About Us

Brief History

The El Paso Association of Legal Assistants (EPALA) was formed in February 1982 to meet a growing need among legal assistants for a professional organization to further its members' professional development and advancement of the legal profession in El Paso. In 2003, the membership voted to change the name of the association to the El Paso Paralegal Association (EPPA) to keep with the trend of the time, toward the use of that term for those who have traditionally been referred to as legal assistants. EPPA is an affiliate of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and is a member of the Texas Alliance of Paralegal Associations. Through these affiliations, EPPA members receive many benefits including shared job bank information and networks with it fellow associations throughout Texas. EPPA seeks to keep its members informed on developments in the profession in Texas, the United States and other countries.

Definition of Paralegal

A legal assistant or paralegal is a person qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work, for which the lawyer is responsible. (Adopted by the ABA in 1997)

General Information

  • EPPA publishes an informative monthly newsletter, The Writ, which is sent to its members.

  • EPPA serves as a resource for paralegal education programs in its area.

  • Through its various committees, seminars, and activities, EPPA also offers opportunities for professional growth and community services.
    In addition, EPPA adopts a charity chosen by its membership, and through its members’ efforts raises funds and supports the charity throughout the year.

  • In 2002, EPPA celebrated its 20th anniversary and continues to strive to attain the goals established in 1982. EPPA is a non-profit organization.

Goals and Purpose

  • To establish good fellowship among association members, NALA, and members of the legal community.

  • To encourage a high order of ethical and professional attainment.

  • To continuously educate members of the profession.

  • To cooperate with the bar associations.

  • To support and carry out the programs, purposes, aims, and goals of the National Association of Legal assistants (NALA).

Meetings

  • Meetings of the Board of Directors are held on the second Wednesday of each month. The meetings are open to the membership. Please check our calendar for the time and place, as meeting details vary.

  • Monthly membership luncheons with planned programs (CLE) are held on the third Thursday of each month at the DoubleTree Hotel, 600 El Paso Street, Voir Dire Room, 7th Floor, El Paso, Texas. These luncheons are open to anyone interested in attending regardless of member status. However, only members will receive a Certificate of Attendance for one hour of CLE Credit. The luncheon is from Noon to 1:00 p.m.  If you wish to enjoy lunch, the cost for the luncheon is $21 for the buffet which includes dessert.  RSVP to LAguilar@bickerstaff.com.

Membership

Membership in EPPA is open to individuals working as legal assistants/paralegals, students enrolled in an accredited/recognized paralegal program, to employers, educators or others who support the paralegal profession. The categories of membership are:

  • Active

  • Associate

  • Student

  • Sustaining

Please visit the membership tab for more information.

El Paso Bar Association (EPBA) Membership

The El Paso Bar Association was the first local bar association in Texas to include paralegals as associate members. To qualify for membership, paralegals are required to be members in good standing of EPPA. As associate members, paralegals pay dues and are entitled to attend all of the monthly luncheon meetings and to serve on Bar Association committees. EPBA has the option of including paralegal members in any other programs, banquets, or seminars. Regular monthly meetings of EPBA are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the El Paso Club.

If you would like more information regarding membership or continuing education, please contact: epba@htg.net or view their website at www.elpasobar.com.

PROCLAMATION

Locally, in 1992, Governor Ann Richard and then El Paso Mayor, Bill Tilney proclaimed October 23rd as LEGAL ASSISTANT'S DAY. October 23, marks the creation of the Legal Assistants Division of the State Bar of Texas (LAD) in 1981. Since then, the Division has grown and undergone many changes, to include a name change in 2005 to the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas (PD). That same year, the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas and the Paralegal Division adopted a new definition of "Paralegal" and Paralegal Standards. Finally, in late 2008, by Senate Proclamation 1144, the Texas Senate honored Texas Paralegals for their valuable contributions to the practice of law, and recognized October 23, each year as Texas Paralegal Day.