Welcome to the Tampa Bay Paralegal Association's website!

Welcome to the Tampa Bay Paralegal Association's website!  Please bookmark this page and check back often for the latest in news regarding TBPA.  If you are a member, please log into the website and go to the "Member Center" for further information, including the Job Bank and Newsletter. If you are unable to login, please contact our Technology Chair/Webmaster.
Tampa Bay Paralegal Association, Inc. ("TBPA") is a member association of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) which provides TBPA members automatic membership with NFPA. TBPA is also a member of the Florida Alliance of Paralegal Associations (FAPA) and all members of TBPA automatically become FAPA members. In addition, TBPA is an affiliate of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA).

Message from the TBPA President


TBPA had a great year in 2016 and we are poised to have a banner year this year as well! Here are a few important announcements regarding changes to the TBPA luncheons, important “Save the Dates” announcements, and updates on pro bono events.  Let’s start first with announcing your new TBPA Board:

President-Elect: Erika Burgos, FRP, ACA 

1st Vice President: Elaine Schroeder, FRP

2nd Vice President: Susan Lee 

Secretary: Katie Turley, CP, FRP

Treasurer: Melissa Cook, FRP


Barbara O’Shaughnessy, FRP

Carrie Tonski, FRP

Cherise Esposito, CP 

Jan Brown

Kimberly Ross, M.S., CP 

Rebecca Wilt, ACP, FCP, FRP


Welcome to a new year!

VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING OUR LUNCHEONS: The Tampa Club has informed us that they have increased the rates for our luncheon. The new rate will eventually be $16.50. I say "eventually" because in order to get the word out and not take anyone by surprise, TBPA will absorb the price increase and provide you with constant announcements that the membership rate will increase to $16.50 beginning with the July luncheon. The guest rate will stay the same at $25 per guest.


ALSO of import: the Board voted to change the dates of a majority of the luncheons in 2017 to the 3rd Thursday of the month so as to not conflict with PAF’s luncheons which are typically held on the 1st Tuesday of each month.  If we had left the schedule with the luncheons on the 2nd Thursday of the month, there would have been 5 months in 2017 where both luncheons would have fallen on the same week.  Since most firms do not allow their paralegals to attend two luncheons in the same week, it was decided that it would be best to move them to the 3rd Thursday schedule for all but two of the meetings.  As such, the schedule for the 2017 luncheons is set as follows:

April 20, 2017 - May 18, 2017 - June 15, 2017 - July 13, 2017 (Remains 2nd Thursday) - August 17, 2017 - September 21, 2017 - October 19, 2017 - November 16, 2017  - December 14, 2017 (Remains 2nd Thursday) and  January 18, 2018


Other Announcements:


COMMUNITY SERVICE: We need a volunteer to take over as the Community Service Chair, with specific focus on the USO Central Florida. As you know, Elaine Schroeder has headed that up for some time, but is focusing on our upcoming seminar and luncheon speakers. She will be happy to let you know what all is involved. Please reach out to either one of us.

CERTIFICATION INFORMATION: 2017 study groups for the PACE/PCCE and the NALA CP will be forming soon. If you plan on sitting for any of these exams and are interested in being part of this study group, please contact Erika Burgos for more information. 

Upcoming Events:

  • MARCH 11, 2017: !!HCBA’s Annual 5K Pro Bono River Run!! is scheduled for March 11th.  If you will recall, last year TBPA was honored with 2nd place for the “Sty Award” and we would love to outdo ourselves this year. Your Pro Bono Committee has determined this year’s slogan: Paralegals Rock!” with a 1950's theme. TBPA’s volunteers can dress up in a poodle skirt or rolled up jeans, saddle shoes or scarf!. Please contact me, or Jan Brown, to get more information on how you can participate in the fun!
  • MARCH 16, 2017: Our TBPA luncheon speaker will be Ted Corless, Esq. discussing the very timely subject of “Cannabis Legalization”. In light of the recent passing of the constitutional amendment on medical marijuana, Mr. Corless will discuss where this trend may be headed.
  • APRIL 20, 2017:  Our TBPA luncheon speaker will be Jack Townsend, Esq., who will discuss the “Employment Retirement Income Security Act-ERISA”. Mr. Townsend will break down this complicated subject by sharing his vast knowledge with us all.
  • APRIL 22, 2017:  Is the quarterly “Wills for Heroes” event at the HCBA. They need volunteers to be notaries and/or witnesses for this pro bono project, which is an effort to show our appreciation for the daily sacrifices of our local firefighters, law enforcement, and emergency medical technicians. This program offers free wills, health care advance directives, and durable powers of attorney to all first responders and their spouses/partners located in Hillsborough County.

Also of note:

July 19-21, 2017: Save the Date for NALA’s Annual Convention in Orlando, FL – this is practically in our back yard so it would be great to have many of our members in attendance.

October 12-15, 2017: Save the Date for NFPA’s Annual Convention in New Orleans, LA.

November 3, 2017: Save the Date!! TBPA's Annual Seminar in St. Petersburg, FL – Your Seminar Committee has already been hard at work with this year’s theme “Invest in Yourself” and have begun reaching to sponsors. Come join the fun!

Suggestions?  If you have any suggestions, ideas for speakers, updates, or information on any subject that you feel might be of interest to other paralegals and you would like to share that information, please feel free to reach out to me at president@tbpa.org.


As you can see, we have a busy year ahead of us, but wait…there’s more! Your TBPA Board hasan exciting plans for the continued growth of this great membership, so staytuned! We just know you will be as excited as we are!


I look forward to seeing you all at the April luncheon on the 20th!


Until next time,

Dana Martinez-Jones, ACP
President, Tampa Bay Paralegal Association, Inc.

Save the Date!

TBPA's Annual Seminar for 2017 will be held on Friday, November 3, 2017 at the Hilton at Carillon Park. This year's theme:  "Invest in Yourself!"


You won't want to miss the 2017 Seminar, so be sure to save the date in your calendar!

TBPA Contact

As a member-driven organization, we love to receive input and feedback from our members. Please feel free to contact us with any comments or suggestions.

TBPA President:  Dana Martinez-Jones, ACP

Send an email to Dana 

TBPA Mailing Address: P.O. Box 2840, Tampa, FL 33601

Membership Applications are available and more info on the membership categories and member benefits can be found under the Join Us tab.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:45 AM • at The Tampa Club, 42nd Floor, 101 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL

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