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Michiana Paralegal Association

Welcome to the Michiana Paralegal Association

Michiana Paralegal Association ("MPA") was established in September 1989. As an association of dedicated professionals, MPA has matured into a strong paralegal association with members from every part of northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan, a geographic area known as "Michiana." In addition to our affiliation with the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), we are a member of the Alliance of Indiana Paralegal Associations.

Everyone say hello to Marilyn Yoder, our first Member Spotlight honoree!!!

Marilyn Yoder pic

I became interested in the paralegal profession when someone told me I would make a good attorney because I liked to argue.  I didn’t want to be an attorney, but had heard about paralegals.  I thought I could do that, so I attended the Paralegal Studies Program at IUSB.  Near the end of my studies, I started working at Warrick & Boyn, LLP in Elkhart, Indiana.  That was in May of 1988.  That next January, 1989, I joined the Michiana Paralegal Association.  I have been a paralegal for about 30 years, with some time off between jobs.  I joined MPA because I thought it was important to be a member of my professional association, much like attorneys join the local bar association. 


I have done just about every area of law you can do.  But, mostly I handle corporate law, probate, and litigation.  I like drafting documents.  It challenges my writing skills.  Good writing skills are very important for a paralegal.  I also like helping clients and being of service.  I like most of my duties as a paralegal and don’t have any particular area I dislike, except maybe contentious litigation.  I think it is important that paralegals pay attention to detail.  The devil is in the details.  If I rush through a job, I am likely to make some kind of detail mistake, and get in trouble with the attorney and client.  I hate that! 


If I had to pick a career outside the paralegal profession, I would be an alternative health counselor.  I read a lot of health information on how to heal naturally.  Mainly because I have had to deal with my own health problems.  If I won the lottery, I would retire and move to Hawaii or the Smoky Mountains.  I love nature and its beauty.  I used to read a lot of Superman comics when I was a kid, not that I see myself as a super hero, but that I liked them. 

2020 Fall Seminar flyer updated

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events



Medical Malpractice Fall Seminar

September 10, 2020 - Michael Misch will present the plaintiff's perspective
September 17, 2020 - Julie Rosenwinkel will describe the defense side of medical malpractice
September 24, 2020 - Michael Conner will share what the role of a panel chairman is
in a medical malpractice matter
October 1, 2020 - Nurse Practitioner Dawn Wright will delve into how to get the most out of medical records

The Fall Seminar will be a 4 part series, via Zoom, from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Pay only 1 fee and attend all four sessions!

We wish we could host our Fall Seminar in person, but understand that conditions do not allow for that at this time.  We are looking forward to still offering a quality seminar, just in a different format.

Registration and payment for this event can be found on the September 10th calendar event on our website.  We are offering our seminar at a greatly reduced fee this year.

Check out the "Fall Seminar" tab for more detail.


Hello Everyone!
I hope this message finds you well.  As I reflect on the last few months, I am amazed at how our profession and the legal world has managed to adapt.  The Courts have grown accustomed to video and teleconference hearings and trials.  Depositions and mediations are now done remotely.  Remote notary is now being used all over the State.  Conducting legal business remotely is not new by any means, however, seeing everything develop into a remote way of life in the legal world has been an interesting process. I am curious to know how this new norm has affected your daily work lives. Has it made things more efficient or provided a confusing mess of entries on your calendars?  How many working from home have learned to keep a jacket and hairbrush within arm’s reach?  How many have had pets or kids for assistants?  Have you had days where the internet was just not keeping you connected?  How many of you had days where you wished it would just not connect at all?  The trials and tribulations of working from home are a real struggle but can also provide laughs and teachable moments.  If you have some great stories that you want to share, I would like to add some fun things to our future editions of Footnotes.  I will eliminate or change the names to protect the innocent.      

We have some upcoming events that you should put on your calendars.  In September, we will have our first virtual seminar.  This seminar will be about Medical Malpractice and will be divided up into four one-hour segments, each focusing on one aspect of a Med-Mal case. Completion of the seminar will provide four CLE credits and is through the zoom platform.  Please see the events calendar on MPA’s website for more details and registration.  This seminar is open for anyone in the legal field, so spread the word! 

Another event we have coming up quickly is NFPA’s Annual Convention and Policy Meeting.  This will be the first time the entire Convention is conducted virtually.  There will be lots to experience at this convention and it would be a great opportunity for anyone who would like to see what goes on during this event to do so without the costs of travel.  Also, our very own Cherylan Shearer, NFPA Primary Representative for MPA, has been nominated for the office of President of NFPA this term.  This is a great honor and Cherylan has the full support of MPA.  The election of officers is held during the Convention and the elected officials are announced at that time.  Should anyone be interested in being an observer for MPA please contact me or Cherylan for more information on how to attend.  

We also have our own elections coming up soon and MPA could really use your help with some open board spots.  We need a Vice President and a Treasurer, and, if elected, Cherylan’s position on the board will need to be filled as well.  MPA needs you.  We also have some board positions up for re-election, so if you are interested in a great opportunity to be a leader in the legal community, have a few hours each month to share with a great team, please answer our call for help.  You will find the duties and responsibilities, as well as what positions are up for re-election, in our by-laws located on MPA’s website. You may feel free to contact any board member and we will be glad to answer any questions.  

I also wanted to take a moment to recap some recent MPA events that have taken place.  We had the great honor of having two very informative presentations.  The first was a training session to prepare us for the improved and highly anticipated federal filing system.  This CLE training session was presented by MPA’s very own Voting Members Director, Erica Richey. This was a step-by-step instructional video on how to get updated and get ready for the NextGen PACER federal filing system.  Another great presentation made recently was also brought to us by one of MPA’s very own.  Shay Recla, MPA Board Secretary, provided a detailed summary of the recent legislative updates and discussed how these updates will affect our work.  Both presentations were fantastic.  If you missed either of these presentations, no need to worry.  Erica’s presentation of the Next Generation Pacer was recorded and is available upon request. All the materials for the legislative updates are also available upon request.  Just let any board member know and we will be glad to get the info to you. (subject to fee for CLE credit).     

Finally, I want to end with some words of encouragement.  We are all aware that things are different in our daily lives now.  Decisions that we never thought we would have to make are now upon us to decide.  Between our work lives and our private lives, many are now finding that priorities are changing.  But the one thing we know for sure is that the human spirit finds away to teach us to adapt and overcome whatever life throws in our way.  My hope is that all of you continue to remain positive and continue to find your way to adapt to and overcome these ever-changing times.  Be well! 

Our Mission:

The purpose and goals of MPA is to promote the professional and business interests of persons engaging in the paralegal profession as follows:

  • Promote the paralegal profession;
  • Promote the continuing legal education of paralegals by providing educational seminars;
  • Act as a forum for the exchange of information;
  • Inform members of the latest developments in the paralegal profession;
  • Promote and support professional standards;
  • Communicate with the legal community and the general public;
  • Participate in local and national professional issues that affect the paralegal profession.
  • Engage in projects, solicitations and other activities which the board of directors may deem necessary or desirable to fund the purposes set forth above.