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Mentor Blog

Welcome to our mentor blog. Here you will find posts from
industry professionals on such topics as:
  • Resume & Cover Letter tips
  • Interview Tips
  • How to succeed at work
  • How to get a Mentor
  • What every Mentee should know
  • I lost my job. Now what?
  • Healthy habits
  • 31 May 2020 9:43 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    Do You Have a Plan B That Rocks?

    By Chere B. Estrin

    It's so tough out there right now! One day, we are not supposed to wear masks; the next, we should have been wearing them all along. One week, we are sure about a remedy based on the trials. The next week, it didn't work.  A few weeks ago, younger people were safe. That theory was based upon data from Europe. It turns out that in the U.S., younger people are just as vulnerable as anyone to the virus. Why? Because of the obesity epidemic. In Europe, they are much more food conscious, thinner and consequently, have fewer health problems.

    Lately, 22 million people are unemployed including thousands of legal professionals. Some are going to have a difficult time finding a job in a downturn job market. Yet, sometimes, in our belief that things will change quickly, we tend to beat a dead horse. We look for jobs that aren't there, we send out tons of resumes for jobs that do exist and we never hear back.

    So, my wonderful readers, it's time to formulate Plan B. We don't know how long this pandemic will last. Even if we do go back to the office pretty soon, lots of things will have changed. Are you ready? What if your firm furloughed you but doesn't ask you back? What if you are working now but may be laid off? It could be scary. Unless, of course you have a Plan B.

    What does Plan B look like?

    Plan B is often confused with an alternate or a completely different approach. However, that is not necessarily true. Plan B is a contingency plan. It is a confidence that will eventually drive Plan A. It does not have to be a replacement or an alternative but an addition or an expansion of your career. It is the extension of current process and opinions.

    There’s nothing like the confidence you get from being prepared. When you have a Plan B, you’re more likely to aggressively go after your Plan A because you know, if it goes wrong, it’s not such a big deal. You’ll just set Plan B in motion and keep moving forward! That kind of confidence can offer you the opportunity to take risks along the way because they aren’t as risky as they would be if you had no backup plan.

    "The best Plan B's are different but related to what you are doing now."

    There is some controversy to having a Plan B. That is, it causes you to lose motivation to pursue Plan A. Sure. In a good job market. However, in this Kafka like environment, we stand to lose more than motivation if we don't have a Plan B. Jobs may simply not be there. What are you going to do?

    According to Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, the best Plan B’s are different but related to what you are doing now; this way you can apply the lessons you’ve learned to date to the new plan.

    Bear in mind that you don't necessarily need to write down a specific Plan B, but you should always be aware of your parameters. You should be thinking about the “adjacent possible" such as your transferable skills or other opportunities on the horizon.

    First, identify how to measure when you’re tracking towards a worst-case scenario. Are there lots of "secret" meetings at the firm? The firm tells you they are fine, yet are scouring for big loans? Second, it’s the plan that tells you what to do should that happen. Maybe if you are in mergers & acquisitions and that practice specialty has taken a nose dive, you may end up getting a job at Amazon, WalMart or your local grocery store. It may be that right now, there are few, if any, jobs in corporate transactions. On the other hand, standing in line at the food bank and desperately trying to get unemployment to pay the rent may not be the option of your choice.  You might start to think about switching specialties. Now is the time to take plenty of online continuing legal education. Let me put in a plug for The Organization of Legal Professionals offering online CLE in legal technology, eDiscovery and more.

    What if you do take a job outside of the legal field? In our stress management webinar, an attendee voiced concerns that law firms may not take you back if you step out of the field. That may have been true in a good market. However, if we look back to the great recession, you will see that once hiring began again, employers were much more forgiving of the lapse of employment in the legal field. If you do take a job outside of legal, make it a transition job and try for no more than 6 months, if you can help it. A transition job is just that - taking the job for now and transitioning back to what you want when the market improves.

    It is incumbent upon you to be flexible. There are candidates whose jobs are in peril and insist on making a lateral move or improve upon their salaries. One candidate told me he would definitely not move for "less than $100,000, needed to work remotely several days a month and wanted to match his six weeks’ vacation.  Right. Clearly, the message was not filtering up to the penthouse. He is still looking and chances of his getting laid off are getting closer.  In the meantime, the top of his salary range dropped to $90,000.

    Personally, I initiated a Plan B. The staffing industry is the third largest industry to be hit hard after hospitality and retail. With unemployment expected to go as high as 30%, finding clients who are hiring is extremely hard. Having been a victim of the great recession, I had a Plan B.

