Importance of Networking for Paralegals

By Renae Kruse, Globe University-Sioux Falls Paralegal Program Chair

On Oct. 11, 2012, the South Dakota Paralegal Association (SDPA)  hosted a social at Old Chicago in Sioux Falls. Dixie Riter,

Renae Kruse, Paralegal Program Chair

Globe University-Sioux Falls Paralegal Program Chair, Renae Kruse

President of SDPA,  invited the faculty and students in our Globe University paralegal program to the SDPA fall semi-annual meeting, seminar and social.

The social was an excellent chance for paralegals in the state and surrounding areas to get together to make and renew friendships, talk shop (or not), and just generally have a good time together.

This was a unique opportunity for students to get to know paralegals practicing in various areas of the profession on a more casual level. Students were encouraged to attend. Renae Kruse, Globe University paralegal program chair, attended the social and visited with the approximately 16 paralegals present. It was also a chance for Renae Kruse to visit with two PAC  members, Cindy Schmit from Peterson Law, and Janet Holmgren from Riehlman, Shafer & Shafer, specifically about issues involving Globe students and programming changes.

Also On Oct. 12, the SDPA held their annual fall seminar at Cherry Creek in Sioux Falls.  Different local attorneys, judges and paralegals presented discussions on a variety of topics, including  Medical Records, Worker’s Compensation, Nuts and Bolts, Planning for and protecting a Medicaid Applicant Client, and Ethics.  Judge Pat Riepel, Second Circuit Judge, presenting her topic “How to Avoid Violating the Code of Ethics.” Judge’s presentation was very interactive. Taking questions and scenarios from the practicing paralegals, Judge was able to present an answer to some common situations that have come up.

One thing she said was, “always keep your attorney informed of ANY potential conflict. It is not up to the paralegal to determine but the supervising attorney.”

There were approximately 50 paralegals that attended the seminar. Renae Kruse, paralegal program chair, attended some of the topic lectures. Students were also invited to attend.