HUNTINGTON -- Jill Francisco has been prepping for nearly the last two decades for the job to which she has been elected.

“My goal is to continue to help and to lead … to meet the growing demands of providing a voluntary certification program, continuing legal education, professional development and leadership programs for all paralegals,” Francisco told The West Virginia Record after recently being elected president of the National Association of Legal Assistants. 

Francisco will serve during the 2018-19 term and is slated to officially take office in mid-July during NALA’s annual conference in St. Louis. Votes were cast April 7 during the organization’s board of director's meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Employed as a paralegal by Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP in Huntington, Francisco previously earned certified paralegal designation as well as advanced paralegal Certification. Among other distinctions, she has also served as charter president of the Legal Assistants/Paralegals of Southern West Virginia from 2004-2006 and as a member of the NALA professional development committee from 2003- 2006.

“I have been serving NALA in various positions working my way up to be president for the past 10 years,” Francisco said. “The NALA board of directors elects the President, and I am very happy that the board had the confidence in me to elect me.”

Francisco said she has had her eyes on the NALA job since the turn of the millennium and her spirit for service goes back even further. 

“I originally decided to get involved with professional associations through seeing my mom do the thing in her profession when I was going up,” she said. “I saw how devoted she was and how much it meant to her and those around her, and I felt that it all stemmed from how much she loved her profession. My mom passed away but she knew that I had started on this journey.”

Francisco said her road is made easier by all the support and assistance she gets from her family.

“I have a very supportive husband, Shawn, and son, John 'J.D.' David, so they make it easy on me to devote time to NALA and other professional organizations,” she said.

Francisco and her family reside in Kenova. 

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