Category Archives: NFPA

Paralegal Profile: Kelli M. Smith, CRP

Kelli M. Smith, CRP, is Assistant Vice President and Senior Paralegal at Plains Capital Corporation – Legal where she focuses on Litigation, Corporate, Bankruptcy, Employment, Mergers & Acquisitions. She has earned an AAS – Management and is a Core Registered Paralegal (CRP) through NFPA.

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2015 KMS Bio Photo1. What prompted you to choose a paralegal career?  In 1997, I returned to Dallas from Houston, Texas, and accepted a temp-to-perm position at Centex Corporation in their Legal Department as a Legal Secretary.  Although I had no prior legal experience, they decided to hire me.

In 2000, I transferred to Centex Homes Legal Department and became a Legal Assistant, what we now call a hybrid paralegal. Working closely with several Centex Homes’ paralegals, it was then that I became interested in becoming a full-fledged paralegal. When I later transferred to CTX Mortgage Company, the financial services division of Centex, I became certificated through the Professional Development Institute, a certification program sponsored by the University of North Texas. After becoming certificated, I continued to work as a Legal Assistant for CTX Mortgage Company and decided to go back to college to obtain my Associate’s Degree in Management.

After becoming certificated, graduating college in 2006, receiving numerous college honor society awards, including Guistwhite Scholar (highest honor of Phi Theta Kappa), I was armed to head out to the paralegal trenches!

It was then that I was hired by a full service international law firm as a Corporate Paralegal in their Mergers and Acquisitions Section.  Later, when the economy took a downturn, I transferred to the Bankruptcy Section to obtain more billable hours.  In 2013, I accepted my current position at PlainsCapital Corporation assisting our General Counsel with litigation and corporate matters.

My journey has been a steady, gradual ascent into, not just a paralegal career, but also the paralegal profession, including taking on increasing leadership roles in the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (“DAPA”), the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (“NFPA”) and the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas.

2. What is your favorite part of your job?  In my current position, I really like being able to communicate with the different governmental agencies like the FBI, DEA, Homeland Security, and local law enforcement agencies, which stems from an early childhood dream of becoming a police officer. I usually spend the majority of my time each day responding to various law enforcement inquiries, grand jury subpoenas, and requests for bank Continue Reading

Paralegal Profile: Lisa Lynch, CRP

Lisa Lynch, CRP, is a litigation paralegal employed City of Dallas and is the immediate Past President of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association. She received her Paralegal Certificate from the Professional Development Institute at the University of North Texas Lisa was certified by NFPA as a Core Registered Paralegal in 2011, becoming one of the… Continue Reading

Paralegal Warrior Training Course

Paralegal Warrior Training Course

Were you at the NALA Convention in Portland? Are you going to the NALS Convention in Atlanta? What about the NFPA Convention in Hartford?  Turns out, there was a convention for military paralegals at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin July 12 through 26. Who knew? Paralegal soldiers from throughout the U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard… Continue Reading

Paralegal Profile: Brian Haberly, RP

Paralegal Profile: Brian Haberly, RP

1.  Where do you work and what is your job title? I am a Senior Corporate and Securities Paralegal working in the Silicon Valley for Infoblox Inc., a tech company based in Santa Clara, California, that provides Automated Network Control solutions, and that became a publicly traded company in early 2012 (NYSE: BLOX).I have been… Continue Reading

Paralegal Profile: Mianne Besser

Paralegal Profile: Mianne Besser

Mianne Besser is a Senior Paralegal with Otten Johnson Robinson Neff & Ragonetti, P.C., in Denver, CO where she specializes in Litigation Support. She has a Bachelor of Arts Management and Business Administration (University of Phoenix, Colorado Campus), as well as a Paralegal Certificate (Denver Paralegal Institute).   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1.    Why did you choose a paralegal… Continue Reading

Certification:  5 Reasons Why Double Is Better

Certification: 5 Reasons Why Double Is Better

A question was posed to me recently while I was doing one on one coaching with a paralegal who wanted tips to get her career off dead center and moving forward. She asked me: “Vicki, do you think I should get state specific certification or take a certification exam offered by a national paralegal professional… Continue Reading

Certification: 5 Reasons Why Double Is Better

Certification: 5 Reasons Why Double Is Better

A question was posed to me recently while I was doing one on one coaching with a paralegal who wanted tips to get her career off dead center and moving forward. She asked me: “Vicki, do you think I should get state specific certification or take a certification exam offered by a national paralegal professional… Continue Reading

Washington State Selected as Test Site for PCC Esam

Washington State Selected as Test Site for PCC Esam

Brian Haberly, RP, President of the Washington State Paralegal Association (WSPA) has announced that Washington State has been selected as one of six test sites for the new Paralegal Core Competency Examination coming later this year. Highline Community College in Des Moines, WA, south of Seattle, has agreed to host the pilot exam, which will… Continue Reading

Washington State Selected as Test Site for PCC Esam

Washington State Selected as Test Site for PCC Esam

Brian Haberly, RP, President of the Washington State Paralegal Association (WSPA) has announced that Washington State has been selected as one of six test sites for the new Paralegal Core Competency Examination coming later this year. Highline Community College in Des Moines, WA, south of Seattle, has agreed to host the pilot exam, which will… Continue Reading

Theresa Scharf Wins NFPA Pro Bono Award

Theresa Scharf Wins NFPA Pro Bono Award

Congratulations to Teresa Scharf who received the Individual Pro Bono of the Year Award from the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) at its 2010 annual conference held in Cherry Hill, NJ. Teresa is a member of the Paralegal Association of Central Ohio where she serves as Chair of the Pro Bono Committee. In that capacity, she… Continue Reading