Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday

(Schedule is subject to change)

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Registration Desk Open

3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

AAfPE 101

No longer just for newcomers! This session is for newbies and virtuosos alike. If you are new to AAfPE, if this is your first conference, or if you are looking to take your AAfPE membership to the next level, this is the session for you. Come learn everything there is to know about our wonderful organization, the opportunities available to you, and to meet some of your colleagues from around the country.  You do not want to miss our kick-off event!

CONCURRENT 1/3
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

A Study on Marketing ABA-Approved Paralegal Programs in Illinois
Speakers: Jason M Cieslik, J.D., Illinois State University, and Laura Haske, J.D., Elgin Community College

Program directors often struggle to determine which, or what, marketing strategies to utilize each year to promote their programs and increase enrollment. A study was commenced to determine which marketing strategies assist with enrollment at ABA-Approved Paralegal Programs in Illinois. Surveys were distributed to both university and community college ABA Approved Paralegal Programs to determine what marketing techniques were used by a particular program and which of these marketing techniques were effective. Surveys were sent to both program directors and their students. Attendees will be interested to learn what factors were important to students attending these programs. Attendees will also be very interested to learn what strategies program directors found to be most effective versus what students thought was most effective. Program directors may also be interested to learn that some of their marketing strategies may not be as effective as believed. Part of the study also included the students' preferred method of content delivery, which may have an impact on how a program is marketed. It is anticipated that this study will assist program directors in developing a marketing plan that is more cost efficient and time effective.

CONCURRENT 2/3
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Optimal Online Learning: What is Business as Usual?

Speakers: Judith Mathers Maloney, Esq., John F. Kennedy School of Law at Northcentral University; Lisa Hutton, J.D., John F. Kennedy School of Law at Northcentral University; Regina Graziani, J.D., University of Hartford; Debra Geiger, J.D., Savannah Technical College: and Robin Higgins, Esq., Webster University. 

Colleges and universities were forced to rethink education when the pandemic hit. Now that online higher education has been embraced how do educators balance the needs of students against the requirements of accreditors while being restrained by budget issues? With courses online how do you create a student community? How do you fairly accommodate students with socio-economic bars? What practical activities engage students the most? What can faculty do with the "camera-off" student who never participates? Join our panel of educators - one from each AAfPE region - for some tips and a roundtable discussion of the good, bad, and ugly of online learning where (with apologies to “Whose Line is it Anyway”) every topic’s fair game and the ABA might just not matter! 

CONCURRENT 3/3
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Articulations Ahoy!
Speakers: Carol Carlson-Nofsinger, J.D., Harper College, and Michael Trump, J.D., National American University

As a result of changes to ABA Guideline G-302.J, it is now possible for graduates of a Certificate or Associate degree Paralegal Studies program to matriculate into an ABA-approved Bachelor’s degree program delivered entirely online. This change promotes and supports increased diversity, equity, and inclusion in paralegal education and the paralegal profession by allowing past, present, and future students to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Paralegal Studies from an online ABA-approved program. The accessibility and flexibility provided by online education allows students to continue their paralegal education without relocating or possibly leaving their existing employment. Articulation agreements between Certificate/Associate degree Paralegal Studies programs and ABA-approved online Bachelor’s degree programs can facilitate the transition for students by, inter alia, ensuring appropriate credit transfers, creating potential tuition benefits, and expanding students’ Paralegal Studies program choices.

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Welcome Reception

6:45 p.m. 

Dine-Arounds

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Thursday, October 13, 2022

8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

Registration Desk Open

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Breakfast With Exhibitors

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Regional Meetings

Network with colleagues in your region: North, South, Central and West!

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. 

Refreshment Break With Exhibitors

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Licensing Paralegals - National Perspective: Where Are We and Where Are We Going? 

Speakers: Page Beetem, J.D., University of Cincinnati-Clermont, and Kristine Custodio Suero, ACP, University of San Diego

Paralegal licensing is a critical issue across the United States. It marks an unprecedented change to our legal system by allowing non- attorneys limited licenses to practice law. This change has potential positive changes to increase access to justice. It has potential negative effects if the practitioners are not provided the educational foundation to be competent and ethical practitioners. Please join us for a panel discussion about paralegal licensing across the United States. We will be joined by industry leaders in the area of paralegal licensing for a lively and diverse discussion moderated by an attorney and a paralegal. The presentation will outline which states have paralegal licensing and which are considering it, outline the various structures of paralegal licensing, discuss ways to support licensing while addressing the opposition, and discuss educational requirements and how to implement quality educational support. Those attending will have the opportunity to participate in small group discussions regarding best practices to implement grassroots movements to support paralegal licensing based in their geographic regions.

