News from the Paralegal Section: December 2017

By Victoria Newman, RP

News from BASF's Paralegal SectionThe Paralegal Section is concluding its third year, and big changes are afoot!

BASF’s first non-attorney section was the brainchild of Raquel Cabading, Director of Continuing Legal Education, who recognized a need for support and education for paralegals and other non-attorney legal support professionals. With the Executive Director’s approval, CLE Administrative Assistant, Kelly Cohen, a graduate of San Francisco State’s ABA-approved Paralegal Studies Program, passionately undertook this endeavor. Her tremendous research, insights and resources resulted in the selection of the new Executive Committee (EC) in late 2014.

Members of the section’s EC agreed to serve a three-year term to establish the section and were charged with providing a minimum of four Continuing Legal Education programs a year. But that goal was surpassed under the guidance of Education Chair Dennis Hanshew, who coordinated and also frequently presented and moderated 25 well-attended, relevant, powerful CLE workshops since January 2015.

Last year, the Executive Committee voted to establish two-year staggered terms to ensure the section would not lose its board all at once.

Five of the nine original EC members – myself as Chair; Vice-Chair Rhonda Andrew; Treasurer Daniel Pleasant, CP; Education Chair Dennis Hanshew; Volunteer Coordinator Mitzi Wortman, RN, BC CCM, LNCC; and Sarah Pisani – are stepping down when their terms expire at the end of December 2017.

The following remaining members are looking forward to welcoming other non-attorney legal professionals to join them on the Executive Committee: Ana Fatima Costa (who has elected to serve another two years); Javier Morales; Hazel Mottershead; Brandi Bartosh; Alexandria Brilliant; Karin Buckley; and Jeffrey Lester.

The Paralegal Section would like to thank the following law firms and organizations that encouraged their non-attorney legal professionals to serve on the Executive Committee:

• Keker, Van Nest & Peters
• Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn
• Blacker, Sammis & Blacker
• Hersh Family Law Practice
• Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein
• Hanson Bridgett
• Van Voorhis & Sosna
• Ana Fatima Costa Consulting Services
• Legal Nurse Services
• Nelson & Associates

In addition, we thank the above firms/organizations for hosting our section’s holiday mixers and serving as CLE panelists on a wide range of subjects of interest to our section members and guests. Some of these firms provided multiple speakers over the course of the past three years.

We offer our gratitude to ALL the firms, corporations, government agencies, and others who encouraged their non-attorney legal professionals to join our section, paid their membership dues, and urged them to attend our programs and events.

The Executive Committee meets the second Wednesday of the month. Interested in joining a dynamic group and making a difference in the legal community? Contact Raquel Cabading at