MPA NALA Liaison

“Times, they are a changing!” 2020 has truly been a year of challenges for the entire World. COVID-19 hit us with a vengeance, but the MPA Board took it in stride and tried to continue operations as usual or as normal as we could make it. The Board has taken the opportunity to continue offering the Membership with interesting speakers via our You Tube page and to obtain CLE hours for those that need them without our monthly meetings. The Board had discussed getting our monthly luncheon speakers recorded and uploaded onto You Tube, but COVID-19 rushed our hands. Hope you are taking advantage of our “new way of life” and watching some of the speakers. I have watched a presentation and really enjoyed it.

MPA was not the only one that had to change with the times. NALA had to make the hard decision in June to cancel the 2020 NALA Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Instead we participated in the 2020 NALA Convention @ Home. This was the largest turnout in NALA history with almost 900 participating in the 3-day long virtual classes. There was not as many classes offered, but of the classes offered they proved to be very interesting and very informative. NALA did not let this virus slow them down. We had virtual Meet-N-Greets, installation of Officers, and meetings with each other via Zoom, and visiting with our USA wide network of friends.

I have also been participating in an extended virtual presentation that speaker John Bermingham, Esq. of Pennsylvania, graciously agreed to continue speaking on the First Amendment. I took this class during the 2020 NALA Convention @ Home and have participated in First Amendment Part II and Part III. Looks like we are having a Part IV and possibly Part V with so much going on around us. Who knew the First Amendment could be so interesting? Well with everything going on in America these days with Black Lives Matters, the protesters nationwide, discontinuation of the Confederate Flag, as well as changing the Mississippi Flag, the First Amendment has really been challenged. If you would like to check in on the 2020 NALA Convention @ Home, NALA has recorded the speakers’ presentations and are available for NALA Members to view.

The 2021 NALA Convention is scheduled to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, July 22 – 24, 2021. I have said this for years, and you are going to hear it again. If you have never attended a convention, you are missing out. It is a great learning experience, networking and a little mini-vacation all rolled into one. I have been attending the NALA Conventions since 2002 when I attended my first one as the President of MALA n/k/a MPA. I have only missed two in all these years and hated that I was not able to attend due to unforeseeable circumstances.

I really have enjoyed representing MPA as your NALA Liaison in the past and hopefully in the future as well. As all of you may or may not know, this is MPA’s 40th Anniversary. If COVID-19 will let us, The Board has some fun times scheduled at our September meeting. We have planned a great Fall Seminar and also have the NALA President, Melissa Hamilton, coming to speak during our luncheon portion of the event. This is also Paralegal Day. Please try to attend.

The Mississippi Association for Legal Assistants, Inc. (MALA) now the Mississippi Paralegal Association, Inc. (MPA) could not have begun and survived without all the volunteers and members throughout the years. The following is a list of the Past Presidents. If you know any of them, please tell them about our celebration or give us their information, and one of the Board Members will get in touch with them. At our 25th Anniversary, all but one, Past President attended. We hope that we can get that participation again. Get out there and help us find these Great Past Presidents!! The days are counting down, so here we go.

1980 - 1981 Rachel C. Davis Spencer

1982 Annie Lou Abel

1983 Becky D. Wooley

1984 Pauline H. Cochran, CLA

1985 - 1986 Lee A. Myers

1987 Annis P. Breland

1988 - 1989 Stacey L. Smith Ferreri

1990 Melissa E. Thomas Darden

1991 - 1992 Connie M. Cavanaugh Harrington

1993 - 1994 Debra D. Hammack

1995 Stacey L. Smith Ferreri

1996 Elizabeth S. Woods, CLA

1997 Allison K. Ainsworth Scott

1998 - 1999 Janet I. Thomas, CL

2000 - 2001 Jacqueline M. Watkins, CLAS

2002 Zenda S. Heafner CP

2003 - 2004 Dee Haas, CP

2005 LaTricia M. Nelson, CLAS

2006 Kimberly S. Badillo

2007 Ginger Sullivan

2008 - 2009 Gwen Burgess, CLA

2010 Sarah L. O’Neal ACP

2011 - 2012 Donna Alderman, ACP

2013 Darleen T. Dozier, CLA

2014 - 2015 Steven J. Jones

2016 Glenisa Jiles

2017 – 2018 Betty Todd, CP

2019 – 2020 Christy Roberts, ACP

I am still in Texas working, but working from my apartment. We have not been in our office since Mid-March. We have been fortunate to work from home via the internet, but the days are long with the solitude. I am not complaining because I am healthy and taking all precautions as we have been instructed. Dear Friends, Colleagues and MPA Members, here is wishing you all the best for you and your family during these trying times. Stay safe, healthy and happy. Hope to see you all in September.

Even during these unprecedented times, MPA is still thriving to the best it can be for its members. Membership is soaring even through it all. However, we do miss being able to see everyone's faces. MPA has so much to offer to its members, but we also need our members' help to keep us thriving. Tell your friends, co-workers, family members about how great MPA truly is. 

MPA provides CLE and networking opportunities, both of the utmost importance in our profession. Though, there are some who have never heard of MPA and all MPA has to offer. So, as you do your part social distancing, please do your part and spread the news of MPA. Invite them to a luncheon (once we're back together of course), invite them visit our website or facebook page, and finally encourage them to WORK AND PLAY WITH MPA!!

To all of our members, YOU are the BEST!

Thank you,

Olivia Bennett

VP of Membership

Whew!!! This is such a whirlwind of a time, but, boy, I am so thankful for the extra time I have

gotten to spend with my husband and two-year old. There is nothing sweeter to me than

hearing my little one’s laughter and excitement as he chases behind daddy’s “big” push mower

with his little bubble mower. We can never take for granted the special moments, and I am

learning to hold on tight to my toddler’s bear hugs just a little bit longer.

Spring always brings about a sense of new beginnings with the warm breeze and fresh smells. I hope that you have thought about the MPA’s newsletter as also being a sense of newness, welcoming change. Our goal has been to keep the members in the loop about upcoming events in one whole sweep every two weeks with little reminders on social media and our website as well. Please always invite other paralegals to come to a meeting/event to see what MPA has to offer. I challenge all of us to never stay stagnant but to always continue to learn and grow in our profession. This is especially true with more and more online tools having to become available during our world's current situation. We definitely will have to learn to grow and adapt to the new changes. MPA started 2020 strong and will finish 2020 strong. Even through all the hiccups everyone is experiencing right now, we cannot lose our faith and hope! I pray that you and your family stay strong and relentless through it all! Thank you, Jennifer Eure MPA Secretary