PARALEGAL EDUCATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD
Changes Bring Renewed Success for 2016’s PES!
By Deb Ferguson, NJCP
The Fifth Annual Paralegal Education Symposium was our 2nd most successful convention since SJPA's first ever PES in 2012. To recap with just the numbers – We had ninety attendees, fifteen vendors, and seven program book sponsors. Maybe a change in venue as well as some new faces with new ideas on the committee had something to do with our revitalization and success. Or perhaps, the fact that the snow and even the rain stayed away, further encouraged everyone to want to spend the day out of the office learning and networking. Whatever the reason(s), there were no two ways around it. This year’s PES was a success from beginning to end!
Our new venue, The Hilton Double Tree in Mount Laurel, welcomed us with open arms! The rooms were easily accessible in that they were right next to one another. This made it easy to find sessions and keep an eye out for everything as the day unfolded. And as you left your session you were greeted by the friendly faces of our vendors in the hallways and in the dining area, which benefited everyone. And let’s not forget the food, which was wonderful and seemed to be never ending!
Our excellent new speakers’ coordinator, Nicole Longo, did a phenomenal job coordinating new and interesting speakers for the event. Paralegals were able to learn about almost any area of law of interest, be it employment, bankruptcy, or family law, as well as across the board topics such as, helpful tips, such as prepping for trial and using IT. Our end of the day ethics speaker was both informative and entertaining. As an experienced paralegal herself, Valerie Wilus, led a discussion regarding the 3 R’s of being a paralegal: Responsibility, Rules, and Reality.
And finally, let’s not forget the amazing networking that took place throughout the day. Paralegals openly networked with each other, (possibly helping each other find work), discussed tricks of the trade, or simply got to know one another to possibly build lifelong personal and professional friendships. Attendees also networked with the vendors, which allowed us to bring back new and exciting tools to our offices, to help us as well as our attorney with his/her next case.
Most importantly, the behind the scenes team did a phenomenal job making everything appear to run smoothly and create a wonderful atmosphere for learning and networking. Jodi Zaharoni (our new registrations coordinator), Nicole Longo, Dawn Moskalow, Deb Naglee, Betsy Lindenberg, Judy Alvelo, Maureen Garrett, Sue Merewitz, and Deb Ferguson all pulled together to make sure every “I” was dotted and every “t” was crossed.
As amazing as this year’s event was, we will begin planning for next year’s event with the same enthusiasm and renewed joy immediately. We look forward to seeing you again in 2017!
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The Paralegal Educational Symposium (PES) offers direct exposure to legal decision-makers focused throughout Southern and Central New Jersey. This convention is the area’s premier paralegal annual event and reaches more than 200 legal professionals, suppliers and clients.