Who We Are
Desert Palm Legal Professionals Association (DPLPA) is a charter chapter of Legal Secretaries, Inc., now known as Legal Professionals, Inc. (LPI). Desert Palm was originally chartered in 1961.
We meet regularly to encourage networking, training, and information sharing, as well as to offer educational and professional programs to our members and guests. We also award scholarships annually to aspiring future legal professionals. Our membership includes legal secretaries, paralegals, court clerks, support staff, students, and attorneys. Anyone in the legal profession or interested in the legal profession is invited to join our association and participate in our programs and general meetings.
Who is LPI?
Legal Professionals, Inc. is our parent organization. It was founded and is dedicated to educating legal professionals and promoting high ethical standards among law office support staff. With approximately 1,500+ members and members-at-large and 32 local associations throughout California, LPI’s motto is “Excellence through Education.” This motto epitomizes the goals and objectives of the organization.
Conferences are held May, August, November, and February at various locations throughout California. The conferences are bid on and hosted by local associations. The conferences feature educational seminars and workshops and feature exceptional speakers, including attorneys, judges, experts, and educators.
Our Code of Ethics
Members of LPI and DPLPA adhere to the LPI Code of Ethics which is dedicated to a LPI Past President, Joan M. Moore, PLS, CCLS:
It shall be the duty of each member of Legal Secretaries, Incorporated to observe all laws, rules and regulations now or hereafter in effect relating to confidentiality and privileged communication, acting with loyalty, integrity, competence and diplomacy in accordance with the highest standards of professional conduct.
In 1929, an idea was formed and implemented to gather together a group of legal secretaries in order to share information and learn what how to prepare and file legal documents. By 1934, this idea blossomed and spread throughout the State of California and in 1940, Legal Secretaries, Incorporated (LSI) was formed. In the new millennium, LSI (now LPI -- a change made to encompass all legal professionals, not just legal secretaries) continues to grow by serving legal professionals in all capacities through a variety of programs and services in conjunction with local associations like DPLPA.
DPLPA began as a chartered member of LSI in 1961. Over time, legal secretaries expanded their duties and responsibilities in the law office. Many California legal secretaries took advantage of further education and certifications such as Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) and the current California Certified Legal Secretary (CCLS) available through LPI. The law office typically includes secretaries, paralegals, file clerks and receptionists that all do their part for the support and success of the attorneys and firm. So it was not surprising that at some point, members of DPLPA elected to change its name to Desert Palm Legal Professionals Association in an effort to recognize and include all law office professionals.
Every now and again, a person comes along that changes the course of events or lends a deeper meaning to the moment. For the Desert Palm Legal Professionals Association, that person is none other than Charter Member Florence Ross. Florence represented the best of our club and demonstrated with her words, her spirit, and her actions the best of all that we are.
Florence became a member of DPLPA in 1961 and remained a member until her passing in 2016. She was a life long learner and she shared information in a way that made everyone feel special.
She began her career as a legal secretary in Palm Springs in 1953 when she began working for attorney Warren Slaughter at Slaughter, Schlesinger & Schlecht. When Slaughter left the firm to become a judge, she remained with the firm which today is Schlecht, Shevlin and Shoenberger, one of the oldest law firms in Palm Springs.
Charter Member Florence Ross, 1933 - 2016
Florence Ross (3rd from right waving) rode in the famous Desert Circus Parade
Photo courtesy of Palm Springs Historical Society
Florence Ross was a well-respected and beloved member of the local legal community. She was an avid supporter and advocate for further education. She wanted to learn, she wanted others to have the opportunity to learn and she was the biggest cheerleader for anyone who wanted to avail themselves of the chance to learn.
To honor her many years of membership, extraordinary work ethic, and to honor Florence's unwavering commitment to DPLPA and the legal field, in 2016 posthumously, and by unanimous vote, the DPLPA Scholarship Fund was renamed the "Florence Ross Scholarship Fund."
When she passed, it left a deep whole in our collective hearts because she can never be replaced. If you would like to honor her many years of membership and her beyond excellent work ethic and integrity, please consider donating to our scholarship fund.
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