    I took a hard look at the market. What is going to be hot during the crisis? This is the legal field. Surely, areas are going to heat up. People are just waiting to get through this. However, once things settle down (and they will settle down), people are going to get very, very angry and lawsuits will be rampant. Who are they going to sue? Healthcare, hospitals, doctors, nursing homes, employers who did not properly protect them, insurance companies, products liability for devices such as faulty ventilators, and so on and so on. I thought, what does that mean? It means there is going to be a heck of a lot of medical records that are going to need to be summarized. Tons of them. I was searching hard for something that would align with my current career.

    So I opened up a division called MediSums. I located a team of licensed doctors and legal nurses who can do the summaries and chronologies. The division aligns with my business. The message: Have your Plan B get as close as you can to your current position. You are less likely to fail. What I am doing is "adjacent possible". It is not a total disruption i.e., creating a brand new business and starting all over again. I am not willing to beat a dead horse.

    Creating the Plan - It's actually simple.

    1. Ask yourself if Plan A fails, what is the next best thing that I could be potentially excited about?
    2. Did you feel a little bit of excitement? OK, so working at Amazon is not your dream job. However, did you feel a little bit relieved? If so, write it down. If not, try again.
    3. Repeat.
    4. Create a list of actions.
    5. Refine.
    6. Don't be too proud to ask for help.

    Plan B helps to acquaint ourselves with the lives of many others who had to throw away Plan A and begin anew: the person who thought they’d be married forever, then suddenly wasn't– and coped; the person who was renowned for doing what they did, then had to start over in a dramatically different field – and made it.

    Amidst these stories, we are liable to find people who will tell us that in the end, their Plan B ended up superior to their Plan A. They worked harder for it, they had to dig deeper to find it and it carried less vanity and fear within it.

    Expecting and preparing for changes can help you be successful. It's not what happened to you, it's how you handle it. We are a very resilient species. Bouncing back may be hard, it may not turn out how we hoped, and there may be some roadblocks along the way. Let's ride that horse in the direction it's going. Have a little faith. Believe in yourself. It's the great unknown out there now. However, we all have the wherewith all to survive. Trust me on that one.

    Chere Estrin is the CEO of
    Estrin Legal Staffing, a top national and international staffing organization and MediSums,medical records summarizing. She is the President of the Organization of Legal Professionals. Chere has written 10 books on legal careers, hundreds of articles and has been written up in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Trib, Newsweek, Entrepreneur and others. Chere is a recipient of the Los Angeles/Century City Women of Achievement Award and a finalist for the Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year award. She is a former administrator at an AmLaw 100 firm and Sr. Vice President in a $5 billion company. She can be reached on Sundays fro

  • 19 May 2020 11:45 AM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    Fight Stress with Healthy Habits

    1. Slow down

      Plan ahead and allow enough time to get the most important things done without having to rush.

    2. Snooze more

      Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. To fight insomnia, add mindfulness and activity.

    3. Let worry go

      The world won’t end if a few things fall off of your plate.  Give yourself a break and just breathe.

    4. Laugh it up

      Laughter makes us feel good.  Don’t be afraid to laugh out loud, even when you’re alone.

    5. Get connected

      A daily dose of friendship in great medicine.  Make time to call friends or family so you can catch up.

    6. Get organized

      Use “to do” lists to help you focus on your most important tasks and take big projects one step at a time.

    7. Practice giving back

      Volunteer your time or spend time helping out a friend.  Helping others helps you.

    8. Be active every day

      Exercise can relieve mental and physical tension.  Find something you think is fun and stick with it.

    9. Give up bad habits

      Too much alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine can increase blood pressure.  Cut back or quit to decrease anxiety.

    10. Lean into things you can change

    Make time to learn a new skill, work towards a goal, or to love and help others.

    Learn more at

  • 19 Apr 2020 11:53 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    For those of us with stay-at-home orders, which is just about the entire world, there are little challenges that are coming up while we bravely wait out the end of the Covid-19 virus. I know these may sound petty in the scheme of things but having your world turned upside down with no end in sight can be pretty intimidating. It does, however, give you a new appreciation for what we take for granted. It's not that I mind staying at home. In fact, it's kind of comforting, given the scene out there.

    Nonetheless, it's amazing what we can do without. Boy, looking back on it, I realize how spoiled I was by taking a lot of things for granted. Take, for example, the fact that you can't get your hair dyed. Now, it's true I'm not exactly going anywhere where people can see me but hey, I still want to be well groomed. With my highlights growing out, my natural color coming in and no hair salons open anywhere, I actually thought I was in luck. I looked at myself in the mirror the other day and went running to my husband. I was thrilled. "Guess what?" I said. "I have great news. I can't get my hair dyed but I probably shouldn't have had to dye my hair after all! My hair is growing in blonde!" He just looked at me as though I had lost my mind. "Honey," he said. "I hate to tell you this but that isn't exactly blonde that's coming in." Oh. I immediately went to Amazon to order something, anything, to take care of this appearance changing event. No hair dye was to be found anywhere. Shelves and shelves in stores had run out. Online stores had absolutely nothing. So, here I sit, about to really look my age. This could be really scary.

