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Ohio State Bar Association certifies paralegals

CONTACT:  Ken Brown, Director of Public & Media Relations,  800-282-6556 or 614-487-4426

COLUMBUS, Ohio (July 2, 2013) - The Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) recently administered its credentialing program for paralegals, allowing them to be designated as an “OSBA Certified Paralegal.” The OSBA today announced the certification of 25 paralegals who have met the requirements to earn this designation.  (See the list of names below)

“OSBA Certified  paralegals meet objective and uniform standards of competence and professionalism,” said OSBA President Jonathan Hollingsworth. “That’s a good thing for law firms and their clients.  We welcome paralegals as members of the OSBA, and recognize their role in working with lawyers to assist Ohioans everyday.” 

By definition, a paralegal eligible for OSBA certification 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 and who performs substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.

An applicant must meet the definition of a paralegal and becomes eligible to sit for the written examination only after a successfully meeting specified education/experience, continuing legal education, and reference requirements:

         Education/Experience Requirements

1.  A bachelor’s degree in any discipline and satisfactory completion of a paralegal studies program consisting of at least twenty semester hours (or equivalent clock hours) and a minimum of one year full time experience as a practicing paralegal (or its equivalent of 2,000 hours); OR

2.  A bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies consisting of least a hundred twenty four semester hours (or equivalent clock hours) and a minimum of one year of full time experience as a practicing paralegal (or its equivalent of 2,000 hours), OR

3.  An associate’s degree in paralegal studies consisting of at least sixty semester hours (or equivalent clock hours) with a minimum of five years of full time experience as a practicing paralegal (or its equivalent of 10,000 hours), OR

4.  A high school diploma or equivalent plus seven years of full time experience as a practicing paralegal (or its equivalent of 14,000 hours). 

          Continuing Legal Education Requirements

Attendance at a minimum of 12 credit hours of continuing legal or paralegal education icourses approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on CLE or the National Association for Legal Assistants or the National Federation of Paralegal Associations or the Ohio State Bar Association in the three years immediately preceding the application. At least two-and-one half credit hours of the 12 shall be in legal ethics, professionalism and substance abuse.

          Reference Requirements

A minimum of three professional references, including two from attorneys in goodstanding with the Supreme Court of Ohio who have direct knowledge of the applicant’s skills and work as a paralegal. The other reference may be from a judge, magistrate, hearing officer, mediator, arbitrator or educator who has direct knowledge of the applicant’s skills and work as a paralegal.

          Written Examination

The applicant seeking certification must pass a written examination of suitable length and complexity. The written exam will include substantive and procedural law, legal research,    ethics, communication, andlaw office management. General testing competencies will include critical and analytical thinking, communication (both oral and written), and computer skills. Areas tested may include the following:

Substantive & Procedural Law

American Legal System
Civil Rules and Procedure
Administrative Agency Law
Bankruptcy Law
Business and  Commercial Law
Contracts Law
Creditor/Debtor Rights Law
Criminal Law
Environmental Law
Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law
Family Relations Law
Intellectual Property Law
Labor and Employment Law
Real Property Law
Torts and Personal Injury Law
Workers’ Compensation Law

(Applicants will choose at least two of the italicized substantive topics in which to be tested)

Legal Research and Writing
Ethics
Communication
Computer Knowledge
Law Office Management

The certification period for an OSBA Certified Paralegal is four years. Biennial reporting is required to maintain certification. At the end of the certification period, a paralegal may be recertified if the continuing legal education and reference requirements continue to be met.

A Paralegal Certification Board was established with members appointed by the OSBA president. The purpose of the OSBA Paralegal Certification Board is to grant, revoke or re-grant certification as an OSBA certified paralegal. The Certification Board determines eligibility, administers the written exam and sets passage rates.

The Ohio State Bar Association, founded in 1880, is a voluntary association representing approximately 25,000 members of the bench and bar of Ohio as well as nearly 4,000 legal assistants and law students.  Through its activities and the activities of its related organizations, the OSBA serves both its members and the public by promoting the highest standards in the practice of law and the administration of justice.

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2013 OSBA Certified Paralegals

Akron
Molly M. Donohue, Nationwide Trial Division

Beachwood
Karen W. Yahr, Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis

Beavercreek
Sandra L. Rawnsley, Soin International LLC

Brecksville
Dana Harding, Daniel P. Seink Co. Ltd

Cincinnati
Kari A. Elliott, O’Connor Acciani & Levy Co. LPA
Kimberly S. Lankester, Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL

Cleveland
Erin T. O’Malley, Law Office of Michael F. Farrell
Kasey A. Vandegrift, Tucker Ellis LLP

Columbus
Vicki E. Babbert, Ice Miller LLP
Gwen A. Brooks, Manley Deas Kochalski LLC

Coshocton
Bobbadean M. Lawrence, Owens & Manning

Dayton
Patricia A. Wilkinson, Wright Law Office

Dublin
Lori L. Miller, Barrett Easterday Cunningham & Eselgroth LLP
Karen R. Bressman, David A. Bressman, Atty. At Law
Christine A. Pullins, Wright Law Co., LPA

Elyria
Amanda M. Thomas, Lorain County Prosecutors Office

Independence
Kimberly A. Fadel, Wegman Hessler & Vanderburg
Linda L. Hubach, Wegman Hessler & Vanderburg
Deborah Soboslay, Wegman Hessler & Vanderburg

Lima
Kathleen M. Freytag, Rumer & Maisch co., LLC

Miamisburg
Mimi DeGrow, Miamisburg Municipal court

Mason
Grady G. Calhoun, Bajwa Law Office

Norwood
Kelly A. Zebrowski, Shapiro, Van Ess, Phillips & Barragate, LLP

Wickliffe
Sarah L. DeGennaro, The Lubrizol Corporation
Terri Pecjak, The Lurizol Corporation

Contact OSBA


Headquarters:

1700 Lake Shore Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43204

Phone:

(800) 282-6556


Email:

OSBA@Ohiobar.org

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