• Issues,  Law School

    What Law School is Not

    Recently someone interested in pursuing a more academic career asked me about the nature of law school and the ability to discuss ideas and social issues along with cases. It reminded me of my own experience when I first started law school and how incorrect I was when it came to the purpose and focus of law school. The summer before my 1L year I was really lucky to participate in a program for low income students to prep them for law school; like a mini-boot camp. I was stationed at Notre Dame and was bright eyed and ready to go on my first day. The program had three courses,…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    If Kim Kardashian Can Do It, So Can You? : Alternative Paths to Becoming a Lawyer

    By now most have heard about Kim Kardashian’s plan to become a lawyer without going to law school. There was some confusion because a lot of people don’t know of California’s apprenticeship exception that allows you to circumvent law school and instead learn the law in a non-traditional manner. People assumed she was “buying” her degree rather than doing it the “right” way. While I am not one to support or defend the Kardashian conglomerate, the path she’s pursuing is clearly an option that’s available to people. But the real question is, is this a realistic option that will result in a practical, useful, and successful career for those of…

  • Legal Practice

    Latina Leader: Karla Navarrete

    It’s time for another Latina Leader Lunes feature! Today we hear from California attorney, Karla Navarrete. A senior attorney at Coalition for Humane Rights, shares a bit of her work and what motivated her to become a lawyer. Spoiler: what I love most about her story is that she saw the need for more representation of Latinos in the law and then she went for it! And not only is she is excelling, she is leading a path for the next generation. 1.  When & why did you decide to go to law school? I decided to go to law school as a sophomore at UCLA. I was looking for…

  • Law School

    In Defense of a Gap Year

    First, it’s really brazen for me to decide to tell you it’s worth considering a gap year before you go to law school when I didn’t take one. But that best part of time and experience is that you can look back at your missteps and think of ways things could have gone better. I want to talk about taking a gap year (or two) between undergrad and law school because I think gifting yourself this time can be super valuable to your career. If you’ve read Becoming then you know Michelle went straight through from Princeton to Harvard without much assessment as to whether law school was right for…

  • Issues,  Work Life Balance

    American Like Me: A Book Review

    On one of my first days of school in the U.S. a young boy approached me and asked: What color are you? I had never been asked this before and remember showing him my arm, confused that this poor boy didn’t know his colors and answered:  I’m tan.  Later when I told my mom what happened, she laughed and said if someone asks you that again just say you’re Mexican. Easy enough. However, as I grew up, I realized the complexities of race in the U.S. I grappled with my own cultural identity and picking the right “label.” It’s all so complicated and made more so by the fact that…

  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    Everyone Has Help: Why Kavanaugh’s Denials are a Detriment to our Profession

    I got into Yale Law School. That’s the number one law school in the country. I had no connections there. I got there by busting my tail in college. You’ve probably heard that re-play of Kavanaugh’s hearing in his attempt to become a Justice. There are so many things that were a sloppy mess in this hearing, but for me, this was such an eye-opening statement. This is a man that comes from wealth, working and living with DC-elite, is a legacy student (aka White Affirmative Action) and yet he sat there and screeched he did this all on his own. He ignores every leg-up, privilege, assistance given to him…

  • Issues,  Law School

    Don’t Hustle Backwards: Using Every Opportunity to Land Your Summer Job

    As we get closer to job application season for 1Ls and 2Ls, it’s vital to remember that you must use every tool at your disposal to get the job you want. First, let me start by saying this profession and law school (and this country) does a fantastic job of claiming we succeed through merit. Success is given to those that earn it and deserve it, right? No. The idea that people get ahead by bootstrapping is a farce. People get ahead because systems are in place to ensure they get ahead. Then when people like us, women and people of color, push ourselves into this system they try to…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    To Be or Not to Be: The Problem With Gender Roles & Sexism in the Courtroom

    I just finished reading two articles that I recommend people read about women litigators and issues they face at work. One is from The Atlantic and the other is a response in the ABA Journal. Each article tackles how women, who make up a dismal percentage of lead counsel/first chairs in trials, can push back against sexism in the courtroom to win for their client. The article in The Atlantic, written by Lara Bazelon–a former Federal Public Defender and Clinical Professor, suggests that women face such systemic sexism in every area of the courtroom that it behooves us to abide by gender roles so that we’re not seen as too…

  • Legal Practice

    What Beyonce Teaches Us About Power

    Have you heard the Good News? Beyonce is on the cover of Vogue, September Edition. Not only that, she discusses so much of her private life that makes me love her even more. Not only that, but she had complete control and decided to use that control to hire a relatively unknown young, Black photographer to shoot the cover. The first black photographer in the magazine’s entire history (embarrassing). Beyonce said: If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from…

  • SideBar

    SideBar: Four Years In {Anniversary Post}

    Four years ago, Latinas Uprising went live! I never, ever dreamed of how this community would unfold and how passionate I would become about diversity in the legal field. This site is a labor of love, and it brings me so much joy to work on it, little by little, everyday. Mil, mil, mil, mil gracias! I want to share four questions I had to think about during these past four years: One. Is there a need? The biggest question I had when I started this was whether or not there was an audience. I knew I had struggled in law school and even when I did my research, I…