• Legal Practice

    What If I Hate Practicing?

    So lately I’ve been thinking how it’s probably not helpful that I’m always like BEING A LAWYER IS THE BEST THING EVAR! Because I get that not everyone feels that way and in encouraging folks to enter this field I don’t want to make ppl feel like there’s something wrong with them if they don’t enjoy practicing. Yes, it’s totally normal to actually not enjoy being a lawyer. I mean maybe that’s not a huge surprise when you look at the data that shows how badly our profession suffers from depression and addiction but only pointing to that can feel extreme. There can be moments in your career where you…

  • 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

    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

    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…

  • SideBar,  Work Life Balance

    Side Bar: One Year

    I haven’t done a side bar in a while. Things are just so routine, working from home, and also tumultuous, that it’s hard to keep track! But I did want to take a moment to acknowledge this milestone. I survived one year in city hall! And holy wow–what a year. I can’t even get into the nitty gritty of it, but just the growth (along with the growing pains) has been tremendous. Early on, a colleague who has been there for a really long time told me the work would flow between the ridiculous and the sublime and I think that captures exactly what it is like to be in…

  • Legal Practice

    Gaining Clients’ Trust through the Phone: Effective Client Counseling During COVID

    By now you’ve probably seen the insta quote about how you’re not working from home but rather working at home during a pandemic, which yah fact, for sure. This sudden need for many of us to telecommute isn’t due to a shift in practice but literally done to save lives so I get that it’s not business as usual. And I also get that many courts are suspended for the time being but the thing is that for those of us practicing, it’s not just about working but fulfilling our duty to our clients. If you’re still doing consultations, working through discovery, filing petitions etc., then your work product still…

  • Issues,  Work Life Balance

    Getting That Polished Look: Simple Ways to Increase Executive Presence

    We have talked about executive presence before (many times before!) but as a quick reminder, Executive Presence, is a theory that in business/work, people respond to you depending on your executive presence, which is really how you’re perceived based on how you look, speak, and act. There is a whole lot to dissect in that simple statement, especially if you include how race and gender play into all of this. But in the day to day, as you are establishing your own career, executive presence does play a role in your daily work and I wanted to discuss how the first part of EP (how you look) is something that…