    And take my fingernails. Right before the lock down, I got my nails done and tried out a new powder nail polish that was supposed to last at least 3 weeks. Unfortunately, I can't get it off unless I go to a nail salon which of course, is not going to happen anytime soon. In the meantime, my nails are growing out and the polish is moving to the top of my nails. I now look like the Wicked Witch of the West. I think this is starting a new fad.

    And what about exercise? It's not exactly like I was religious about it anyway. A walk through Costco about did me in. But all the advice columns say you have to get exercise. My husband and I thought we had a brilliant way to do that. We ordered bikes. Now, my husband has never ridden a bike and I doubt at this age, he is going to get his balance. We decided to let pride go by the wayside and ordered, yes, tricycles. Oh, sure. I was going to look like some old lady with the basket in the back and that little orange warning flag rising above it but I didn't care. Who was going to see me? Everyone is inside.

    We had huge choices. Do we get one speed or three? What color bike should we get? Do we have to wear helmets? You can see where this is going. Obviously, without a lot to do, these decisions became all too important. After careful consideration, we chose - purple. Purple? Who orders a purple tricycle? At least we were going to stand out. That is, if there was anyone to see us.

    After about a week, a very brave truck driver delivered the bikes. We wiped them down very carefully with Clorox Wipes. There wasn't an inch that wasn't wiped. I immediately got on and took off. OMG! Freedom! The wind in my hair, my little legs pumping those foot things and I was in heaven. My husband, on the other hand, had a very different experience. He was too tall for the bike. He struggled trying to make it taller. He called the manufacturer. They gave him instructions. He was out there in the garage taking the dang thing apart. He gained a couple more inches but not enough. We took the bikes out for a ride anyway. He pumped, he humped, he gave it his all. After about half an hour, we came in and 'lo and behold, his right knee was swollen up from hitting the handle bars. As I write this, he's on the couch icing up. He's also saying a lot of stuff under his breath. I don't think I want to know what.

    Then there was the fight with the cruise line. Oh, yes. Right before the Covid-19 pandemic, we had booked a cruise to the Caribbean. Three days before we were supposed to board, we decided it was crazy to go. All shore excursions had been canceled. The cruise ships were not allowed to dock at any of the islands. One had to dock in Mexico. Great. I can see us floating aimlessly out to sea, sicker than dogs, trying to have pillow fights on the Lido deck. We canceled. We did have insurance but somehow it didn't include something that said we can have our money back. I can't believe I'm in the legal field and overlooked that. I am still getting emails from cruise lines offering great discounts to take a cruise now. Yeah, I'm really going to do that. Instead, I'm watching House Hunters International and salivating over the houses in St. Thomas with spectacular ocean views all the while imagining I'm there lying on the beach.  It's really the best I can do.

    My house is cleaner than ever. We scrub, we rub, we bleach. I don't think I ever had a home with a hospital clean environment. As I look around, I wince. It probably should have been that way all along. I tell myself I've been very busy.

    Then there's the food. I think we have enough food for three weeks in a snow storm. My refrigerator is so full, we can't get to all of the food. Lean Cuisines are stacked so tightly in the freezer, I couldn't get them out. However, I noticed when I virtually visit my friends, every one seems to be getting a little chunky. I don't want to say anything, of course, but this is definitely a situation where the old adage, "eat yourself out of house and home" is applying. At grocery stores, you can't get comfort food. Gone are the "p" foods: pizza, pretzels, potato chips, pancakes, popcorn. Yikes! This could be a real problem.

    Then there is the situation of spending a lot of money online. Why is it that suddenly we are in need of a ton of stuff? Besides getting the most important necessities. I mean, did I really need to buy new dance shoes (like I'm going dancing), a heavy sweater direct from Ireland (it is Spring now) and that lava lamp? Really, Chere, a lava lamp???  I am sure I needed these important items. I am, however, still waiting for my hand sanitizer, Clorox Wipes, nail clippers, hair cutting scissors and ok, hair dye. Did I mention that I am going to try cutting my own hair? I'll keep you posted on that one. I keep getting emails from Walgreens saying any minute now I'll get my delivery. By the time any minute comes around, I will be an old woman wearing orthopedic shoes and gumming my gums because I can't get to a dentist. Whew!

