Current members of MCLPA are paralegals, legal assistants and secretaries, law office managers, process servers, and court clerks. Membership is available to anyone with a minimum of six months’ experience in a law office or engaged in work of a legal nature. Student membership is available for those currently studying towards a career in the legal field.
Members of MCLPA automatically become members of Legal Secretaries, Inc. (LSI) and as such enjoy access to many benefits such as major medical insurance, cancer and intensive care insurance, AFLAC supplement insurance, Medicare supplements, accident and disability income insurance, dental insurance, travel insurance, life insurance, long term care plans, financial planning and retirement income plans, and credit union membership. Hertz and Working Advantage also provide benefits and savings.
Members stay connected and share information through email and by attending our monthly dinner meetings, which often include time for short educational programs. Past speakers have included court clerks, file examiners and judges, vendors providing legal support services such as One Legal, court reporters and legal staffing firms, attorneys addressing their special area of law, the Marin County coroner and the executive director of the Marin County Law Library.
In addition, MCLPA has a monthly newsletter, Adjudi-Kate, which provides current information on changes in the law, legal procedures, employment assistance, interclub events, and educational programs. Members of MCLPA also receive advance notice and a discounted price on LSI publications: The Legal Professionals Handbook, and Law Office Procedures Manual; plus a yearly subscription to The Legal Secretary, LSI’s quarterly magazine.
Continuing education for our members is a priority. On the local level, we host two workshops each year with topics ranging from current software technology, service of process, trial preparation, landlord/tenant & employment law, stress reduction, and in conjunction with the Marin County Law Library, research for the legal assistant. Four times a year at their quarterly conferences, LSI offers at least six different workshops in the areas of criminal, family, and transactional law, probate/estate planning, litigation and law office management. These workshops are offered at a very nominal fee.
MCLPA supports the California Certified Legal Secretary (CCLS) certification program through LSI. A study course is available for those who wish to sit for the one-day exam, which is given semi-annually. The CCLS exam tests California legal procedures, legal terminology, performance skills, reasoning and ethics, law office administration, bookkeeping and communication. A minimum of two years’ legal experience is required. MCLPA has hosted several CCLS study groups and we are proud to say three of our members have passed the exam and achieved this status.
LSI offers membership in six Legal Specialization Sections: criminal, family, and transactional law, probate/estate planning, litigation and law office management. Membership includes a quarterly newsletter packed with up-to-date information, free admission to quarterly workshops (with advance registration), and networking through a statewide roster for easy access to local procedural information in other counties.
Last, but not at all least, we enjoy the benefit of associating with others who share interest and pride in the profession in which we work. We aim to create and uphold a high standard of ethics and to establish good fellowship. Each year, MCLPA members sponsor a local family in need with handmade and purchased gifts, and contributions toward a holiday meal. We plan occasional social events, just for fun, because we enjoy the camaraderie we have built.