HUNTINGTON – Jill I. Francisco, a paralegal at Dinsmore and
Shohl, LLP in Huntington, was recently elected vice president of the National
Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals (NALA).
As part of her role as vice president, Francisco will serve
on the NALA board of directors during the 2016-2017 operational year.
“I am very honored to be elected as VP of NALA,” Francisco
told The West Virginia Record. “I
love and am very passionate about NALA and the paralegal profession as a whole.
I am thrilled to be in the position to make a difference to ensure that NALA
and the paralegal professions continue to thrive well into the future.”
Francisco is a licensed certified paralegal who started
working as a paralegal at Huddleston Bolen LLP in 1997. She joined Dinsmore and
Shohl in February 2015 as a result of Huddleston Bolen’s merger with that firm.
Francisco previously served as NALA’s second vice president
from 2014 to 2016, as secretary from 2012 to 2014, as treasurer from 2010 to
2012, as affiliated associations director from 2008 to 2010 and as a member of
NALA’s professional development committee from 2003 to 2006.
“The VP position, first and foremost, is to be ready to
fulfill any duty that the president assigns,” Francisco said. “The VP must also
be prepared to step into the role as president, if needed.”
In addition, Francisco said the NALA vice president is in
charge of membership. In that capacity, the vice president is charged with
promoting membership and writing a membership column for NALA’s quarterly
magazine, “Facts & Findings.”
From 2004 to 2006, Francisco served as the charter president
for the NALA Affiliated Association, Legal Assistants/Paralegals of Southern
West Virginia. She currently serves on the advisory board for the Mount West
Community and Technical College legal assistant program, is the legal assistant
representative on the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia board of directors,
and serves on the Marshall University Big Green Scholarship board of directors.
Francisco obtained her bachelor's degree in criminal justice
from Marshall University in 1994. She lives in Kenova, West Virginia, with her
husband, Shawn, and their son, John David.
Francisco said her goal as NALA vice president for the
upcoming year is to ensure that the association continues to make decisions
consistent with its mission statement. She said NALA leads the paralegal
profession by providing a voluntary certification program, continuing legal
education (CLE) and professional development for all paralegals.
“I want to continue to assist NALA in continuing to provide
new CLE opportunities for all paralegals to help them prosper and advance in
their career,” Francisco said.
Francisco said she also wants to continue her focus on
mentoring new NALA members and new paralegals.
“It has always been a priority for me to speak to and mentor
students that are enrolled in paralegal educational programs and to share my
knowledge and experience with them,” Francisco said. “I believe this is
essential in order for the paralegal profession to be around for many years to