Paralegal Section News: November 2017


The Paralegal Section’s third year is coming to a close with a bang!

BASF’s first non-attorney section was the brainchild of Director of Continuing Legal Education Raquel Cabading, who recognized a need for support and education for paralegals and other non-attorney legal support professionals. With the Executive Director’s approval, Raquel Cabading’s CLE Administrative Assistant at the time, Kelly Cohen, a graduate of San Francisco State’s ABA-approved Paralegal Studies Program, took on this project with passion. Her tremendous research, insights and resources resulted in the selection of the new Executive Committee in late 2014, which hit the ground running and continues to make a huge impact in the legal community.

This newsletter contains important updates, news, celebrations and opportunities for engagement, education and support for our members and other non-attorney legal professionals (and the attorneys they support). Check out where we’ve been this year as well as upcoming events you won’t want to miss!

MCLEs – Available Via Webcast and On-Demand

November 29, 2017:  Register today for an important, relevant CLE, our final one for 2017: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace:  Understanding Your Rights in the Age of Tech & Trump*. With recent multiple allegations of sexual harassment against film producer Harvey Weinstein and director James Toback, this CLE is timely and touches on a core issue in American society.

Below is a list of the other powerful workshops presented by the Paralegal Section in 2017 that are available for purchase: 

  • Can You SAY That? Legal Ethics of Working with Court Reporters
  • Calendaring as a Risk Management Strategy*
  • Navigating the Legal Workplace
  • Countdown to Trial: The Final 100 Days
  • Utilizing Legal Nurse Consultant Expertise to Benefit Your Legal Practice
  • Post Marriage Equality: Emerging Issues

*Due to intellectual property rights, this workshop is not available for On-Demand replay.

Wanted: Nominations for Outstanding Non-Attorney Legal Professionals – Deadline November 30

The Executive Committee of the Paralegal Section will again honor non-attorney legal professionals who have gone above and beyond for the legal community they serve by recognizing their contributions at our annual holiday party. Awards will be presented for the following nominations:

  • Paralegal of the Year
  • Paralegal Section Member of the Year
  • Legal Professional of the Year
  • Pro Bono Member of the Year

Now is your chance to show your appreciation for your hard-working, inspirational co-workers, colleagues or employees by nominating them.

Nominees must be members in good standing of the Paralegal Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco.  Qualifications include:

  • How has s/he impacted the legal community? How s/he contributed to your team, firm or other legal professionals?
  • Describe specific attributes the nominee possesses, including contributions s/he has made to the expansion of legal services that benefit clients;
  • Why the nominee is deserving of this award;
  • Describe activities the nominee participates in, such as pro bono projects and hours spent on the project, mentoring paralegals, new attorneys, and other legal professionals.

The deadline to submit nomination(s) is November 30, 2017. Winners will be announced and introduced at our Annual Holiday Party on December 5, 2017.

Executive Committee Members Receive Merit Awards

Speaking of awards…two members of the Executive Committee will be the recipients of The Bar Association of San Francisco’s annual Awards of Merit: Victoria Newman RP®, Chair, and Dennis Hanshew, our masterful CLE Coordinator. This honor is bestowed on a handful of outstanding BASF members for their contributions to the legal community. The awards will be presented at BASF’s Annual Membership Luncheon on December 14, 2017.

Besides receiving recognition via the BASF Bulletin monthly newsletter, its website, press releases, and social media, Award of Merit winners’ photos are framed and displayed at BASF for an entire year!

Please join us at the luncheon and show your appreciation to Vickie and Dennis in person for their tremendous service the last three years. What a fitting end to their tenure on the Executive Committee!

2017 Holiday Party – December 5

The Paralegal Section is celebrating the conclusion of another fantastic year of educational events and mixers at our third annual holiday party!

Join us (and bring your friends!) on December 5, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.:

Robert Half Legal
50 California Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111 

Free for members; $25 for BASF members; $40 for others

The fee includes food and beverages.

BASF Members can join the BASF Paralegal Section for $40 and attend for free!

The Executive Committee appreciates our hosting sponsor Robert Half Legal for providing their gorgeous offices with a breathtaking view of the San Francisco Bay Bridge and yummy hors d’oeuvres, and Litigation Services for providing wine, beer and beverages.

Register now.

Download the flyer.

