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VERMONT PARALEGAL organization News

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  • 06/18/2024 1:23 PM | Melinda Devoid-Siel, RP® (Administrator)

    On May 1, 2024 a group of legal professionals, including the VPO's Certification Chair Krista Cadieux were at South Burlington High School to talk about the law for Law Day. See the full article from the Vermont Bar Association HERE

  • 05/20/2024 12:51 PM | Melinda Devoid-Siel, RP® (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Megan Gregory, CRP™ who has been certified by NFPA® as a CORE Registered Paralegal™!  Megan earned her credential by passing the PCCE® exam, becoming the fifth CRP™ in the State of Vermont.  This accomplishment exemplifies Megan’s dedication, knowledge and expertise as a paralegal.  Congratulations Meg! 

  • 03/12/2024 12:43 PM | Melinda Devoid-Siel, RP® (Administrator)

    On March 12, 2024 the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. ("NFPA") issued the following notice regarding credential renewals as of April 1:


    Thank you for continued commitment to the paralegal profession as one of NFPA’s credential holders!

    At the 2023 NFPA Annual Policy Meeting, as part of NFPA’s ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), the Federation passed a policy requiring that all CRP™ and RP® renewals must include one CLE hour of DEI in addition to one CLE hour of Ethics.

    For comparison, current policy requires 2 CLE hours of Ethics and/or DEI for renewal. The new policy requires one CLE hour of each.

    This policy will officially go into effect on April 1, 2024. All renewal applications received on or after that date will be subject to the new policy.

    In order to ease the transition of this policy for you, we are offering you the opportunity to take one of our DEI CLE webinars free of charge. When purchasing one of our DEI CLE webinarsuse the code FreeDEI at checkout to receive that webinar free of charge. This code can only be used once.

    If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at


    Lisa Vessels, RP®, CP
    Director of Paralegal Certification

  • 07/28/2023 2:40 PM | Melinda Devoid-Siel, RP® (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Melinda Devoid-Siel, RP® who has been certified by NFPA® as a PACE Registered Paralegal®.  Melinda earned her credential by passing the PACE® exam, becoming only the 15th Registered Paralegal in the State of Vermont.  This accomplishment exemplifies Melinda’s high level of dedication, knowledge and expertise as a paralegal.  Congratulations!

  • 07/05/2023 10:41 AM | Melinda Devoid-Siel, RP® (Administrator)

    The Certification Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce that the $300 scholarship for 2023 is awarded to Melinda Devoid-Siel.  Melinda is preparing to sit for the PACE® exam and we wish her all the best in her certification journey.

    More information on the Paralegal Certification Scholarship can be found on our website here.

  • 06/26/2023 12:13 PM | Melinda Devoid-Siel, RP® (Administrator)

    Have you heard about the VPO's new program the "Pathways to the Paralegal Profession" yet? At the beginning of 2023 we started a 12 week Introduction to Vermont Real Estate Law and Title Searching course taught by Jim Knapp. This was followed by a 6 week hands on supplemental course in Title Searching.

    We are hoping to run this course again in the Fall of 2023. For more information on the course and to sign up for updates about upcoming courses please visit our website

    Please email with any questions and be sure to share this information with all of the real estate paralegals you know. We need everyone's help to continue to make this program a success!

  • 11/09/2022 11:26 AM | Melinda Devoid-Siel, RP® (Administrator)

    Over the years the VPO has recorded a few of our CLE's and we have wanted to find a way to make them available to our members. The time has come to announce the VPO Store! You can now go to our Continuing Education page and access past recorded CLE's!

    Currently this contains the recordings from the 2021 CLE Conference but we hope to have more to offer in the future. 

  • 10/14/2022 3:24 PM | Melinda Devoid-Siel, RP® (Administrator)

    Dear Members,

    As everyone is aware, the current economic climate coupled with the ongoing pandemic issues has caused the costs of all goods and services to significantly increase over the past two years.  The VPO had been successful in not raising its membership dues for the last eight years, with its most recent increase occurring in 2014.  However, the VPO’s costs have continued to increase, including the recent decision by the national organization, NFPA - to which each of you belongs as part of your VPO membership - to increase their member dues beginning in January 2023. 

