated Laurie for this award. Affiliate Awards are in recognition of steadfast service and valuable contributions to the members' affiliated associations.
Laurie is a long term member of WDALA and has served in a number of offices and committees over the years. Laurie has served as WDALA's Historian from 1998 – 1999 and from 2004 to the present. If we are having a seminar or event, you can count on Laurie to be there with her camera, documenting the event and keeping up the WDALA scrapbooks. If she is not there, she will get photos of the event and make sure that they are added to the WDALA scrapbook. Her work was invaluable when we were planning our 25th Anniversary celebration, as she had numerous photos and history from which we pulled from to help plan the event. She also volunteered to be a part of the planning committee and was a valuable member of the committee.
Laurie has served WDALA as Parliamentarian starting in 2007 to the present. Over the last two years, she undertook a major rewrite of WDALA's Bylaws and Standing Rules. The rules had not been updated in quite some time and there were areas of conflict, areas that were outdated, and new areas added in response to new programs that WDALA was undertaking. Laurie provided an easy to read document which showed the rules as they existed, what the proposed changes were, and the reasons for the proposed changes. This document was easy to read and understand and provided members with an explanation of what was being done and why. When it came time for the Annual Meeting and final vote and approval of the Bylaw amendments, Laurie drafted an in depth script for the officers, showing the parliamentary procedure on how each amendment needed to be acted on and voted on. Laurie has a great working knowledge of parliamentary procedure, and her years of service on the WDALA Board brings a wealth of knowledge to us as we discharge our duties on behalf of the members.
WDALA is working to expand our volunteer opportunities in our local community. We are exploring working with our local Drug Court to assist in areas that they may need assistance. Laurie has volunteered to attend meetings with Drug Court personnel, has taken time out her busy schedule to sit in on the Drug Court sessions to identify areas in which WDALA can assist. We are in the early planning stages of this endeavor, but Laurie has already volunteered to serve as Co-Chair of the Drug Court Committee. Laurie is always willing and able to help and will take on any task that is asked of her. She always responds with a smile and "can do" attitude. Laurie is a valuable WDALA member and is very deserving of the Affiliated Associations Affiliate Award.
Lynette Anderson, ACP, has successfully completed NALA's Advanced Paralegal Certification course on Social Security Disability. She is now entitled to use the "ACP" (Advanced Certified Paralegal) credential.
Kendra Dais, CLA, was awarded with WDALA's Scholarship at the annual meeting on September 15, 2011. This is the first year that WDALA's Scholarship has been awarded. Kendra has successfully completed the Certified Legal Assistant exam. She is now entitled to use the "CLA" (Certified Legal Assistant) credential.
Melissa M. Klimpel, ACP, has been appointed to NALA's Continuing Education Council (CEC). Her three-year term runs from July 10, 2009 to 2012. The duties and responsibilities of the CEC center on the educational efforts of NALA. Melissa has been assigned to the NALA Convention Committee.
Melissa Hamilton, ACP, has successfully completed the Advanced Paralegal Certification course on Contracts Administration/Contracts Management. She is now entitled to use the "ACP" (Advanced Certified Paralegal) credential.
Melissa Hamilton, ACP, a paralegal in the legal division of the North Dakota Department of Transportation in Bismarck, has been installed as Director of Region VI of NALA, the Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals. She will serve on the NALA Board of Directors for 2010 - 12 representing North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri.
Becky Osborn, ACP, has successfully completed the Advanced Paralegal Certification course on Worker's Compensation.Becky has also been accepted to participate in NALA's LEAP (Leadership Enhancement and Preparation) program. Becky has successfully completed the Advanced Paralegal Certification course on Discovery. She is now entitled to use the "ACP" (Advanced Certified Paralegal) credential. Becky has also been accepted to participate in NALA's LEAP (Leadership Enhancement and Preparation) program.
Fargo Paralegal Honored
Michelle Erdmann, ACP, a paralegal in the US Attorney's Office for the District of North Dakota, Fargo, was presented with the President's Award by NALA, The Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals during the association's July annual meeting in San Diego. The award is conferred upon NALA members with a record of promoting high professional standards among paralegals.
Ms. Erdmann has been a civil litigation paralegal for more than 16 years and has been a member of NALA since 1994. She served as Chair of the Professional Development Committee where she had a key role in developing the LEAP (Leadership Enhancement and Preparation) program. She served on the NALA Board of Directors from 2005–08 and was Editor of the 2005 and 2006 Career Chronicle editions of Facts & Findings, NALA's magazine for paralegals. She was Ethics Chair for 2003–04 and a member of the Continuing Education Council from 2000 to 2003, during which time she was editor of the Facts & Findings"TechnoBits" column and Chair for the 2003 national convention. She completed two years on the Advanced Paralegal Certification Board in July 2009. She has also been a dynamic member of the Western Dakota Association of Legal Assistants where she has served as President, Vice President, Historian, NALA Liaison, State Bar and North Dakota Trial Lawyers Liaison, Technology Committee, and the Task Force Coalition of Legal Assistants.