engage | inspire|enhance | promote

​Douglas-Carson Legal Professionals



Vicki Van Pelt

Vicki, now semi-retired, is a long-time member of NALS and DCLP. She held her last job, as the sole employee of a sole practitioner, Wayne S. Chimarusti, for over 22 years. Mr. Chimarusti has now retired, and Vicki dots her calendar with temp jobs. She is enjoying her freedom from the 9 to 5 drudge. Vicki encourages all legal support professionals to join NALS and become active in the local chapter.

Editor of the Tickler (DCLP Newsletter)

Maria Nelson, PLS

Maria has been in the legal field for over 40 years. Her mentor was Perry Mason and she wanted to be another Della Street. Maria attended Business College in Reno after graduating from Bishop Manogue high school. After Business College, she began working for a Reno law firm. In 1983 Maria moved with her husband and two sons to Carson City and began working for a local attorney. In 1993 Maria began working with Allison Joffee and has been with her ever since. Since 1983, Maria has belonged to the Douglas-Carson Legal Professionals holding several offices in the local and state chapters, and continues to be involved in this organization. In 1992, Maria obtained her PLS certification through NALS and continues educating herself in the legal field. She has attended the State Bar Family Law Seminar four times with Allison, has attended several legal-related seminars in Reno and continues to attend various meetings and seminars to further her legal education. Maria has been married to her high school sweet heart since 1976. She has two sons and one fabulous grandson.


Caryn Haller, ALP

Caryn has worked as a paralegal with Sullivan Law since 2015 after a 13-year career as a newspaper journalist. She has her Accredited Legal Professional certification and is also a Notary Public. The skills she used as a journalist have translated well into the law world enabling her to listen to client needs and track down the information needed to assist them with their case quickly and efficiently. Caryn has lived in Carson Valley since 2007, and wouldn’t dream of calling any other place home.

Vice President

Mary Baldecchi, PP, PLS, CLA

Mary Baldecchi has been a member of NALS for more than 30 years. She is a charter member of DCLP, and she has held most of the offices on the state and local levels. She worked for George M. Keele, Esq., of Minden as a legal assistant over 20 years, and is employed currently with the Heritage Law Group in Minden. 

Public Information Officer

Darci Hayden, PP-SC

Darci has been a member of NALS since 2010, a NALS-certified Professional Paralegal since 2011 and recently obtained a Specialty Certificate in Administrative Law. She has been employed since 2004 with the State of Nevada and is currently with the Nevada Commission on Ethics as the Senior Legal Researcher. Darci obtained her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies from Western Nevada College in 2009 and, in her spare time, happily maintains DCLP's Facebook page and website and enjoys reaching out to the public to share the awesome benefits DCLP and NALS has to offer. Darci has lived in Washoe Valley Nevada with her husband of 26 years since 1998.

March 1, 2017 Installation of DCLP'S officers: 

caryn,  Sharon, vicki and mary


Sharon Coates, PP, PLS

Sharon Coates, PP, CP works at the Nevada Supreme Court as an Executive Assistant II. Sharon grew up in Southern California and moved to Nevada with her husband and daughter in 1997. She enjoys reading, hiking/walking, bicycling, and cruising. She graduated from WNC with a double AS degree in Paralegal Studies and Law Office Administration. She has been a member of NALS since 1998. Sharon received her NALS PLS (now CP) certification in 2002 and PP certification in 2004. She has served as chapter and state President and on several national committees.


engage | inspire | enhance | 

Engage legal professionals on their terms;

Inspire legal professionals to want more;

Enhance the careers of legal professionals;

Promote legal professionals and the legal support industry.




We are a non-profit affiliation of NALS...the Association for Legal Professionals, better known as NALS. Our members share NALS' mission and goals and strive to "engage, inspire, enhance and promote" the legal professionals in our area of Northern Nevada. NALS is a tri-level organization and when you are a member of one level you are a member of all three; national, state and local.

The Douglas Carson Legal Secretaries Association was chartered in 1985 with 10 members and has evolved to what we have today, the Douglas-Carson Legal Professionals currently at 16 members. The name change is due to the change at the national level to include all legal support professionals. Nevada totals 52 members.

We meet once a month for lunch at Reds Old 395 Grill in Carson City, Nevada.  We also hold workshops and host state events in rotation with our sister chapters, NALS of Washoe County and NALS of Las Vegas.  Our State chapter NALS of Nevada sponsors our two state meetings and an annual Legal Survivor Course, all geared towards offering continued legal education to assist our members with maintaining certification.  Our events also provide general professional development training and networking opportunities.