    In addition, the VPO has also recently implemented the option to allow members to pay for dues renewals, CLEs, and other VPO-related events via credit card, rather than having to separately send checks for their renewals and registrations.  This decision has been highly successful and well-received and was a benefit that had been specifically requested by the membership.  However, it also came with added costs to the VPO. 

    Accordingly, the VPO has no choice but to implement a membership dues increase to cover its rising costs, in order to be able to continue its low-cost CLE offerings and other membership benefits.  Therefore, as of January 1, 2023, membership renewals for voting members and associate members will increase by $15 per year, and renewals for sustaining and student members will increase by $10 per year.  We are hopeful that this increase will allow us to avoid immediately passing on any future NFPA dues increases to our membership, while allowing us to continue our current offerings. 

    However, we didn’t want to do so without offering our members something in return.  Therefore, for 2023, all renewing members will receive a one-time use discount code with their renewal confirmation email for $10 off any VPO-sponsored CLE of their choice.*  In addition, we will take $5 off renewal fees to any member who volunteers to serve in a qualifying VPO board or committee position.  If you use both credits, you will save a total of $15 off your membership dues - the very same cost of the increase! 

     The VPO is working hard to bring you additional benefits, as well as provide more educational opportunities for both current and future members.  We hope you will choose to stay committed to the organization for another year and allow us the opportunity to continue to serve you.  As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions. 

    Thanks for being a part of the VPO!


    Laurie S. Noyes, MBA, PHR®


    *excluding the VPO’s new Pathway to the Paralegal Profession programs

  • 10/14/2022 3:16 PM | Melinda Devoid-Siel, RP® (Administrator)

    The Vermont Paralegal Organization invites you to become a part of the Pathway to the Paralegal Profession Program1. People with paralegal skills are in demand in Vermont right now. The VPO is creating a program to help people already working in the paralegal field supplement their existing skills and to teach skills to those who would like to enter the paralegal profession.

    Our first program is an Introduction to Vermont Real Estate Law and Title Searching. We have invited Jim Knapp to present a twelve-week course covering an introduction to Vermont real estate law topics, including a brief history of the development of Vermont real estate law, conveyancing and transfers of real estate, estates and interests in land, common encumbrances, mortgages, taxation of real property, real estate transfer taxes, and land use regulations.

    If interested in participating in this program, please head to our new program page

    1 This program is produced by the Vermont Paralegal Organization and is not affiliated with any educational institution. Participating in this program does not result in credits for higher education purposes. The program is intended as a skills development program for those employed in the legal setting or seeking employment in a legal setting.

  • 09/28/2022 12:50 PM | Melinda Devoid-Siel, RP® (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the Vermont Paralegal Organization’s (VPO) Robyn Sweet for winning this year’s Individual Pro Bono Award during the National Federation of Paralegal Association’s (NFPA) convention in Cleveland. The VPO Board nominated Robyn for this award in recognition for the many hats she wears at home and in the community.

     She is a biological parent, a stepparent, an adoptive parent, and a foster parent. At the time of her nomination, she was a paralegal at Cleary Shahi & Aicher, PC in Rutland Vermont and she served as Secretary on the Board of the Vermont Foster/Adoptive Family Association (VFAFA). She recently transitioned to a Risk Management Specialist position to Rutland Regional Hospital and resigned her board position.

    To paraphrase a recent story in the Rutland Herald, as a foster parent, Robyn signs up for a little bit of heart break to help another family be successful. Foster children are abruptly thrown into a legal situation they often don’t understand when the state takes custody of them for their protection. They are among the most vulnerable populations involved in the legal system. They succeed when they have positive adults in their lives – people like Robyn – who show them that they care.

    Robyn opens her home to children, at times on short notice and with no real expectation of how long they will be with her. She advocates for the child’s needs wherever it is necessary: at school, in medical settings, with Vermont’s Department of Children and Families (DCF), and everywhere else. She becomes their caregiver while their parents work through services to help them become safer parents. She and her husband, Bill, have been foster parents since 2014. They have had over 40 children in their home, sometimes for a day and sometimes for a year or more.

