CHARLESTON -– Three paralegals at Jackson Kelly PLLC recently received major recognition in their field.

Tammy Welch, CP, received the 2011 Affiliates Award from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). The award is presented each year to NALA members of affiliated associations in recognition of outstanding contributions and dedication to the advancement of the paralegal profession through volunteer services to NALA affiliated associations.

In addition, Welch was also recognized as the Paralegal of the Year at the Seventh Annual Meeting of the Legal Assistant/Paralegals of Southern West Virginia organization (LAPSWV).

Also, Cynthia Lowther, ACP, was recently selected to participate in the NALA Leadership Enhancement and Preparation (LEAP) program for 2012. LEAP is a year-long program designed to support leadership development for NALA affiliated associations, with its current focus on serving state and local affiliated associations and developing skills that support their goals and growth.

Participation in LEAP will also enhance the personal leadership skills used by NALA members in business and work environments. Participation in this program is considered an honor only granted to a very select class of individuals.

In addition, Karen Nichols, ACP, was elected president of LAPSWV at the LAPSWV Annual Seminar and Meeting held on June 3. LAPSWV is a paralegal professional, non-profit association, comprised of members in the southern West Virginia area.

Kathy Beckett, chair of the firm's Paralegal Liaison Committee said, "We, at Jackson Kelly, know that there is a true of benefit of having top-notch paralegals working in the firm because that means we are able to provide our clients with quality services that are efficient and add value to the delivery of legal services.

"We are very proud of all three of these individuals for receiving public recognition that we know they so well deserve. They are leaders in our firm and in the paralegal community."

Welch is a certified paralegal and has been involved with NALA since 2000 and LAPSWV since 2004. She has been a paralegal for 17 years and has been with Jackson Kelly since 1999. She assists attorneys in the firm's litigation department, focusing primarily on medical professional liability defense and has participated in more than 20 trials throughout West Virginia. She received her Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) professional certification in 2000 and has been instrumental in assisting paralegals with education opportunities and experiences through her involvement in both NALA as well as LAPSWV.

Lowther has more than 20 years of experience as a litigation paralegal. At Jackson Kelly, she currently assists attorneys in the firm's litigation department, focusing primarily with asbestos, pharmaceutical, toxic tort and product liability defense. She received her CLA professional certification in 2006, and her Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) credentials in Discovery in 2007. She is a past president of LAPSWV and has received several awards over the past few years from both that organization, as well as NALA.

Nichols is an advanced certified paralegal and has nearly 30 years of legal experience -- the majority of which have been in litigation. She has been with Jackson Kelly since 2003 and assists attorneys in the firm's commercial litigation and corporate departments. Nichols has been a member of NALA since 2004, received her Certified Paralegal (CP) certification in 2006 and Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) certification in 2008. She also teaches paralegal classes at the Kanawha Valley Community & Technical College.

NALA is the nation's leading professional association for paralegals. As a non-profit organization, NALA provides continuing education and professional development programs for paralegals -- from novice to experienced professionals.

LAPSWV is a West Virginia non-profit organization established to promote high standards in the legal assistant profession, establish networking resources for legal assistants/paralegals and to provide integrity in the legal community. LAPSWV strives to raise professional standards in the legal assistant/paralegal profession by providing opportunities for personal growth and development through educational experiences and the networking with other professionals.

Jackson Kelly PLLC is a national law firm representing leading global corporations, national companies, entrepreneurs and individuals in areas of law such as environmental, business, labor and employment, federal and state workers' compensation, civil litigation and occupational safety and health. The firm has offices in Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

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