Fort Worth Paralegal Association

Board of Directors and Committees

Elected Officers and Committee Chairpersons

Board of Directors Directory

The Fort Worth Paralegal Association Board of Directors is made up of elected officers and non-elected, standing committee chairpersons. All elected officers have board voting privileges (with the exception of the current President who votes only in a tie) and vote on all matters concerning policy making of the Association. The non-elected positions of the board make up the majority of our standing committees (committees that continue from year to year) and are a vital necessity and importance to both our organization's board and FWPA members. Although not allowed to vote during board meetings, all committee chairs are allowed and encouraged to give opinions and participate fully in discussions on the FWPA policy making by the officers.

In order to hold their respective positions on the board, both elected and non-elected board members are required to meet the requirements for voting-member status in the Association. Open floor nominations for officer candidates are held at our August and September general membership meetings. In addition, any voting member of the Association may submit to the board of directors a written statement of intent to run for office, prior to the October general membership meeting. Elections are held each November for offices in the upcoming calendar year. Standing committee chairpersons are appointed by the President and presented to the board at the January board of directors' meeting for approval.

In addition to standing committees, it is sometimes necessary to create ad hoc committees to handle certain situations and/or ideas that either have a limited "life" or that are in their infant stages of development and thus, their success as a perpetual, standing committee is unknown. Ad hoc committee chairs have the same rights, duties and responsibilities as the standing committee chairs, but any ad hoc committee must be renewed from year to year.

FWPA operates on a calendar year and all offices and committee appointments run from January 1st to December 31st.

Elected by the voting members

Presiding officer of the Association and presides over all membership and board meetings. Elected into the President-Elect office for the first year, then moves automatically into the President office the second year and finally serves as the Association's Parliamentarian the third year.

President-Elect and Education Committee Chair
In the absence of the President, this office presides over all membership and board meetings. In addition, this office doubles as the Association's education committee chair, coordinating all CLE events throughout the year. The Education Committee is responsible for conducting a CLA Review Seminar and a Fall CLA Study Group to assist paralegals in preparing for the CLA examination given by NALA.

First Vice-President and Programs Committee Chair
This office is responsible for securing programs and speakers for each of the Association's twelve monthly membership meetings, which includes engaging the speaker, creating and mailing notices, handling reservations, introduction of speakers and many other related tasks.

Second Vice-President and Membership Committee Chair
The membership committee implements FWPA's membership plans and procedures according to the Association bylaws. Along with various board responsibilities, the second vice president of membership receives and processes applications for membership, welcomes and announces new members at monthly general membership meetings and serves (as do all board members) as a public relations spokesperson for FWPA. The membership chair is always on the lookout for members who will both benefit from membership in FWPA, as well as be of benefit to FWPA. The membership chair devotes time to telephone calls with new and prospective members, and to current members regarding address changes, questions or concerns. The chair maintains a membership roster database and is also responsible for providing membership information to officers and committee chairpersons upon request in a variety of formats and membership classifications. The membership chair provides mailing labels for monthly luncheon notices, for distribution of the bimonthly newsletter and for all other written communication with the membership. It is the responsibility of the membership chair to plan, initiate, and complete annual membership renewals. Potential and new members can always count on receiving FWPA membership information from this chair, as well as information on current local education programs of interest to paralegals. In short, the membership chair is a vital link from potential and new members of the organization, as well as a source of information to current members.

The secretary is required to attend every FWPA board meeting and general membership meeting to record the minutes of the meetings. It is the responsibility of the secretary to remind the president of any unfinished business from previous meetings which need to be addressed and added to the agenda for the next meeting. The minutes are maintained in notebooks designated for each year. The secretary also maintains the FWPA Procedure Manual which contains the specific responsibilities, guidelines and duties of each officer and committee chair. Each year the board reviews the procedure manual and necessary changes are made upon approval by the board.

The treasurer serves as a voting board member and officer of the Association. In addition to serving as a public relations spokesperson, the treasurer performs a number of essential duties on a daily basis. Responsibilities include paying expenses, making regular deposits, reconciling accounts and preparing financial statements to present at the monthly board of directors' meetings. The treasurer maintains a permanent file of all correspondence, financial statements, invoices, receipts, reimbursement requests, deposit requests and income tax filings relating to the financial records of the Association. Additionally, the treasurer is responsible for coordinating and preparing a yearly budget for the Association to be presented to the board of directors each January for approval.