    Robyn has been involved with VFAFA for about 7 years. She helps enact their mission “…to empower, support, and unify foster and adoptive families by strengthening the systems that care for Vermont’s children.” She has served as Vice President in the past. Robyn’s primary role as Secretary is to communicate with foster and kinship families to make sure they have the information they need to best care for the children in their homes.  Additionally, she is helping them revise their bylaws. VFAFA president Debbie Boyce greatly appreciates her paralegal expertise as they make these revisions. The organization has been in existence for 40 years and the bylaws have not historically had the attention they have needed. Robyn also helps the Board award funds for children in care to participate in special activities or for scholarships for higher education.

    In addition to these tasks, Robyn is working with Vermont’s Foster/Kin Care Manager to develop a welcome letter for all who accept children in their homes through DCF. Because of Robyn’s past experiences, she has a unique perspective to offer to those who are welcoming children in their homes.

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vpo als ice bUCKET CHALLENGE

Sep 4, 2014

On September 4, 2014, several members of the Vermont Paralegal Organization Board and Committees accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and nominated the Capital District Paralegal Association and the New York City Paralegal Association to accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! VPO participants were Carie Tarte, Corinne Deering, Cathy Foutz, Lisa Contois Laramee, Evelyn Wetzel, Ashley LaRose, and Heather Moreau. Click here to watch the video!

Congratulations Kristin Mattes

Oct 1, 2012

The VPO congratulates Kristin Mattes who was selected by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations as the 2012 recipient of the Individual Pro Bono Award for exhibiting outstanding dedication and service in the area of pro bono service to the public. Kristin is the Pro Bono Committee Chair for the VPO, and a Paralegal for the law firm of Sheehey Furlong & Behm in Burlington. Click here to read Kristin's nomination submission.

VPO to Host 2016 NFPA National Convention

Oct 1, 2012

The Vermont Paralegal Organization was chosen to host the 2016 National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) National Convention in Burlington! The VPO submitted a bid and presentation at the convention this year in Alaska and we were chosen to be the hosts for the 2016 convention. We are all very excited about this news and hope that our members will support and assist us with the planning and organizing of this event. It will be a great opportunity for all Vermont members and for the legal community to become more familiar with NFPA and its benefits to paralegals.

Exhibit Sticker Fundraiser and New Member Benefit

May 11, 2012

The VPO has obtained a new member benefit and has launched a fundraising effort all in one exciting opportunity for you! We have coordinated with to offer members a 15% discount on an Adobe Plug-In that creates any color exhibit sticker, with any words that you desire, on your PDF trial exhibits, deposition exhibits, or any documents requiring this type of sticker! What a great option!! You can virtually "sticker" your documents in one quick step saving you time and money in copying and scanning your exhibits. To find out more about this great All-in-One E-Sticker, click on the link below to get the brochure and coupon code for ordering the plug in. Get it Now!! The fundraiser which saves you 15% will also earn 15% for the Vermont Paralegal Organization. It's a win-win for everyone. Get your Adobe Plug-In now!! 15% Offer expires July 5, 2012. Brochure and Coupon Code

March Appearances

Mar 23, 2012

The Vermont Paralegal Organization attended two events this month to promote the organization to the legal and educational community.

The VPO had an Exhibitor's Table at the Vermont Bar Association's Mid-Year Meeting on March 23, 2012, at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington. Thank you to Board Members who covered our table to meet and greet VBA members and other exhibitors in attendance at the meeting. Board Members Carie Tarte, Lisa Laramee, Laure Noyes, RP, Louise Reese, Corinne Deering, RP and Heather Moreau, were in attendance on behalf of the VPO. The VPO congratulates Patricia Benelli, Esq., of Chester who won the VPO's Door Prize of free admission to its Annual Meeting and CLE on May 10, 2012.

