• Law School

    The Guilt that Comes with Family Financial Contributions

    A million years ago I watched the documentary about the Baltimore step team and one of the girls was heading to a top college.  But she started to get concerned because the FAFSA form included a line of how much her family was expected to contribute and she felt guilty at asking her parents to give so much. Her parents got her all the way together and told her to not worry about their finances. She was their responsibility and they would make sure she got to school. Not everyone has parents with this type of philosophy or have parents that can (or maybe even want to) provide the financial…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    What do Leaders Look Like

    A while ago I listened to the late, great Cerebronas podcast where they were guest in another WOC podcast. In the discussion, one of the hosts mentioned how surprised she was when she started law school at the homogeneity in body types. As I was listening, I found myself nodding along because it was true that in the law there is generally not a ton of body variation. And when I stopped to think why, the first explanation that jumped out at me is that most law school students are or were athletes at one point in time. For many of them, long-term participation in a competitive sport is how…

  • 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…

  • Law School

    Pre-Law Probs: Mastering Your Personal Statement

    When I tell you that I never prepared and planned harder for my law school application than anything else in my life I am not joking. I was serious about getting admitted and knew I needed as much preparation and help as possible. The biggest obstacle for me was my personal statement. I knew I had a lot of convincing to do as my LSAT score was very average.  So I did things I never, ever did with my writing (that in retrospect should have been a habit lol). I had multiple friends give edits and suggestions. I went to the writing center–hand to god, I had never stepped foot…

  • Law School

    Work With What You Got

    This week the internet was down at my house and because I can’t get ready without background noise, I started playing my iTunes on my laptop (lol wut). A Laura Pausini song came on and suddenly summer 06 came flashing back. That summer, I took the June LSAT and spent the rest of time researching law schools and starting my personal statements. Our house had no AC so the family computer was in the basement so that we wouldn’t sweat to death while using the hot ass computer. It was a really out of date desktop–so out of date that the screen lagged behind the keyboard. Like, I would write…

  • Law School

    Law School Culture Shock: Keep These Things in Mind

    We talk a lot about how different law school feels once you start. It can all be so overwhelming that at times you may think that you’re the only struggling, when that’s not the case at all. I wanted to discuss culture shock and adjusting to your new law school reality. First, culture shock is real. Whenever you enter new environments with new social cues and norms, it can be difficult to get a handle of it. When I first started, I could NOT get over the idea that people actually wore suits. Like, it felt like a costume; not something I would actually wear for an entire day. It…

  • Issues,  Law School

    Open Letter to “Mediocre” Latinx Students: Go Where You’re Not Wanted

    Yesterday, I saw the article on WaPo about the University of Maryland professor who accidentally sent an email to his mock trial class that included a coach’s (the prof’s daughter) remarks on the students who had tried out and her concern about whether or not to include the Latino students for the sake of diversity even though she thought they all performed poorly and that the best one was “mediocre.” I read that article and it was gut-wrenching. So often students of color have a sense that some professors, admins, or people in power within academia don’t support us because they have a preconception of our “inferior” capabilities, but rarely…

  • Law School

    Pre-law Prep: Making the Most of your Senior Year

    Since my anniversary is at the end of the month, my husband and I always reminisce about the beginning of our senior year, when we began dating. One of the things I remember was him sitting by my side as I hit send on most of my law school applications (aww! Lol). But seriously, I then started thinking about that time in my life and realized just how hectic the first months of senior year were because of those law school applications. If you’re about to embark in your senior year and/or are getting ready to apply within these next few months, I wish you luck! It’s so stressful! Exciting!…

  • Law School

    Breaking Barriers: Overcoming the 1L Emotional Roller Coaster

    By now, I’m sure most of you have heard or read that super odd article by David Brooks. He tried to explain that the rich and powerful maintain a culture of separatism from other socioeconomic brackets in an effort to keep others from joining their ranks. A valid point, followed by the most asinine example of a friend too stupid to pick out sandwiches, apparently. I definitely side-eyed the hell out of that example, but I have to admit that he was right in that there’s a culture and code that is hard to break into. If you’re about to enter into law school soon, I don’t want to scare…

  • Law School

    Breaking Barriers: Selecting the Right Law School

    Law school is different when you’re brown. It shouldn’t be, but it is. I mean, you already know that life is different for us. I think about this past summer when I did an outreach trip with coworkers and we traveled in southern Illinois. Someone wanted to stop to get a drink at a hole in the wall bar, but I became a wet blanket and encouraged us to just get to our next meeting spot. Not because I didn’t want a drink–hello, you must be new, but because I was so hesitant about entering a bar in the middle of S. Illinois. Whether that’s fair to those residents or…