First Legal Assistant to Join ABA Dies

Linda DeLange Bennett died of breast cancer on November 3, 2010, but not without leaving an impressive mark on the legal system.

In 1983, Bennett was a major contributor to the Texas probate law guidelines, which were published by the State Bar of Texas to help non-lawyers navigate the probate system.
Bennett was the first legal assistant member of the American Bar Association in 1983, given the honor by her supervising attorney, James E. Brill, then the chair of the Law Practice Management Section.
Bennett started her career in 1969, as an inexperienced office assistant and word processor, who learned quickly and gained her impressive knowledge of the Texas probate system.
Bennett’s obituary reveals more about this talented and upbeat woman:

Linda knew her time was short here on this earth and said “I win either way. I will either have more time to spend with the love of my life here or spend eternity with my loving heavenly father.” Linda was a gifted artist and seamstress, had a great sense of humor, and was a loving friend. She had a wonderful spirit and open heart and leaves a legacy of unconditional love and acceptance of family in every form.

She retired, after almost 30 years of service to the James E. Brill P.C. law firm, to care for her husband, Gary, who was seriously injured in a work accident, and described their relationship so beautifully to the Houston Chronicle that it’s hard to read without both smiling and tearing up:

I was always her hero, and she was always mine. It was just like you only find one soulmate in your life, and we both found each other.

Linda, you were a bright light in the world. Thank you for opening so many doors for other legal staffers, as well as to the public to have access to the legal system.
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Legal educators, paralegals, legal assistants, law office administrators and law librarians can join the ABA as Associate members, but the dues are $175 per year, with an additional $60 for each ABA Section joined. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the ABA does not have a Paralegal Division at this time.

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