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March - April 2012March - April 2012

2015 WSPA Fall Continuing Education Seminar

Saturday October 24, 2015 -- 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
901 Fifth Avenue Seattle, WA 98164

Presentations for your Professional Development

The WSPA Annual Fall Continuing Legal Education Seminar is an event designed for your personal and professional development!  Join us October 24th for a day of enrichment and information that will help you develop your skills and expand your knowledge.

$50 for WSPA Members - $75 for Non-Members
Attendance is limited to the first 50

Watch for the complete schedule and registration link after September 1st!

Congratulations to Washington State's new LLLTs!

LLLT Class

An historic scene inside the Washington State Supreme Court! -- the first class of fifteen candidates who have completed the coursework to become the nation's first Limited License Legal Technicians (LLLTs). Nine of them took the exam and seven passed on the first time it was offered. WSPA is proud of these trailblazers and is honored to have played a role in bringing the program forward.

The full list of those who passed is:

  • Leisa Bulick, White Salmon, WA
  • Christine Carpenter, Auburn, WA
  • Michelle Cummings, Auburn, WA
  • Kimberly Lancaster, Shoreline, WA
  • Melodie Nicholson, Auburn, WA
  • Priscilla Selden, Entiat, WA
  • Angela Wright, Granite Falls, WA

The candidates must still complete additional steps. They must provide proof that they have the required 3,000 hours of supervised experience and that they have insurance and have set up trust account reporting. They also must pay a licensing fee and take an oath administered by the court.

Of the nine candidates who took the licensing exam to become the nation’s first-ever limited license legal technicians (LLLTs), seven passed and will now have their names submitted to the Supreme Court of Washington for the court to issue an order granting their admission to practice.

This historic program seeks to help bridge the access-to-justice gap by licensing non-lawyers to provide legal advice and assistance in limited areas without the supervision of a lawyer.

25 years of struggle to expand the role of paralegals in our legal system come to fruition. A win for the legal system and a win for legal consumers!

We would like to thank many of the past WSPA Leaders who over more than a decade wrote letters, testifed, held public meetings and more that all contributed to the Court's ultimate approval of the LLLT program, including Elva Gonzales, Leslie Harris, Lauren Cole, Kelli Wilcox, Theda Yandell, Brian Haberly, and Brenda Cothary (see photos at

A HUGE thank you is especially owed to Jeanne Johnston Dawes, who has served for several years on the LLLT Board, both as a paralegal and now as an attorney, Brenda Cothary, immediate Past President of WSPA, who has also served for several years on the LLLT Board, as well as longtime LLLT Board Chair Stephen Crossland, who helped guide many of the actions and decisions that led us to this first in the nation success!

Jeanne J  Brenda Cothary  CrosslandSteve 0

Jeanne J. Dawes                               Brenda Cothary                           Stephen Crossland

More info at


Nominations are now being accepted for the following awards:

  • Paralegal of the year
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • WSPA Volunteer of the year
  • Paralegal Pro Bono
  • Paralegal Community Service Award
  • Paralegal Student Scholarship

For more information about these awards, or to nominate a fellow paralegal*, please download and complete the Nomination Form.  Recipients will be celebrated at our annual Members Award Luncheon, held on April 24, 2015 during the Spring CLE at the Hilton Seattle Airport Conference Center. 

Nominations will be accepted through April 16, 2015. 

* “Paralegal” is an inclusive term that includes both traditional and non-traditional paralegals and those individuals performing the duties of a paralegal, while their exact job title may vary.

Annual Spring CLE & Annual Awards Luncheon

Save the Date

Friday, April 24, 2015 - 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Seattle Airport Hilton & Conference Center

2015 Spring CLE Seminar Schedule




8:00 - 8:30



8:30 - 10:00

Bringing the Newest Graphics and
Technology to Trial.

Noah Wick, Trial Exhibits, Inc.

LLLT and Ethics - What are the

Brenda Cothary - LLLT Board Member and

WSPA President

10:00 - 10:15



10:15 - 11:45

Cell Phone Forensics.
Cathy Lopez, Blank Law & Technology

IP Issues Regarding images, logos, etc.
Heather Cameron, Getty Images

11:45 - 1:15

Lunch & Program

Lunch & Program

1:15 - 2:45

Tips, Tricks and Advice for Becoming
a Stellar Paralegal.

