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The Estrin Report
CEO, Paralegal Knowledge Institute; CEO Estrin Legal Staffing; 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
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Here is an article that appeared recently in the Progressive Law Practice magazine. Written by Tami Kamin Meyer "Virtual assistants are hot whether you are a solo practitioner or work in a major law firm," says Chere Estrin, president and founder of The Organization of Legal Professionals. Moreover, she adds, the more tech-savvy the attorney, the easier it is to work with a virtual assistant, also known as a VA. All of this new-found convenience is due, of course, to the advent of technology and the internet. Lawyers chained to the notion that their assistant must be seated at a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at The Estrin Report
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It's who you know. Networking. No matter how you tweet ‘em up, link ‘em out or face ‘em down, if you are not professionally networking on a regular basis, you are clearly committing career suicide. And, let’s not leave out the importance of the old-fashioned, rarely done, one-on-one, face-to-face, in-person meeting, the one where you busted your budget by purchasing the latest designer jeans with built-in dirt and precise structured torn knees for the discounted price of $469.00 so that you can send the message that yes, you can and do fit in with the oh—so-influential-wanna-be-Melrose crowd. There's no such... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2017 at The Estrin Report
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By Tami Kamin Meyers for Progressive Law Practice I was fortunate to be quoted in an article by Tami Kamin-Myers for Progressive Law Practice about ALSPs - Alternative Legal Service Providers. Here is a portion of the article. Please check it out. Thanks! If it seems that ads from businesses offering services supporting the practice of law are popping up on your LinkedIn or Facebook feed more often than they used to, it’s not your imagination. According to a new study (PDF) recently released by Thomson Reuters, Georgetown University Law Center’s Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2017 at The Estrin Report
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Meet a leader: Joseph Spada, Director of Paralegal Certificate Studies, Boston University. Joe plays a significant role in leading and teaching paralegals who are entering the field. If you think back on significant people who influenced your career path as you entered this field, who might that be? Over the years, hundreds and hundreds of paralegals can point to Joe as a definite contributor to the direction, attitude and success they had as they moved forward in this exciting field. Here's why: Joe, tell us about your background. Let's start with your your education, always good for an educator! I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2017 at The Estrin Report
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When I ask a paralegal “What's the next step in your career”, they inevitably tell me what they don’t want. “I don’t want a major firm.” “I don’t want litigation.” “I don’t want….” Rarely, can they tell me what they do want other than “a whole lot of money” or “I want to go in-house.” Sometimes, however, they tell me, “I want an alternative career.” Ok, I’ll say, “What does that mean?” And I get driven right back to the, “I dunno.” The most important thing to remember when considering an alternative career is: “By setting a timeline and creating... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2017 at The Estrin Report
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You’re not reading this article because you’ve gotten the raise of your dreams. You’re reading it because a) you want the raise of your dreams b) you didn’t get the raise of your dreams and need corrective action or c) it ain’t gonna happen. To c), I say, maybe not. But hey, at least I'm honest here. However, there are concrete steps you can take to get the process in motion. Sitting back, waiting for the firm to take all the action is most definitely a career rear-ender. Why? You become a victim to your circumstances. The firm has all... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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It’s that time again. We struggle as to whether it’s time to change jobs, hang in there or be thankful we’re in the best firm in the world. Well, maybe the best. OK, the best so far. Working with a good recruiter can make your career. Here’s the inside scoop: Recruiters, and I am talking about the staffing agency kind, hold the keys to literally hundreds of contacts they have built up over the years. They have the ears of the hiring authorities of the very firms you want to get into. Those who don’t understand the power and value... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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Stress doesn't really scare me. It is part and parcel of our lives. Why, might you ask, would anyone say that? Probably because in the second half of my work life, I have found the secrets to a relatively stress free career. Article after article has been written about stress. It’s the same old, same old: manage your stress, have a plan, stay positive, visualize your last trip to Hawaii in the sun-soaked terrain, exercise daily and get regular hot rock massages. That, or have a glass of good white wine, get in the bathtub with lots of Evelyn &... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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It’s a whole new world out there for paralegals. If you are not riding the horse in the direction it’s going, you are going to be left behind. Why? Because whether you are seeking a new position, looking to expand in your role at your present job or merely suiting up and showing up (let’s be honest here), staying complacent and ignoring the trends is, well, death to your career. Here are just a few of the most recent trends of which you need to be aware: Hottest, most requested software package for litigation paralegals: Relativity. Employers can’t get enough... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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It’s a dirty word. I’ll be surprised if it gets printed here so I’ll whisper: office politics…. (Shhhhhhh!) Your mother may have told you that nice professionals don’t do that sort of thing. Anyone who tells me they “avoid office politics” is really telling me that they are heavy into the game. Politics are an integral part of the world of work. Truth be told, what’s really behind office politics, however, is fear. Fear of what could, might or does happen. No one I know likes to admit that they play office politics or worse yet, that they are pretty... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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On occasion, you meet an exception to the rule. This is the case with Paula Delp, one of the highest paid Workers Compensation Paralegals in the country, if not the highest. What a breath of fresh air! Great attitude, smart, dedicated....ok, I digress here. It takes a lot to impress me and believe me, I'm impressed. Generally known as a low paying specialty, Workers Compensation is often under-rated in its complexity of skill sets required. There are two sides of the specialty: applicant and defense. Working with this specialty in recruiting for several well-known, well-respected firms, I have interviewed literally... