TO:                  Mary Ward

FROM:            Tim Groshens

DATE:            May 21, 2010

RE:                  Policy Questions

 

The MSBA Governance Committee discussed two questions regarding definitions in the membership Bylaws.  The Committee determined that resolution of the questions involved policy questions that are better dealt with in the General Policy Committee and therefore refers the following two questions to your Committee for consideration:

 

  1. Student Associate Membership.  Section 1.3.4(d) of the MSBA Bylaws defines a student associate member as “A student fully registered in or a graduate of an accredited U.S. law school.”  Question, should student membership be limited to students in an ABA accredited law school or is accreditation by another organization such as the Distance Education Training Council sufficient?

 

  1. Paralegal Associate Membership.  Section 1.3.4(f) of the MSBA Bylaws defines a paralegal associate member as “An individual who is a member in good standing of a recognized association of legal assistants or who has such membership waived by the chairperson of the Membership Committee.”  Question, is an individual who is a vendor member of a recognized association of legal assistants eligible for MSBA membership as a paralegal associate?  A vendor member is an individual who sells services/goods to members of the paralegal association or works closely with paralegals.

 

After the Governance Committee referred these questions, I sent the questions to the Membership Committee for comment.

 

Mark Chapin, Chair of the Membership Committee responded as follows:

 

The Membership Committee considered these questions today.

 

Question, should student membership be limited to students in an ABA accredited law school or is accreditation by another organization such as the Distance Education Training Council sufficient?

 

The Committee believes that law student membership is limited to students fully registered with an accredited ABA law school or one that is actively seeking ABA accreditation.

 

Question, is an individual who is a vendor member of a recognized association of legal assistants eligible for MSBA membership as a paralegal associate?  A vendor member is an individual who sells services/goods to members of the paralegal association or works closely with paralegals.

 

In order to meet the paralegal category, the individual must have a paralegal degree or certificate.

 

I hope that the committee's answers are responsive to the questions.

 

Thanks, Mark