    Fortunately, we signed up for a toilet tissue club. Yep. One actually exists! Amazon sure was thinking ahead. I don't know if they still have the club but since that seems to be the most sought after item in the country, check it out. A huge box arrives once a month. It's like Christmas. We now feel relieved (pardon the pun), safe and secure. God forbid we run out of toilet tissue. I mean, really though, how much time can you spend in the bathroom? Don't ask.

    The most sought after item for women? If you are a woman of a "certain age" you may have a, well, excess hair issue. No, not on top of your head. Right around that ole chin and upper lip, You know, the hair that comes in that only men are supposed to get? Since there are no salons, there is a run on facial wax strips. Can't get 'em. Now, that's where I draw the line. I simply cannot go around like the bearded lady in the circus. I do have my dignity. So, I ordered more tweezers. And since you can't get your eyebrows done either, I ordered one of those battery operated eyebrow shavers. It came. I tried it. I now have no eyebrows.

    "We signed up for a toilet tissue club. God forbid, we run out of toilet tissue."

    So, my friends, that's life in the Estrin household. I would be remiss if I didn't thank all our essential workers deep from within my heart who make these little challenges a little less challenging: first responders, healthcare workers, hospital staff, EMT, firemen and women, police, sanitation workers, cleaning staff, pharmacists and drug store workers, grocery store employees, post office employees, shelf stockers, transportation drivers, gas station attendants, delivery people, forest rangers, take-out food people, cooks, food bank volunteers, dentists, factory workers, tow truck drivers, cable TV workers, phone company employees, utility workers, anyone in transportation, the military and National Guard, reporters, TV and radio anchors and crew, and many, many more. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Given what's going on, the little challenges are just that - little insignificant challenges. We all can cope and make do. It's the American way.

    Chere Estrin is the CEO of Estrin Legal Staffing, a top national and international staffing organization. She is the President of the Organization of Legal Professionals. Chere has written 10 books on legal careers, hundreds of articles and has been written up in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Trib, Newsweek, Entrepreneur and others. Chere is a recipient of the Los Angeles/Century City Women of Achievement Award and a finalist for the Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year award. She is a LAPA Lifetime Achievement Recipient. Chere is a former administrator in an AmLaw 100 firm and Sr. Vice President in a $5 billion company. She can be reached on Sundays from 3pm-5pm. Reach out at:

  • 02 Apr 2020 9:19 AM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    Are You in the Next Round of Layoffs? What to do in the Time of Covid-19.

    By Chere B. Estrin

    It's happening all over the U.S., the world and yes, even in the legal field. Layoffs.

    Law firms, like everyone else, are laying off. I hear stories from legal professionals who walked into the office or turned on their home computers to find out they were let go on the spot, most via e-mail. No severance, no warning. It's a sign of the times. Firms are immediately reserving cash, tightening up and battening down. It's worse than the great recession. But there’s hope. Yes, there really is.

    Some people have been furloughed - meaning, they are laid off and expected to return when the economy returns. Really? That's a terrible risk and unless the firm is paying its' employees to hold them in check, there is no reason to expect there will be a future job, We have no idea what that future looks like.

    Some people tell me that they have job security. It’s time to face reality. No one, absolutely, no one is immune to these big chasms in the job market. No one. Unless you have a crystal ball and predicting what is going to happen, you have to act as if the worst will occur. If it doesn't, consider that a windfall.

    There are areas that are now "hot" because of Covid-19. Interestingly, no matter what crisis the world sees, it is inevitable that critical areas of need pop up. Here is what is hot or getting hotter:

    1. Estate Planning - People are suddenly getting ready - just in case - for the worst by preparing their estate plans.
    2. Healthcare - There will be thousands of lawsuits against hospitals, doctors, nursing homes, and anything else related to healthcare including medical malpractice and products liability (for those ventilators that failed from manufacturers with no prior experience).
    3. Employment law - Lawsuits for wrongful termination, age discrimination and more, are going to pop up as millions of people are terminated.
    4. Insurance defense - Given the number of lawsuits bound to happen, insurance defense will see an increase. Plaintiffs always go for deep pockets.
    5. Divorce and family law - Reports from psychologists and elsewhere point to the divorce rate going up as house bound people experience "real issues". They decide if their present situation is how they want to continue. There is usually an uptick in divorces after holidays. This is hardly a holiday.
    6. Bankruptcy - Just as in the recession, bankruptcy for millions of businesses and individuals is not only around the corner, it is on our doorstep. Out of work employees, closed businesses, revenue loss and less income point to one thing - bankruptcy lawyers and staff will be in demand.

    If you are in any of these specialties, you may just stand a chance for survival. If you are not, for heaven's sake, get cross-trained now before it is too late! Take a class, learn from other departments, do what you need to do. In other words, always ride the horse in the direction it is going.

