• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Law School

    Secure the Bag: Summer Associate Bucket List

    For you rising 2L and 3Ls, it’s important to recognize that you’re halfway into your summer internship. If you’re not careful, you’ll do the day-to-day work and end your time at the firm without much to show for it. We’ve discussed before the importance of a mid-summer self-eval and to not forget that internships are summer-long interviews, but on top of all of that it’s vital for you to keep a summer bucket list of professional milestones you want to hit so that you make yourself as strong of a candidate as possible when they are considering who to give offers to/you start looking for new opportunities. But what are…

  • Law School

    Summer Series: Learning from the Past

    Our Summer Series continues! This series highlights different Latina students and law grads as they embark in their summer jobs and/or bar prep all across the country. We hope to provide a variety of work experiences, options for a healthy work-life balance, and general motivation through different guest contributors to help you to take charge of your summer and professional goals!  Today, Linette, a rising 2L in California, describes how she’s using lessons learned from her internship last summer to start her current children’s rights focused internship on the right foot!   Before starting law school, I had a lot of fears and insecurities about my abilities. I had heard “horror” stories of people having…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Value Your Time: Learning to Say No

    Learning to value your time is a skill. When you’re new to the profession you may add too much to your plate because you want to impress the higher-ups, or you want experience, or you just don’t know if you can really say no. I totally get that it’s not easy to recognize when some opportunities are just not right for you. But not knowing when to say no (even as a student) can lead to you wasting your time, feeling demoralized, and neglecting other, more important, projects. I learned this the hard way when I was a 3L: My law school had a pretty prestigious trial advocacy fellowship (that…

  • Legal Practice

    What If I Don’t Like My Intern?

    Ok, so first I figure this was a good time to post this when I have NO interns assigned to me so that no one can think this is me throwing shade. I’ve manage a lot of interns since I began practicing–a lot. And if you ask any attorney that works with students frequently, they’ll tell you some interns they LOVED and some…were their interns lol. So I know that as new attorneys, working with students, we end up working with a medley of people and some we like, some we don’t. That’s normal–everyone isn’t for everybody, you know? But it can be difficult when we have a duty to…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Is Your Work Glamourous?

    A recent article from Harvard Business Review discussed how women and people of color (so especially women of color) are often assigned tasks that while necessary to keep a business running are not assignments that help propel your career. We are often assigned to doing “Office House Work” where white men are more often assigned “Glamour Work.” Glamour work gets you noticed and can be used to show growth and your success and experience with glamour work can be used to push for a promotion or more plummy assignments. I highly encourage people to read the HRB article especially because it discusses what managers and companies should do to take…