• 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

    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…

  • Law School

    Making the Best of Your Internship

    We are gearing up to start a summer that will be incredibly unique–many of you will have found internships that will be remote or staggered hours or completely different than what you imagined (or different than what you were first offered in the Spring before this pandemic hit the US). At the same time, things are the same–life keeps ticking, people still need legal support, and this internship–whether it’s your 1L summer or you were hoping to get an offer as you entered your last year of law school–this internship and summer matter. I’ve shared my first legal internship before but for new readers a little summary–I had no clue…

  • 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,  Work Life Balance

    Ten Changes that Made Me Feel Less Guilty About How Bad We Treat Mother Earth

    It’s earth day! Remember the fires earlier this year? They were intense and made really want to review my habits as a consumer and user of things that were better for the environment and the community that I’m in. I asked for advice and people came through with support (you always do!) to help me realign and think of ways to change my habits. So I’m sharing ten things I’ve done that have helped limit my waste and harm. Now before I get into it, I have to say that clean communities and the environment is an issue where we, Latinx, are often not at the table, but always on…

  • Issues,  Law School

    Can I Even Do This? How To Determine If You Can be a Lawyer

    Deciding to go to law school is difficult. There are so many factors everyone considers–is the cost worth it? will I be happy? should I move out of state or stay close to home? The overwhelming question many would-be applicants ask is “should I go to law school?” and more often than not, money is the factor. Can you manage the debt and will you earn a living that makes the debt worth it? But…for many of us, even before we get to “should I?”  we experience a ton of self-doubt that asks not should you, but can you? Can you even go to law school and become an attorney?…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    An Ode to Vincent Gambini

    An ABA Journal post has been making the rounds about Elle Woods and how it inspired so many women to go to law school. I love Legally Blonde and think it’s a cute movie, but if I’m also a little worried that so much love is being poured on Elle Woods and not enough attention is being given to the true patron saint of low-income/first-gen law students, one Vincent “Vinny” LaGuardia Gambini aka John Callo aka John Gallo. First, if you’ve never seen My Cousin Vinny please use whatever million and one streaming apps you have and watch it right meow! Not only is it great, as I’m about to…