• 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…

  • SideBar,  Work Life Balance

    Side Bar: One Year

    I haven’t done a side bar in a while. Things are just so routine, working from home, and also tumultuous, that it’s hard to keep track! But I did want to take a moment to acknowledge this milestone. I survived one year in city hall! And holy wow–what a year. I can’t even get into the nitty gritty of it, but just the growth (along with the growing pains) has been tremendous. Early on, a colleague who has been there for a really long time told me the work would flow between the ridiculous and the sublime and I think that captures exactly what it is like to be in…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Summer Series: Trusting Yourself

    Wow. In what I hope is the wildest summer of our lives (because no one needs a 2020 repeat), I am still sad to see this year’s Summer Series come to an end. But the end of something isn’t always bad, especially when we get a gem like today’s guest writer. Genesis Palma is a law school grad who planned to grow this summer. And she did just that. I am so excited to share her piece, which discusses coming to terms with the damage law school can cause, taking a moment to reflect on what is best for you and our mental/financial help, and always, always recognizing the strength…

  • Law School,  Work Life Balance

    The Bar + Covid: Breaking Past One Last Barrier

    In normal times, this would be the week so many of you would be gearing up to take the Bar. And many of you have been studying and preparing diligently even as your State’s admission commission are still deciding what to do; or have decided to delay or cancel the exam. And there have also been plenty of folks advocating for Bars to do the safe, cautious choice and confer diploma privilege to avoid exposure to covid and to help people move with their job search/begin practicing. While I know safety precautions can be taken at the exam site, I am so confused why so many states can’t just do…

  • 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

    Don’t Talk in Whispers: Becoming Better at Advancing Racial Justice

    Many years ago (ok not that many, but a while ago) I was a freshman in college and will be forever grateful that my school had mandatory events for MLK day. I randomly attended one on white supremacy, expecting to learn about organized white supremacist groups (hi, I was a criminology major so felt it was more align with my studies). But instead, I experienced an eye-opening panel that “raised my consciousness” and became really the first step in understanding racist systems; acknowledging racial injustice; and pursuing racial equity.  On this site, I never hesitate to talk about race and its impact in the legal system  because I believe that…

  • Law School

    Using Your PreLaw Summer Wisely: What Every 0L Lawtina Needs to Know

    We’ve spoken about using the summer before law school strategically but I thought this was a good time for an update especially as the idea of remote learning next semester is still a possibility for many people. First, while it’s smart to use this time to prepare for this next phase in your life, it’s also important to enjoy your last summer before law school. It may sound silly to tell you to enjoy time at home, when that’s all we’ve been doing! But once you start law school a good portion of your time and your focus will not be as free as it is now. So no matter…

  • 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…

  • Issues,  Law School

    What Does it Mean to Not Walk the Stage?

    I’ve been thinking a lot of about what it means for class of 2020 to not have a traditional graduation ceremony. To not get to put on the regalia, walk across the stage, and collect your diploma, as family and friends applaud you. … I don’t think any words of comfort I provide will really comfort, I know that. It sucks. This entire situation is so horrible and upsetting. In addition to losing out on these milestones, suddenly moving to remote-learning has augmented the gap of privilege and wealth between you and your classmates. I know it’s tough for 1Ls and 2Ls as well. I think about what it would…

  • 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…