Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Paralegal Profile: Thirteen Questions for Cindy Arvanites RP PACE Registered Paralegal

Cindy Arvanites, RP PACE Certified Paralegal, is an active member of the San Francisco Paralegal Association. Thanks, Cindy, for your contributions to the promotion of the paralegal profession...and for letting everyone get to know you a bit better by answering the Paralegal Mentor's Thirteen questions!

1. Where do you work and what is your job title? I work for a technology company in Northern California and I am a Senior Litigation Paralegal.

2. What prompted you to choose a paralegal career? It chose me! I started as a temp doing document coding, but was so intrigued by what I saw the paralegals doing that I decided to take the steps necessary to become one.

3. What is your favorite part of your job? I focus mainly on the discovery process so I absolutely love interacting with company employees from all over the world, interviewing them and collecting data. I have met so many diverse and wonderful people that it makes the difficulties of information collection well worth the effort.

4. What professional associations do you belong to? I am a member of the San Francisco Paralegal Association (SFPA) and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).

5. How has your membership benefited you? To me, being successful and staying contemporary in my job is all about networking with my peers. And there is no better way to do that than by attending functions put on by local and national associations – I try to participate as much as possible.

6. Do you have any professional certifications? I am a PACE Registered Paralegal (“RP”).

7. What has been the highlight of your career? I was very honored to win the NFPA Paralegal of the Year award in 1998 and the SFPA President’s Award in 2008. Both awards mean a great deal to me.

8. What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry? In my world of litigation, eDiscovery trends and computer forensics are the hot topics right now.

9. Have you dipped your toes in the social media waters? I absolutely LOVE Facebook (but always try to follow Vicki’s guidelines about being mindful of who might see my public information and so I always try to use common sense rules in my postings.)

10. If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be? Always stay current – don’t rest on your “institutional knowledge” or your standard ways of doing things. Stay on top of the trends, finding ways to challenge yourself and to keep your skills fresh.

11. Is there a quote that inspires you? “You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” (Rosalynn Carter)
12. You've enjoyed a successful paralegal career. To what single event or person do you attribute that success? I think the secret of my success comes through my clear and concise communication style, which can be traced back to one particular High School English class.

13. What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting? Take heed of the old saying “Do what you love and love what you do”. Make sure that you find your niche in the legal world…and then own it!

Bonus…Just for Fun Fact: I am an avid scrapbooker and I love to spend time in my crafts room creating fun pages that capture the wacky antics of my two kids.

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