Tuesday, October 2, 2007

INTRODUCING TWO OF IPA’S NEWEST PACE REGISTERED PARALEGALS!

The Indiana Paralegal Association is proud to honor two of its newest PACE Registered Paralegals, Joshua H. Woolley, R.P. and Tracy S. Oprea, R.P.

Joshua H. Woolley, R.P., is a PACE Registered Paralegal at the Indianapolis office of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, & Hanson, P.C., where he currently focuses on workers’ compensation and insurance defense.

Joshua is a lifelong native of Indiana, having been born and raised in Plainfield, Indiana. Joshua was the recipient of the Outstanding Citizen Award for Hendricks County in 1992, for his countless hours of volunteer work with the Hendricks County K-9 Search & Rescue Team.

JOSHUA H. WOOLLEY, RP

Joshua eventually helped spearhead the formation of the first Boy Scouts of America Explorer Post in the United States in the field of K-9 Search & Rescue Team, where he served as the President for several years.

During high school, Joshua worked with several supported living programs for developmentally disabled adults in Indiana. After high school, Joshua put his passion for dogs to use by opening up an in-home dog training company, Top Dog Training Services. After a few years of training dogs, Joshua was subsequently introduced to a fellow dog-lover and an Indiana attorney, and began his work in the legal profession.

Starting in August, 1996, Joshua began working for several sole practitioners, all of whom focused on family law, bankruptcy and criminal defense. It was not until June, 1998, when Joshua began working with Clifford W. Shepard, an attorney who focused his practice on the representation of consumers, that Joshua decided to stay in the area of law as his chosen career path. Joshua stayed with Mr. Shepard for eight (8) years, helping Mr. Shepard litigate individual and class action lawsuits. During his time with Mr. Shepard, Joshua developed a deep passion of both federal and state appellate work.

In May, 2006, Joshua left Mr. Shepard to join the Indianapolis office of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light & Hanson, P.C., where he works under the direction of partner, Carla R. Hounshel, who leads the firm's Indiana workers’ compensation defense practice.

Joshua began thinking about taking the PACE sometime in 2005. However, it was not until he joined Scopelitis, Garvin, Light & Hanson, P.C. that he decided to proceed with taking the PACE. Both Mrs. Hounshel and managing partner, Timothy W. Wiseman, personally encouraged Joshua to sit for the PACE in order to advance his career. Joshua sent in his Application to become a PACE candidate on November 2, 2006, and was subsequently approved as a candidate by the NFPA in December, 2006. After receiving notice of his candidacy to sit for the PACE, Joshua immediately scheduled his exam and took and passed the PACE on January 5, 2007. Joshua believes that passing the PACE has provided the validation he needed to prove to himself, and others, that he was a paralegal of the highest caliber.

Tracy S. Oprea, R.P., a PACE Registered Paralegal at Beckman, Kelly & Smith in Hammond, Indiana, graduated from South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois in 1994 with an A.A.S., majoring in the curriculum of Paralegal Studies.

Tracy has over a decade of Paralegal experience. She specializes in civil litigation. Tracy's love for the law dates back to the late 1980's when she began working part-time at a law firm through a co-op program at her high school. Tracy is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association, Indiana Paralegal Association and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.

TRACY S. OPREA, R.P.

Tracy recently presented at a seminar sponsored by the National Business Institute entitled "Medical Record Evaluation for Paralegals." Tracy’s presentation addressed “Getting the Medical Records You Need", where she covered in depth the process of obtaining medical records. After her presentation, Tracy used this forum to briefly share her experience with the PACE Exam and strongly encouraged the Paralegals attending the seminar to seriously consider making application to take the examination.

In speaking with Tracy about what motivated her to take PACE, her story is quite interesting, as she stated:

“When I first heard about the PACE Exam, I was curious and thought briefly about maybe taking the exam. Quite some time passed and then I kept hearing and reading about the exam through the Indiana Paralegal Association and it finally hit me last fall that I needed to take the PACE Exam. Taking the PACE Exam was very important to me, both personally and professionally. I felt that taking the exam supported my dedication to the Paralegal profession, as well as my dedication to the legal field in general. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to take the PACE Exam and for the support and encouragement I received from the partners at Beckman, Kelly & Smith.

“I highly recommend that everyone take the On-Line Review Course that is offered. It is truly a beneficial course that helps you successfully prepare for the PACE Exam. I realize the course is time consuming; however, if someone is committed to becoming an R.P., they should be able to commit to the seven (7) week course.”

Tracy is a life long resident of Lake County Indiana and currently lives in Highland with her 10-year-old son. When Tracy is not at the office, she can be found on the football field watching her son play Pop Warner Football.

Joshua and Tracy now join 48 other PACE Registered Paralegals as well as 3 NALA Certified Paralegals, as credentialed paralegals in Indiana, most of whom are members of IPA. This places Indiana in second place nationwide, led only by Texas with 50 RP’s. Having passed PACE, Joshua and Tracy are now permitted to use the “R.P.” credentials following their names. They have also received beautiful certificates from the NFPA which they will be able to display in their offices.

Both Joshua and Tracy are members of the Indiana Paralegal Association and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. In fact, Joshua is one of IPA’s newest members, having joined shortly after he became a PACE Registered Paralegal. Welcome!

Please join IPA in sending a personal message to Joshua and Tracy to congratulate them for their support of the paralegal profession in Indiana by taking the extra effort to become a credentialed paralegal.

Congratulations, Joshua and Tracy!
IPA honors both of you for your extraordinary accomplishment!

Debi Neale, R.P.
IPA PACE Ambassador

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