Top 5 Books I want to Read in 2018


Non-Fiction Edition

I know it’s a bit late in the month to do a Top 5 books I want to read in 2018. Before it gets even later in the month, let’s get started with my Top Five Books. These are in no particular order.

the Success Principles

The first time I heard of Jack Canfield was when I picked up a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I didn’t buy it then and I don’t think I’ve ever read it (need to do something about that) but for some reason I never forgot the name of the author. The next time I heard the name was during the movie The Secret. I immediately became fascinated by his story and began looking for books by him. For some reason I never picked up Chicken Soup for the Soul (maybe I should). However, I picked up The Success Principles and immediately read it cover to cover. It’s been a while now. Recently I heard about a new publication of the book in celebration of the 10th anniversary and since I had a credit on my Audible account, I thought I’d get it. Considering my 2.5 hour commute to work and then again back home……. I figured I could at least be doing something productive so, why not listen to how to be successful. The book is not a how to be successful, per se. It is instead about how you can improve certain aspects of yourself which in turn will allow you to open yourself up to success. I’m really looking forward to starting this book soon. I’m ready to be a super success :).

Judgement Detox

Judging ourselves and others is a waste of energy. I am guilty of both, more often than not I’m my worst critic and tend to judge myself much more harshly than others do. A perfect example seems to be every year at the time of my annual review I’m always the first one to comment on areas to can work on to improve. On the other hand, others seem to acknowledge my accomplishments and my successes much more readily than I. . I will be honest, I have another another book by the same author that I haven’t read yet The Universe Has Your Back. This year I’ll get to both of these…… Promise to myself.

Time Management Magic

We all have 24 hours at our disposal. Why is it that some people tend to get so much done and seem to have the energy to go on for another 24 hours and I’m feeling depleted at the end of the day and I feel as I didn’t even scratch the surface of the to-do list? I would imagine that the answer would be choices but….. I haven’t read the book so I’m not going to guess. This book was written by an ex-Disney employee who, while working at Disney and managing 100s of people developed time management and life hacks to take control of his time and succeed. I’m sure you all know by now that I’m a sucker for a good time management hack. This is at the top of the list, for sure.

The Slight Edge

One of my many goals this year is to make the choices that will ultimately bring me to my happy place. This year I’m going to concentrate on TheParalegal and make create something we can all use. I want TheParalegal to be your go-to place for your paralegal life. This book speaks about choices that we all make that lead to that much elusive happiness. I am looking forward to this read.

Build Your Dream Network

I feel like this book was tailored just for me and all other introverts like me. As an introvert, sometimes it’s really difficult for me to create the networks that everyone seems to have no trouble surrounding themselves with. This year, as mentioned above, I am focused on making connections. On helping others achieve their own successes. I am looking to this book to open some doors and help me develop the connections I need to bring you the connections you need.

So that’s the list

From the list above, it looks like this year is going to be very much a year of growth for me and for TheParalegal. I am determined to make things happen for all of us. Don’t be fooled though. I have a few fiction books on my list too but I’ll let you digest this list for now. Look for my Top Five Fiction Books I want to Read in 2018.

What about you? What do you want to read this year? Is there anything you would like to suggest I include on my list? what about a book about paralegals? I’ve been looking for something like that and haven’t been able to find a good one. Do you have any suggestions? Please leave comments below.

On a totally separate note…. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but I’ve created a Facebook page and Facebook group and I would love if you went to visit me there. I will be posting my tips and tricks that I learned in my 20 years of being a paralegal in law firms and in-house. I will be putting up training videos as well as templates I used and still use to make my life easier. It’ll be a bit until I can do all that but the goal is to provide you with as many resources as possible to make your day-to-day easier. I’m also working on launching a newsletter in February and if you’re subscribed to my email list you will receive a FREE copy of the newsletter where I will also be featuring up and coming legal issues, paralegal tips and tricks, books I want to read, new things I learned and when able to I will have some interviews. I am serious about wanting to make this a place where we can all come to for answers with no judgement. I want to be able to provide you with all the information and resources I wish I had when I was starting out.

Please go say hello at @ThisParalegalLife and say hello and if you’ve subscribed to the blog via email, look for the newsletter announcement soon. I’m so excited for 2018!!!!!!!

