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Notary Bulletin

2020 Notary of the Year: Alan Warren

People would notice if Louisiana Notary Alan Warren didn’t show up because he’s one of the people holding everything together. But that’s the thing about Warren — he always shows up.

The civil law Notary does his church’s taxes and cooks for the congregation; he works to heal a blighted neighborhood in Shreveport and manages subsidized housing; and he notarizes a vast variety of documents every day as a legal assistant at a military base that keep the U.S. Air Force and its personnel up in the air.

On top of this, Warren has served as the president of the Professional Civil Law Notary Association, where he defined standards of practice and set learning objectives for the organization’s notary education programs. Louisiana’s Notaries operate under civil law, which permits them to draft and record many legal documents — duties that can only be performed by attorneys in other states. Warren considers these duties a blessing that allow him to help even more people, particularly those who otherwise could not afford legal help.

Because of his outstanding service to his community, his work ensuring mission readiness at the Barksdale Air Force Base and his commitment to educating Notaries, Warren has been selected as the 2020 Notary of the Year. The National Notary Association annually awards the honor to an outstanding Notary Public who demonstrates a level of professionalism and ethical conduct that sets a high standard for other Notaries to emulate.

In addition to excellence in performing notarial acts, recipients are distinguished by their achievements in several other areas, including community service, legislative advocacy, public speaking and more.

“I liked helping people and caring for people,” Warren says. “As I grew older, I had a desire to help, to try and make a difference in people’s lives.”

Notary advocacy

Seeing where he is needed and doing his part comes naturally to Warren, but becoming a Notary in the first place was a bit trickier than he imagined.

After retiring from the Air Force, where he spent most of his time in the Security Police, he landed his job as a legal assistant at Barksdale in 2007. The job included drafting and notarizing legal documents for 4,000+ service personnel and their families, so he was required to become a Notary.

In Louisiana, Notary applicants must pass a very demanding exam, which requires extensive study, and most people fail on their first try. He failed the test on his first try by one point. He had to wait six months to take the it again, and failed again. He remembers looking at his online personnel records, noticed that he had been terminated for failure to get commission as a Notary; but no one had told him.

“The system had terminated me, but they were going to give me another chance,” he said. “I took the exam a third time and passed all sections with flying colors.” The experience helped instill in him an abiding appreciation for Notary education.

As a result of ongoing study and his job, Warren has developed a breadth of knowledge of a vast array of documents that cross his desk every day, some of which other Notaries may never see.

“By the time I’d been here two years, I’d done more Notary work than others do in their whole careers,” he said. He drafts all types of documents for service members heading overseas. Because of his diverse knowledge, he gets referrals and trains other Notaries to handle such cases.

Warren is passionate about the civil law system and preserving it in Louisiana because he says it was designed to ensure that ordinary people without financial means can afford legal services, which is a way of ensuring people are served justice.

Warren purses his advocacy through his ongoing activism with the Professional Civil Law Notary Association (PCLNA). In fact, he served two terms as the organization’s president, finishing the last term in May 2019.

Since joining the PCLNA in 2007, he has worked to develop a strong curriculum in notarial procedures, legal requirements and best practices. If you don’t know how to do everything you’re authorized to do by the law, you’ll be of less help to the community.

Humanitarian intervention

Helping others has become his mantra, exemplified by the outreach he does for his church, where he has served as a deacon for more than 20 years. Among other things, he visits and shops for two elderly shut-ins. He even handles the finances for one of them, a military widow, after he discovered that people were taking advantage of her.

He recalls a probate case in particular, which his office does not normally handle. The case was urgent, however. The widow of a deceased service member needed to transfer property into her name and her child’s name — a process known as a succession — so she could sell the property and move home. In most states, only attorneys can take on such cases.

Warren offered to draft and file. the necessary documents. "The property was transferred into her name in less than a week. She was able to move back home.” Had he not stepped in, she would have had to pay a lawyer around $3,500 or a Notary on the outside around $1,200.

Through his church he helps run a subsidized housing complex of 65 units that the church owns. He’s vice president of the board, a volunteer position.

“We have the best subsidized housing units in the city,” he said. “We keep one of the best apartment complexes in town. And we re-invest every dime earned back into the units.”

He likes to joke that the best job with the church is cooking. He helps feed 150 people or more about twice quarterly at large events, helps order supplies and ensures food service certifications are completed.

His church work also led to a position on the board of directors for Shreveport Common, a non-profit organization that works to revitalize a blighted neighborhood.

“The object is to revitalize a deserted, raggedy part of the city, and we’re slowly doing it,” he said. “We’ve got millions invested into the area. We’re encouraging property owners to bring their properties up to standards. Our intention is to have developers come in and build new homes with commercial and residential in the area; walkable neighborhoods with retail.” As part of the group’s efforts, it opened the city's first urban park in November 2019.

Warren has been so busy with all his activities, he’s hardly had time to breathe, but as he turned 58 this year, his thoughts have shifted to the future. He’s considering working for a few more years and then going to law school. He’s already taken a sample LSAT and he “passed with flying colors.”

If he becomes a lawyer, he plans to use his new position to do the usual — help those who wouldn’t normally be able to afford his services.

 

 

View All: NNA News

11 Comments

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Dorothy Burkhalter

27 Jul 2020

Congratulations sir! Very well deserved.

Tamira Thayne

27 Jul 2020

Well done, sir! As a fellow Air Force veteran, I commend your continued service to your community in whatever way you can. Very inspiring.

Dawn Elachi

27 Jul 2020

Congratulations!

JackieTucker

27 Jul 2020

Congratulations Alan Warren..you have worked very hard in your achievements. May you continue to be victorious in your life goals and plans. I'm researching the possibility of creating a new business as a successful, reliable notary in the state of Texas.

Ruby Watts

27 Jul 2020

Congratulations, to a person well deserved of this title, Notary of the Year. Keep up the excellent work you're doing. God bless and keep you in His Spirit.

Tracy Edington

27 Jul 2020

Congratulations,that's wonderful. You have set and shown a higher standard in working ethics and accomplishing a goal.I've read in a Great Book to "Lead by Percept and EXAMPLE". Your doing just that! Again, Congrats Mr. Warren!!😊

Sandra R Jefferson

28 Jul 2020

Congratulations Alan Job well done.

Alice Henault

03 Aug 2020

Congratulations! Well done!

Jasmin Keaton

04 Aug 2020

Congratulations, Alan. You have certainly inspired us as a group. I think one of the main sources of satisfaction in this line of work is knowing that one's efforts are helping people.Pursuing a law degree seems a natural extension of everything you have accomplished so far.Best of luck in your ongoing quest.

Annie

12 Sep 2020

Great inspiration for all Notaries. My respect for all your services.

Pamela

29 Sep 2020

Congratulations on well deserved acknowledgement as Notary and community advocate..be blessed and encouraged

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