On March 26, 2012, the VPO was present at Champlain College's Career and Internship Fair on the College's campus. Champlain Alums and VPO Members Melissa Young and Ashley LaRose were present on behalf of the VPO to talk to students about their careers as paralegals and about the benefits of joining the VPO. Thank you to Melissa, Ashley and Carie Tarte who spent their afternoons on campus talking with Champlain's students. Congratulations to Champlain student Kenneth Nosek who won the VPO's Door Prize of free admission to its Annual Meeting and CLE on May 10, 2012.

VPO - Dress Barn VIP Night

Oct 6, 2011

On Wednesday, October 26, 2011, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., the Dress Barn is offering VPO members a VIP Night where members will receive a 15% off discount on purchases. You will most likely be greeted by a VPO member, who also works at the Dress Barn, and all you need to do is identify yourself as a VPO member (on the honor system), and you will receive the discount.

It's time to change over to your fall/winter wardrobe. Visit the Dress Barn on Wednesday the 26th and receive a 15% discount! Happy Shopping!

VPO Activism Rewards Program

Jul 20, 2011

The VPO announced its Activism Rewards Program on July 20, 2011 at the Hump Day Summer Social. The purpose of the Rewards Program is to increase membership in the VPO and encourage our members to become active and involved in the Organization. The Rewards Program will continue until the VPO Annual Meeting to be held in April or May 2012. For more information and to find out how to earn your "entries," click here.

VPO Raises $4,918.40 Making Strides

Feb 26, 2011

The VPO recently received notice from the American Cancer Society that it raised a total of $4,918.40 in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Chittenden County event in October 2010. Congratulations and Thank You to the members of the VPO Team who participated in this worthwhile event.

SAVE THE DATE: The 2011 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event will be on October 16th. Let's hope for less wet weather this year so we can keep our feet dry! The start time this year will again be 1:00 p.m.

Developing Pro-Bono Opportunities

Dec 30, 2010

Through the hard work of our Pro-bono Committee Chairperson, Kristin Mattes, and with the assistance of Attorney Jacqueline Majoros of Vermont Legal Aid, the VPO will have the opportunity to become involved with the Vermont Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. At the annual meeting of the Vermont Probate Court Judges Association on December 3, 2010, the Probate Judges unanimously endorsed the proposed involvement of the VPO in long term care ombudsmanship as probate court designees under 18 V.S.A. §§ 9701(25) and 9702, subject to adequate support by means of a training, and perhaps certification, program. The VPO will keep members advised as we move forward with this opportunity.

VPO Exhibits at VBA Mid-Year Meeting

Mar 19, 2010

The VPO was pleased to be able to participate as an Exhibitor at the Vermont Bar Association's 53rd Mid-Year Meeting on Friday, March 19, 2010, at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington.

The VPO's Exhibit Table included copies of The Paralegal Perspective, the VPO Newsletter, membership applications, PACE Brochures, Sponsorship Applications and information, and a Pro Bono informational brochure outlining what the VPO can offer attorneys to accomplish providing pro bono services.

In addition, the VPO had a raffle for a VBA Member to win free attendance for his/her paralegal to the VPO's Annual Meeting and Conference in May. The exhibit table and our large poster board outlining the benefits of becoming a VPO member gave the VPO a presence with the State Bar Association, and reminded local attorneys of the importance and benefits of VPO membership for their paralegals.

Diane Brown and Missy Woessner, RP providing a presence at the VPO Exhibit Booth featured above.

Tina Wiles Receives Roger A. Perry Award

Oct 15, 2009

The VPO is proud to announce that Tina Wiles, former Region V Director and Past VPO President, has accepted the Champlain College Alumni Council's 2009 nomination for the Roger A. Perry Award. The award is given to alumni who show great leadership in his or her career, outstanding service to the community, and/or a notable accomplishment. Tina will be receiving her award on Saturday, October 24, 2009, at ECHO Science Center and Museum in Burlington, Vermont. Please join us in congratulating Tina Wiles on receiving this award.

Burlington Free Press Article, Champlain College to honor alumni

Vermont Paralegal Organization, Inc.
P.O. Box 5755
Burlington, VT  05402-5755

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