I cannot wait to see you and start working on my networking goals.

XoXo

How to Get a Paralegal Job – True Story


I am often asked about getting a paralegal job or breaking in to the paralegal field.  It’s no secret that the economy has made fading a job, be it as a paralegal or as anything else, very difficult, to say the least.  These days a resume must stand out or it will just be viewed as one of the many.  Credentials are important (where you went to school, GPA, Extra curricular activities, etc.) however, you are one of a million candidates who will have the same type of credentials, if not better than, the ones you bring to the table.

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This is where networking becomes your secret weapon.  Don’t discard that friend who may be working at Starbucks or a clothing store.  They deal with the public on a daily basis and, what do you know…. sometimes the public happens to be an attorney who needs a paralegal for a special project.  If you discard that friend you will never know that.

As most of you know I have been working in the compliance world. I have been itching to get into the legal department again.  I really miss being in the midst of the legal world.  I wasn’t looking for a new position but, as I always advise my friends, you don’t have to be looking for a new job to keep your eyes opened.  Sometimes opportunities come your way and the only way you will be ready to take them is if you have your eyes opened and cease the opportunity as if you were actually chasing it.

A few months ago, a friend of mine was speaking with an attorney who was thinking of posting a position for a paralegal with the exact same qualifications I have.  My friend immediately mentioned my name and made the introductions.  I me with the attorney even before the position was completely available and before anyone else knew about it.

I still don’t have the position.  It just recently posted (was advertised) but I am almost certain that I will get it.  Had I not developed a good network of friends I would have never heard of this job.

Networking is not something you do when you are looking for a job.

Photo from personaltrainerbusinesssystems.com 

Let’s Help Japan


I am just a paralegal who goes to work every day.  Some days I’m really excited about going to work and there are days that I’m not so excited.  However, I have a place to go every morning and do something that I cho0se and love to do.

While I sit here tonight, after a very long day at the office, I am trying to relax and watch the news about the latest occurrences in Japan.  Earthquake, Tsunami and now the fire in the nuclear reactor.  There’s a reporter on the news talking about how the after-shocks have not stopped and how stressful it is for the Japanese people.  I cannot help but think about all the young women that would give anything to be able to get up tomorrow morning and head to the office just like I will.  I have always heard about “paying it forward” and “he to whom much is given much is expected.”  I cannot help but think that it is my time to finally pay it forward and give some hope to those who I’m sure are feeling like hope is lost.

I made a decision, sitting here on my couch.  At the end of April I will be donating some money to help the people of Japan.  I have a proposition to make to all of you.  I will be opening up a PayPal account (I will let you all know when that’s done) and would like it if you sent money, it doesn’t have to be much, as much as you can spare, and I will send it to an organization of our choice.  I would ask that with your donation you send me the name of your blog or website, in whose name you would like me to send the donation, and what organization you would like to have the money sent to.  During the last week of April I will post all the organizations and the one that gets the most votes will be the one to whom we will donate.

As a thank you for your donation I will add your blog and/or website to my blog as well as invite you to be a guest blogger on my blog or I can be a guest blogger on your blog.  Let’s see what we can do together.

I know this is unorthodox but I feel like we need to do something.  Thank you so much in advance for participating and for the inspiration.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at the_paralegal@yahoo.com or post a comment below.

Thank you so much


I’m not sure how many of you know, since I’m not going to assume that most of you are as fascinated by new gadgets as I am, that yesterday Apple launched a software upgrade for the iPad.  The upgrade was not supposed to go live until March 11th but it appears Mr. Jobs took pity on us poor souls who purchased the iPad a few months ago and now are feeling totally jealous that the iPad 2 will be out tomorrow will have more fun stuff to play with (well, I’m jealous).  But I digress…. I came home and ran to my computer to download the software.  I don’t have to tell you that by now I’m starving, I’m tired and all I want to do is sit in front of the television and veg.  Some nights, when I’m feeling particularly adventurous I may even sit on the couch with a glass of wine and read a book.  These days I’m reading GMAT prep stuff so that may be why I want the television…. I’m digressing again.

