This is The Estrin Report's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following The Estrin Report's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
The Estrin Report
CEO, Paralegal Knowledge Institute; CEO & Co-Founder, Organization of Legal Professionals; Editor-in-Chief: KNOW, The Magazine for Paralegals & OLP eJournal; Founder International Paralegal Association; Co-Founder Intern'l Paralegal Management Association
Interests: Learning, teaching, writing, laughing, creating organizations, using my imagination, film, theatre.
Recent Activity
Image
No one goes through childhood saying, “What I want to be when I grow up is a mentor.” That’s like saying, “When I grow up, I want to be an actuary.” It just doesn’t happen that way. When given a chance, believe it or not, not everyone wants the awesome responsibility of carrying someone’s future career in their hands. That is, of course, if you take being a mentor seriously. I first learned of Jamie Collins when she literally picked up the phone, called me and told me that I was going to be her mentor. I’m sure she has... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Estrin Report
Image
Recently, I was a speaker at the Los Angeles Paralegal Association's 19th Annual Spring Conference. The theme was the Paralegal Career - What's happening today; alternative careers and the ever-talked about licensing, registration and regulation. What can I say? It was informative, lively and eye-opening. I was invited to be on the alternative careers panel. Oh, boy. Having taken one of the most unorthodox career paths in paralegal history, this is a topic I knew. There were going to be 3 people on the panel. A litigation paralegal doing something else interesting, a legal administrator who was never a paralegal... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2015 at The Estrin Report
Image
Just about every week, the question of whether to license paralegals comes up. What never comes up is the real "why". Oh sure, you'll hear ramblings on and on as to the pros and the cons. The reasoning includes how paralegals are supposed to come under the supervision of attorneys anyway (as though this relieves them somehow of major responsibility); whether it should be statutory licensing or certification; how it will help to ensure minimum qualification standards for the profession; result in paralegals gaining greater personal respect from attorneys and maybe even result in higher pay. I just read an... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2015 at The Estrin Report
I got all excited. The NALA salary survey was out. Time to find out what paralegals around the country were making. And then the other shoe dropped. I'm not a statistics expert. I don't claim to be. However, I am an advocate of higher salaries. Frankly, I don't know of advocates for lower salaries. I started to read the "small print" in the salary survey and all I can say is, buyer beware or at least question the information your employer is using. While the NALA survey is generally thought of to be a quality survey, I noticed that only... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at The Estrin Report
Image
Today I'm here to tell you about one of the most powerful days in my life. It was transforming. Awe-inspiring. A day filled with tremendous personal freedom. It was the day I quit. I'm pretty sure you're prepared to read some humdrum piece about a colossally awful job, with a dreadful boss, and the day I belted out a song that included the words, "these stilettos were made for walking." This ain't it. Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2015 at The Estrin Report
Image
Show me an employee who says the money doesn't matter and I'll show you someone whose nose is growing. Paralegals are now facing a tremendous game changer - the advent of technology plays a significant factor in whether or not you make good money. Statistics show that paralegals without technology know-how earn fewer dollars than those that have the skills. That doesn't mean you have to be a programmer or expert, it means that those paralegals who continue to claim Microsoft Office Suite, Word, Excel and PowerPoint as their mainstays are so far stuck in the past, they may as... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at The Estrin Report
Image
This hybrid position is an insult to the field. These firms combine the paralegal/legal assistant (or legal secretary) positions. This move pushes the paralegal field down and demotes the paralegal by adding responsibilities that are better delegated to a lower competent level. If you are asked, “How fast do you type?” in an interview, beware! You’re most likely going to be expected to perform secretarial duties. Let me ask you: Have you fought your way through your career to get more sophisticated responsibilities only to be asked to have half your job duties coming from the spot on the org chart below you? I think not. Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2015 at The Estrin Report
Image
It's a sure-footed, absolute and positive, no mistakin' it gamble. Switching specialties, that is. Bored with what you're doing? Fed up with a paltry salary? Peeking over the fence to see who makes more money? Seeking that enigma: better challenge? Tonya Pierce addresses the topic today. She's making some good points. The main one being: THINK before you leap (and other relevant cliches). Enjoy! The days of general practice law firms may have passed. Many attorneys are choosing to specialize to be more marketable. Law firms are following suit [pardon any puns] by specializing in one or two areas of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2015 at The Estrin Report
Image
Cover letters are usually boring. About 98% of the time it’s entirely possible that your cover letter is just like the last one that the employer read. In fact, while not word-for-word, I'll bet it goes something like: To whom it may concern: “I noticed your ad for a litigation paralegal. I am an experienced paralegal with 10 years of experience. I have attached my resume for your review. I am seeking a challenging position which offers me the opportunity for growth. I have extensive litigation experience and excellent skills: I have great attention to detail, am organized, an expert... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at The Estrin Report
Image
Oh, for heaven's sake! First we read for years how the major firms are going to go under, disband or simply disappear and now we're reading out go the midsize firms. What's going to be left? Teeny, tiny little firms or solos? What does this mean for the paralegal? Probably a lot. Already, a new trend is sweeping the country: the combining of the paralegal with the legal secretarial position. That means a new set of skills for paralegals. Does it mean more money? Not necessarily. Is it a downgrade or will the legal secretarial duties no longer be considered... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2015 at The Estrin Report
