• Issues,  Law School

    Responding to Racist Comments in the Classroom

    I wrote a post years ago about responding to racist comments and when that was written the discourse and awareness of racism in law school was not as out in the open as it was now. When I was in school (yikes that makes me sound old!), if someone complained about racist comments by other students, the students of color were told to grow thicker skin. There were few recourses for things that weren’t over the top overt so the idea was that you just grit and bear it, for the most part. And even though there is more self-awareness within some schools about implicit bias and space for students…

  • 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…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Never Making Partner: Can You Be a Happy as a Lawyer?

    The ABA recently issued a report on Women of Color in the law on why they leave or stay in the profession. The results are …stark. It was nothing surprising, but even still, it was disappointing to know the same issues I’m struggling with for a decade are issues women who have been practicing twice as long have endured. It’s like, ya, guey. Please stop. The study (which is worth reviewing) discusses the bias and stereotyping the participants (all women practicing for more than 15 years) experience. They discuss the prove it again bias; the othering we experience as attorneys; how we are never seen as equals by those in…

  • 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…

  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    A (1/2) Decade of Latinas Uprising

    It’s kind of exciting that we’re entering a new decade right? I think because I’m working on census 2020 stuff all the time at my new job that I’m very aware of this decennial time frame and how much changes in ten years.  But this time around, I am a little more relaxed than times past where I had a set timeline of accomplishments and milestones I wanted to work towards. In 2010, my only goal was to graduate law school, pass the bar, and find a full time job as an attorney.  I can say that decade really delivered. Not only did I become a lawyer, I laid a…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    Everyone Has Help: Why Kavanaugh’s Denials are a Detriment to our Profession

    I got into Yale Law School. That’s the number one law school in the country. I had no connections there. I got there by busting my tail in college. You’ve probably heard that re-play of Kavanaugh’s hearing in his attempt to become a Justice. There are so many things that were a sloppy mess in this hearing, but for me, this was such an eye-opening statement. This is a man that comes from wealth, working and living with DC-elite, is a legacy student (aka White Affirmative Action) and yet he sat there and screeched he did this all on his own. He ignores every leg-up, privilege, assistance given to him…

  • Issues,  Law School

    Don’t Hustle Backwards: Using Every Opportunity to Land Your Summer Job

    As we get closer to job application season for 1Ls and 2Ls, it’s vital to remember that you must use every tool at your disposal to get the job you want. First, let me start by saying this profession and law school (and this country) does a fantastic job of claiming we succeed through merit. Success is given to those that earn it and deserve it, right? No. The idea that people get ahead by bootstrapping is a farce. People get ahead because systems are in place to ensure they get ahead. Then when people like us, women and people of color, push ourselves into this system they try to…