Imagine my shock when I plugged the iPad to the computer and realized that it would be three hours before I could test out the new upgrade…. what to do, what to do…. I don’t want to leave the computer as if by sitting here and staring at the screen will make things go faster.  So, here I sit.  Since I have nothing else to do and I want to forget about food for the time being, I decided to come and check out my blog.  I know, I know, I haven’t written anything in a while.  It’ll come, you wouldn’t be writing either if all you could think about was this foreign thing that I’m forcing myself to learn, calculus and algebra.  It should really be re-learning but I’ve been out of school so long that I don’t think I ever learned that.

I looked at an empty screen for a while trying to figure out what to write about and then did something I don’t normally do.  I checked out the stats.  I promised myself I wouldn’t do that.  Although I always hoped to help or encourage other paralegals or others thinking of becoming paralegals I never expected it, the blog, to really go anywhere.  I always just thought of this blog as a place where I could think out-loud.  I knew some were reading it since I get some comments once in a while and I’ve had some schools call me to ask if they could use some of my writings on their websites.  I have always looked at these occurrences as a happy coincidence, to use my favorite word in the English language, a serendipity.  Someone just happened upon the site and liked something I wrote.  Well, today, I was in for a surprise.  I realized that I actually have subscribers.  Not just one or two but quite a few.  I know most of my blogger friends have a lot more than I do I honestly never expected to get as many as I have.  I am humbled.  Thank you all so much for making me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile and giving me the opportunity to express myself and my love for my chosen profession.

Please, let me know what you would like to see the blog grow into and I will try to figure out a way to provide it.  Keep in mind that is a bit hectic and I may not post as often as I would like to.  However,  my schedule and the pressures I have recently put on myself are self-imposed and certainly not your fault.  Nevertheless, these pressures and time constraints are a big factor in my lack of sleep and apparently eating habits… Still waiting for the darn thing to download and then I have to do the phone.

Anyway, again, thank you all sooooo much and I hope I can continue to give you all what you have come to expect from me.

Ana

Things have been busy here at The_Paralegal


I thought I would write a short note to you, my subscribers/readers.

I have been busy with lots of ideas recently running through my head and I am finally going to put them into motion.  Let’s see where they all bring us.  Why wait until the first of the year to start a list of things you want to accomplish?  Here is a list of things that The Paralegal is planning:

1)  The first thing I have done was create a Facebook page for The Paralegal.  Please go and keep me company by becoming a friend.  The plan is to keep you annoyingly (is that a word?) updated on what is going on in my day-to-day as well as what I am planning for the blog.

Now we have 4 ways to keep in touch, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and this blog.  I’m sure I’ll think of other ways.

2)  I am working on starting a podcast for The Paralegal.  This will take a little bit of time, since I really have no idea how to even start one. I’m starting now to figure out what and how to do it.  Maybe you can use Facebook and Twitter to comment what you would like to hear in the podcast.  I want to keep it fresh and relevant so your input is really important.  We can create this together.

3)  Develop a seminar series.  This is an extremely ambitious goal for me but I think we all need a goal that will really make us step out of our comfort zones.  This is mine for the year 2011.  I am determined to be exactly what you need me to be, a mentor, a teacher and a friend.

I know that with your help I will be able to accomplish all these goals and then some.  So, if you still haven’t had enough of me, go and friend me on Facebook, go and follow me on Twitter and sign up for this blog.  The podcast?  Well, that I’ll have to learn a bit more but I promise that I will keep you posted as to the progress and I will let you know when I publish the first episode.  I’m counting on you all to keep me honest and help me achieve my goals.

Thank you so much for reading this blog and allowing me to come into your lives one blog at a time.

Sincerely,

Ana Pierro, The Paralegal

The Office Holiday Party


It’s the holiday season and for many of us that means there will be office parties, luncheons, maybe even drinks with the co-workers.  If you’re anything like me, you look forward to spending some time outside of the office with everyone.

There are a few rules you should keep in mind when taking part in these office festivities.

It is ok to be friendly and have a drink with your co-workers.  However, keep in mind that these people are not your childhood buddies and one drink is more than enough to be social.  Not drinking at all is probably the best approach but if you’re going to drink make sure you keep it to a minimum.  Remember that the next day you are still going to need to be respected and get your job done.  Going shot for shot with the boss is not going to win you a promotion any time soon.  On the contrary, it may wind up getting you fired.

