Tara has been in the legal field for over 20 years. She holds a Legal Secretary Associate of Arts degree from Highland Community College in Des Moines, Washington and a Paralegal Certificate from the ABA approved Paralegal Studies Program at Phoenix College in Phoenix, Arizona. Tara has taken all three national paralegal certification exams and is currently a certified paralegal through NALA, and NFPA, and also holds the NALA Advanced Certification in Family Law-Child Custody, Support and Visitation. Tara is an active member of her legal community and serves on the Phoenix College Advisory Board for their Paralegal Studies Program. Tara has served as a Site Team Member for the ABA since 2018. Tara is currently working as a paralegal at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC in their family law department where she supports four attorneys in their family law practice.
I graduated with a Certificate from the ABA approved Paralegal Studies program at Phoenix College in May 2005. I have remained active in the program and with the Program Director at Phoenix College as an adjunct instructor and a member of the Advisory Board. I continue to be involved with the program at Phoenix College in order to help others who are interested in becoming a paralegal achieve a successful and satisfying career. I always knew that some programs have ABA approval, but I was not familiar with the process, other than participating as an Advisory Committee member. Several years ago, the Program Director at Phoenix College reached out to me to find out if I was interested in serving as a site team member for the ABA Standing Committee. It was then that I realized what a daunting process it is, but I was excited to challenge myself and have the ability to ensure that paralegal programs around the country were helping future paralegals to have a successful and satisfying career. I have since served as a site team member several times and enjoy working with the chairs and providing feedback to the ABA regarding these different programs. While all the programs have the same goal in mind, i.e. having successful graduates, every program is unique in its own way and tailored to the needs of the community it serves. I have appreciated hearing from current students and graduates about how the paralegal programs prepared them to work as a paralegals in their community and to see the relationships programs have with the legal/paralegal associations in their communities, which is a great resource for future and current paralegals. After enjoying that experience, when the opportunity arose for me to serve on the Commission, I was once again excited for the challenge and the ability to continue to have an impact on paralegal education and the profession as a whole.