• SideBar

    Sidebar: 2020 Vision, lessons for the new year

    It’s still early enough in 2020 to share the vision and plan for the new year, right? Just asking because the new cycle moves fast & we’re basically on the brink of god knows what but trying to not live in terror, you know the vibezzz. #hidethepainharold 2019 was such a year of growth for me and I want to share some lessons I learned (some the hard way!) and hopes for the new year. One. Have the courage to change. Easier said than done! But 2019 was when I realized that if I wanted to grow in my career I needed to seek new challenges. It would have been…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Why Can’t I Shake This? Beating Imposter Syndrome Once and For All

    Hi, my name is Nubia and it’s been 0 days since I last felt insecure about my professional capacity. Ok, maybe it’s been more than 0 days, but the reality is that experiencing imposter syndrome is a frequent occurrence and beating it means really working to recognize when it’s happening and then working hard to dismiss it when it occurs. Imposter syndrome is a feeling that you are not capable of doing what you’ve been tasked to do and that at any moment people will discover that you are a fraud. Often we attribute our successes to luck rather than skills and diminish our accomplishments lest others point out just…

  • Law School

    The Guilt that Comes with Family Financial Contributions

    A million years ago I watched the documentary about the Baltimore step team and one of the girls was heading to a top college.  But she started to get concerned because the FAFSA form included a line of how much her family was expected to contribute and she felt guilty at asking her parents to give so much. Her parents got her all the way together and told her to not worry about their finances. She was their responsibility and they would make sure she got to school.   Not everyone has parents with this type of philosophy or have parents that can (or maybe even want to) provide the…

  • 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…

  • Law School

    When You Feel Like You’re Always Failing

    I joked on instragram the other day about not letting a trial team’s account follow me because when I was in law school they would never let me on a team. Obviously, it was a joke and I promise I’m not upset by it (anymore!) but it was a good reminder of one of the more draining and frustrating experiences in my law school career. Basically, when I was in school aside from moot court and journals there was an elite trial team and I wanted nothing more to join them. I tried out my 1L and 2L year–and while 1L was a disaster–by 2L year, I had grown a…

  • 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

    When You Don’t Have Enough: Mastering Lack of Resources as a 1L

    I have described my summer before law school many times–how emotionally difficult it was because I didn’t think I’d be able to pay for my law school deposit. And how frustrating 1L semester was when I had to work extra shifts at a retail store just to make rent, sacrificing precious study time. I could go on and on about how draining it is to go into this endeavor (and college really) as a student from a low-income family, and when you’re first gen, there’s an added barrier of navigating the higher Ed system with little guidance. It is tough. So I wanted to take this time, as many of…

  • Law School

    Summer Series: Success is What You Make Of It

    It is time for Summer Series 2019. Truly my favorite time of the year! We are so lucky to kick it off with Gaby, a rising 2L at Yale, who shares her summer plans with us. But more than her summer plans (a summer in New Haven!) she shares the struggles that happen to many of us during 1L year and the courage it takes to pick your own path when law school pushes us to pick proximity to power over better options.  When I was preparing to start my 1L year at Yale, I was incredibly confident. I was sure that I would not be the one to end…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    50 Lessons for Women Lawyers, a Review

    A few weeks ago I received a copy of 50 Lessons for Women Lawyers by Nora Riva Bergman. This book is a compilation of contribution from 50 successful, accomplished women lawyers in the U.S. and Canada. The attorneys are in different stages in their life, have had different careers, experiences—it is a really great group of people offering guidance. What I appreciate is that many of the contributors share vulnerable moments in their personal life and careers that are experiences many of us can relate to—the attorney who opts to take a break to take care of children, the one who experienced domestic violence as a child, and the most…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Overcoming Burnout: Stress and the New Lawyer

    Call it burn out, adulting so hard, winters blues–whatever you want to call it, it’s likely that sometime into your career as a new attorney you will feel drained from the responsibilities of your work and life. It’s completely normal to feel out of balance because suddenly not only are you juggling lawyer responsibilities, but you’re also adjusting to the demands of daily, adult life. And if you’ve always been in school or your gap year(s) didn’t really involve full-time work, then this adjustment can be difficult. When I was a new attorney, it took a while to find a steady routine that didn’t leave me drained. I was also…