What you wear says a lot about you:  You have been invited to an office function.  When choosing what to wear remember that you are not dressing for a club, hanging with your friends or a day at the country club.  Find something comfortable but appropriate.  For the guys a pair of slacks and a button down is always a safe choice.  For the women a nice knee length dress or skirt with a twin set or sweater are great choices.  This is not the time to express your individuality.

For those that are lucky enough to be able to bring their significant others to the party please remember that public displays of affection can make others very uncomfortable.

Remember to mingle.  There is no reason you should sit at your table all night.  Remember to use this opportunity to get to know people in other departments.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to know what a certain department does.   This is the time to introduce yourself to someone in that department and ask questions.  Maybe even mention that you are willing to volunteer to take on some of their work just so you can learn.  Remember that networking is very important.

There will be pictures.  Lots of pictures and in today’s social networking world a lot of those pictures will wind up on the internet, on someone’s FaceBook page or Twitter.  Remember to not give anyone reason to question your actions.

If you have to ask whether or not you should do something, most likely your should not do it.  Be popular because you’re smart and a good paralegal, not because you got someone’s number at the office holiday party.

High School Students And Internships


As I have mentioned before, I work in the legal department of a large Wall Street firm.  Like many large companies my company does a lot of work in the community.  The reasons are not important for this article and I do not wish to debate them.  Suffice it to say that we (the firm) provide many opportunities to the students of two of the local high schools which are two inner-city high schools.

Every September and October, we have a class of high school seniors come in and work at the company through our High School Internship Program.   The Program is one of the few paid internship programs still in existence.

In the legal department we normally hire one student every academic year and if it works out we may offer that student employment through the summer on a part-time basis while they are getting ready to go on to college.  All in all it’s a win/win situation.  We, the company, get some of the entry-level work done and the student gets exposure to all that is available to our full time employees.  That includes continuing education classes, industry information seminars, etc.

As the paralegal supervisor, every year I am in charge of supervising the students.  I make sure I expose them to a variety of matters and ensure that they work with every attorney on a one-on-one basis.

The first thing the firm, as a whole, does with the student, on the first day of their internship, is provide them with a full day of training about the financial industry.  Here they learn about compliance issues, anti-money laundry issues, we have speakers from each department come and give them a brief introduction of what our firm does and what services we provide.  We do not expect them to retain all the information but at least be knowledgeable enough to understand what it is that we do and know enough to understand some of the compliance red-flags, if they are faced with any throughout their time with us.

HR does a great job at this introduction into the firm.  I don’t meet the students until almost the end of the day where I go pick them up at the Learning Center to bring them up to the legal department and introduce them to everyone.

This year, when I went to pick up my intern, they were running a bit late with the end of their training session so I sat on the side-lines and had the opportunity to listen in on what was being said.

They were at the point of the Question and Answer part of the training and HR was advising them of our dress code policy and attendance policy.  I know these are high school students and some may have never been exposed to someone working in an office setting.  However, I was amazed to hear some of the questions being asked.

I thought I put out a short list of what is not appropriate to wear at work:

  1. Jeans (unless it’s denim day and you receive an email about it);
  2. If you raise your arms and I can see your belly button, you should rethink that shirt;
  3. Sneakers/tennis shoes (this is never appropriate);
  4. Spandex pants (I don’t care how cute you look in them);
  5. Nose and lip piercings (take those off if you want to be taken seriously);
  6. Tattoos (If you have one already there’s really nothing we can do about it, but if you’re thinking of getting one make sure it’s not somewhere where it will be seen);
  7. Uggs (they are cute, I wear them for my commute and they are sooooo toasty, but in the office make sure you have on appropriate footwear);
  8. Flip-flops (Again, I love them in the summer.  I probably live in them on weekends but they are not work appropriate)
  9. Skin tight or very short skirts (If the skirt is something you will be wearing to the club (and I don’t mean a country club) on a Friday or Saturday night, you should not be wearing it at work);

I hope this helps some of you who will be looking for your first job or internship in the next few months.  Good luck and let me know how it goes.