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2013 News

Pro Bono Wills Clinics Mark Milestone

by Teresa Scharf

In May 2010, the Pro Bono Committee of the Paralegal Association of Central Ohio launched an effort to provide pro bono legal services in the Columbus and Central Ohio area. What started out as an idea has evolved into a successful outreach to senior citizens that has served literally hundreds of individuals. Working in collaboration with the Legal Aid Society of Columbus, the group reached a milestone last week by conducting its 50th Wills Clinic.

The program is unique in many ways. It is a traveling clinic, assembling volunteers at different locations and providing documents such as Simple Wills and Financial POAs, along with advance directive documents (Living Wills, Health Care POAs, and Organ Donor designations) to low-income residents at senior citizen housing facilities where they live.

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Thank You, Teresa Scharf!

Thank you, Teresa Scharf, Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair, for all your efforts in coordinating and running the Wills Clinics! Here is what she had to say about last night:

We did it! Last night we conducted our fifteenth Pro Bono Wills Clinic this year, serving in total 130 senior citizens who now have important documents that they otherwise would not have had the opportunity to have constructed for them. was our 50th Wills Clinic to date, since we launched this effort in May 2010! Now we are getting ready for 2014. I have seven Wills Clinics on the schedule already, and our annual CLE is being held next month for attorneys and paralegals alike who plan to volunteer in the future. :~)

Keep up the great work, Teresa! You truly are a valuable member of PACO and we look forward to your consistently rewarding and successful events in the future!

PACO Board


Judicial Candidates at the October General Membership Meeting

On October 18, 2013 at our General Membership Meeting, we had the opportunity to meet the Franklin County Municipal Court Candidates Judge James Green, Attorney Kristen McKinley, Judge Amy Salerno, Attorney Gwen Callender and Attorney Frank Macke. Each of the candidates spoke about his or her personal background, experience, qualifications and answered questions from attendees.


Have you received your Messages from the President? If so, great! We would love your feedback on the format, content, etc. Email President Mindi Schaefer at with the same. If you are not receiving the Messages, also contact President Mindi Schaefer so we can have that corrected ASAP! PACO wants to spread the news of their incredible upcoming events and share other important PACO information.

Click here to view the most recent Message.


2013 Paralegal Extreme Makeover

On Friday, September 27, 2013 the Paralegal Association of Central Ohio held the "2013 Paralegal Extreme Makeover Event" hosted by the Columbus State Conference Center where over 100 participants attended. This event was for paralegals and other legal professionals which offered a valuable opportunity to network with colleagues, strengthen knowledge base by attending presentations on the latest developments on the newest trends in the legal services industry. Thank you to all of the sponsors, presenters and participants of this event who contributed to making this such a HUGE success!

Click here to view a list of all sponsors of the 2013 Paralegal Extreme Makeover.

Click here to view all photos from the event.


2013 Paralegal Extreme Makeover: September 27 @ Columbus State Conference Center

Mark your calendars now for the 2013 Paralegal Extreme Makeover, featuring keynote speaker Colleen Marshall, a variety of presenters, giveaways and much more.

Click here for the agenda, list of sponsors, and registration form.


You're Invited!

The Public Relations Committee would like to invite everyone to the 2nd Annual Family Picnic at Alum Creek on Saturday, August 3 (12:00pm). Please RSVP by July 10.


PACO Recognizes Members at Annual Awards / Elections Ceremony

On June 19th, PACO celebrated its Annual Awards / Elections Ceremony at the CBA by recognizing award winners and the past year's Executive Board members as well as electing the 2013-2015 Executive Board. This year PACO gave awards to the following key leaders:

Mindi Schaefer (Paralegal of the Year), Erin Cafferkey (Representative of the Year), Elizabeth Fuller (New Member of the Year), Nicki Willis (Chair of the Year), Rebecca Cain (Executive Board Member of the Year), and Lucinda Miller (Committee Member / Member of the Year).

Additionally, PACO thanked the outgoing Executive Board which consisted of Renee Tomko (President), Mindi Schaefer (President-Elect), Rebecca Cain (Vice President), Simone Carpino (Assistant Vice President), Karen Stone (Treasurer), and Erin Cafferkey (Secretary).

