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Paralegal Affiliates

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With over 400 members and growing, Paralegal Affiliates are dedicated to networking, membership, and education.

Headshot of Olga Patterson, Winner of the 2022 Paralegal of the Year Award

Olga A. Patterson

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA West Palm Beach, FL
2022 Paralegal of the Year AAJ Paralegal Advisory Task Force Leaders Forum Firm

Each year, an outstanding paralegal is chosen as Paralegal of the Year. The 2022 winner is Olga Patterson, a NALA Advanced Certified Paralegal with over 30 years of experience in medical malpractice litigation, mass torts, and personal injury litigation. Olga is the immediate Past-President of the Paralegal Association of Florida, Palm Beach County Chapter and is currently Vice Chair on the Florida Bar Registered Paralegal Committee. She is a member of numerous other paralegal associations and has devoted her free time to help fellow paralegals grow and become part of the legal community.


Paralegal of the Year

View Past Winners

  • 2020 Recipient - Kim Martel
  • 2019 Recipient - Lisa West
  • 2018 Recipient - Alesia Emison
  • 2017 Recipient - Amy Johnson
  • 2016 Recipient - Patti Artavia
  • 2015 Recipient - Christine Flynn
  • 2014 Recipient - Regina Valenti
  • 2013 Recipient - Dennyce Korb
  • 2011 Recipient - Christina Koch
  • 2009 Recipient - Linda Whipple
  • 2008 Recipient - Lori Tracoma
  • 2007 Recipient - Natalie Andrus
  • 2006 Recipient - Julie D. Hunt
  • 2005 Recipient - Julie L. McLaughlin

Nomination and Criteria


A candidate must be nominated by an AAJ Attorney Member in good standing or by another AAJ Paralegal Affiliate. The 2023 nomination period is now open. Applications are due May 1.


Judges look for the following qualities/experience:

1) Contributions to the paralegal profession by:

  • Teaching or tutoring paralegal students

  • Speaking at seminars and conventions on issues concerning the profession

  • Mentoring paralegal students

  • Displaying commitment and providing services to professional organizations such as local and national paralegal associations

  • Writing articles for legal publications

2) Commitment to continuing legal education
3) Commitment to community through volunteering

Judges also look for candidates who have demonstrated their value as members of a legal services team, shown dedication to the legal profession, and shown dedication to AAJ's mission.

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