• Issues,  Law School

    What Law School is Not

    Recently someone interested in pursuing a more academic career asked me about the nature of law school and the ability to discuss ideas and social issues along with cases. It reminded me of my own experience when I first started law school and how incorrect I was when it came to the purpose and focus of law school. The summer before my 1L year I was really lucky to participate in a program for low income students to prep them for law school; like a mini-boot camp. I was stationed at Notre Dame and was bright eyed and ready to go on my first day. The program had three courses,…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    If Kim Kardashian Can Do It, So Can You? : Alternative Paths to Becoming a Lawyer

    By now most have heard about Kim Kardashian’s plan to become a lawyer without going to law school. There was some confusion because a lot of people don’t know of California’s apprenticeship exception that allows you to circumvent law school and instead learn the law in a non-traditional manner. People assumed she was “buying” her degree rather than doing it the “right” way. While I am not one to support or defend the Kardashian conglomerate, the path she’s pursuing is clearly an option that’s available to people. But the real question is, is this a realistic option that will result in a practical, useful, and successful career for those of…

  • Law School

    In Defense of a Gap Year

    First, it’s really brazen for me to decide to tell you it’s worth considering a gap year before you go to law school when I didn’t take one. But that best part of time and experience is that you can look back at your missteps and think of ways things could have gone better. I want to talk about taking a gap year (or two) between undergrad and law school because I think gifting yourself this time can be super valuable to your career. If you’ve read Becoming then you know Michelle went straight through from Princeton to Harvard without much assessment as to whether law school was right for…

  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    Am I Dumb? Combating the Microaggressions at Work that Question Your Intelligence

    First, I’m so glad we have a space here to talk about this because I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. And, recently, when I read this article about how “well-meaning” liberals often dumb themselves down for our supposed benefit it all kind of clicked… Let me start at the beginning—tell me have you ever experienced any of the following: You’re really good at your job, but it seems almost impossible to be assigned complex cases, important clients, or other glamour work and you’re not sure why? You give guidance, advice, input on cases, but colleagues, even subordinates, question or push back on your correct analysis? Or You’re…

  • Law School

    Planting Seeds: Your 1L Summer Job

    Many people say your first summer out of law school doesn’t matter and that is somewhat true. It’s not like the thing you do that summer locks you into that practice area for the rest of your life. So you do have a lot of wiggle room. However, this is also where you plant a seed. If you plan it correctly, this summer can be the stepping stone to your career. It can lead to more opportunities, connections, and give you a peek of what you want your career to look like. But just how do you decide what your summer will be like? Here is how I decided: It’s…

  • Law School

    Does Rank Matter? Picking the Right Law School

    How many have heard the advice to not go to law school if it’s not in the top ten? Or don’t go to law school if it’s not a free ride? Or just, don’t go to law school? As a reminder, there is a lot of general public opinion about who should go to law school and why. And very rarely does that general advice take into account the special circumstances many Latinas find themselves in when it’s time to apply. So when you hear advice that dissuades you from your goal, consider who is giving it to you and if you’re even the audience they’re considering when they offer…

  • Law School

    Final Exam: It’s the Little Things That Make the Difference

    It’s almost here—final exam season! Yikes I know so many of you are busy prepping outlines, studying, and figuring out your final exams. Over the weekend, I helped review some mock essays and want to offer the same bits of advice here. I’ve gone over (in video) mastering IRAC and how to handle emotions during the actual exam, but today I want to discuss the little things that trip you up and how to manage them. So, here are three things to remember while you take your exams: One. Pay attention to the detail. Good hypos have key important information that leads you to the answer. Read it carefully, notice…

  • 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…

  • Law School

    Summer Series: Your Experience is Your Strength

    Our Summer Series winds down, and what an amazing summer tho! This series highlights different Latina students and law grads as they embark in their summer jobs and/or bar prep all across the country. This series provides a variety of work experiences, options for a healthy work-life balance, and general motivation through different guest contributors to help you to take charge of your summer and professional goals!  Today we also hear from Noelia, a rising 3L who is leaving her career as a teacher behind to commit, full-steam ahead, to becoming an attorney. She shares her summer experience, the lessons learned, and the expertise she brings to our profession as an educator and advocate…