NALI NATIONAL DIRECTOR’S – ONE ON ONE
1. WHAT IS NALI ALL ABOUT?
NALI is about people- people providing special services to and for other people. NALI’s motto is, “without true facts, there can be no justice.” Isn’t that the truth! To that end, the members of NALI endorse, promote and safeguard the highest professional ethics of the legal investigative profession and explore, cultivate, and advance those arts and sciences. Our members routinely provide litigation support investigative services to and for private attorneys and public defenders who practice law in the civil and criminal disciplines. NALI was founded in 1967 and is the oldest and most prestigious association of legal investigators servicing the legal community within the USA and beyond. NALI subsequently created and runs its world renown Certified Legal Investigator Professional Board Certification (CLI) which is still as relevant today as when it was introduced in 1978. Highly skilled, professional Legal Investigators make up the body of NALI’s membership and governing officers and directors. Over the years, NALI has set benchmarks for investigative ethics and established high standards for the practice of legal investigation. We educate, assist, and service our members and their clients. We also provide a plethora of member benefits to assist them in their mission to seek the truth in the name of justice.
2. WHY WOULD A LEGAL INVESTIGATOR WANT TO JOIN NALI?
That’s an easy question to answer. Any legal investigator that conducts litigation support investigative services for an attorney in any discipline needs to routinely improve oneself to be the best they can be. NALI is a friendly group of competent professionals to which an investigator can turn for help in improving their investigative acumen. Our professional development and continuing education seminars and trainings are extremely informative, interactive and didactic; they are taught by world class, well known, extremely competent and skilled presenters and educators in locations all over the USA and will soon be held in other countries. NALI also realizes the need to instruct new legal investigators entering the profession. What better way to set an example of investigative excellence to those who do not have a great deal of experience and are seeking professional training and continuing education. And, typically, many new legal investigators don’t know where to find consistent and effective training and support. Well, we are here for you, will welcome you, and assist you to reach your full potential. In the end, we are all better off with smarter, ethics conscious, and more efficient Legal Investigators. And, of course, NALI offers a dynamic social experience as well as a myriad of benefits to enhance the NALI experience.
3. CAN ANY INVESTIGATOR JOIN NALI, AND HOW IS NALI GOVERNED?
The short answer is not every investigator can join NALI. But any in house law firm staff investigator and licensed private investigator who provides litigation support investigative services for attorneys and law firms can join. New investigators can join in an associate capacity and seek active membership when their experience level reaches our bylaw threshold, yet they enjoy over 90% of the same benefits as an active member. Attorneys and experts can join NALI through our Professional Affiliate membership class. We now have an International class of membership that stretches from North America, across Europe, to Asia. NALI is a professional organization and operates by bylaws which divides the USA into seven (7) geographical regions and an International Region; all regions are represented by their elected Regional Directors who each have a voice and vote on NALI’s governing Executive Council, which also includes three (3) elected Executive Officers. We have a seasoned management company and Executive Director who administrates the business of NALI. NALI runs like a well-oiled machine to benefit our members and the clients we service.
4. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS OF NALI?
There are many benefits available to all NALI members such as:
- A member list-serv and member directory access to like minded competent professionals who are a phone call or email away. Our member only list-serv provides a free exchange of information, referrals, ideas and assistance requests to assist the member whenever necessary. Our specialized member directory is available to the public, and is often used by members, attorneys and employers who are seeking a skilled investigator in a specific or different geographical location. If you need a legal investigator halfway across the country or world, go to the membership directory and, voila, you can find a legal investigator who specializes in a specific discipline.
- World class professional development and continuing educational training seminars held across the USA at reduced rates for NALI members are organized and endorsed by NALI. Any investigator, attorney, or expert can attend. NALI grants continuing education credits (CEC’s) for participation. Education is our most important mission and we take it seriously.
- Our CLI Program, arguably the investigative world’s most coveted certification, is run by NALI’s professional certification board, the CLI Committee. NALI members enjoy reduced application rates from those of non-members who can also apply for the CLI Exam. There is a CLI website and listing of CLI’s on NALI’s website, www.NALI.com. And after having passed the stringent testing of the CLI exam, it can and will open doors for the new CLI’s business and improve his or her reputation.