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Annual Business Meeting and Exhibitor Appreciation Luncheon

CONCURRENT 1/2
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Proposed ABA Guidelines and Flexibility in the Virtual Landscape
Speakers: Robyn Ice, MFA, J.D., Tulane University; Joyce Becker, J.D., ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals Approval Commission; Michael Speck, J.D., Tulsa Community College; and Marie Harrigan, J.D., Loyola University Chicago’s Institute for Paralegal Studies

The ABA has conducted a thorough review of the 2021 version of the ABA Guidelines for the Approval of Paralegal Education Programs and the proposed changes to the Guidelines, outlined in this presentation, are in direct response to the changing landscape in which paralegal programs are operating and how the Guidelines can meet the needs of approved programs in this virtual environment. The presentation will provide best practices to navigate the changing landscape to deliver quality programs and remain in compliance with the Guidelines.

CONCURRENT 2/2
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

The Challenge of Our Time - And What We Can Do About It 
Speakers: Jordan Camenker, J.D., Seminole State College of Florida

To an extent that some of us have never seen before, students arrive in our classrooms unprepared. Many struggle to write a coherent paragraphs and to perform simple mathematical calculations. Students are increasingly anxious, depressed, timid, and unfocused. They often lack basic social skills. It seems an almost Herculean task to help some of these students acquire basic college preparatory skills. What is to be done? How can we help our students cultivate the skills they need and prepare them for the legal profession? This program will describe the problem, explore the sources, and offer workable strategies that you can harness in your own classroom to help your students succeed.

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Refreshment Break With Exhibitors

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Teaching Competition

CONCURRENT 1/3
4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. 

The ABA Answers Your Questions on ABA Approval, Reporting, and Compliance with the Guidelines
Speakers: Robyn Ice, MFA, J.D., Tulane University; Joyce Becker, J.D., ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals Approval Commission; and Kye Haymore, J.D., Georgia Piedmont Technical College

This presentation builds on the well-received ABA session at the Spring 2022 AAfPE Spring Conference and will provide another opportunity for the ABA to respond to frequently asked questions and answer questions from program directors.

CONCURRENT 2/3
4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.  

This is the Remix: Infusing Edutainment Into Classic HIPs for Gen Z
Speakers: William Murphy, J.D., St. John's University; Sejal Singh, J.D., St. John's University; and Regina Stuart, J.D., St. John's University

Instructors have hundreds of teaching strategies, activities, and tools at their disposal, any number of which can potentially be valuable for a given teaching situation. For example, some teaching strategies and practices might be best suited to a particular discipline or course. Ohers might be most beneficial for students at certain levels, and still others might simply be more amenable to the teaching style of a given instructor. However, significant societal shifts in culture and technology over time dictate some similarly significant reimagining of pedagogy in order to remain current and effective for today’s students, specifically those included in “Gen Z” which accounts for the overwhelming majority of current undergraduate college students. This generation considers pop culture and media to have a significant impact on their identity and their primary motivations for consuming cultural content are entertainment and information. When setting out to modernize teaching, it is, ironically, not the future but, instead, the past where the most promising solutions can arguably be found. Given the preferences and tendencies of Gen Z, a unique approach with roots ranging from Walt Disney in the early 1950s to the advent of the personal computer in the 1980s proves relevant once again. “Edutainment” is a derived word that states a mixture of entertainment and education or marriage of education with entertainment. It is described as a type of entertaining which is designed with the aim of educating by including entertaining variety such as multimedia software, internet sites, music, films, video, and computer games in order to exhilarate in addition to educate. This session explores the content-based information processing that characterizes Gen Z while providing thorough background on edutainment learning theory. Examining relevant empirical data and specific case studies, session participants will interactively discover readily accessible and proven methods for seamlessly incorporating edutainment to positively impact student engagement, participation, learning, and academic performance.

CONCURRENT 3/3
4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. 