    What if you do get laid off? I hope not. If it happens, don't run scared. This is a flight or fight situation. Choose fight. Running will not get you back where you want to be. By fighting, you don’t go down. Here are some action items you can do:

    ·       Get your resume together, even though you are certain you are safe. I receive more bad resumes than good. In a panic, people throw one together and expect it to sell them. Remember, you are now going to have tons of competition for the same job. During the recession, there were hundreds of applications for the same role.

    The resume needs to look professional, "pretty” and package you to stand out. Tailor your resume to the job description. I had a candidate just this week, applying for a corporate paralegal position. By the looks of his resume, he clearly was not qualified. However, after the interview, it turns out that he was very qualified. He refused to change his resume. He had one line in the resume that matched the job description and two pages that did not.

    He expected the firm to assume that he had accomplished the tasks in the job description because he mentioned "corporate paralegal". Believe me, they make no assumptions, they have no imagination and if the responsibilities in your resume do not match the job description, they will definitely pass. Finally, I got him to change the resume because he had, in fact, done everything in the description. At this point, he has made it past the HR Manager and onto the Hiring Manager. Fingers crossed.

    Your future job is probably not on Indeed. Yes, there are plenty of jobs there. However, if you take a good look at what is now happening, you will see that the majority of jobs were posted before stay-at-home orders. Check how old the job is. If it is 30+ days old, you might have a couple of situations: the job expired or is on hold; the firm filled the job but did not pull the posting or they are having a hard time finding someone.

    Prepare yourself.

    • Tap into your network. Best people who know where the jobs are, are employees at the firm. Colleagues confide in each other about desires to seek another position. They don't go running down to HR and say, "You know, I am thinking of leaving. What do you think?" Colleagues know where the next vacancy is.
    • Go to Martindale-Hubbell, a well-known law firm directory, listing thousands of firms. Research hot specialties and your practice area. Check out their websites. They may be hiring. Even if they are not, send an inquiry to the Hiring Manager and throw your hat into the ring for upcoming positions. You just don't know what can happen.
    • If you are not on LinkedIn, by all means, put yourself on! If you are afraid your current employer will see your profile, be aware that LinkedIn does not mean that you are looking for a job. It is a sign that you are a professional in today's workplace. Be sure and list responsibilities under each firm. Just putting, "Litigation Paralegal" means nothing to recruiters and employers.

    Recruiters buy a LinkedIn package allowing key word searches. If your profile doesn't look right, there is no professional picture and you skimp on details, you will get passed over. Write a compelling summary. Just saying, "Highly motivated legal professional with corporate transactional skills, team player, works well independently" ain't gonna do it! Get away from routine descriptions and make yourself stand out. Listing job responsibilities that thousands of other people have is not good enough. 

    Check out samples on LinkedIn to make your summary compelling and show some personality. Put your full name and firm. None of this "confidential" stuff or name like, "Anne D.". You will get passed over. Guaranteed.

    Don't overlook LinkedIn’s job board. However, you are going to have to have that profile because when you respond, employers click the link that goes right to you.

    ·        Get registered with staffing agencies. They may not have something now but when they do, they reach into their database. Don't get discouraged if you don’t hear right now. Most of their clients have put their jobs on hold for 60 days or more. But please, don't hound them as they are in this just like you and times are tough for everyone.
    Check out what's going on with your alumni. People tend to stick together. Don't be shy. They may know something.

    ·        Consider working temp or contract. Usually, when a recession hits, direct hire goes down but temporary staffing goes up. That's because firms do not have the budget for full-time employees or they only have project-by-project needs. You may not get the same rate as on your job but hey, the rent will be paid and the kids will eat. Don't get caught in temping too long because that backfires when you go to find a full-time position. Firms don't like long-term temps as a rule. They think you won't stay.

    ·        Consider a job outside of the legal field just for now. You can even temp. We all know Word, have good communication skills, are pretty intelligent and have excellent work histories (well, most of us, anyway). Sign up with a general clerical agency. Take a clerical job if things are not panning out. It's not forever and will get you through so you don't otherwise go on unemployment or go hungry.

    I honestly do not know if temping will heat up in this unusual market. No one seems to be predicting much of anything. But it just doesn't hurt to have backup plans.

    • Check your email constantly. I cannot tell you how many candidates say they are desperate but fail to constantly check email. Even worse, their voicemail is constantly full. In this market, it is going to be survival of the fittest. When an agency calls you for a temp job, they want to fill it immediately. If an employer calls and can’t get through, they move on. If you are slow in getting back to them, chances are they have filled the order. You need a sense of urgency because someone else will beat you to the job.
    • Not a member of NYCPA? Join now. You will get the newsletter, networking and job board opportunities. When the time comes, you can get out of the house and meet. (Not now.) Some associations are now holding virtual meetings. Be sure and attend. You probably have plenty of time on your hands.
    • Stay on top of the news and social media for this field. While turning off the news and giving yourself a mental health break is good, bear in mind, this crisis changes almost hourly. Having information is having power.
    • If you haven't been laid-off, now is the time your firm sees you as indispensable. No more just suiting up and showing up. You need to become an expert so much so that the firm would really suffer a loss if they let you go. That could be a deciding factor when the firm is faced with who to cut.

