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Our Mission

The International Practice Management Association (IPMA) is the premier resource for information and education on the management of paralegals and other practice support professionals in law firms and law departments globally. Its mission is to advocate for the effective use and management of these professionals, to promote and enhance the proficiency and professionalism of its members, and to provide thought leadership to the membership, the legal industry and the public at large on the value of utilization and management of paralegals and other practice support professionals.

Volunteer for the IPMA

Shape the future of the IPMA and boost your recognition within the legal community!

Volunteering for the IPMA offers rewarding professional development experience, and it's an excellent opportunity to grow your network. Select from Committee, Chapter, and Board roles that can be assigned on a long-term, short-term, or even a one-time basis.

It's easy to sign up! Email IPMA Headquarters at info@theipma.org.

The needs of the association are constantly evolving. If you have an interest in an area not listed or if you have talents that you wish to share, please let us know!


IPMA Volunteerism: A Foundation of Strength

The International Practice Management Association (IPMA) is a not-for-profit professional association which has been granted tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States. This is the typical IRS classification for professional associations.

Since its founding in 1984 as the Legal Assistant Management Association, the members of the International Practice Management Association have generously devoted their time and talents to shape and mold the IPMA into the high-quality organization that it is today and, as time marches on, new volunteers are needed to assist in the work of the association.


What Is an Association?

Many children say they want to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, or firefighter when they grow up. Few say they want to grow up to work for an association yet, each of the professions mentioned is represented by at least one association.

Associations that represent a profession are called professional or individual membership societies or associations. Individuals join to learn the most up-to-date information about their profession and to share common ideas and commradiere with others in the same profession.

Professional associations are not owed by an individual, by stockholders or by an entity. Any profits that a professional association may accrue are to be used to advance its not-for-profit, tax-exempt purposes.

The history of associations can be traced to the early guilds and trade organizations of 16th century England and, throughout history, the sharing of skills for the common good has been at the forefront of their progress. Today, there are over 200,000 documented associations in the United States and Canada alone, and the same spirit of sharing among peers continues as members devoted hundreds of millions of volunteer hours to advance their individual organizations and their members.

Professional associations customarily have a volunteer Board of Directors who are elected by the membership. The Board of Directors oversees the operations of the association and works in partnership with its staff and committee, task force, and chapter leaders on the long-range direction and development of the organization.

Professional associations generally operate with a variety of committees or task forces designed to accomplish goals and objectives that are in alignment with the overall strategic plan of the organization. Today's associations have commonly moved from a heavily structured committee model to one that allows for any combination of committees, task forces, or individual task efforts depending on the needs of the organization. Regardless of the arrangement, all associations rely on the efforts of member volunteers to advance the progress of the association in meeting the varied and changing needs of its membership.

Many associations have chapters on a local or regional level that provide a more frequent source of contact for members. Chapters can have a membership population of a handful to thousands and may be totally volunteer-operated or may have their own staff and Board of Directors. Regardless of the size of the membership or the operating structure, chapters also rely on member volunteer efforts to advance the local program of events and activities.