Preparing Students for Graduation and Beyond
Speakers: Deana Waters, M.Ed., ACP, University of Alaska Fairbanks; Kristine Custodio Suero, ACP, University of San Diego; Kaila Glaros, CP, ACP, St. Petersburg College; Lori Young, MPS, College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita; and Vanessa Finley, MBA, CAE, NALA-The Paralegal Association

As educators, workforce readiness for our students is top of mind, especially in changing times and an ever-changing legal landscape. With more states contemplating legal paraprofessional licensure or programs, paralegal certification provides additional opportunities for our graduates. Whether incorporating a paralegal certification exam review course into our curriculum or embedding the fundamental concepts of a paralegal certification exam within our existing courses (such as Legal Research and Writing), or using a paralegal certification exam as our capstone, all offer opportunities for professional development and enhance workforce readiness. Additionally, exposure to resources, such as networking, scholarships, mentoring, continuing legal education, and more, that are available by national, state and local paralegal associations can empower our students to become the career paralegals of the future.

5:20 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Vendor Demos

6:45 p.m.

Dine-Arounds

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Friday, October 14, 2022

8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

Registration Desk Open

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Breakfast With Exhibitors 

CONCURRENT 1/4
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

How Tanzanian Models Can Inform US Licensed Paralegals
Speakers: Toni Marsh, J.D., George Washington University, and Christina Kamili Ruhinda, Attorney, Tanzania Network of Legal Aid Providers (TANLAP)

The paralegal role in Tanzania is much like the licensed paralegal roles that are developing in the US, and this paralegal model has allowed Tanzanians to effectively deliver access to justice in circumstances that rival the most challenging in the US. This presentation will describe Tanzanian paralegal models, define the effectiveness of such models by looking at outcomes, examine how the paralegal curriculum matches the paralegals’ role, and compare the US and Tanzanian roles and curriculum.

CONCURRENT 2/4
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

One is the Loneliest Number- The Challenges...

Speakers: Tracy Nothnagel, J.D., Lansing Community College; Debra Galloway, J.D., Midlands Technical College; Hayle Sugarman, J.D., Middlesex Community College; Susanne Miller, J.D., College of Saint Mary; and Suzanne Bechtol, PhD, State College of Florida

This will be a panel discussion on the challenges and obstacles that a Program Directors face when they are the only full-time faculty members. Some topics discussed will be: 1) engaging adjuncts in the college's initiatives, 2) faculty meetings, 3) professional development and other challenges. The panel will talk about their experiences, share what has worked and what has not worked and engage the audience to provide ways they have overcome these challenges and obstacles.

CONCURRENT 3/4
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

The Vulnerable Professor – Sharing Your Experiences to Help Students Apply Strong Social Emotional Intelligence to Academic Challenges
Speaker: Mercedes Medina, J.D., Esq., Miami Dade College

The purpose of this presentation is to provide faculty with the resources to incorporate Social Emotional Intelligence objectives within paralegal studies curriculum. There is a belief that one cannot learn social emotional intelligence because it relates to personality. However, emotional intelligences and personality traits are exclusive predictors of social relationships. A student’s (employee’s) ability to manage one’s emotions may positively impact relationships with peers, faculty, and employers. This presentation will focus on research identifying the importance of embedding SEI/EI objectives into curriculum and Story Telling, as an effective pedagogical technique to teaching SEI in paralegal studies courses.  

CONCURRENT 4/4
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

The Remote Internship
Speaker: Becky Walters, J.D., South Suburban College, and C. Thor Martin, J.D., Cook County State's Attorney's Office

An internship is required in the South Suburban College Paralegal Program. It is our capstone course that is the culmination of a student’s studies in the program. An opportunity for students to put into real-world practice what they have learned over their time in the program. Additionally, and importantly, as the Practical Guide to the ABA Approval Process describes, it is also an effective assessment tool. Information obtained from field supervisors and students serves as excellent data as to whether our program goals and objectives are being met. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged educators in many different ways, one of which was how to provide students with the crucial real-world working experience that internships provide, while keeping our students safe, and facing the hard fact that many employers simply were not accepting interns. Meanwhile, in Illinois, legislation (50 ILCS 706/10-15) was passed to require all law enforcement officers in the state to wear body-worn cameras by January 2025—but those with populations of 500,000 or more by January 1, 2022 – placing an incredible strain on resources for Cook County prosecutors to develop a system to effectively and efficiently subpoena, review, synthesize, and share these videos in discovery. This presentation will detail how a partnership was formed between South Suburban College and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to create a fully remote internship program for SSC Paralegal Students. It will also detail the successes and lessons learned from the partnership. Participants will hear from the SSC Paralegal Program Coordinator and Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. 