2015! Predictions for each new year is a c**pshoot. How can you know? Based on what? I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that most likely, predictions are based upon the previous year's trends. They certainly don't come out of the blue. Really now, predictions shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone. That is if you've kept up with facts, forecasts and fantasies. OK, I've missed a few here and there. However, let me try my hand at five and at the end of 2015, let's see how close I came. I'll bet anyone $.25 on these.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Image
"Here is what Robert Denny says is slated to happen in 2015. My take on things is that he's probably 95% correct for lawyers. But then again, I'm only concerned with paralegals and sometimes what's hot doesn't always apply to high volumes of paralegals. My best advice? Ride that dang horse the direction it's going." Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Image
I order up the snowmobile. I hop on Realtor.com. I find out that for the price of a garage in L.A., I can have a mansion on a lake with my own personal boat dock. I realize I'll need floaties. Not a bad deal - even if I don't know how to sail. Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Image
Our guest blogger today is Katherine Giacolone, The Corporate Nanny All too often we have conflicting work priorities. We're all working managers with daily tasks that have to get done and new assignments that come and go. We don't have a whole lot of room for organizational emergencies or pop-up projects! But the emergencies and pop-ups are going to come, and the boss is likely to push the panic button. Let's face it, the world changes on a dime these days, so many times our bosses are reacting to their bosses' requests - and you know what happens in a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Image
"The manner in which some candidates were approaching their job search was not going to land them a position with anyone, ever. The funny thing is, none of them thought they're doing anything wrong. After all, they wrote a great resume, cover letter, wore their Sunday Best and gave 'em hell during the interview.". Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Image
What Attorneys Really Think About Paralegals - Inside Scoop CBE: Let’s talk politics. Why can some attorneys work with paralegals until midnight but wouldn’t be caught dead having lunch with them. What’s with the caste system? ASB: Arrogance. Don’t try to change things. It’s not going to happen. It’s not a reflection on you. It’s all about the attorney’s ego. These are things beyond your power to change. Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Image
Although IQ plays an important role in personal success, especially in complex disciplines such as the sciences, studies have demonstrated that emotional intelligence—or EQ—can play an even more important role. In fact, experts in this field argue that IQ contributes only 20% to life success. Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Image
Be Out-Rage-Ous....Not Just Out of the Box.... Today we have the pleasure of Mark Gorkin, MSW, LICSW, the "Stress Doc" as our guest blogger. Enjoy! Early on in my migration to the Internet, I christened myself AOL’s “Online Psychohumorist” ™. Along with a part-time psychotherapy practice and the moniker “Stress Doc” ™, I was writing short psychological pieces for both AOL and Rick Estep’s pioneering jokes/humor newsletter. My stories were infused with a strong dose of wit and humor. Throw in the myriad DSM-psychiatric labels strewn on both sides of my family tree…well the title definitely seemed apt. It certainly... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Image
You might be stressed out if.....You have seriously pondered entering the paralegal protection program in an effort to actually step away from that papyrus covered desk, as you flee the legal perimeter to play a fun little game called “Paralegal Evading Esquire Hide-And-Go-Seek,” so you can actually eat a few blissful calories, away from your desk, for a period of at least 30 whopping minutes to an hour without receiving a single verbal, text or e-mailed request for anything at all. (Got that – nothing. We want to hear absolutely nothing from you during this time if you are in possession of a legal badge. Shhhhh.) Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Image
Confusing the certified with certificate says you don’t know your career. How sad is that? You need to be able to represent yourself correctly. Saying you are certified when you received a certificate of completion or achievement after completing either a course or even a 3-day workshop is not only a misnomer, it could be construed as misrepresentation. Would a lawyer say he/she is a lawyer if they didn’t take the Bar exam? Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Image
"Who can truthfully say they absolutely love what they do? Be honest. While most people open with their “don’t like” list, getting Nikki to confess what she does not like was not going to happen. When pressed, she admitted to difficulty dealing with frustration when, after passionately putting forth a great deal of hard effort, the case ends with a thud." Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Image
Dubois, of course, has to make sure that he cites a paralegal who stole some money as a possible example of why paralegals should not be given more power. Get real, Dubois. Paralegals in that kind of trouble are rare which is why it hits the news. One only has to pick up any monthly magazine such as the California State Bar newsletter and see pages and pages of suspended or disbarred attorneys who have had licenses ripped away for stealing from client's trust accounts. Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Will the traditional law firm survive? If " traditional" encompasses the status quo -- incentives that measure and reward billable hours, a pyramid structure where large numbers of associates are hired, weeded out and then promoted to the partnership by doing really good work and putting in excessive hours, where client matters are each approached in a bespoke manner -- the answer to the title question is "no." Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at The Estrin Report
Ellen: I absolutely love your comments. Perhaps you need a teeny, tiny boost to your self-confidence! In my humble opinion (oh, isn't that IMHO?), paralegals, particularly those with fresh, innovative thoughts such as yourself, should not be shy about posting or writing. Here's the perfect opportunity to get yourself known in the community. Your thoughts are important to other paralegals. They can agree, they can disagree or they can learn. Whatever the response, times have changed and it is important to your career to ride the horse in the direction it is going. In this case, participation in social media will help boost your career!
1 reply
Image
Let's take this social media thing. You're definitely a dinosaur if you're not social mediaing it. So, I'm twittering, I'm linking, I'm facing, I'm blogging, I am pinning (although with what, god only knows) but I'm no closer to anyone than before. Where are my friends? Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2014 at The Estrin Report