Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section of the State Bar of Michigan
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Greetings from the Section

Dear Member,

I am already almost half of the way through my term as Chair, and it is almost impossible not to briefly reflect back on 2017. The section succeeded in holding an excellent Day of Education in tulip-festival Holland last May, with an awesome networking event the night before, and held a wonderful Annual Meeting & Program. We are consistently utilizing social media and improving communication with members under the strong leadership of our past chair, as well as invaluable Council members who handle our website and promotion.

More than ever, your Council desires to do more for you, involve you more, and be more. Our Council meetings are centered around our determination to reach out to students, provide more education to our members, and increase member involvement in our activities. Knowing that our members are extremely busy, as that is the nature of our profession, only makes the "hows" harder. Members are not only geographically spread across our beautiful state (which, in our time off, draws us to play in its beauty) but also spread across a wide variety of legal specialties. As such, it is sometimes difficult to draw a large pool of members to an event, such as the Day of Education; we try to accomplish attendance to this (our main educational and networking event) in two ways: 1) Vary the location; and 2) Have multiple educational tracks available. Also, networking events held on a weekday evening have been, and will continue to be, popping up around the state, so keep your eye out for e-blasts, watch our Facebook page, and contact a Council member if you would like to help organize something in your area. Getting together for a drink or two is not only fun but garners an opportunity to speak with paralegals from all different areas of law and experiences. In the end though, it is you, the membership that makes the difference. You are members of an awesome section which will become even better with more member involvement. There is more to becoming a member than simply paying the fee and stating so on a resume. The Council welcomes you to become active in the section, from attending events, to assisting with an event. We always need speakers. We always need suggestions. We always need our members!

Please make it your goal this year to attend as many events as you can. Remember, this is our section of the State Bar of Michigan, let's make it the best one. Hope to see you soon!

Teresa L. Duddles, Chair

2017–2018 Council Members

Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section of the State Bar of Michigan

Council Position




Chair (2017–2018)

Teresa L. Duddles

The Meisner Law Group, PC

Chair-Elect (2017–2018)

Lindsay Williams

Ex Officio (2017–2018)

Melvenna Fant-Jones

Fakoury Law Group

Secretary (2016–2018)

Renee Jent

Willingham & Cote, PC

Treasurer (2016–2018)

Marianne Delaney

Ford Motor Company

Council Member (2016–2018)

Esther Simon

Council Member (2016–2018)

Kathy Ann Blunck

Thompson & O’Neil

Council Member (2016–2018)

Piper Shano

Rasor Law Firm

Council Member (2017–2019)

Jean Mitchell-Walster

Kopka Pinkus Dolin PC

Council Member (2017–2019)

Linda S. Jevahirian

Legal Search & Management

Council Member (2017–2019)

Kendra Hogan

Hewson & Van Hellemont, PC

2017–2018 Committees


Committee Chair

Committee Members


Esther Simon



Jean Mitchell-Walster

Lindsay Williams & Melvenna Fant-Jones

Shining Star

Denise Gau

Melvenna Fant-Jones

MI Paralegal

Doreen Defauw

Piper Shano

Annual Meeting

Kathy Ann Blunck

Linda Jevahirian

Education & Student Outreach

Elisabeth Mowen

Kim Drysdale & Renee Jent

Public Relations

Linda Jevahirian


Social Media & Facebook

Melvenna Fant-Jones



Marianne Delaney


Please note that Committees are subject to change depending on the needs of the section. If you are interested in becoming a committee member, please provide the committee name and your contact information to

Calendar of Events

Meet & Greet on March 13, 2018

Meet & Greet
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Time: 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Location: Dino's Lounge, 22740 Woodward Ave, Ferndale
More Information/Register with Eventbrite

You are invited for a complimentary drink and appetizer to meet the new section Council and network with colleagues. Please feel free to bring a friend who might be interested in the section—this is a great way to start off the new year. For more information, please contact Denise Gau at or (248) 568-4186.

Day of Education with ICLE
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m.–Noon
Location: Inn at St. John's, 44045 Five Mile Rd, Plymouth

The section is partnering with ICLE on a half-day seminar at the Inn at St. John's in Plymouth. More details to come soon.

Annual Meeting & Program—Thursday Night Networking Party
Date: Thursday & Friday, September 27 & 28, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids
More details to come soon.

Shining Star Award

Meet & Greet on March 13, 2018With such busy lives it can be hard to imagine taking on any more responsibilities. However, there are paralegals/legal assistants out there that, in addition to all the pressures of life, go above and beyond what is expected of them. Shining Stars are Michigan paralegal/legal assistants that have been nominated and selected to be featured on our website, and on our Section's Facebook page for their outstanding charitable and community service works. Nominees will be randomly selected and their stories published on our website, and on our section's Facebook. During the next newsletter, all winners' stories will be republished. Shining Stars is a way to honor those you know that deserve to be recognized for all the good things they do!

Nominate Someone for a Shining Star


The Paralegal Section awards yearly scholarships—and this year, the section will be awarding two scholarships, each for $500. The application and details will be posted on the section’s web page within the next several days. The application and checklist with all required attachments is due by June 1, 2018, to:

Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section of the State Bar of Michigan
c/o Jean Mitchell-Walster, Chair—Scholarship Committee
PO Box 3359
Farmington Hills, MI 48333

If you have anything you’d like the section to share with its members, or would like to submit an article for our next publication, please contact Doreen Defauw at or Piper Shano at