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elizabeth root memorial scholarship

Elizabeth Root was a certified paralegal with over 40 years of experience. A long-time, honored member of OCPA, Elizabeth served as a Director, Editor and contributing writer for the Compendium.  She assisted in the planning of, and contributed her expertise to OCPA’s Annual Educational Conference from 2005 to 2010.  She served as the Ethics Chair and on the Mentor Committee, co-chairing its Student Career Conference and was the MCLE Compliance Coordinator for a number of years. She continuously promoted continuing education, career development, and professional recognition for paralegals. She was awarded OCPA’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2012 and NALA’s Affiliated Association Award in 2013 for her dedication to the paralegal profession. Elizabeth passed away on December 26, 2013 and is remembered as a consummate professional, a distinguished paralegal and a good friend to many.

In recognition of her dedicated service to OCPA and the advancement of the paralegal profession, OCPA established the Elizabeth Root Memorial Scholarship.

One (1) scholarship, valued at $500.00, will be awarded to one (1) paralegal or one (1) paralegal student, provided such student did not receive an OCPA student scholarship during the calendar same year, for reimbursement of paralegal education, seminars, meetings, OCPA membership or fees for certifications (example: the NALA certified paralegal ("CP") exam or preparation classes), or the advanced certification ("ACP") exam. Qualified applicants are asked to complete the Entry Form and Essay and submit via email to the OCPA Scholarship Committee at by October 18, 2023All Essays submitted will be considered by the OCPA Scholarship Committee using the Essay Judging Criteria listed below. If the OCPA Scholarship Committee deems no qualified winners, no scholarship will be awarded.

The awards ceremony will be held October 25, 2023 at the October General Meeting.  Winners must be present at the awards ceremony to accept their scholarship.     

  • Eligibility:  Scholarship applicants must be members of the Orange County Paralegal Association.
  • Deadline for submission:  11:59 pm on October 18, 2023
  • Essay Guidelines: 

Elizabeth embraced her career and championed professional ethics, professional development, and shared her education and experience to give a hand up to other paralegals.

Answer the following question in 500-700 words:

Elizabeth Root was dedicated to the paralegal profession, partly by disseminating information to paralegals and students in the Compendium.  How have you utilized your role in school or work to educate and guide others?
  • Submission Guidelines: 
    • Submit completed entry packet (essay and entry form) as an email with attachments to by the deadline of 11:59 pm on October 18, 2023. Incomplete entries may be disqualified.
  • Essay Judging Criteria: 
    • The Scholarship Committee will consider, in no particular order:
    • Did the response address all of the questions
    • Writing and grammar skills
    • Quality of the response

        If you have any questions regarding the Elizabeth Root Memorial Scholarship, please contact the Scholarship Committee at

        past scholarship recipients


         2015  Kayleen Lofgren
         Heather Thompson
         2016  Cristina Gutierrez
         Amera Hajali
         2017  Jack Levi Orman
         Connie Mao

         2021  Margaret McFarlane
         2022 Maria Mayo Cover

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