• Issues,  Legal Practice

    Play to Win: Using Respectability Politics as a Tool

    source site 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

    Where My Ladies At? Being Excluded from Networking Events

    source url One of my fave work related blogs, ask a manager, recently had a post about a work situation that many of us may face. The men, often bosses, networking together in a way that excludes women. This happens a lot, especially in our field. The reason is rarely malicious, but rather some events are “standard” and the standards are still set by men. Womp womp. So in this example, a bunch of dudes wanted to go to an NFL game and most of the women weren’t into football so they ended up excluding women from this event because they assumed they wouldn’t want to attend. If you watch Insecure than…

  • Law School

    What Kind of Lawyer Will You Be?

    Some of us know going into law school what we want to do, but many others just know we want to be a lawyer without a specific idea of the area or type of law we want to practice. And going through law school can make things even blurrier because suddenly we’re so overwhelmed with feeling miserable that we just want to get through it. But regardless of whether you’re in school with a laser-like focus about what you want to do or are just kind of going through the curriculum, hoping something sticks–there are two things you have to do to help form the lawyer you will be: 1)…

  • Legal Practice

    Happy Medium: Finding Your Voice as a New Attorney

    I often joke that there are two settings as a new attorney—one that is hyper-confident in their nascent skills and the other that knows that there’s a lot they don’t know so they hold back for fear of being wrong. It’s tough to find a happy medium, but that’s basically the beauty of your long career—you’ll get taken down a few pegs and get built up in other areas until you feel comfortable in your skills and seek out other ways to improve. But before you get there, one of the big hurdle as a new attorney is finding your voice in group settings. For new attorneys on both ends…

  • Legal Practice

    Let’s Keep This Between Us: Emails Are Not Private

    Emails are not private. I repeat, emails are not private! Most of our firms have policies that allow for management/HR review our emails if they deem it necessary so we don’t have to worry about a wikileaks-like hack, a simple HR squabble can lead to really embarrassing disclosures. Without discussing the politics and whether or not there was some acts of collusion within the DNC let’s just talk about what the DNC email scandal can teach us about professional growth. It is so easy to fall into a lull of comfort and believe everything you’re saying is just between you and the receivers. It’s so easy to forget that if…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Keeping it Classy: how business etiquette promotes classism

    When we enter the legal field, it can feel complicated and difficult to master appropriate business etiquette because most of us have not had as much exposure to this type of culture. Most of us do not come from high income families, or families with professional parents, and yet after graduation we find ourselves colleagues to those that come from higher socioeconomic positions. We do what we can to fit in, but we’re so consumed with fitting in and abiding by these rules that  we don’t take time to assess them or even acknowledge why these means of communication often feel unnatural to us. Many people act as if business etiquette is just a natural part of…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Horrible Bosses

    My first disclaimer is that thankfully, mercifully, I don’t work for any of the horrible bosses I’m about to describe, but it’s likely that sometime in our career we will find ourselves working under conditions that have been made impossible due to the person filling the leadership role.  And when you have a bad boss it really sucks. It impacts your work, your skills, and your mental/physical health.  Unfortunately, bad bosses are a symptom of bad leadership overall.  Their behavior chases away good talent and the higher-ups are too lazy to manage these bad actors. Bad bosses come in all forms and I want to discuss the two that are…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Setting Professional Goals

    As practicing professionals, we can run a big risk of just putting in the work day-in and day-out without stopping to re-assess and re-align.  Even if we have a few days off at the end of the year, most people rarely take a moment to really consider ways to start anew. And it’s important to assess what you’re doing (even if it’s not at the beginning of the year) because time moves fast and if you’re not careful, years will pass by and suddenly you’ll find yourself stuck in a rut, or you’ll make career changes and decisions without really thinking about the long-term results.  That’s why I’m a big…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Finding a Work/Life Balance: Time Management

    Women professionals are constantly bombarded with warnings of maintaining a healthy work/life balance, and I must admit that I’ve also pleaded for this on many occasions. However, for those of us who are the first in our families to enter professional careers, it can be difficult to determine what a healthy work/life balance even looks like. And while it’s hard for any profession, as attorneys we also get a lot of strong signals about what how important work should be above almost everything else. Like, if you’re trying to make partner you can guarantee that you’ll be putting in long hours with little down time; it’s the nature of firm work.…

  • Legal Practice

    Mistakes at Work: how to avoid them & how to fix them

    While in school, I often heard that the big difference between medical school and law school was that no one’s life was at stake. Technically true. While no mistake we make as attorneys will cost someone their life (excluding criminal defense lawyers—no pressure), the fact is that big mistakes still can impact a client’s life in big ways. We’re entrusted to handle sensitive, consequential matters that may not be life and death, but will often affect the quality of life for that client. Unfortunately, we’re human and mistakes will happen. Part of growing into your job means learning how to independently manage all the required steps in your work so…