• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…