    That may mean initiating an office politics campaign, gaining new responsibilities, getting next to the conduit to the power who can speak for you, and rising above everyone. Just plain old excellent hard work will not do it in this unprecedented market. Everyone is expected to work hard and provide excellent work. This is not criteria strong enough to keep you at the firm.

    Protecting yourself in your career today is just as important as washing your hands, practicing social distancing and staying at home. You don't want to get the virus and you don't want to be unemployed or helpless.

    Here's the deal. Nothing lasts forever. While going through this is one of the worst possible situations that can happen to our magnificent country, we are tough enough to fight it through. I believe in my heart of hearts that we will see the light at the end of the tunnel and realize, it's not a train coming at us.

    Have faith. Keep washing your hands, stay calm, stay positive and most of all, stay strong,

    Chere Estrin is the CEO of Estrin Legal Staffing, a top staffing organization in California. She is also the President of the Organization of Legal Professionals. Chere has written 10 books on legal careers, hundreds of articles and has been written up in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Trib, Newsweek, Entrepreneur and others. Chere is a recipient of the LAPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Los Angeles/Century City Women of Achievement Award, New York City Paralegal Assoc. Excellence Award, and a finalist for the Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year award. She is a former administrator in an AmLaw 100 firm and Sr. Vice President in a $5 billion company. Reach out at:

    ©Estrin Education, Inc. 2020

  • 29 Mar 2020 5:49 PM | Deleted user

    Being a paralegal is hard but also, a very rewarding job. Even though we are not attorneys, we as paralegals do a lot because we are the ones who assist the lawyer or lawyers in the legal industry by drafting documents, conduct legal research and maintain and organizing files and the list of duties goes on. What exactly is a paralegal? According to the American Bar Association (ABA), a paralegal is, “ a person qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.” From the 1970s to 2020, the paralegal industry has changed dramatically and paralegals are in high demand than ever before.

    One way to be a paralegal is to receive a paralegal certificate and that is when you successfully completed and graduated from an ABA-Approved paralegal studies program. When you receive a Paralegal Certificate, it does not make you a Certified Paralegal (CP). How do you become one you might ask. To be a Certified Paralegal, you need to successfully complete both the knowledge and skills exam from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). You first have to see if you are eligible to take the two-section exam to be a certified paralegal. The candidate must submit the CP application on, pay a fee and send the required supporting documentation via e-mail, online or mail to NALA. You will be notified via e-mail if you were or not approved to take the exam.  The exam is a comprehensive assessment based on federal law and procedure. There are several benefits of having a Certified Paralegal Credential including a salary increase, which will assure employers and clients that they possess a specified level of understanding and competence and having a CP credential is recognized worldwide.

    Once you become a Certified Paralegal, the next step you can do is being an Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP). Yes, there is more! To be one, you have to successfully complete the Advanced Certified Paralegal program that is hosted by NALA and it is designed to advance your education. The average course is about 20 hours in length and organized into multiple chapters and these web-based courses are available on a 24/7 basis. Anyone can take the courses and you do not have to be a NALA Certified Paralegal but the ACP credentials are only available to current Certified Paralegals.

    The paralegal plays an important and critical role on any legal team and because of that, we should always try to learn. The more education we obtain, the more knowledge we will be of the legal world. If you cannot be a Certified Paralegal or an Advanced Certified Paralegal, that is ok! A few ways to learn about certain law fields is by attending legal seminars, webinars, online courses, and Paralegal conventions/events. What Anton Chekhov has said, “Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.”

  • 15 Mar 2020 3:02 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    How Bad Is It To.....

    We all make mistakes. However, there are degrees of mistakes, some very bad, some, well, not so bad. Here are 5 scenarios that might sound familiar to you:

    How bad is it to......

    1.  Agree to a phone interview with a staffing organization recruiter and ghost or stand them up. Recruiters are professionals. They take the time to answer your application. They set aside time in their very busy schedule that could have gone to someone else. Recruiters can be your best friend because not only do they know where the jobs are, they have intimate details of the firm that you would never know by answering an ad on a job board. They may even have other jobs available that you don't know about.

