It was 1929 in Long Beach, California, and Eula Mae Jett along with several of her colleagues established a group that met and discussed topics affecting their careers as legal secretaries. The focus of these meetings shifted to education and the popularity grew. These meetings continued and the word of their success spread across the country. By 1949 chapters had developed similar groups and the National Association of Legal Secretaries was formed. NALS began to hold meetings not only on the local level but expanded to include state, regional, and even national meetings focusing on the legal services industry. This was the first time anything of this nature would take place.
NALS was formed and began moving ahead with the goal of enhancing the careers of legal secretaries. As the profession evolved so did NALS. The information needed by legal secretaries was changing along with their job descriptions and the information provided by NALS paralleled this shift. Diversity of membership reflected a changing legal services industry.
After several years of discussion on the topic of a name change to better reflect the nature and membership of NALS, it was determined that NALS would no longer be used as an acronym but rather as a name. This was determined because it was evident something needed to change but the rich history could not be abandoned. NALS determined to go with the new name along with the tag line “…the association for legal professionals” in 1999.
Today NALS remains a leader in the legal services industry offering professional development by providing continuing legal education, certifications, information, and training to those choosing the legal services industry as their career. NALS members represent every area of this industry from paralegals and legal assistants to legal administrators and office managers. Because of this diversity and an openness to welcome all members of the industry, NALS offers a broad spectrum of expertise to make the programs offered valuable to all members of the legal services industry. This allows NALS members to learn about other areas of the industry, making career enhancement as well as advancement easily attainable.