Joanne Boyd, PLS, Scholarship


Joanne K. Boyd, PLS was President of NALS of Pennsylvania (formerly the “Pennsylvania Association of Legal Secretaries” or “PALS”) from 1968-1970 and was a Member of the National Association of Legal Secretaries. She was honored as Pennsylvania Legal Secretary of the Year and was one of only

226 certified professional legal secretaries in the United States. She was the first to receive her Professional Legal Secretary certification (“PLS”) in Pennsylvania and was a great proponent of certification.

Joanne had worked as a legal secretary for 47 years and had been employed by the law firm of Evans, Ivory & Evans in Pittsburgh.  For 27 years, she worked in a private practice for Michael Georgalas as a legal secretary until her illness. Sadly, she passed away on August 18, 2000.

The Pittsburgh Legal Secretaries Association, in conjunction with NALS of Pennsylvania wanted to honor her memory and to commemorate the hard work and dedication of anyone wishing to advance their education in the legal secretarial field, by establishing “The Joanne K. Boyd, PLS Scholarship” (the “Scholarship”) in August 2000.

The Scholarship’s initial intent was to award a NALS of Pennsylvania Member who had passed the PLS certification exam during the current fiscal year.   Since that time, NALS has instituted the additional certification of Professional Paralegal (“PP”), and the certification of the Advanced Legal Secretary (“ALS”) had already been in existence.

In 2010, the Pittsburgh LSA resigned its charter, and its Members are now designated as “at large” Members. Accordingly, the Pittsburgh Members entrusted the handling of the Scholarship to the discretion of the NALS of Pennsylvania Board of Directors (the “Board”).  Therefore, on the date of adoption of the Governance Documents of NALS of Pennsylvania, the Board approved the following for awarding the Scholarship:

NALS of Pennsylvania shall award $100 annually to a Member of NALS of Pennsylvania who has successfully passed the ALS, PLS, or PP exams during that fiscal year. The award will be determined by randomly drawing one name from all those who have successfully passed the ALS, PLS, or PP certifications. In the event no Member has successfully passed the ALS, PLS, or PP exam during the fiscal year, then the names of all currently-certified ALS, PLS, and PP’s shall be placed into a drawing for the awarding of the $100 Scholarship. The Scholarship drawing shall be held during the NALS of Pennsylvania Annual Conference each year.

In the event there are no newly-certified Members during the fiscal year and in order to maintain the integrity of the Scholarship, the Certification Director, or duly-appointed Officer of NALS of Pennsylvania, shall verify through NALS that each certified Member holds a current, valid certification and shall prepare a written report submitted to the Secretary for publication in the program book at the Annual Conference, listing each certified Members’ name and stating that they are eligible to participate in the drawing.

Furthermore, Members holding two certifications will have their name entered twice into the drawing for the $100 Scholarship.

Donations to the Scholarship will be accepted at any time. Anyone wishing to contribute to the Scholarship should submit a check payable to “NALS of Pennsylvania” and forward same to the then- current President of NALS of Pennsylvania.

Joanne K. Boyd, PLS continues to reward Members for their dedication to education and certification and will continue to do so for many years to come.  We thank you Joanne for being a pioneer in your field and for your legacy that allows others to be recognized for being the best that they can be in their careers as legal professionals.