Bulletin – Legal by the Bay Articles 

Besides its powerful MCLEs, the Paralegal Section has established itself as a formidable presence through articles published by Executive Committee members (and guest authors) in the Paralegal Corner section of BASF’s monthly print newsletter Bulletin (distributed to its 10,000 members) as well as BASF’s Legal by the Bay blog page.

Below are some highlights of our section’s articles published in 2017:

  • Paralegals Must Take More Ethics MCLEs Than Attorneys, But Why?
  • Competing for Talent in 2017
  • Paralegals and Legal Staff: Make a Difference Through Pro Bono
  • Court Reporting Ethics Panel Takes on Controversial Topics
  • Client Service Strategies for Paralegals
  • How to Prevent the Leading Cause of Malpractice Claims
  • 10 Red Flags of Potentially Difficult Clients
  • Absence of Court Reporters in Family Law Courts = Access to Justice Denied

View a complete list of the archives. And while you’re visiting, please LIKE the page and share with your friends and colleagues via email and social media!

Do you like to write or have a burning desire to share relevant information with the legal community? Contact the Paralegal Section’s Marketing Coordinator, Ana Fatima Costa, to share your ideas:

Wanted: Executive Committee Members

Six of the nine original Executive Committee members – Chair Victoria Newman, RP; Vice-Chair Rhonda Andrew; Treasurer Daniel Pleasant, CP; Education Chair Dennis Hanshew; and Volunteer Coordinator Mitzi Wortman, RN, BC CCM, LNCC, and Sarah Pisani – are stepping down when their term expires at the end of December 2017.

Join us at our holiday party to thank these wonderful human beings and dedicated professionals for their enormous contributions to the paraprofessional community by sharing their unique voices, passion, intelligence, time and energy.

If you would like to be a part of our dynamic, powerful, forward-thinking team of legal professionals that is passionate about professional development and educating the legal community we serve in the Bay Area and beyond,

Join the Executive Committee: Email your resume to BASF’s Director of Continuing Legal Education, Raquel Cabading:

Other News

City College of San Francisco – ABA-Approved Program

The Paralegal/Legal Studies Program at City College of San Francisco (“CCSF”) was granted approval from the American Bar Association in August 2017. Upon successful completion of their program, students will be awarded a certificate and/or degree.

CCSF’s Paralegal Program has been in operation since 1973 and is designed for working adults. Classes are taught in the evenings at their downtown center conveniently located near public transportation. The program offers both an Associate of Science degree and a certificate.

For more information about their degree and certificate programs, visit or call 415-239-3508.

California Certified Paralegal Exam – February 9, 2018 in Sacramento

l’he California Alliance of Paralegal Association’s (CAPA) voluntary certification program is an opportunity for paralegals to validate their qualifications and offers a credential to paralegals in California.

The CCP exam cost for the first 500 applicants is $50.00. Thereafter, the regular fee will be $125.00 for members and $150.00 for nonmembers.

 For more information:

Job Market Trends and Resources

Update from Executive Committee member Sarah Pisani, Nelson Associates’ Legal Division Director:

Industry trends are corporate law, both in law firms and in-house legal departments.  Skills that are in high demand:  Corporate governance, maintaining corporate minute books, entity formation, regulatory compliance, Mergers & Acquisitions, due diligence, SEC filings, and contract administration/management.

A great resource for job searching is, since it is an aggregator of job postings and will compile opportunities from different job boards and career pages. You can set alerts for specific job searches in defined geographic regions.



Benefits of Membership in the Paralegal Section

Give YOURSELF (and a friend) a gift this holiday season and beyond:  Join the Paralegal Section or renew your membership. Unlock the power of membership and take advantage of the many benefits our organization has to offer!

Top Ten Reasons to Join:

  1. First-in-line opportunities for job posts through the Paralegal Section’s listserv.
  2. Participation in quality MCLE programs through live attendance or webcasts.
  3. Ability to attend other BASF programs at discounted rates.
  4. Access to BASF member benefits, such as judicial council forms.
  5. Variety of pro bono activities to utilize and develop your professional skills.
  6. Complimentary tech, lunch-and-learns, and financial seminars.
  7. Networking through MCLE programs, social events and volunteer activities.
  8. Discounts on practice management tools like Clio and LawPay.
  9. Opportunities to learn new skills serving as section and committee leaders.
  10. Access to BASF’s member-only lounge.

Membership in BASF’s Paralegal Section is open to all non-attorney legal professionals.