• 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…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Stressed Out: Managing Vicarious Trauma and Work-Related Stress

    We’ve spoken about vicarious trauma before–it is essentially the mental impact we experience by being exposed to other people’s trauma. Generally, we may think this is something we see with EMTs or other first-responders, but this type of trauma seeps into legal work as well. It’s the prosecutor that has to stare at murder scene pictures, the guardian ad litem that has to work with abused children, the immigration attorney that hears about the atrocities their client experienced–all those instances, and many others, do a number on us and it’s not a question if we will be impacted by it, but when and how. First, a disclaimer: nothing, not better…

  • Legal Practice

    Resume Musts: How to Structure a Killer Resume

    So I’m about to talk about something controversial–are you ready? …resumes are an important, vital part of your job search and you need to know how to craft one that makes you a strong candidate for the job. I know, I know, there are people on twitter and Linkedin who say they aren’t important. Hiring managers who claim they never look at them. That they are a relic of the past. But that’s not true. Or if it is good advice for someone, it’s not actually advice for you. We do not have the space to be unconventional in our job search. So you need to know how to draft…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Break It: Moving Past Stereotypes to Advance your Career

    I want to direct folks back to the ABA report about women of color leaving law. The report is great and breaks down so many of the issues women face that cause a road block in their career. One frequent theme that the participants highlight is how difficult it is to find mentors/sponsors in their career because they are not able to make a connection with those in positions to help advance their careers. The women profiled found it difficult to connect with the white male leaders in their firms, but noticed that the men did not have that same hesitancy/barrier to help white women. They hypothesize that a big…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Summer Series: Trusting Yourself

    Wow. In what I hope is the wildest summer of our lives (because no one needs a 2020 repeat), I am still sad to see this year’s Summer Series come to an end. But the end of something isn’t always bad, especially when we get a gem like today’s guest writer. Genesis Palma is a law school grad who planned to grow this summer. And she did just that. I am so excited to share her piece, which discusses coming to terms with the damage law school can cause, taking a moment to reflect on what is best for you and our mental/financial help, and always, always recognizing the strength…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Never Making Partner: Can You Be a Happy as a Lawyer?

    The ABA recently issued a report on Women of Color in the law on why they leave or stay in the profession. The results are …stark. It was nothing surprising, but even still, it was disappointing to know the same issues I’m struggling with for a decade are issues women who have been practicing twice as long have endured. It’s like, ya, guey. Please stop. The study (which is worth reviewing) discusses the bias and stereotyping the participants (all women practicing for more than 15 years) experience. They discuss the prove it again bias; the othering we experience as attorneys; how we are never seen as equals by those in…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Summer Series: Believe in Your Power

    I’m thrilled to begin the 2020 Summer Series! Not just because I’m excited of the work that fellow Lawtinas will share in this ever-changing, “new normal” world, but because we get to start off with a bang! We’re beginning with Yadilsa. Who is no stranger to Summer Series and has graciously shared her journey with us each summer. She just graduated law school and is prepping for the Bar. But what I’m more excited to share is her testimony to everyone that it can be done. You can reach your goals. We all start with some serious deficits but we have the drive, intelligence, and faith in ourselves to do…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Clients Only Want Attorneys who have Great (writing) Skills

    Ok, first does anyone even get that Napoleon Dynamite reference? Well, if not please go watch it soon so you can find my little subject line funny…   Anyway, my point today is how to strengthen your writing skills because it’s true–clients want it and being a strong writer makes you an even better lawyer. This post is aimed at anyone who wants to get better, but I’m particularly thinking of my rising 2Ls, who likely took a beating this last academic year and may feel like they’re not as good as they once thought. First, don’t worry! Yes, legal writing is different and can be difficult, but it can…

  • Legal Practice

    From Practice to Policy: Switching to policy work from your legal practice

    Now that I’ve been working in policy for almost a year, I feel like I have a good sense of what works, what doesn’t, and have been surprised at how well the traditional lawyer skills translate into good policy work. What I view traditional lawyering includes one-on-one client representation, client counseling, trust-building, investigation, and a zealot-like approach to getting the best deal for your client. Policy work is different. It is community-focused, data-driven, there’s sometimes tension with decisions, and a lot of cooks in the kitchen who get input on who/when programs/policies are put in place. I also work within local government, so there’s no avoiding the historical trauma experienced…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Still Gotta Bill… Effective Ways to Work From Home

    I know weeks ago, I was all “don’t worry about productivity– it’s a Pandemic!” And I still stand by that, for sure. Times are stressful and scary. No one is performing at the top of their license right now. Yet, for those of us privileged to work from home there is still an expectation that we, you know, work. And the legal wheels don’t stop–we still gotta bill and mark our time (which btw super happy to not have actually bill time anymore). So I thought I’d share some steps I’ve taken to create a routine that has allowed me to be productive while not feeling like I always have…