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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American Heroes. They are among us. Look to the right. Look to the left. Looking right in front of us is Conni Hebert, ACP, smack dab in the paralegal field whom I had the privilege of getting to know. What an astounding background. A paralegal for over 23 years, Conni developed an interest in the legal field while serving active duty in the U.S. Air Force. She is a Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran and received the National Defense Service Medal and the U.S. Air Force Achievement Medal for her contributions to the Gulf War mission. In a nutshell,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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Networking is an Art. Networking. How many times have we heard it? It’s like saying, “Bless you” when you sneeze. It has, in a sense, lost its real meaning. How you network can make all the difference in your career success. If you want to get ahead, your networking skills have to be sharp, savvy and yes, leveraged in such a way to propel you forward. Otherwise, you pretty much run the risk of getting overlooked for promotions, considered as a great candidate for a new job or advancing your current position. When given a choice, people will always do... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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"Don’t be afraid to get shot down. I’ll never forget one of my first successes. I had just passed the successful entrepreneurial mark. I went out and bought a Mercedes. Giggling like two girls, we got in. We rubbed the real leather, we moved the seats back and forth. We played with the radio and didn’t understand all the switches. We loved it. I finally said to her, “Well, Mom, what do you think of your girl?” She looked at me for a moment and she said, “I think this is great, honey. Is this a Toyota?” Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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While many victims of weight bias have suspected their appearance has been hurting their careers, two past studies analyzing decades' worth of research showed just how pervasive the problem is. The bulk of research has shown that the bias tends to be felt most by overweight white women, who are battling both the glass ceiling and the stigma of being heavy. Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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"eDiscovery and Litigation Support Project Management are the hottest areas paying some of the highest salaries and offering challenging and upwardly mobile career opportunities. It is not unusual to see salaries for Senior Litigation Support Project Managers in the upper $150,000 at major law firms or at Top Tier Legal Support Providers." Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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Aretha Franklin sang to the world about it. The subject is included when employees, girlfriends, wives, husbands, boyfriends, grandmothers and pets are asked how they want to be treated. I’m talking about respect. R-E-S-P-E-C-T, as Ms. Franklin would put it. In my travels across the country as a paralegal educator, speaker, author and staffing expert, I noticed a difference between the temperaments of law firm and in-house legal department paralegals. Was I imagining it or did most in-house paralegals seem more at peace, less stressed, easier to get along with while law firm paralegals seemed tougher, ready for battle, and... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your paralegal career is to not leverage your background. In fact, when faced with either entering the field or changing positions, the words "transferable skills" sometime seem to make a beeline for the exit as candidates get it into their heads that obscure skills in their past are not related to current positions. What am I telling you to do? I have witnessed construction workers become litigation construction paralegals. Who better can read blueprints? Entertainers become entertainment paralegals. Who understands royalties better? How about travel agents, food servers, airline stewards (do... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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LinkedIn With Donald Trump! (Legal Ethics) "Donald Trump loves me! It is certainly clear that he can spot a winner – a leader in the profession, at the top of their game. I'm sure that describes me, and must be why he has requested to join my massive and influential LinkedIn network (of a moderate, real-world scale, of course)." Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2016 at The Estrin Report
You may remember Jamie Collins—one of our top writers. Today I'm pleased to feature one of her posts on The Estrin Report. I am excited to announce that Jamie is not only writing in the legal genre these days, but also recently launched a personal blog called: Just Being Jamie. So what is this new blog? It’s pretty much Jamie writing on a wide variety of topics, with no set rules, Just Being Jamie. She never hits the page lightly. One day she’ll make you laugh. The next day, she’ll make you weep. (She really does. You should give it... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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"No one goes through childhood saying, “When I grow up I want to be a mentor.” That’s like saying, “When I grow up, I want to be an actuary.” When given a chance, believe it or not, not everyone wants the awesome responsibility for someone else's career." Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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Nothing is worse than making a mistake that could be a career buster.” Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2016 at The Estrin Report
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We all want career happiness. So why, for some people, is it so hard to get? It is remarkably sad that so many people end up devoting their careers to jobs that don’t make them happy. They don’t start out that way, of course. It just ends up that as they get further along in their chosen job, they discover they’re not very happy. It could be attributed to a number of things: The people aren’t very nice. The hours are too long. The boss is a jerk. There’s no flexibility. The work is boring. There’s no chance for advancement.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2015 at The Estrin Report
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When you think about being a paralegal, the general picture that's conjured up is a bunch of attorneys, a paralegal an arm's length from those attorneys, a file clerk frantically looking for the document the attorney swears he never had, phones ringing, computers crashing (well, they do....), chaos, activity, energy, excitement and calm. Calm? Well, I thought I'd throw that in there. Somehow, you don't conjure up a paralegal perhaps 600 miles away, doing your work, turning it in before the deadline, moving on to the next client, booking business, doing back office work, marketing, filling up her calendar months... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2015 at The Estrin Report
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Our guest blogger today is Mark Gorkin, The Stress Doc. How to Talk to the Bully: Five Strategic Tools, Techniques, and Tips Now that we have a definition of bullying and some key psychosocial conditions that encourage this often demeaning, ego- or power-driven, and manipulative process, let's continue with the final segment...How to engage and set limits on the bully and bullying interaction by employing absurdity and metaphor: Be Affirming with Realistic Expectations Be Courageously Absurd and Use the Power of Metaphor Announce an Intention to Bring in a Third Party Facilitated Confrontation or Conflict Mediation Purposefully Walk Away to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at The Estrin Report