• Issues,  Law School

    How Much Should You Bare: Law School Essays

    Recently, the discussion made the rounds about how students of color feel forced to discuss their trauma to receive admission or financial aid or some other form of access to higher education. Most of us have a general sense that we have to discuss something bad in our history to show why we’re “worthy” of admittance. It seems to be a trend in higher Ed to have to show your grit,  which almost always comes from some negative experience. It’s bogus to have to reveal such personal and troubling histories to strangers and if you have to do it frequently (scholarship apps, different applications, etc) it can take a toll…

  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Grit is not Enough

    Are you gritty? Do you persevere above all obstacles to reach your goal? Chances are, if you are heading to law school, the answer is yes. We are so full of grit, y’all! Grit (perseverance and passion) is a quality characteristic–and students of color, living in poverty have it by the boatload. Yet, we place too heavy a burden on students of color when we focus on grit as the sole reason of why they succeed. Because when we only focus on the individual, we take away the responsibility schools and other systems of power have to help our communities. And grit isn’t enough for students to overcome those barriers.…

  • Issues,  Law School

    Open Letter to “Mediocre” Latinx Students: Go Where You’re Not Wanted

    Yesterday, I saw the article on WaPo about the University of Maryland professor who accidentally sent an email to his mock trial class that included a coach’s (the prof’s daughter) remarks on the students who had tried out and her concern about whether or not to include the Latino students for the sake of diversity even though she thought they all performed poorly and that the best one was “mediocre.” I read that article and it was gut-wrenching. So often students of color have a sense that some professors, admins, or people in power within academia don’t support us because they have a preconception of our “inferior” capabilities, but rarely…

  • SideBar

    Sidebar: love and hate

    August is over. That means summer is over fr fr. But I guess Summer 17 ended with a bang? I mean, how do we get over what happened in Virginia? Wait, let me back up so this month my cousin returned to Florida to start her fall semester and I miss her so much!! 🙁 She left the weekend of E’s birthday, so we did some mini farewell/bday meals before she left.       Of course, the day after E’s bday we woke up to the protest in Virginia and it really shook me. Not because I don’t think the country is racist (it is) but because how impossible…

  • Issues,  Law School

    When Your Professor is Racist

    Hello! It’s been a minute and really this entire week I have been watching and reading about the attacks in Virginia. It has made me more guarded and angry. And I really don’t know what the solution will be, but I guess we can only take it one day at time or whatever. Anyway, the best way for me to refocus this energy is to connect with this community and I want to talk about ignorance in the classroom, which seems like it will be especially prevalent now. We’ve discussed reacting to ignorant comments by classmates before, but we haven’t discussed what happens when your instructor holds ideas that put your…

  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Don’t Believe the Hype: Navigating Negative Emotions as a First Gen Student

    I often mention how many Latinas going into the law are family leaders. Maybe you were the one that interpreted for your parents, or your siblings look to you for guidance/advice on big decisions, or maybe you’ve blazed an educational path for the rest of your family as a first gen student. This type of trailblazing status is a prominent feature in many Latina lawyers (and leaders) in our community. It is a powerful label—to be the trailblazer, the first—it paints an image of a driven, focused person. It’s a worthy title for so many of us. But it is also a difficult one. Being first can mean frustration, isolation,…

  • Issues

    There’s No Such Thing As Reverse Racism

    Today, I woke up to the news that this administration is planning to investigate colleges that discriminate against White people. Specifically, they are planning to attack affirmative action programs. As an advocate for increased access to education in the Latinx community, campaigns like this make me want to scream. Anyone who is genuine about education and increased access knows that AA programs do not harm people in power. In fact, and please repeat this until you can’t say it anymore, white women have benefited the most from affirmative action. Affirmative action programs and policies gave me a spot in schools and situations where I likely would have been overlooked in…

  • Issues,  Law School

    Summer Series: Reconnecting with your Purpose

    Our Summer Series continues! This series highlights different Latina students and law grads as they embark in their summer jobs and/or bar prep all across the country. We hope to provide a variety of work experiences, options for a healthy work-life balance, and general motivation through different guest contributors to help you to take charge of your summer and professional goals!  Today we hear from Krystlen, a rising 2L from Florida, who is re-connecting with her community after feeling disconnected from her classmates during her 1L year at Hofstra:   I always get asked what my plans are after law school, which is understandable, but absolutely absurd to me considering that a year ago,…

  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    Summer Series: Breaking the Prison Pipeline

    Our Summer Series continues! This series highlights different Latina students and law grads as they embark in their summer jobs and/or bar prep all across the country. We hope to provide a variety of work experiences, options for a healthy work-life balance, and general motivation through different guest contributors to help you to take charge of your summer and professional goals!  Today we hear from Crystal, a rising 3L from California, who describes the vital impact attorneys make in the lives of our Latinx youth: Growing up, my oldest brother, Christian, was in and out of juvenile detention centers. Among many other reasons, his experience is why I pursued law school. Even when I…

  • Issues,  Work Life Balance

    A Community Living Through Trauma

    I’ve been think a lot about trauma and the experience of Latino youth. What spoke to me most recently was the video of this young girl, Fatima, crying because the U.S. government took her father away from her. It’s clear by their story that her dad is an immense part of her life, a supporter, motivator, protector, provider—everything a good dad is.  And now he’s been ripped from her.  For what purpose? I read this story and thought of countless of others that I’ve read of Latino children who live in constant fear and anxiety of this happening to their families. Who hear their parents being called illegal or criminals.…