Chere Estrin: CEO of Estrin LegalEd in Los Angeles, CA

Estrin, who started out as a paralegal and worked her way up to the position of paralegal administrator, went on to start her own staffing company for paralegals. After 16 years in the staffing industry, she moved on to found Estrin LegalEd, a training and publishing company. These days, she is enjoying her role as the CEO of Estrin LegalEd, creator of the Paralegal SuperConferences and the Paralegal Trial & Corporate Institutes and a powerful force in the paralegal profession.

"On a day-to-day basis, I am responsible for designing and producing our seminars," Estrin said. "I research paralegal training needs throughout the country and come up with workshops that meet the needs of the elevating responsibilities of paralegals. I am also in charge of creating our brochures, newsletters, books, and publications. I search for excellent speakers, trainers, and authors. I get an opportunity to talk with paralegals worldwide. I've met paralegals in Europe, South America, Australia, and Hong Kong. It's a great job."

In addition, Estrin is in charge of maintaining marketing and business strategies that enable the company to continue to improve and advance in the marketplace. When asked what she enjoys most about her job, she said she likes being her own boss and the immense creative opportunities that come with that. "It's exhilarating," she said.

She also enjoys receiving feedback from paralegals across the world who have benefited from her seminars and resources.

"When attendees or students come up to me and thank me for a great seminar, I light up," she said. "Or when someone tells me they've read one of my books or articles and it changed their perspective or helped them through a difficult time. I learned that's what it's all about, and I've learned the real meaning of helping someone."

Although she admits that she sort of fell into the paralegal profession, Estrin is very happy with where it has taken her.

"I don't know of anyone who says, 'When I grow up, I want to be a paralegal.' That's like saying, 'When I grow up, I want to be an actuary,'" she said. "What happened was I was on the road with my theater company doing Broadway musical revues. I wanted to get off the road and settle down, so I applied for a paralegal job. I wasn't even sure what they did. The legal administrator I interviewed with just happened to have seen one of the shows I directed and produced and thought he would give me a shot at it. I stayed, and the rest is 'paralegal history.'"

Over the course of her career, Estrin has seen the paralegal profession grow in integrity and demand. She started out at a time when paralegals indexed documents on 3x5 note cards and were not taken too seriously; now attorneys expect to have at least one paralegal on their teams.

Estrin currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, with her husband. The twosome love to travel, especially to Europe and Hawaii, and Estrin also loves to go to the movies.

"Give me a good movie, a hankie, and a big bag of popcorn anytime," she said.

Her advice to aspiring paralegals is to put a lot of thought into the practice specialty they choose.

"It could be with you for the rest of your career," she said.

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