• 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…

  • Law School

    Why is Law School Terrible?

    In college I attended a conference where a student discussed how he was finishing his 1L year. And he made the joke almost all law students have made since the invention of law school, which was DON’T GO! And everyone laughed, but I remember the guy’s eyes flashing  with a glint of a little desperation, but then he smiled again and said he was joking. But was he? Are we just joking when we tell people not to go? Why is law school so horrible that we dissuade others from attending? I’ve covered before why the advice for most people to not attend law school doesn’t really apply to Latinas.…

  • 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…

  • Legal Practice

    Odd Man Out: Acclimating to Professional Norms

    I don’t remember where I saw this (on twitter) but a recent law school grad mentioned how awkward she felt going to dinner with people who have money and think nothing of ordering apps. She felt awkward because she grew up with barely having enough to make ends meet, let alone extras like appetizers. It’s such a simple story, but it reminded me how out of place so many things can make us feel when we first join the professional world. This isn’t exclusive to the legal field, but for those of us that grew up with little financial means or exposure to “professionals” it can feel jarring and out…

  • 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…

  • Legal Practice

    Take Control: Why Ambition is Necessary for your Legal Career

    It is so common when you get your first job to feel super grateful that someone took a chance on you. Gratitude is good! But there is a risk when we are so happy to have a job, to have our license, to be a real life attorney (!!!) that we kind of just go with the flow. Suddenly, a few years pass by and you realized you haven’t structured your career in a way that best benefits you. The best way to avoid this is to take control of your career by being ambitious. It may feel like we should shy away from seeming determined or focused on a…

  • Legal Practice

    Dos and Don’ts for a New Attorney

    You have a new job! Yay! I remember how exciting it is to start a new job (and what a relief it is to not have to keep job-searching!). If this is your first job as an attorney, it’s especially exciting because this is the place where you will learn what type of attorney you will become—and I don’t just mean what practice area you’ll focus on, but rather this where you’ll sharpen skills you don’t even know you have. And even more exciting, as a baby shark, this is where you’ll gain a sense of what type of cases/facts/and clients get you smelling blood in the water (gross). I…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Play to Win: Using Respectability Politics as a Tool

    I think one of the biggest things I struggle with here is how much I seem to push assimilation and accepting business norms. I dislike that I do it because when we abide by certain business norms set by those in power, we may end up believing (or portraying to others) that those norms are better than our own cultural standards. Or worse, we fall into a trap of believing that we’ll be accepted by those in power.  I try to find a balance of discussing how most norms and ideals are created and enforced to advance those in power while at the same time, I take up a lot…

  • Legal Practice

    Working Goals

    Not to add more things on your plate, but if you’re on the resolution bus then I strongly encourage adding goals for work on your to-do list. When you start practicing, it is so easy to get into a day-to-day routine. Actually, that’s normal and what most people want! But the risk in this is that there is nothing that breaks up this monotony and suddenly you find yourself three or four years in with only minimal increase in skills or progress on your career goals. It bears repeating the career growth requires active participation, so why not take the opportunity of a new slate to figure out what you…