- Our NALI publications, The Legal Investigator (TLI), which is published at least two (2) times per year, and our NALI NEWS Newsletters, provide free professional and instructional articles on various aspects and disciplines of legal investigation. Recognition is provided to our member authors in the form of Editor- Publisher Awards each year which boosts the award winners’ reputation. The TLI is distributed to members, advertisers, business partners, and lawyers and law firms, among others.
- We have a discounted Insurance Program; discounted programs through various providers; a NALI member Scholarship Program available to eligible family members each year; a Legacy Member Program that provides recognition to longtime members; and a very professional, eye popping member certificate suitable for public display.
- Perhaps the most significant member benefit available to NALI members is the life-long friendships and business relationships that are developed as a result of NALI membership. Some of my best friends are NALI members in different areas of the country and in other countries. You become like family. And you are treated with dignity and respect. To me, that is priceless.
5. WHY WOULD AN ATTORNEY HIRE A NALI MEMBER INVESTIGATOR VERSUS AN INVESTIGATOR WHO IS NOT A MEMBER?
I have a great respect for competent legal investigators who are not NALI members. In fact, I invite them all to join NALI. We want you to DISCOVER NALI and be a part of our unique professional association. To answer the question: our membership application vetting process is comprehensive. It mandates a detailed investigation that is accomplished by the Regional Director of the applicant’s region. A personal interview is conducted with the applicant, along with a requirement of specific and detailed letters of recommendation from hiring attorneys and/or employers. They may be called to verify the applicant’s investigative acumen and experience. A detailed civil and criminal background is accomplished. Information contained within the six (6) page member application is verified and fact checked. Licensing must be submitted if required and the licensing entity of the applicant’s state is contacted. After the investigation, the Regional Director either approves or denies the applicant or may recommend a different class of membership. Either way, the National Director then reviews the applicant’s file for final approval or denial. Sounds intimidating, I know. But the benefit of an attorney hiring a NALI member legal investigator is he or she knows the legal investigator has had a thorough vetting process and, chances are, the attorney is going to be confident that the NALI member is going to deliver a competent, high quality investigation quickly and efficiently. Does that equate to more referrals? I’d like to think so. In fact, I know so as this has been my experience.
6. IS IT IMPORTANT TO BRING YOUNGER AND MORE DIVERSE LEGAL INVESTIGATORS INTO NALI?
It’s certainly important to me! And I think it is vitally important to the future of the profession and NALI, as well as other brother and sister associations that seek to recruit and retain members. Retaining membership is as important as recruiting members. The passion, enthusiasm, and energy of a young legal investigator is magical and uplifting; and just as significant as is maturity, judgment, and wisdom in older, more experienced investigators. There is just something about teaching and educating young investigators that stokes a fire in me. Consequently, our Membership Development Plan will include a mission to target and attract a younger, more diverse audience of Legal Investigators. We need to help build a young or new investigator’s professional acumen and confidence. I am a believer of the adage, “If you build it, they will come.”
7. WHAT IS DISCOVER NALI?
It’s a vision… really an initiative to bring name recognition, value, unity, diversity, inclusivity, increased membership, enhanced benefits, and attorney awareness to the National Association of Legal Investigators. NALI wants attorneys to call you to do business; and we want to be sure we can deliver to you and them. Discover NALI includes the creation of a special Membership Committee to research, write, coordinate and execute a Member Development Plan, which is now underway; you will be hearing more about it soon. This committee will work hand in hand with the Marketing Committee, as well as the Regional Directors, National Officers, and our competent management team to set reasonable goals and objectives and accomplish them in a reasonable timeframe. The initiative includes refreshing and updating our website which is the face of NALI as it needs to be a bit more interactive and inviting. It includes developing and instituting NALI sponsored Online Education programs. A special edition of The Legal Investigator is part and parcel of the Discover NALI initiative. Everything in it is about NALI and what the association and its members can offer to the profession and to NALI. The same holds true within NALI’s website pages.
Friends, the letters NALI are just letters that stand for words. In reality, it’s people that breathe life into those letters and words. Let’s breathe life into the words DISCOVER NALI. There is an open invitation. And a membership application (hyperlink to member app on site) for your consideration. Thank you so much.
John M. Lajoie, CLI, CCDI a well-known Legal Investigator from central Massachusetts is the National Director of the National Association of Legal Investigators, Inc. John has been a NALI member since 1991 and has served NALI in many elected and appointed positions within the organization. To promote the DISCOVER NALI initiative, he answers important questions about the association, and why it is important to your clients and the profession to participate as a member of NALI.