Florida Registered Paralegal (FRP)
In addition to the CP designation offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), the Florida Bar offers the FRP (Florida Registered Paralegal) designation, a voluntary designation available to qualified candidates. To determine eligibility requirements for the FRP program, visit the Florida Bar’s website at www.floridabar.org/frp for more information.
By: Kristin Tormey, FRP, Florida Bar Affiliate/FRP Committee Liaison, July 9, 2018
The Florida Bar Florida Registered Paralegal (FRP) Committee met on June 15, 2018 at the 2018 Annual Florida Bar Convention. At the meeting, the committee discussed some new and upcoming changes to the FRP Committee. The Program Evaluation Committee (PEC) reviewed the FRP committee and determined there should be two separate but related FRP Committees. The current committee would be tasked with registering applicants, taking grievances, and ensuring compliance. This committee would remain in the Ethics & Consumer Protection Division; while the second committee, potentially known as FRP Enrichment Committee, would be placed in the Professional Development Division.
According to a memo provided at the meeting, the new committee would take on the responsibility of creating awareness of the FRP program, education, and programming targeted toward FRPs. They would also work towards member benefits, expanding the publication of the “Paralegal Corner” and potentially organizing and implementing a CLE programming targeted to FRPs, legal assistants and non-FRP Paralegals. As of my latest information, the committee has not yet been formed and still requires formal approval; however, once it is formed, a notification to all FRPs will be sent out with information on how to apply to the board for the new committee. Keep your eyes peeled and if you are not already an FRP member, I recommend looking into joining the group to be up to date on the latest movements.
The FRP Committee discussed a request from the National Association of Legal Professions requesting their Professional Paralegal (PP) exam be considered as a qualification to become an FRP. The committee decided at this time the exam is not adequately academically rigorous to meet FRP standards; however, they are going to try to work with the organization to meet those standards.
The FRP Committee also discussed FRPs having the technology requirement implemented for FRP members. Not long ago, the Florida Bar began requiring all attorneys to obtain a certain number of technology CLEs. After a vote in October, FRPs may soon have a similar requirement.
Finally, the Committee discussed two applicants that were requesting reconsideration, what is considered a sufficient amount of time working as an employee to be considered a paralegal and requirements at renewal. Each of these items requires more attention and will be addressed at the next meeting.
It was so wonderful to see so many members attend the committee meeting. Our field is growing each year and this committee is working towards ensuring we continue to raise the bar, provide excellent services, and stay up to date on the latest educational advances. Make sure you stay involved, not only will you stay up to date on all the changes; you will also have an opportunity to network with other like-minded individuals. I look forward to seeing more individuals at the next meeting.