NALA Awards Program and Member Recognition

NALA Awards Program and Membership Recognition

Affiliate Award
The NALA Affiliate Awards are presented each year to members or committees of affiliated associations, in recognition of their contribution to the goals and programs of an affiliated association. Designees are nominated by their affiliated association for such contributions as assisting with and organizing CP study groups, working with bar associations on behalf of the legal assistants in the area, planning educational programs, and developing a pro bono or other community involvement program for the affiliate. These examples serve only as guidance for the affiliated association ‐ the association may set its own standards for recognition.

The affiliated association may designate one recipient for an affiliate award each year. There is no selection process on the part of NALA for the affiliate award. NALA will recognize these recipients by presenting a framed award to each one during the membership award presentations. Nomination forms for the Affiliated Associations Awards must be received by May 1.

Affiliated Associations Outstanding Contribution Award
Each recipient of a NALA Affiliate Award is automatically nominated for the Outstanding Contribution Award, the pinnacle award of the NALA Affiliated Associations. The purpose of this award is to recognize exceptional achievement among recipients of the NALA Affiliate Awards. Examples of these achievements include contributions to relationships among the paralegal profession, the public, and the legal community; exceptional leadership within an affiliate including proposing or developing ethical codes or guidelines; and serving as a founder of an affiliated association.

The forms submitted by an association designating recipients of an affiliate award are reviewed by an Affiliated Associations Award Committee appointed by the NALA Board of Directors, and chaired by the Affiliated Associations Director. Members of the committee must have either served as an affiliated associations director or secretary, or as a NALA board member. Former recipients of an Affiliate Award or Outstanding Contribution Award are also eligible to serve on this selection committee. The recipient of the NALA Affiliated Association's Outstanding Contribution Award is advised in early June. Nomination form must be received by May 1.

Founders Award
This award is designed to recognize extraordinary contributions to the growth and future of the paralegal profession. The accomplishments recognized have impacted the paralegal profession in a positive manner for a significant period of time.

The award is not presented each year automatically. The list of former award recipients includes past presidents, law firms that have supported the paralegal profession, and long-time NALA staff members.  Consider those you know who are deserving of this special recognition!

The nomination form is due May 1. Nominations must be submitted by a NALA active member in good standing. Nominees, however, may include any individual or company and NALA membership is not a requirement. 

Making a Difference Awards
NALA members are SPECIAL!  They are working every day to support their associations, continue their education, help students, and mentor those who wish to know more know about the paralegal profession. In addition, members individually and through their association are helping in their communities through volunteering in law-related community programs, and other non-profit community support programs. The Board of Directors has found a way to recognize members in their everyday activities, and has brought back the popular Member Making a Difference Awards!

Making a Difference honorees are recognized throughout the year in Facts & Findings and Facts & Findings Digital and through other communications programs of NALA, including the website and newsletter. Each year at the NALA Annual Meeting, honorees present are recognized as a group for their inspiring and selfless contributions.   

All NALA members or NALA affiliated associations are eligible for this award, and any individual or association may submit a nomination form.

National Affiliated Associations Achievement Award
The National Affiliated Associations Achievement Award is designed to recognize the achievements and contributions of an individual affiliate member, a committee of an affiliated association, or of an affiliated association itself which have a national and long‐lasting impact. Examples of these national contributions may include development or participation in a community service program which results in a positive public image for the paralegal profession on a national basis; contributions to paralegal education such as publishing a book; or development of a nationally recognized professional development or career enhancement program.

This special award may or may not be conferred annually. Nomination forms for the National Affiliated Associations Achievement Award are included at the end of this publication. Associations may submit one nomination per year. Candidates are selected by the Affiliated Associations Award Committee, appointed by the NALA Board of Directors, and chaired by the Affiliated Associations Director.

Please note that National Affiliated Associations Achievement Award nomination forms are only considered for the National Affiliated Associations Achievement Award. If you wish to ensure an award for your association’s nominee, please be sure to submit the Affiliate Award form. National Affiliated Associations Achievement Award nominations must be received by May 1 each year. Nomination forms must be received by May 1.  

Presidents Award
The NALA Presidents Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments of NALA members and their contribution to the future of the paralegal profession through their leadership activities within NALA and NALA affiliated associations.

Award recipients must be current NALA members, must have held membership for at least two years, and must have at least five years of experience as a paralegal. The recipients of the Presidents Award have contributed greatly to the paralegal profession through their work with NALA affiliated associations, and through their volunteer work on NALA committees and task forces. Some on this list are also former presidents of NALA and are continuing their service to the paralegal profession.

The nomination form is due May 1. Nominations must be submitted by NALA active members, and nominees must be active members of NALA.

Current NALA members who are Board Members are not eligible for the Founders Award, the Presidents Award, or the Making A Difference Award.