    Once you stand them up, they put you down in their file as a "no show" and move on to the next candidate. It is really rude and frankly, unprofessional, not to even shoot the recruiter a one-line email and in the re line say you can't make it. That way, you remain friends and the recruiter can book their very valuable time with someone who does want the interview. You wouldn't stand up an employer, would you? Of course not! Why would you stand up the gatekeeper to the employer? What happens? Usually, after some time goes by, the candidate forgets that they stood that recruiter up and applies for their dream job with the same agency. The result? They are very definitely rejected.

    How bad is it: Really, really bad.

    2.  Your resume does not look that great. Yet, you refuse to change it, acknowledge it isn't the greatest or have someone else review it. You use Times Roman font (outdated). You use the wrong grammar i.e., in past jobs. You say, "Drafts documents" instead of the past tense, "Drafted documents". (Employers bounce resumes for that reason. You don't know how to write.) You are not specific to the job description posted. You keep sending out the resume with little or no results and claim "age discrimination" or some such thing. You go back 30 years when you only need to go back 10 years.

    How bad is it: Really bad.

    3. You leave off your email or your phone number on your resume. Seriously??? You say that you are getting too many spam calls. You forgot to put it on. Or, you leave off your email and say you don't want to reveal it to strangers or that you get too many emails. I am curious. How do you expect potential employers to reach you? Sometimes, they book an interview with you and only afterwards, realize there is no phone number on the resume. It's annoying and makes you look unprepared. You are viewed as not detail oriented or, well, making a dumb mistake. (Honestly) They simply pass.

    How bad is it: Really bad.

    3. In an effort to adhere to the "one page" resume rule, you squeeze everything in or leave out important information. Look. You need to sell yourself. You need to get past the gatekeeper. It's absolutely true that potential employers can spend less than 15 seconds perusing your resume seeking salient points. Two pages is perfectly ok. Three or four is not. It's better to have a good looking resume than one that is crowded or leaves off important information.

    How bad is it: Kinda bad.

    4. You just had a phone or face-to-face interview and you fail to send a thank-you email. I cannot emphasize how important the thank-you email is. First, it shows professionalism. Second, it reminds the potential employer of you and it is one more reason to get in front of them. Third, employers review the thank-you email and make assessments as to your writing ability along with your desire for the position.

    The first paragraph thanks the employer for taking the time to meet with you. The second paragraph and most important, ties in something that was said in the interview that ties in with your skills. It shows that you were listening and reminds the employer of why you are qualified for the position. The third paragraph talks about looking forward to moving to the next step. Try not to use standard thank you's that everyone writes. Be original. It shows that you are well above the average candidate.

    How bad is it? Sorta bad.

    5. You have no questions to ask the interviewer after the interview. The interviewer ends your talk and asks you if you have any questions. Now is the time to show off that you are highly interested. Don't say, "No, you've pretty much covered everything." Have two questions to ask about the job. Be sure not to ask what are the benefits, bonus and salary. Not the right time. Answering, “No, I have no questions” could signal to an interviewer that you lack enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, and an understanding of everything discussed in the interview.

    The first rule is never ask anything already covered. Listen carefully the entire way through your interview because if you ask something already expressed, it’ll seem like you weren’t listening. If you need something explained further, ask: “I’d like to revisit this point … can you elaborate on this for me?”

    You might say:

    • ""I am very interested in this position and am confident I am qualified. Can you tell me if I am the type of candidate you are seeking?" The idea here is to find out what objections the interviewer might have. Finding out on the spot gives you a chance to explain further or more solidly clear up any doubts the interviewer might have instead of having them stew over it and send a rejection letter.
    • "How has this position changed over the years?"
    • "Is there anything that I haven't explained adequately that you would like to address?"

    Here is a great article to help prepare you: 14 Impressive Questions to Answer at the End of the Interview

    How bad is it? Pretty bad.

    There are always things we could do better. However, these common mistakes can be avoided and you can spend a lot less time agonizing over why you didn't get an offer. Always take the path to success. Don't be resistant to trying new techniques. With the coming down economy, you may find yourself on the job market. (Hopefully, not.) Beat the competition and land the job you want. You'll be glad you did.

    Chere Estrin is the CEO of Estrin Legal Staffing, a top staffing organization in California. She is also the President of the Organization of Legal Professionals and the Paralegal Knowledge Institute. Chere has written 10 books on legal careers, hundreds of articles and has been written up in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Trib, Newsweek, Entrepreneur and others. Chere is a recipient of the Los Angeles/Century City Women of Achievement Award and a finalist for the Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year award. She is a former administrator in an AmLaw 100 firm and Sr. Vice President in a $5 billion company. She can be reached on Sundays from 3am-5am. Reach out at:

  • 08 Mar 2020 9:47 AM | Deleted user

    Social media has been more of a reliable resource for finding prospects, jobs, new talent, and partners than ever before. One of the most popular social networking sites in the year of 2020 is LinkedIn: a social networking site when it comes to online “business networking.” Did you know that LinkedIn has actually been around longer than Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram? But it is more relevant now than ever. 

