TPA is a professional association of paralegals whose primary goals include subscription to the Code of Professional Responsibility for Legal Assistants as set forth by the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA).
TPA aspires to provide continuing legal education and to support and carry out the programs, aims, and goals of NALA. The purposes of TPA include:
Establishing good fellowship among members, NALA, and members of the legal community; Encouraging a high order of ethical and professional attainment; Furthering education among members of our profession; and Cooperation with the Pima County, Arizona, and American Bar Associations.
The Tucson Paralegal Association (TPA) began in 1979 under the name Tucson Association of Legal Assistants (TALA). It is an affiliate of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), and subscribes to the same goals and philosophy. There were 32 people that became either active, associate, student or affiliate members during the first meeting held in December 1979.
Today, TPA's members are dedicated to obtaining and sustaining the original goals and philosophy of fellowship, education and professionalism.
TPA was a catalyst in the establishment of the Legal Assistant Program at Pima Community College over 25 years ago. Early members recognized the need for qualified legal assistants in the community. Their efforts resulted in a pilot course in the spring of 1982 entitled “Introduction to Legal Assistant” and a full program was offered the next fall. Tucson’s legal community is fortunate and reaps the benefits of this consistently well-regarded ABA-approved program. TPA is proud to be a part of the heritage of this program.
One of the most important benefits of membership is the guidance, support, and assistance of the CLA Study Group and TPA’s focus on NALA certification. An ongoing study group prepares members for each exam and TPA awards up to four scholarships per year to new CLA/CPs.
TPA provides quality speakers and educational credit at monthly meetings. In addition, half-day seminars are held at the mid-year and annual meetings in April and October, respectively. These educational programs are interesting, current, and draw members who need to maintain certification as well as other members, students, law firm employees and attorneys.
The Board and committee members meet on the last Tuesday of each month. This lively and dedicated group manages TPA’s business and goals and maintains the core mission – all while looking to attract new members and establish new goals and directions for TPA.
TPA’s name change this year required a new name for its quarterly newsletter known as “TALAFAX.” A majority of members recently voted in favor of “TPA Times.” In line with a national trend, many members are choosing to use Paralegal rather than Legal Assistant and CLAs are choosing to use CP.
TPA’s rich history of community service includes volunteer projects with the Pima County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers’ Division (“Meet A Lawyer Day”) and an annual donation of money, clothing and school supplies to a local school district. This year, members will volunteer to help the Bar association build a Habitat for Humanity home. TPA is currently working to establish a cooperative program with Pima Community College, students enrolled in its Legal Assistant Program, and TPA to accomplish several goals, including:
- •Encourage interaction and communication,
- •Provide additional resources and support (mentoring and internships),
- •Supplement educational efforts (special programs at the college, and
- •Promote benefits of TPA membership and certification.
TPA’s Job Bank is a resounding success as a resource for both members looking for a job and employers looking for a qualified paralegal. Also, in an effort to assist students and others seeking an entry-level position, postings include a variety of non-paralegal positions, but services are only offered to members.
While TPA enjoys a respected presence in Tucson’s legal community, we constantly look to boost our influence by expanding membership, encouraging certification, keeping abreast of current law and technology, and reflecting professionalism in all we do.
To apply for membership in the Tucson Paralegal Association, visit our Membership tab for more information.