Under the Fort Worth Paralegal Association's Bylaws, the immediate past President holds this office and is a voting board member. It is necessary for the parliamentarian to be informed and knowledgeable of all FWPA bylaws, procedures, and Roberts Rules of Order. This officer collects pictures, articles, and memorabilia during the calendar year for the scrapbook which is presented to our President as a gift at the end of the President's term. The Parliamentarian is required to preside at the board of directors' and general membership meetings in the absence of the President and President-Elect.

Chairpersons Appointed by the President
and approved by the Elected Officers

Advertising Committee
This committee is responsible for all aspects of advertisements placed in the Association's newsletter.

Community Service Committee
This committee is responsible for all community relations, community charities, volunteers for specific functions and/or events and community interactions.  FWPA Members volunteer for a number of civic, charitable and community events, such as the Tarrant County Food Bank, Main Street Arts Festival, Susan G. Koman Foundation, Make a Wish Foundation, Mission Metroplex, Salvation Army, and Goodfellows.  Each year, this committee bestows the honor of FWPA Volunteer of the Year Award to a deserving Member who is recognized at the Annual Holiday Luncheon in December.

Elections Committee
This committee is responsible for handling all facets of officer nominations and elections in accordance with the Association Bylaws and Procedure Manual.

Ethics Committee
It is the duty of the Ethics Committee to handle any matters concerning professional ethics of FWPA members.

Paralegal of the Year Committee
As the only non-elected committee chair not appointed by the current President, the chair automatically becomes so upon being awarded Paralegal of the Year in the preceding December. Duties include receiving nominations, selecting non-paralegal and non-local judges, redacting all personal information from candidate resumes and recommendation letters and coordination of all related matters.

Placement Committee
The purpose of the placement committee is to assist FWPA members in locating positions in the Dallas/Fort Worth legal field. This is accomplished by publishing a monthly listing/bulletin of available positions in the DFW Metroplex. The information in the bulletin is provided to FWPA members at each monthly meeting, in the monthly meeting notices, and in our bi-monthly newsletter, the Cowtown Paralegal Reporter.  The Committee acts as liaison between FWPA members and potential employers and ensures that the legal community is aware of our placement services. Only FWPA members are allowed access to the Association placement reports, and every potential employer is invited to use our services to find a qualified paralegal.

Professional Development Committee
This committee is responsible for publication of the bi-yearly salary and utilization survey and the alternating bi-yearly publication of the mini salary-survey. This committee is also responsible for obtaining all CLE credits either through NALA, the State Bar, NFPA, or whatever other credentialing organization necessary to FWPA members.

Publications Committee
It is the responsibility of the publications committee to get the association's bi-monthly newsletter, Cowtown Paralegal Reporter assembled, printed and mailed to all members and various other associations locally (in Texas) and nationally. The publication committee chair is responsible for putting the newsletter together in camera-ready format. The newsletter includes a message from the president, committee reports, CLE events and other paralegal related events, articles of interest, web site addresses for research and reference and other items as the committee deems appropriate. We invite and solicit articles from our membership.

Public Relations Committee
This committee is responsible for promoting social events for FWPA and keeping contact with other local associations. This committee is sort of the Association's historian, taking photo- graphs for the newsletter and notifying other professional associations and local newspapers of certain events. This committee is responsible for the annual Patron Parade and the annual holiday luncheon.

Scholarship Committee
The purpose of this committee is to handle the giving of semi-annual scholarships to deserving students attending local, paralegal educational institutions.

Specialty CLE Committees

The purpose of these committees is to provide CLEs in their specialty area, typically as brown bags, during the year.  Family Law-March, June, and September; Litigation-May, August, and November; Probate/Real Estate-February, April, and October; and Technology-February, April, and October.

State Bar Division Liaison
Although technically not an FWPA standing committee, the chair position on FWPA's Board of Directors is set out under Article 5, section 5.6 of the Association's Bylaws and is held by the current District Director (representing the Tarrant County district) for the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas.

Web Site Committee
The purpose of this newly created committee is to interface with the website host to maintain current website information for the organization.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software