Consuelo Grumich, Naegeli USA

Non-Traditional Trademarks.
Naser Baseer, Starbucks

2:45 - 3:00



3:00 - 4:30

The New Paralegal - from paper to
ESI discovery. What you need to know.

Dave Swider, Evolve Discovery"

Where is my Data? The Challenges

of Gaining Access in Intellectual

Property Theft Cases.

Mike Andrew, Owner, CyberSecurity


CLE Pricing
Law Day - Free Legal Advice Clinic Announcement

Skagit County:

The public is invited to bring their legal questions to the 21st annual Law Day – Free Legal Advice Clinic on Thursday, April 30, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Skagit Transit Station in downtown Mount Vernon. Law Day is celebrated nationally each year to promote the importance of the rule of law to a free society.

This event is a walk-in clinic. All patrons will be served on a first come first serve basis. For more information contact Eva Wescott, (360) 416-7585 (se habla espanol).

Event Sponsors:

Community Action of Skagit County -Volunteer Lawyer Program, the Washington State Paralegal Association- Northwest Chapter, and the Skagit County Law Library.

We are currently recruiting legal assistants, paralegals, paralegal students and attorneys for Law Day. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Alicia Engstrom at (360)540-4592 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Thank you.

2015 Law Day Flyer.pdf2015 Procedure Handout.doc2015 Paralegal Student Script.doc


Membership Renewal is open! Membership in WSPA, the leading professional association for Washington’s paralegals, is a great bargain at only $110 a year for regular members or associate members.

For paralegal students, the membership fee is only $50 if you renew (or join) before January 31. After that time the fee will increase to $60.

Sustaining membership is $300.

Membership Dues

When you pay your membership fee, you continue to enjoy the same benefits you have always received as a WSPA member, and are automatically a member of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). BUT be sure you log in and check your profile to assure your correct email address as well as contact information.

If you wish to pay by check, complete this 2015 WSPA Membership Renewal Form and return with your payment.

For those applying for a new membership, complete the 2015 WSPA New Member Application Form. You can still pay online with PayPal, but be sure you that you mail, scan/email or fax your new member form.

Mail the appropriate form with your check payment (payable to WSPA) OR send your new member form to WSPA, P.O. Box 58530, Seattle, WA 98138-1530. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or fax 206-575-9255.


Have you been wanting to give back to the Association?  Have you been wondering how to boost your resume?  Do you have great ideas to advance and develop the paralegal profession?  Then . . .

              WSPA WANTS YOU!!

WSPA is currently looking to fill certain Board positions.  We are looking for energetic and forward thinking individuals who have a passion for the profession.
What is a Paralegal?

The current definition of a Paralegal used by WSPA and NFPA is as follows:

"A paralegal is a person qualified through education, training, or work experience to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of legal concepts and is customarily, but not exclusively, performed by a lawyer. This person may be retained or employed by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency, or other entity or may be authorized by administrative, statutory, or court authority to perform this work. Substantive shall mean work requiring recognition, evaluation, organization, analysis, and communication of relevant facts and legal concepts."

The American Bar Association definition is as follows: 

"A legal assistant or paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible."

The current definition of "legal assistant/paralegal" replaces the definition adopted by the ABA Board of Governors in 1986. It adds the term "paralegal" since the terms "legal assistant" and "paralegal" are, in practice, used interchangeably. The term that is preferred generally depends on what part of the country one is from. The current definition streamlines the 1986 definition and more accurately reflects how legal assistants are presently being utilized in the delivery of legal services.

Updated: 08/14/2008


Sponsorship Information

WSPA would like to thank its generous Sponsors for their support! If your organization would like to learn more about becoming a Sponsor of WSPA, and getting recognition on both the WSPA web site and in our newsletter Findings and Conclusions, [coming soon] for more information.

New Job Search Resources

Current WSPA Members can now take advantage of several new Job Search resources and Videos found on our Members Only pages.  Log in using your Members User Name and Password from the WSPA Home Page, then select the "Resources" Tab Drop Down menu == >> Jobs == >> Job Search Tips & Tools (only visible to logged in current members.)  Forgot your User Name or Password?  Click on the "Forgot login?" link and information will be instantly emailed to your email address on record.  

Not yet a WSPA Member?  Register here today!

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