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How can I help but support an association when its members, board members and officers have always supported me? -Tina K. ACP
LEAP for prospective leaders is based on the common-sense notion that it is better to acquaint volunteers with the concepts and challenges of association leadership before they are elected to leadership positions rather than to rely on “orientation” sessions after elected leaders take office. Early leadership training and support will reinforce the strength and progress of the association as new leaders assume their roles prepared to take charge right away.
Established in 2007, the LEAP curricula has gone through some modifications in response to member needs and suggestions. Beginning with the 2010-11 class, the curricula was restructured to be more supportive of NALA members who are also serving as leaders of their state and local affiliated organizations. With this new direction, the program better serves to support leadership development for NALA affiliated associations.
The current focus is on serving state and local affiliated associations, and developing skills that support their goals and growth. Participation in LEAP will also enhance the personal leadership skills used by NALA members in business and work environments. The new curricula goals and objectives are as follows:
- Developing a culture of trust among association leaders and members
- Leadership vision and mission
- Aligning the association’s services and programs with its mission
- Studying and understanding “7 Measures of Success of Remarkable Associations,” a recent ground-breaking study that examines what separates good from remarkable associations. We specifically address associations’ commitment to purpose, commitment to action and commitment to analysis and feedback.
- Using leadership tools such as public speaking to deliver your association's message and lateral and parallel thinking to define association values and mission
Members of NALA’s Board of Directors will be heavily involved as discussion leaders. Specific expertise outside the Board will be sought as needed. Individual participants benefit from the excellent leadership training provided by this program, and NALA will gain new perspectives and insights to stimulate its future plans.
LEAP members and discussion leaders will work together during a 12 month program and meet via web-based lectures, group discussion, and research. Conference calls/webinars are typically one or two Tuesdays per month, and alternate between noon and 3:00 pm Central time. In addition to the scheduled conference calls, participants will be placed in groups and will have several individual and group assignments, as well as frequent reading assignments to complete. The final group presentation at the NALA convention is an important aspect of the program, and a requirement for LEAP participants. In order to complete the program, regular attendance, participation and completion of assignments is expected of all LEAP members.
Hard work notwithstanding, the fulfillment I have felt from my participation cannot be overstated. An important benefit is that I have become more confident in my work. -
Margaret C. , ACP
Networking may be the most undervalued benefit of membership in NALA. It is more than just meeting new people and getting together with old friends. It involves the energy that surges through working with others toward a common goal. It includes the growth of leadership skills that comes from watching and working with NALA leaders. It includes the opportunity to promote the paralegal profession, and it includes true friends you can depend upon in a crisis. -Rhonda D., ACP
LEAP was designed by the NALA Professional Development Committee and adopted by the NALA Board of Directors in recognition of needs of NALA Affiliated Associations and of NALA individual members.
First and foremost, NALA is a membership association. NALA members are the driving force behind NALA programs and members rely more and more on NALA for their CLE and professional development needs. A dedicated and visionary leadership is required for NALA and its affiliated associations to become the associations that members desire and envision.
At the same time, paralegals today find themselves in leadership positions and in situations in which sound leadership skills are needed for career advancement - either in the association world, the corporate world or in the world of private law firms. LEAP focuses on working with others, studying and discussing current leadership trends and publications such as 7 Measures of Success of Remarkable Associations, and provides members with the experience of public speaking and presentations.
How to Apply
The LEAP application form for the 2016-17 year will be available soon. LEAP class members will be notified August 14, 2016.
To qualify, LEAP participants must meet each of the following criteria:
The NALA Professional Development Committee has determined if more applications are received than desired class size, other criteria will be used to select the LEAP class members such as geographic location and areas of interest. The PDC will endeavor to ensure that the class makeup is representative of the membership of NALA which includes members of diverse interests and diverse geographic representation. Questions about the LEAP application process may be directed to NALA Headquarters.
There is no enrollment fee for volunteering for the LEAP program. However, participants will have a substantial time commitment and some incidental costs associated with attending the requisite convention meeting. NALA will reimburse participants for one night's lodging during the convention at the end of the one-year program, during which LEAP group presentations are made to the NALA Board of Directors and/or NALA membership.