    You are probably wondering to yourself, “is it important to have a LinkedIn profile?” The answer is, yes. Why? According to, “LinkedIn hosts more than 500 million professional profiles, which means nearly an unlimited supply of network connections and job opportunities. From seeking a new job to maintaining your personal brand, LinkedIn is an important part of being a full-fledged professional in any industry these days.” Your profile gives you the ability to showcase your expertise, connections, skills and achievements.

    Learn how to build a professional and better LinkedIn profile with the few tips below.

    Profile Picture: The quality of your LinkedIn profile picture is very important. Your picture is a key element of your LinkedIn presence. According to Lydia Abbot, the Blog Editor and Contest Marketer at LinkedIn, research showed that just having a picture makes your profile (14) fourteen times more likely to be viewed by others. 

    Get someone such as a friend or family member to take your photo – do not take a selfie. Make your pose simple, put the focus on your face, look friendly and stick to your office wardrobe (there’s no need to dress up unnecessarily). Standard office clothes will do. The only exception to this rule is for casual work environments), and do not over edit your picture. Try to avoid small, low-resolution images and your ideal size is 400 x 400 pixels. For more tips to have a better LinkedIn profile picture, click here

    Write an Interesting Headline and Summary: LinkedIn data shows that you only have (5) five to (10) ten seconds to impress a potential employer online and one of the very first things they see is your headline. Your headline should answer the question, “Why should I stop and click on this profile?” Have a specific header such as highlight your unique value proposition. The more detailed your headline is, the better. 

    Think of your summary as a cover letter - as it is supposed to give people a better sense of who you are. Show off your personality, keep it short by removing superlatives and write in an active voice, and have a pitch: elaborate on your passions, skills and unique story. Click herefor more tips to making a better LinkedIn profile summary.

    Customizing Your URL: Your LinkedIn profile URL is important because it enhances your personal brand, control how you appear when people search for you online, use the URL on your resume and on personal business cards. Click here for directions of how to change your public profile URL.

    These tips will help you make a better profile. It will wow your future connections and grow your influence on LinkedIn. What are your tips to making a LinkedIn profile desirable and interesting? Write your tips or advice below to help other readers with their profile.

    Also, do not forget to download the LinkedIn Mobile App on your electronic device or devices.

  • 11 Aug 2019 4:00 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    By Becky Kane—Doist via Fast Company

    Becky Kane writes, "According to his LinkedIn profile, Rick Galan has been the head of digital marketing at Qualtrics — an experience research and analytics software company headquartered in Utah and Seattle — for the last three years and seven months. On paper, he certainly looked successful. Yet here he was with a to-do list so out of control that he had decided to just give up and start fresh."


  • 07 Aug 2019 8:41 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    A question was submitted to NYCPA:

    As applied to Regulation D Private Placements there are Jurisdictional NASAA Legends.  What book or website  would I need to find out the Legend requirements for Israel, UK, and Europe? I'm aware that there is a more "general" foreign legend. Would that be more appropriate? where would I find one? I will be applying them to a "clear sky" continual offering for 100mm. For disclosure purposes- the issuer exemption is being utilized. As for forms when attracting foreign investors with or without using a "portal" what forms are required and to whom do I submit them. Is it possible that my questions and more that I may not be aware that I have are answerable in one or more horn or nutshell books?
    If you can help, please respond to

    Thank you!

  • 12 May 2019 7:54 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    Are you afraid to post on LinkedIn? I have broken down for you how I went from a lurker to a full-time poster (am I an hashtag #influencer yet?) Each stage is typically 3-6 weeks (depending on your level of social media fear).

    • Lurk for awhile (it's ok, this is a necessary prerequisite.) 
    • Like a few posts per day. 
    • Begin to comment. (Keep it real. Just make believe you are talking/conversating.) 
    • Become a regular liker/commentator. 
    • Begin to post with a goal of once a week. 
    • Accidentally post twice a week (because you found yourself with more things to say and it wasn't so scary!) 
    • Post daily. 
    • Surprise yourself and post more than once a day! 
    • Disclaimer: It's ok to take a break if you have to.
    •  Also: Message people regularly to say hello! 
    • Connect with at least 10 ppl per day. 
    • Connect with those that like and comment on you posts.

    Questions? Ask me in the comments! If you're a LinkedIn pro what can you add? P.S. This somehow means a lot to me to share this. Hope you like it! hashtag #EstherINsites hashtag #socialmedia hashtag #linkedinlife hashtag #linkedintips hashtag #connectengagerepeat Expirit

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