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There's a lot to be said for living next to the beautiful Pacific Ocean in Southern California, which sparkles like diamonds in the afternoon sun. MacEachern says that she greatly enjoyed swimming when she was younger. In fact, sports and swimming were her great inspirations as a young girl; she swam competitively for 15 years. She attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, got married, and has three children, ages 11, nine, and five.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from SMU, MacEachern decided to get a paralegal certificate from the university as well.
"I always dreamed of a career in law enforcement, the legal area, or politics. My senior year in college, I took an aptitude test, and the results confirmed my interest in the legal area. My guidance counselor told me about the paralegal program at our school, and I enrolled shortly after my senior year," she affirms.
Once she obtained her paralegal certificate, she moved back to California, ended her swimming career, started her professional career as a paralegal, and "enjoyed [her] life as a young adult." Her first jobs after school were as a correspondence secretary to Senator Phil Gramm and as a paralegal with Ernst & Young.
When asked what the benefits of being a paralegal are, MacEachern replies, "A paralegal, as opposed to an attorney, has the opportunity to work in several different areas of law, such as probate, litigation, estate planning, corporate, and real estate. Attorneys usually specialize. Paralegals bill their time to clients and, therefore, are involved in more drafting and client contact than other support staff. Paralegals have the opportunity to prepare for and attend trial."
MacEachern says she thinks she'll continue in the legal field.
"I took several years off work to raise my children, and when it was time to start working again, I put a lot of thought into how I wanted to spend my time away from my family. After dabbling in various 'mommy' jobs, I realized I was missing the stimulation I felt when working for clients and helping them to achieve their legal needs."
A personal goal of MacEachern's is to enjoy her life with her husband and children and always be there for them. As far as career goals are concerned, she wants to "be a hardworking, honest employee and provide quality work for [her firm's] clients."
Q. What do you do for fun?
A. Spend time with my family, work out, go out with friends, travel.
Q. What CD is in your CD player right now, or what was the last song you listened to?
A. Green Day, American Idiot.
Q. What's the last magazine you read?
Q. What's your favorite TV show/movie?
A.Grey's Anatomy, Star Wars.
Q. Who is your role model? Why?
A. Frances Ann Hermstad. Even though my grandmother passed away two years ago, she is still my role model. She possessed all the qualities I believe are needed to be a decent human being. Good listener, respect for yourself and others, loving, dignified, intelligent, positive, motivated, achiever, family oriented, feminine, successful — these are only some of the qualities she possessed. If I live the 86 years she did, my goal is to achieve all and more of these qualities.
MacEachern says that she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, working out, and providing the opportunity for her children to participate in sports activities. She does not currently belong to any organizations but is involved as a school volunteer and in neighborhood activities.
Regarding strong influences in her life, MacEachern says, "I have always been extremely self-motivated. However, my mother, father, brother, and several close aunts and uncles throughout my life have provided me with love, guidance, and support." She also says that her swim coach taught her the value of hard work and goal setting.
Her advice for those interested in entering the legal field is "Stay in school and get as many degrees as you can before you start your career and family."
MacEachern has worked at Bernick, Lifson, Greenstein, Greene & Liszt for three months and says she'll stay there. She is currently a paralegal for the firm's corporate and estate planning practices.
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