Are Legal Associations A Waste Of Money?

Published October 21, 2013

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With the legal field growing by leaps and bounds, any new and aspiring legal professionals are looking to get together and bounce ideas off of each other, network, and build relationships with businesses and professionals in their industry. Associations are generally a great way to do this, however some are better than others. From paralegals to criminal justice professionals, there is a wide variety of legal-based associations in Canada to choose from.

Canadian Criminal Justice Association

The Canadian Criminal Justice Association(CCJA) is:

… an independent national voluntary organization working for an improved criminal justice system in Canada. The Association was founded in 1919.

 The assocation boasts that it will help you stay aprised of recent information in the criminal justice field as well as have your say on current policies and developments that are being proposed. Members include people from jobs as diverse as forensic psychologists and US marshals.

It’s main goal, again, is to:

  • provide information on education and justice issues
  • open dialogues through debate as well as facilitate consulting and advising opportunities within the industry
  • advocate fairness and equality while opening the lines of communcation between members spread among several different disciplines
  • promote collaboration in research and the sharing of ideas to help advance the industry as a whole

Canadian Association Of Paralegals

The Canadian Association of Paralegals (CAP) is designed to help promote the paralegal profession. Their mission statement is:

To provide support and an exchange of ideas between colleagues and members, in order to better the skills of the paralegals.
Additionally, they aim to help provide continuing education in the form of conferences, seminars, discussion groups, and several other lines of communication to help disseminate information to all involved in the paralegal industry. All types of paralegals are welcome – from bankrupcy paralegals to real estate paralegals.
 
Both of these associations have the same basic goals; to help connect people within the industry, talk about industry trends, provide training and other forms of continuing education to help the individual members advance their careers as well as meet other players in the industry.
 
These goals are admirable, and in my experience, it’s definitely beneficial to be a part of an association. When choosing an association like the ones above, always check the price, fees, location of the annual conference (if there is one) and other things to help gage how much you will need to spend to be an active member. Attending the conferences and really engaging in the community is the best way to get the most value out of these associations.
 
Someone who really engages themselves and gets involved is definitely in a great place to help advance their career in their respective field.
 

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