Refreshment Break With Exhibitors

CONCURRENT 1/4
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

Scholarship and Research
Speakers: Regina Graziani, J.D., University of Hartford; Suzanne Bechtel, PhD, State College of Florida; and Jill E Martin, J.D., Quinnipiac University

This session will highlight the research that our members do to complement their teaching and service. Members with tenure requirements often must present and publish scholarly or applied research in their field. Come see the variety of scholarship and research done by AAfPE members.

CONCURRENT 2/4
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

Bridging the Gap: Creating a Unified Educational Approach for All Legal Professionals
Speakers: Joshua Sheffer, J.D., Grand Valley State University, and Adrian Copeland, J.D., Grand Valley State University

Legal Studies programs must often cater to two diverse audiences with different needs. Paralegal education focuses on the practical skills graduates need to hit the ground running as legal professionals. Prelaw students, on the other hand, are more interested in the theoretical bases and overarching concepts they will deal with in law school and as future lawyers. Both must, at least to some degree, learn to “think like a lawyer.” We explore the relationship between theory and practice, seeking to create a robust program that prepares all future legal professionals for success.

CONCURRENT 3/4
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

Want to Try Experiential Learning (i.e., Service Learning and Clinics)? We’ll Show You How!
Speakers: Deb Boyle, PACE Registered Paralegal, Manchester Community College; Suzanne Kissock, J.D., Missouri Western State University; Laken Albrink, J.D., Morehead State University

This panel presentation will address the benefits of experiential learning opportunities – service learning and clinics - for paralegal students. Speakers will share their experiences using a variety of formats and client legal issues. The presentation will focus on concrete ways for paralegal educators to link experiential learning experiences with program objectives and learning outcomes. Panel members will outline the specific ways that they used their respective projects to enhance student understanding of specific legal practice areas, client communication/management, drafting, and ethics. Attendees will also leave equipped with a host of practical tips, including tips on:

  • Locating community partners and clients;
  • Planning and executing the project;
  • Challenges and how to overcome them; and
  • Closing the loop – Sharing student, community partner and client feedback on the experience.

CONCURRENT 4/4
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

How Can We Reach Them? Putting on the Marketing Hat
Speaker: Chris Little Simcox, J.D., Bucks County Community College

Unfortunately, many colleges and universities are suffering with declining student numbers, especially community colleges. Also, for many colleges and universities there are not funds which are just sitting around for marketing and it has become another job of the professors and instructors to put students in the seats. How do we do that? How do we reach them? Join the discussion of best practices for trying to market from the professor/instructor seat. 

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Constituency Meetings

Network with colleagues working in Associate, Baccalaureate, and Certificate Programs!

12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. 

Lunch on Your Own

CONCURRENT 1/3
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

20 Software Programs Changing the Legal Industry
Speakers: Douglas Lusk, J.D., National Society for Legal Technology, and June Hunter, UC San Diego

We will be discussing 20 software programs that are emerging or changing in the legal industry, what we foresee their future being, and how it will impact the legal industry. Potential takeaways for attendees include a list of new software programs they can go back and tell their students about.

CONCURRENT 2/3
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Students as Engaged Members of Society
Speaker: Elizabeth M. Donovan, J.D., Eastern Michigan University

Understanding their potential to play an important role in issues that matter to them can serve to motivate students to obtain skills that allow them to express their views, support their views, address contrasting views, and build consensus. In this session, we will consider how, when designing the structure of a course, crafting the content of each week’s module, and choosing learning activities, we can do so with the goal of encouraging students to become knowledgeable, engaged, and enthusiastic members of our society. Participants will explore ways to help students understand the important role they can each play locally, in their state, in the United States, and in the world, and will share strategies to assist students in developing skills needed to participate effectively in conversations and actions around issues concerning those spheres. 

CONCURRENT 3/3
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

How HIP is Your Classroom?
Speaker: Amy O'Dell, J.D., Tarleton State University

High-impact practices (HIPs) have been shown to increase student retention and engagement! Along with active learning, collaboration, and positive teaching behaviors, HIPs can benefit any classroom. This session will show you how to harness the power of HIPS, provide examples of some of the most common types of HIPs, and establish criteria for developing your own high quality HIP.