Following Elections, PACO announced the 2013-2015 Executive Board: Mindi Schaefer (President), Karen Stone (President Elect), Rebecca Cain (Vice President), Simone Carpino (Assistant Vice President), Vicki Babbert (Treasurer), and Lucinda Miller (Secretary).

Visit PACO's Facebook page to view photos from the event.


Joint Conference Summary

by Erin Cafferkey

On April 19-20, 2013 I attended the NFPA Joint Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The goals of my attendance were to network on behalf of PACO as the NFPA Primary Representative and gain information that would be helpful to both the Executive Board and the membership as a whole. I am jazzed to tell you about what I learned! Click here to continue reading...


Paralegal Day 2013

On May 20, 2013, PACO marked a milestone in their history: 40 years of service to Central Ohio's paralegals. This wonderful milestone was also celebrated in conjunction with Paralegal Day 2013, a day for paralegals which is recognized by Proclamations from Mayor Coleman and Governor Kasich.

"Paralegal Day is a day to celebrate paralegals and their contributions to the legal system. It is our day to shine and be recognized by our attorneys, peers, and the community at large. This year is also special in that it is PACO's 40th Anniversary. PACO's history reflects PACO and its members have made great accomplishments as an organization and as individuals" stated by Mindi Schaefer (Poling Law) President-Elect of PACO.

Event sponsors included Slowik & Robinson, Columbus Bar Association, Anderson Reporting Services, Thornsberry Reporting, Capital University Law School Paralegal Program, Baker Hostetler, PRI Court Reporting, and Veritext Legal Solutions. The promotion host was Ricoh and the program host was Poling Law.

Service awards recipients included Karen Stone (5 years), Christine Retherford (5 years), Kathleen Schwab (15 years), and Rebecca Kemper (30 years).

Event photos can be found on PACO's Facebook page.

Click here to download "PACO: 40 Years of History."

Click image below to watch the video presentation from the event.

Paralegal Day Proclamation from Mayor Coleman
Paralegal Day Proclamation from Governor Kasich


Immigration Roundtable - May 24, 2013

Topic: Alternatives for the H-1B Visa. Speaker: Ken Robinson, Slowik & Robinson. Click here for more information.


OSBA Paralegal Certification Scholarships

PACO is pleased to announce the offering of OSBA Paralegal Certification scholarships. Two scholarships, in an amount to be determined by the Executive Board, will be awarded to assist qualified candidates with the costs associated with the credentialing program. Please refer to the application for the listing of eligibility requirements and deadlines. Click here to download the application.


Congratulations, PACO Members!

Congratulations to PACO members Sarah Brown and Mindi Schaefer for recently passing the NFPA's PACE certification exam! Congratulations also to Erin Cafferkey for recently passing the NFPA's PCCE exam! To learn more about either exam, please contact Erin Cafferkey, PACO's NFPA Representative, at Also, if you are interested in a study group for either exam, please contact Erin for PCCE and Mindi for PACE. Mindi can be reached at


NFPA Joint Conference, April 19-21, 2013

Be among the first to register for the 2013 Joint Conference! All registration information is on the conference website. Additonal information will be added regarding the optional Friday night dinner at the Sun Ray Grill (Warehouse District location). Please note we have an EARLY BIRD SPECIAL offering a discount for those registering prior to February 22nd. Hope to see you there! For any questions about this event, please contact Erin Cafferkey, NFPA Representative for PACO, at


January General Membership Meeting Recap

This year's lineup of General Membership Meetings got off to a fantastic start with January's "Bring an Attorney" 2013 Kick-off Meeting. Thank you to National Corporate Research, Ltd. (NCR), PACO's January Vendor of the Month. A special thank you also goes to our topic speakers: Michael J. Galeano, Esq., Barbara Kempton, Tod H. Friedman, Esq., and Pamela F. Lipps. These spectacular individuals led a very informative panel discussion on paralegal utilization and the dynamics of a successful, high-performing attorney/paralegal team.


Read PACO news from 2012...

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