• Legal Practice

    Beware of Burnout

    When I first started practicing I was so fueled by excitement and hope that I never, ever thought I would get tired of doing my job. And thankfully for me it took a long time before the negative aspects of lawyering started to feel like a drag. I count myself lucky because my work didn’t have a ton of adversarial encounters (my immigration practice was mostly affirmative based). My clients were literally the best people ever, and I was lucky enough to do really novel work in terms of addressing gender-based violence. Oh and did I mention I practiced immigration during a time where immigration law was pretty much steady…

  • 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…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    What do Leaders Look Like

    A while ago I listened to the late, great Cerebronas podcast where they were guest in another WOC podcast. In the discussion, one of the hosts mentioned how surprised she was when she started law school at the homogeneity in body types. As I was listening, I found myself nodding along because it was true that in the law there is generally not a ton of body variation. And when I stopped to think why, the first explanation that jumped out at me is that most law school students are or were athletes at one point in time. For many of them, long-term participation in a competitive sport is how…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Law School Lingo

    Starting law school is excited until you feel like a fish out of water–you’ve never read so slowly in your life, you’re confused about the process, and often you’re confused about terms and phrases that other people just seem to know. I’m not talking about the latin phrases in case law, but rather a classmate talking about joining a white shoe firm. Like, what even is that? No fear, today, we’re sharing some law school lingo to review and refer to that will hopefully help explain this new world you’re joining.  As you review these phrases you’ll notice I mention “prestigious,” “elite,” and “competitive” a lot. And well, welcome to…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Summer Series: The Beauty & Value of Hands On Work

    Summer Series 2019 continues! Today we have Gissell Rodriguez a rising 3L at Western New England University School of Law. This Lawtina shares her summer experience with us as an intern for a legal aid in New York doing hands-on client counseling work all summer long. She discusses the difference in services provided when clients are able to culturally connect with their lawyers and the skills she’s gained in a fast-paced legal aid office.  Representing Minors in Immigration The federal government does not provide legal representation in immigration proceedings. This means that children who cross the border and are detained do not have lawyers. Statistically only 8% of children are…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Summer Series: Putting Dreams into Action

    Summer Series 2019 continues! Next up is Sophia Iams, who will begin law school in the fall. Sophia is a “nontraditional” law student in that she had a career as a consultant in the biotech industry in the Midwest and is raising a family. She shares how she decided to take the leap in changing her career’s trajectory and pursue a career in the law. Most importantly she shows us the value in seeking out professional fulfillment, even when it doesn’t fit the mold.    Growing up I didn’t know much about lawyers. I didn’t know who they were or what they did. It’s difficult to understand a career path…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Summer Series: You Can’t Be What You Can’t See

    Summer Series 2019 continues! Today we have Karla Mardueno, a recent law grad from Howard law. She is studying for the Bar while completing a summer fellowship at MALDEF, and will begin working in Big Law once the Bar is over. That is a lot to balance, but she discusses who empowering it has been to begin her career surrounding by other powerful Lawtinas.    “Don’t work while you’re studying for the bar.” This is the advice I got over and over again in the months leading up to my law school graduation.  But when I learned that I could complete a fellowship during my bar summer, I could not…

  • 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…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Summer Series: Hustle Sold Separately–Securing a Summer Associate Gig

    Summer Series 2019 continues! Today we have Yadilsa Diaz, another repeat (and just as beloved) guest writer to this series. We have seen Yadilsa has been so kind to share her pre-law summer, her 1L summer as an in house counsel and now she shares her tips on how to hustle and get the big law summer associate position. Getting a foot into big law is no easy feat, and she shows you a road map on how to get it–of course, it take preparation, discipline, and faith–but she’s got it and so do you!     Hola hermanas! My name is Yadilsa Diaz, and I am a rising 3L at…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    When It Comes to Your Money, Leave the Guilt Behind

    A few weeks ago, AOC had a funny instastory asking people to help her figure out how to use the garbage disposal because she never had one and thought it was a fancy add-on to her new, fancy apartment. She jokingly asked if social mobility means having appliances you never had growing up. And while it was all in good fun, the gist of her story struck a chord for many of us who come up from low income homes. Acclimating to financial stability, dare I say, even wealth, is a mind screw. And while many people struggle in their early careers, there’s a huge difference between those that grew…