• Legal Practice

    The Bad and the Ugly of Being an Attorney

    Beginning your career as a new attorney is so exciting. You’re finally working in your dream career and it feels so rewarding to start a fresh, new chapter in your life. Plus, when you go to court people call you counselor and it’s pretty awesome the first few times it happens–not going to lie. But soon you’ll realize the big open secret: being a lawyer is hard y’all and that is in large part due to the culture shock you may experience.  Culture shock is normal and typical when starting something new and learning new codes of conduct and expectations. Where I think some struggle with moving beyond the shock…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    Am I Dumb? Combating the Microaggressions at Work that Question Your Intelligence

    First, I’m so glad we have a space here to talk about this because I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. And, recently, when I read this article about how “well-meaning” liberals often dumb themselves down for our supposed benefit it all kind of clicked… Let me start at the beginning—tell me have you ever experienced any of the following: You’re really good at your job, but it seems almost impossible to be assigned complex cases, important clients, or other glamour work and you’re not sure why? You give guidance, advice, input on cases, but colleagues, even subordinates, question or push back on your correct analysis? Or You’re…

  • 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…

  • Legal Practice

    What Beyonce Teaches Us About Power

    Have you heard the Good News? Beyonce is on the cover of Vogue, September Edition. Not only that, she discusses so much of her private life that makes me love her even more. Not only that, but she had complete control and decided to use that control to hire a relatively unknown young, Black photographer to shoot the cover. The first black photographer in the magazine’s entire history (embarrassing). Beyonce said: If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from…