• Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    Let Them Underestimate You: What Julian Castro Teaches Us About Expectations

    First, this is not an endorsement, but we have to talk about Julian Castro. He killed it at the debate stage on Wednesday and was a surprising star of the night. It seemed obvious that his performance was a surprise to everyone but Julian Castro. I noticed how cool, calm, collected he was after he delivered it. He acted like he did exactly what he had planned to do, even acknowledging that “a lot of people were surprised” by his breakout performance. That’s when it clicked. Julian Castro, I’m sure, has a life experience of being a Brown attorney who is dismissed as someone who is incapable of delivering and…

  • Law School

    Confidence Boost: What All Law Students Need to Know

    During law school, I kept a semi-consistent blog where I basically just re-capped my weekends (super riveting, I know). I was looking at a post I wrote after the first day of my Bar prep course and how much I was already freaking out about failing: But mostly I’m fearful because the one thing law school was great at was reminding me how unintelligent I am.  I mean, when people asked me questions about theories or laws I would think to myself, “why are they asking me?”  Seriously, my intellectual confidence took a beating so it’s no surprise that I am apprehensive about this whole Bar thing. Now, some people…

  • Law School

    Be Fearless: Try Out for Moot Court

    I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but I think it’s super beneficial to remind all students the importance of trying out for moot court and other trial advocacy teams. I’ve spoken to so many rising 1Ls that don’t even attempt to try out and that is such a disservice to yourself. I know not all of us will be trial lawyers (myself included), but these opportunities provided by your school aren’t made to create trial lawyers–they are so much more than that! Here’s what you lose out on when you don’t participate in these activities: one. Connections. You meet countless practicing attorneys and judges through these programs. You can gain mentors…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Celebrating Accomplishments: Si Se Pudo

    It’s that time of year again–Bar announcements.  And I’ve seen many have already gotten really great news!  Felicidades! It’s such an exciting time! So this seemed like a great time to talk about the importance of acknowledging professional accomplishments.  A common theme we see as women is that our professional achievements aren’t celebrated as strongly as events tied to family. This article does a great job of describing the problem.  I also remember reading an article years ago where a girl from a small town, where many of her peers couldn’t go to college because of teen pregnancy, graduated high school and was accepted into college.  Her achievement was so foreign…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Cultural Conflict: Finding the Balance between Keeping it Real and Selling Out

    One of the my favorite IG pics is Kermit, reminding us that we can all turn hood if we need to—and even for those of us that didn’t grow up “hood,” as people of color, we code-switch all the time. When we decide to play the game of being an attorney/joining a professional field we have to take stock of what it takes to be successful in that field and decide whether or not to assimilate to those standards. Speaking quietly, acting obedient, dressing modestly, and doing everything possible to not seem Brown is expected in seemingly all areas—even wine trains; but especially in the legal field. For example, I…

  • Law School

    Mastering Law School Classes

    Law School classes are like no other because aside from reading often arcane cases and trying to figure out just exactly what’s happening in those crazy fact patterns, you also go into class with terror in your gut that you’ll be the one called on today and omg, what happens if I freeze?! It’s really quite stressful. The fear gets easier overtime, but what you really need to cultivate during the early part of the semester is paying attention so that you actually understand. I know it seems like a no-brainer, but law school is tricky. It tricks you into thinking you can listen and browse the internet at the…

  • Legal Practice

    The Lack of Diversity in Big Law

    I just read this article on the New York Times about the difficulty Black lawyers face in Big Law. Since the representation of Latinos (let alone Latinas) is far fewer than Black attorneys, I can confidently say that the struggles in making partner are very similar.  I don’t want to get down on Big Law because every area of law, whether it’s public interest, government, solo, has obstacles one must face in regards to ethnicity, race, and gender.  In short, no area of law is diverse. Even in my agency the representation of Latinas lawyers is lacking.  But Big Law is different–I’m going to come out and say that it’s…

  • Legal Practice

    Networking Basics: How to Master a Networking Event

    Late spring/summer always seems to have so many networking opportunities. Usually there are events to help students network, but a lot of professional orgs and alumni groups have get togethers around this time as well. I remember the summer before starting law school I attended my first legit networking event and was kind of confused about what to do.  Thankfully, with practice it gets easier (and sometimes it’s actually fun). But when you’re first starting out as a new professional, you really have to work on managing and maintaining your professional image at these events because you never know when you’ll cross paths again.  Usually when people don’t seem to…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    The Importance of Self-Reflection

    There is so much to look forward to when an academic year ends—especially if it ends with your graduation. It’s just such a happy and exciting time! In the midst of all the excitement it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget to really step back and appreciate your big accomplishment. Taking time to self-reflect on all the good you accomplished (and the dips along the way) is the best stepping stone for your next phase in life—whether that phase be a new school year in the fall, or starting your career. I really encourage new grads to take a moment after the celebrations have quieted down and really review all…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Confidence and the New Attorney

    Bar results come out today in some jurisdictions!!  Congratulations to all those that passed!! What an amazing feat!! While we hope you’re busy celebrating, we also want to take a moment to talk about the importance of confidence as you begin practicing law.  For the most part, confidence is a self-given gift.  You bestow it on yourself and say to hell with other people’s opinions and own your skills and abilities. It’s not easy getting there.  Especially during your first few months in the legal profession.  I never took as hard of a hit to my self-esteem and self-worth as the three years I spent in law school.  My writing…