• 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…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Pick your Passion: Big Law or Public Interest?

    I have noticed a trend that I want to help stop. Recently, I have met with multiple people interested in public interest jobs, but have no public interest background. The thing with public interest is that we really like seeing people “committed” to the cause. As in, experience, and rightfully so because this work isn’t easy. Yes, all lawyering is difficult, but in PI you are dealing with the most vulnerable, marginalized groups and we need to know you’re capable and have an interest in advocating for these groups.  So when I ask people with no PI background why they’re interested in legal aid–imagine my anger when they tell me…

  • 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…

  • Issues,  Law School

    Your Goals Matter

    First, sorry not sorry, but I can’t get off the Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter train–it was just such a good book! But it definitely has kept me thinking–in the novel, the imperfect daughter, Julia, struggles with meeting the standards her family sets and is more focused on creating a life for herself that’s different than what her small neighborhood has to offer–she wants to be a writer, go to college, see the world. Her parents don’t get why she can’t be happy to have a steady job and stay at home with her family. There were so many scenes where I was rooting for Julia and became just as…

  • 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…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Latina Lawyer Gift Guide 2017

    So I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I totally use the holiday season as an excuse to buy things for myself. Wooops. Secret is out. But I can’t be the only one! In the past, I’ve shared basic/classic items that all new attorneys and law students would like–and those are all still solid choices. But, this year I thought I’d share some of the items that I have been constantly using and that translate into easy gifts for either new attorneys or law students: Statement earrings. I really love statement earrings at the moment. They aren’t too distracting–like some of my noisy statement necklaces, but add so much…