• Issues,  Legal Practice

    Drawing the Line: Pushing Back Against Problematic Standards in the Law

    Of the million and one things that were incredibly wrong with the Kavanaugh confirmations, one of the stories that jumped out at me was a story involving Amy Chua. Chua, of Tiger Mom fame, is a Yale Law School Professor and is um, well, somewhat problematic, to say the least. The story that made the rounds detailed how Chua allegedly instructed women law students on how to dress and style themselves to please Kavanaugh because he liked his clerks to look “a certain way.”  She denies this, but many people have heard similar advice in their own school settings. And so this type of advice does happens to various extents–that…

  • Legal Practice

    Push Yourself: Becoming Comfortable with Public Speaking

    As attorneys, our ability to persuade is mostly dependent on our writing skills. There’s no such thing as a good lawyer who is a bad writer. But there are plenty of lawyers who are, well, trash at public speaking lol I don’t mean to be harsh, but speaking confidently in public setting is an art form. There are some that are naturally good at it, and those that loathe it. Those that hate it may look for opportunities that keep them away from having to speak on the record as much as possible. And while I don’t judge people who opt to keep as transactional caseload because they don’t want…

  • Issues,  Work Life Balance

    American Like Me: A Book Review

    On one of my first days of school in the U.S. a young boy approached me and asked: What color are you? I had never been asked this before and remember showing him my arm, confused that this poor boy didn’t know his colors and answered:  I’m tan.  Later when I told my mom what happened, she laughed and said if someone asks you that again just say you’re Mexican. Easy enough. However, as I grew up, I realized the complexities of race in the U.S. I grappled with my own cultural identity and picking the right “label.” It’s all so complicated and made more so by the fact that…

  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    Everyone Has Help: Why Kavanaugh’s Denials are a Detriment to our Profession

    I got into Yale Law School. That’s the number one law school in the country. I had no connections there. I got there by busting my tail in college. You’ve probably heard that re-play of Kavanaugh’s hearing in his attempt to become a Justice. There are so many things that were a sloppy mess in this hearing, but for me, this was such an eye-opening statement. This is a man that comes from wealth, working and living with DC-elite, is a legacy student (aka White Affirmative Action) and yet he sat there and screeched he did this all on his own. He ignores every leg-up, privilege, assistance given to him…

  • Issues,  Law School

    Don’t Hustle Backwards: Using Every Opportunity to Land Your Summer Job

    As we get closer to job application season for 1Ls and 2Ls, it’s vital to remember that you must use every tool at your disposal to get the job you want. First, let me start by saying this profession and law school (and this country) does a fantastic job of claiming we succeed through merit. Success is given to those that earn it and deserve it, right? No. The idea that people get ahead by bootstrapping is a farce. People get ahead because systems are in place to ensure they get ahead. Then when people like us, women and people of color, push ourselves into this system they try to…

  • Work Life Balance

    A Spark: Books that Empower Latinas

    So, the sad truth is there are many Latina authors, but they are not supported and very rarely get the same backing as other authors. That’s why it feels rare to read a book by Latinas. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve edited my social media followings to include mostly & primarily women of color. When I think about it, I realize it stems from my reading habits. Like most of you, I love reading and when I was little, the library was our refuge. My mom would take me to the local library and it would provide solace and peace away from homes that were, at times, tumultuous. I was…

  • Legal Practice

    Landing the Job: It’s the Little Things

    It’s job hunting season for many of you. Whether you’re in law school and prepping for your next summer gig, a 3L looking for a fall fellowship, or a recent grad waiting to for Bar results you need to make sure you showcase yourself as a top candidate. When I was first starting out, I had never written a cover letter before–I had never had a professional job and all my internships in college had been obtained informally. I didn’t know the importance of a good cover letter or resume. Thankfully, I had a good career counselor who had strongly held beliefs about what cover letters should look like and…

  • SideBar

    Sidebar: So Many Parties

    August was a whirlwind. There was a lot of events left and right, both at work and home. At work, we had like a million going away parties–ok, just four, but still a massive amount. We’ve had a lot of turnover lately for various reasons and of course that means we have goodbye parties for everyone. And while I like all my coworkers, just like Animal Farm, some are more liked than others lol #kanyeshrug. Meaning, I was really bummed when one of them left b/c we were work buds. But that is the life of legal aid–people come and go all the time. In the meantime, I super enjoyed…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    To Be or Not to Be: The Problem With Gender Roles & Sexism in the Courtroom

    I just finished reading two articles that I recommend people read about women litigators and issues they face at work. One is from The Atlantic and the other is a response in the ABA Journal. Each article tackles how women, who make up a dismal percentage of lead counsel/first chairs in trials, can push back against sexism in the courtroom to win for their client. The article in The Atlantic, written by Lara Bazelon–a former Federal Public Defender and Clinical Professor, suggests that women face such systemic sexism in every area of the courtroom that it behooves us to abide by gender roles so that we’re not seen as too…

  • Legal Practice

    What Beyonce Teaches Us About Power

    Have you heard the Good News? Beyonce is on the cover of Vogue, September Edition. Not only that, she discusses so much of her private life that makes me love her even more. Not only that, but she had complete control and decided to use that control to hire a relatively unknown young, Black photographer to shoot the cover. The first black photographer in the magazine’s entire history (embarrassing). Beyonce said: If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from…