The Lafayette Paralegal Association (LPA) won a victory last month for paralegals across the state of Louisiana. While their members are certainly accustomed to success in the courtroom, this particular achievement is not a legal one at all.
Thanks to their efforts promoting the paralegal profession, Governor Bobby Jindal and the Lafayette City Parish President Joey Durel declared September 13-19 to be “Paralegal Week.” An event was held at the end of the week honoring paralegals and rewarding them for their contributions to the legal field.
The LPA has been around since 1984. It was originally established to help identify common goals and objectives for paralegals. In the past decade, the number of paralegals nationwide has doubled and so has LPA membership. As it has grown, the LPA has made the promotion of the profession its primary goal. They help to provide educational opportunity and camaraderie to students working towards becoming paralegals and a network in the legal community for paralegals already established in the field.
Over the past several years, the LPA has worked closely with the local BAR to help equip its members to seek certification and to prepare monthly meetings and presentations for the betterment of paralegals across the state. They are even approved to provide some of the continuing education credits required to become a paralegal in the first place.
The LPA also makes efforts to promote ethical practices for paralegals. Paralegal Week is a part of that effort. By honoring paralegals, the state of Louisiana has taken the time to show that the paralegal profession is a respectable one made up of principled people working towards a common goal – justice. The standard set by the LPA over the years is one of ethical excellence, and Paralegal Week is a testament to their conviction.