• Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Overcoming Burnout: Stress and the New Lawyer

    Call it burn out, adulting so hard, winters blues–whatever you want to call it, it’s likely that sometime into your career as a new attorney you will feel drained from the responsibilities of your work and life. It’s completely normal to feel out of balance because suddenly not only are you juggling lawyer responsibilities, but you’re also adjusting to the demands of daily, adult life. And if you’ve always been in school or your gap year(s) didn’t really involve full-time work, then this adjustment can be difficult. When I was a new attorney, it took a while to find a steady routine that didn’t leave me drained. I was also…

  • Legal Practice

    Be the Boss: Making Partner

    Last weekend I attended a panel sponsored by the Hispanic Lawyers of Association of Illinois and it was amazing. The four women (plus moderator) were full of great advice and experience.  They all work in different sized firms throughout Chicago. Before the talk they shared some stats that are important to keep in mind when it comes to pursuing a career in big law. First, Latinas still make less than 2%of all US attorneys. We have the lowest rate of law firm partners for any racial/ethnic group (0.4%) and make up only 0.6% of General Counsel  within Fortune 500s. And to round it all up, Latinas make up less than…

  • Legal Practice

    Latina Leader: Karla Navarrete

    It’s time for another Latina Leader Lunes feature! Today we hear from California attorney, Karla Navarrete. A senior attorney at Coalition for Humane Rights, shares a bit of her work and what motivated her to become a lawyer. Spoiler: what I love most about her story is that she saw the need for more representation of Latinos in the law and then she went for it! And not only is she is excelling, she is leading a path for the next generation. 1.  When & why did you decide to go to law school? I decided to go to law school as a sophomore at UCLA. I was looking for…

  • Legal Practice

    Latina Leader: Mayra Rodriguez Alvarez

    After a way too long hiatus, Latina Leader Lunes is back! And I’m super thrilled to start with Mayra. Just from the small peeks of her life via social media, I know she is a force to be reckoned with! She is exactly what a Latina leader is all about–she saw how the Latino community in Northwest Indiana was underserved and marginalized. Then she worked hard to become the leader that they need. After graduating law school, she opened her own practice and is continuing to provide for her community. Here she gives us some insight on her journey through law school and goals for the upcoming year:   1. …

  • Legal Practice

    Harnessing Growth Mindset to Advance your Career

    Happy New Year (and yes, this isn’t a mirage, it’s actually a new post)! I’m hoping everyone is having a great start to the month and is easing back to work/preparing for the new semester nicely. Because January is always all about new beginnings and progress, I wanted to talk about the importance of your mindset and how you view your abilities and skills. Likely, many have heard about growth mindset and the importance it plays in your ability to succeed in school and career. I probably first heard about this in undergrad as a Sociology major, but it didn’t really resonate with me until many years later when I…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Do It Again: Overcoming the “Prove it Again” Bias at Work

    After you’ve been practicing for a while you become accustomed to people being wary of your ability and then you become super accustomed to them being blown away by how great you perform. This is a phenomenon known as “prove it again.” A horrible cycle women experience where we’re not given credit for our potential, instead our capabilities are questioned more harshly and when we deliver, those in charge need you to “prove it again” because obviously you’re past success was a fluke…   This is exhausting–seriously nothing annoys me more than seeing the ~shock~ when I do a killer job, like I’ve been killing it for years, how are…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…