• Legal Practice

    Who is the Imposter? Not You.

    I recently read a new article from Harvard Business Review discussing how imposter syndrome is often blamed for our self doubt and lack of growth in our career, but that ignores outside factors (i.e. work culture) that actually influences your growth, more than your own confidence in abilities. Essentially, the report lays out that everyone—everyone—experiences doubt when they are starting something new, but most work environments are structured so that it tends to help one group of workers over others. Meaning, men may feel self-doubt but are given access to mentors and sponsors, both formally and informally, to help them grow and feel more secure in their work. So as…

  • Legal Practice

    Elephant in the Room: Sexism in the Court Room

    If you have any interest in the criminal justice system or being a litigator then please take a moment to read a report called “Toughen up buttercup vs. TimesUp: initial findings of the ABA women in criminal justice Task Force.” It’s a report on the task force findings after having discussing with different women in the criminal justice system and in summary–things aren’t great. I really urge folks to take some time to read it or the summaries so you can get a sense of what it’s like to be a women in the criminal justice system. There are issues with overt sexism from coworkers, judges, and opposing counsel; enforced…

  • Legal Practice

    Know Your Limits: Setting Boundaries to Better Serve Clients

    A few weeks ago when we discussed the train wreck interview and the need to manage clients, a point was raised about paternalism. And honestly yeah, there is a such a problem with attorneys thinking that managing clients means they know what’s best in all aspects of a client’s life. And in certain segments of the legal industry, primarily legal aids and in sectors where we worked with marginalized communities, there is a risk of falling into a paternalistic behavior. We may often hear of this when we’re critiquing non-profits whose leaderships tend to not look like the community they represent. But I have seen situations with attorneys of color…

  • Law School

    Bounce Back: Saving your GPA after 1L Year

    So, I love this community because I posted this on Insta and how excited I was to have other low-ranked law graduates represented in the White House. That’s my type! Mostly joking (I have no clue if MY PRESIDENT graduated in the bottom half of his class, but if he did, then I’m in good company). The reality is that I STRUGGLED my 1L year and when grades came out, I was disappointed but not surprised that I didn’t do so hot. More Bs and Cs than I had expected. I really didn’t know what to do, I was to embarrassed to go to the TAs and didn’t even know…

  • Legal Practice

    Who’s the Daddy? Managing Clients

    So there’s so much to discuss when it comes to the #SohoKaren situation and let me say emphatically her behavior may have stemmed from a lot of issues, but the most troubling one is the racism. Y punto. But what I want to talk about here is her hat. Ok, not just the daddy hat, but everything that led to an interview with a daddy hat and the importance of client management. Managing clients, especially difficult ones, is a skill set we must develop sooner rather than later. A common misconception is that we say yes to every client whim, but that is a disservice to the client. While we…

  • Law School

    Mastering the Interview

    Soon, it will be interview season for folks looking for summer positions. I’ve been thinking about my first interview for my 1L summer job and how grateful I am that the organization was so Latino-centered that they gave me a lot of grace that I wouldn’t have received in other spaces. It’s not that I didn’t take the interview seriously, it’s just that having only ever worked retail or service jobs, I didn’t get that there is an added polish that is expected in the legal industry. So if you’re about to interview what are the things you should focus on for this extra polish? Looks. Ugh, I hate offering…

  • SideBar,  Work Life Balance

    Side Bar: What a year

    I don’t even know where to start. This year was just beyond and I know I’m not sharing any huge revelation here because we’ve all been through it, but I do want to take a moment to just acknowledge what occurred. At the beginning of 2020, I was six months into my new job in local govt and to put it plainly—I was ex-haust-ed! The pace of the work was a huge jolt to my system. And while I felt like I finally was getting it, I was still barely home and barely sleeping. Additionally, there were constant threats that ICE could descend at a moment’s notice—remember when they threatened…

  • Law School

    Make or Break: Summer Job Search

    On top of finals, and memos, and the holidays, and next semester (anything else? A pandemic?), it’s also time to start your job search for next summer. I want to emphasize here, especially for those that didn’t grow up with parents in professional jobs, just how normal it is in this industry to apply for jobs that start six months from now. When I started law school, my only work experience was hourly work in retail/restaurants. The kind that hired you on the spot or a few weeks after you submitted an application. It was completely new to me that anyone would hire anyone for a job that started months…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Lessons Learned During Ten Years of Practice

    So, in early November I passed the ten year mark. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been practicing for ten years, but at the same time, I’ve been able to pack so much in the past decade. There was so much happening in early November, I didn’t feel like there was space to discuss this milestone but there is no way I can reach this anniversary and not say something! I thought it would be fun to share some big and small lessons that have made the difference in my career. When I graduated law school, it was at the height of the worst recession (ha!) and no one–NO ONE–in my…

  • Legal Practice

    Managing While Managing Your Own Stress

    So by now we’ve maybe gotten into a groove of working from home, and overseeing projects, but if you’re a new supervisor (whether it’s full time staff or interns) finding a way to manage while managing everything else that comes with a pandemic can feel like a bit much. In these situations, when it feels overwhelming, we may end up doing one of two things: completely letting go, which is not great or micromanaging to an extreme, which is never good. So what can you do to ensure you’re still being a good supervisor while dealing with everything else? One. Scream. Seriously! We may not recognize how anxious we are…