by Nora Boghossian
Sr. Researcher and Executive Assistant
Estrin Legal Staffing
We often talk about how to get a job but why don’t we talk enough about keeping a job?
“You are going to have to kick me out, because I’m not going anywhere.” I remember saying that to my boss one day. They knew my loyalty to the firm. I showed it by keeping myself apprised of the latest news, my CLE up-to-date, attending annual conferences, and bringing back best practices to the firm.
You may think, “What voice do I have? I’m not an attorney.”
Believe me, our voices matter. When we are professionally capable, in-the-know, problem solve, and become the go-to person, we automatically increase our value. This creates an invaluable role in a host of multiple levels. You are considered a dynamic individual and definitely an asset to the firm.
A great motto is – My goal is to add value to the firm. When we add value to a service, product, organization, we in turn, become valuable. In the process, you are truly involved in the firm’s forward progression. You are the individual that is part of the collective. What role are you playing that is bringing value to the collective?
Approach management and let them know you would like to give mini-sessions to the firm’s staff and/or attorneys with best practices. Choose areas you have noticed that are pain points within the firm. This will require you to pay attention, observe, listen, and address the options. You will need to do some investigating. When you open yourself up, you’ll be surprised that what you are searching for will be revealed to you.
Remain open and aware. Look for ways to loosen up and create a flow within the structure of the firm. Maybe there is no structure. That may be something you can resolve. If a firm hasupward mobility, look for growth opportunity. Think – what is it that we need that we do not have? How can I fulfill that need? You can look for multiple ways to improve the process.
Become a conduit of service to the firm and ultimately, to the client. In doing so, you become a better version of yourself, a better paralegal, legal assistant, or whatever the role you may hold.
When it comes time for your review, guess what? You now have a solid list of accomplishments to present when managementevaluates you. Not only will you have successfully accomplished your assignments but you will have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Make a list as each goal is accomplished so you don’t leave anything out. Include all your praises, positive feedback from any attorney or member of management. Remind them of all the ways you solved problems, successful work completed, what new and innovative best practices you introduced, and more.
I love the saying – “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.” – Zig Ziglar
Join an association such as LAPA, OCPA, NALA, ABA, etc. There are some fantastic networking groups online, LinkedIn is a great place to start. Our CEO Chere Estrin, a pioneer in advocating for educating and educating paralegals, has helped launch a few popular ones – they are a great place to start: Paralegal Group; Paralegal Managers; Legal Vendors, KNOW, and more.
You can’t do much better for strong networking. Attend association meetings, annual conferences and virtual meetings. Those remain some of the best networking opportunities you can find. You never know what you may learn or who you will meet.
I made a huge impact on my firm from an idea learned at a Paralegal conference. When I was a litigation paralegal, I attended one of the annual LAPA (Los Angeles Paralegal Association) October Conferences. It just so happened that year eDiscovery was ramping up. Forensic investigations were new and hot with respect to the litigation discovery process. During the conference, I took notes, collected material, gathered data and took it back to the office. I brought it to the Administrator and Managing Partner’s attention. Before you know it, new protocols and procedures were implemented because of the proactive steps I took. When you take steps that are imperative to the firm’s growth and keep up with innovations and advancements in the industry, they will acknowledge and rewardand reward you again. What’s more, they will see you as fully committed, knowledgeable, reliable resource, loyal to the firm,and its’ progress. And it’s true, I was just that.
You can make a big impact in your firm as well.
We would love to hear from you, your hopes, wants, dreams and desires – comment below.
Look for future articles as well as the powerful and resourceful webinars lead by Chere Estrin of Estrin Legal Staffing.(See www.EstrinLegalStaffing.com) Join on our mailing list to find out more. We get hundreds of attendees at each webinar. Follow us on LinkedIn for valuable career tips. Comment and let us know what you’d like us to share. We’re here to help.
Nora Boghossian is a Sr. Researcher and Executive Assistant at Estrin Legal Staffing. Prior to working with Estrin, Nora was a civil litigation paralegal for more than 20 years in the areas of practice such as business, employment, intellectual property, real estate, and later as a workers’ compensation paralegal for 6 years.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) as well as a Paralegal Certificate in Paralegal Studies from University of La Verne, College of Law. She a member of the Los Angeles Paralegal Association (LAPA).
She loves writing, photography and nature. She is also fluent in Armenian. She can be reached at Nora@EstrinLegalStaffing.com.