LPI Local Chapter Spotlight: San Francisco LPA

Location:        San Francisco, California

Established:    1936

This year the San Francisco Legal Professionals Association – originally known as the San Francisco Legal Secretaries Association – celebrates its 87th Anniversary.  Since its formation in 1936, SFLPA has enjoyed a rich tradition of providing continuing educational opportunities, networking and lifelong friendships to its members and to the community, along with service to LSI/LPI.

The association continued to grow over the years, offering timely programs of interest to legal secretaries in the community.  Today, its continuing education programs are well-known throughout the legal community. 

Over the years, SFLPA has supported three of its current members during their service to LSI on the Executive Committee.  Betty Lou West, Joyce Seymour, PLS, CCLS and Yvonne Waldron-Robinson, CCLS have each served as LSI’s President.  We are also proud to count LSI Past President Christa Davis among our members.  SFLPA was also proud of the accomplishments of former member Mary Beaudrow, CCLS during her terms as LSI President.  Many of our members have served as appointed officers or chairmen of LSI/LPI. 

In the early 1960s, the association decided to host an LSI Conference.  As the planning for the conference was underway, it was brought to the Board’s attention that the Association should incorporate as a nonprofit corporation in order to shield the elected officers from any possibility of personal liability for anything that might happen at that conference.  In 1962, the San Francisco Legal Secretaries Association was incorporated.  Over the years, SFLPA has hosted several quarterly conferences and annual conferences. 

As the legal community has changed, so has SFLPA.  In the early days, the Association’s membership was most likely comprised primarily of legal secretaries.  As time has passed, our members include court personnel, calendar and docket professionals, court reporters, and one attorney.  We have also strengthened our relationship with those members of the legal community who provide services to attorneys and law firms, and have welcomed them as active members.  It was the recognition of its diverse membership that prompted the San Francisco Legal Secretaries Association to change its name in 2003 to the San Francisco Legal Professionals Association. 

Over the years, SFLPA has strived to be more visible in the community at large.  We have made ourselves available to talk to students in the Paralegal Program at City College of San Francisco.  We have made it a priority to seek out students who may be eligible for the Eula Mae Jett Scholarship and to create a scholarship program of our own.  SFLPA has provided support to the San Francisco community through participation in San Francisco AIDS Walk, local clothing and coat drives, and the local toy drive to name a few. 

A lot has happened over the years.  Its contribution to the legal community and its dedication to the continuing education of its members has been steadfast.  Our members have continually raised the bar of excellence through education.  SFLPA has the distinction of knowing that two of its members, Catharine Ryan, PLS, CCLS and Virginia Haines, PLS, were the first of three members to pass the first Professional Legal Secretary exam.  Several of its members hold the designation CCLS, and several more are studying to sit for the exam.  Its strength is the camaraderie of its members.  And its history is something that all members are very proud of.

Current Board:


Francie Skaggs, CCLS

Vice President

Suddie Scott


Lorri Nicolini, CCLS


Sally Mendez Arevalo

Governor and Parliamentarian

Christine J. Flores, CBA



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