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Refreshment Break With Exhibitors

CONCURRENT 1/3
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

Creating an Effective Course in a Dual Modality Classroom
Speaker: Mirisa Torres, J.D., Spokane Community College

As instructors we continually strive to improve our courses. Many of us have established effective ways to create an inclusive classroom environment and effectively relate course materials to our students. The pandemic and the development of technology require instructors to change our approach to the way course materials are taught. This is a challenging quest for many reasons. Some of us just do not want to adapt because we have a reliable method. Some of us are intimidated by the changes. And, probably most of us, are simply unsure how to proceed and deliver the same quality of content. The pandemic jolted many of us into pure online instruction. It was hard to adapt. Students were unfamiliar with the online courses, knowing how to structure the online courses was a challenge, and learning about and how to use all of the technology was overwhelming. After some adjustment and success in converting our courses to solely online, we are moving back to at least partially face-to-face courses. Some programs have permanently converted courses to dual modality; meaning, the instructor is teaching to students in the classroom at the same time as those attending by online platforms, such as Zoom. Anecdotally, most indicators demonstrate that students have adapted to remote learning, yet still want some face-to-face instruction. The dual modality platform for the classroom, meaning the choice of in person attendance or attendance via an online platform, gives students the opportunity to have face-to face instruction, while maintaining the flexibility of online learning. While this classroom format is a positive for most students, it is a challenge for the instructor to effectively create a connected classroom environment and effectively deliver the course materials. Over the past two years, I have learned some tools that are helping me create a community for our students, as well as effectively deliver course materials. At the most basic level, to successfully use this model, it has taken creativity, tenacity, the right technology, and acceptance of the learning curve for both the student and instructor.

CONCURRENT 2/3
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

Restoring Student Engagement Through Passionate and Purposeful Paralegal Courses
Speakers: Lynnette Sue Noblitt, J.D., Eastern Kentucky University, and Thomas Parker, J.D., Eastern Kentucky University

Post-secondary student engagement is at a historic low. Faculty across the nation note that students are questioning the value of post-secondary education and viewing college as a transactional rather than transformative experience. To change this trend, faculty must design courses that actively engage students to learn course concepts deeply, not in a procedural or strategic manner. In this presentation, we will address the basic psychological needs of students and how faculty can address those needs to encourage students to explore new models of thinking, ask broad disciplinary questions, and meaningfully engage with their paralegal courses. The presentation will end with a discussion of case studies and examples of how to increase passion and purpose into the paralegal course environment. 

CONCURRENT 3/3
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

Creating and Sustaining an Adjunct Faculty Mentoring Program and a Student Mentor Program
Speaker: Samantha Snow Ward, J.D., Lone Star College

Creating and Sustaining an Adjunct Faculty Mentoring Program

  1. Creating a space for adjunct faculty members to grow and learn.
  2. Optimum times for presenting the program.
  3. Creating a sense of community with a diverse faculty group.
  4. Creating and presenting content for the mentoring program.
  5. Listening for and meeting the needs of your adjunct faculty.
  6. Creating a program during the pandemic with zero budget.

Creating and sustaining a paralegal student mentoring program

  1. Creating a space for students to grow and learn.
  2. Maximizing student participation and engagement.
  3. Creating a sense of community for mostly remote, online students during the pandemic (addressing loneliness).
  4. Creating and presenting content targeted to paralegal students and recent graduates.
  5. Listening and meeting the academic and professional needs of your diverse student population.

4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

AAfPE Committee Meetings

Communication / Education / Outreach 

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. 

Poolside Social Event 

Lynn Crossett is a singer-songwriter based in San Marcos, Texas, who travels between Central Texas and Southern California performing Americana, alt-country style music. He recently released an album titled "In the Company of a Song," produced by Grammy Award winning alt-country legend Lloyd Maines.  

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 Saturday, October 15, 2022

8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.  Registration Desk Open
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. 

Breakfast With Exhibitors

9:00 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

Peer Learning Labs (includes Refreshment Break)

Peer Learning Labs are roundtable discussions designed to stimulate the sharing of ideas with colleagues as you expand your professional network. Get to know your colleagues while considering best practices to address current challenges.  Everyone is encouraged to participate as each idea is unique and could bring many other ideas to the table!

10:40 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. 

Closing Remarks / Conference Adjournment

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