• 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…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Summer Series: Believe in Your Power

    I’m thrilled to begin the 2020 Summer Series! Not just because I’m excited of the work that fellow Lawtinas will share in this ever-changing, “new normal” world, but because we get to start off with a bang! We’re beginning with Yadilsa. Who is no stranger to Summer Series and has graciously shared her journey with us each summer. She just graduated law school and is prepping for the Bar. But what I’m more excited to share is her testimony to everyone that it can be done. You can reach your goals. We all start with some serious deficits but we have the drive, intelligence, and faith in ourselves to do…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Clients Only Want Attorneys who have Great (writing) Skills

    Ok, first does anyone even get that Napoleon Dynamite reference? Well, if not please go watch it soon so you can find my little subject line funny…   Anyway, my point today is how to strengthen your writing skills because it’s true–clients want it and being a strong writer makes you an even better lawyer. This post is aimed at anyone who wants to get better, but I’m particularly thinking of my rising 2Ls, who likely took a beating this last academic year and may feel like they’re not as good as they once thought. First, don’t worry! Yes, legal writing is different and can be difficult, but it can…

  • Legal Practice

    From Practice to Policy: Switching to policy work from your legal practice

    Now that I’ve been working in policy for almost a year, I feel like I have a good sense of what works, what doesn’t, and have been surprised at how well the traditional lawyer skills translate into good policy work. What I view traditional lawyering includes one-on-one client representation, client counseling, trust-building, investigation, and a zealot-like approach to getting the best deal for your client. Policy work is different. It is community-focused, data-driven, there’s sometimes tension with decisions, and a lot of cooks in the kitchen who get input on who/when programs/policies are put in place. I also work within local government, so there’s no avoiding the historical trauma experienced…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Still Gotta Bill… Effective Ways to Work From Home

    I know weeks ago, I was all “don’t worry about productivity– it’s a Pandemic!” And I still stand by that, for sure. Times are stressful and scary. No one is performing at the top of their license right now. Yet, for those of us privileged to work from home there is still an expectation that we, you know, work. And the legal wheels don’t stop–we still gotta bill and mark our time (which btw super happy to not have actually bill time anymore). So I thought I’d share some steps I’ve taken to create a routine that has allowed me to be productive while not feeling like I always have…

  • 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,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    Wait, How is this Going to Work? Career Planning the Midst of a Pandemic

    Hello, so with all the way people’s lives have been upended, it’s really normal to feel dread about what this may mean for your career. Of course, that may not be your first worry, which makes total sense. But at times, you could feel worried about your career and then feel guilty for worrying and all those things are normal.  For those on the edge of becoming lawyers, this is the milestone you’ve been working towards for a long time, so it’s completely understandable that you’re nervous and worried. I was nervous and worried too right when I graduated law school. I want to share what it was like when…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Working in the time of COVID

    First, I have to preface this by saying–this is bonkers. This is bonkers!! Like some days I still can’t believe we’re living in the midst of a pandemic with such little control. It’s a bit much. As I shared with folks on insta, I’m working from home because I’m “high risk” because of my asthma. Asthma that was just diagnosed this past fall so being able to navigate that on top of a demanding, high stress job while everything seems to be The Worst is a lot. But at the same time I know I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to work from home and not deal with the fears…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Be Strategic, Be, Be Strategic: Key Steps to Take When Job Searching

    I recently shared on instagram about the worst job interview I ever had (and how traumatized I am still from it). Without ~naming names~ the position was for a summer counselor role for pre-law students. I was excited for the opportunity to get to be around other Latinx interested in law, but quickly during the interview I realized I was not going to be selected. The interviewer kept pushing back against each answer, making me rephrase or offer up another example; often interrupting saying my answer wasn’t good enough. At the end of interview, I felt like my experience as a Latina weren’t valid and I felt like shit. It…

  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    The Danger in Being the First

    Wow, so I didn’t think I would write anything substantial about the American Dirt publishing industry scandal but like always Latino USA came through and inspired me. To bring ppl up to speed, American Dirt was written by a White woman and given a seven figure (!) advance by a publishing industry that then turned around and spent even more money to promote it. They landed promos with Latina influencers, a spot on Oprah’s book club, and blurb by the Chicana literary icon, Sandra Cisneros. The book, while fiction, seemed to be steeped in stereotypes and an obvious lack of knowledge of what it means to be Mexican. When a…