• 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)…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Make Yourself Heard: Increasing Your Skills as a Litgator

    This article about a 96 year old judge making a rule to help encourage women attorneys to speak up more often in court is making the rounds. It’s a great piece and great example of how people in power can use their position to make a difference. Lost in the discussion (maybe ironically) is that the catalyst for this was a mentor/friend of the Judge’s; retired judge, Shira Scheindlin. Judge Scheindlin wrote an Op-Ed earlier this month about just this issue: the dismal percentage of women litigators speaking before the court. Judge Scheindlin discusses a study she conducted in New York that asked judges to observe when and how often…

  • Law School

    Networking Basics: The Importance of Follow Through

    As the new school year starts there will be a lot of opportunities to network and meet members of the legal community. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to interact with so many new people–especially when you’re brand new and may not have a clear networking goal (other than “find a job”). But it’s vital that you make yourself part of the legal community and get into the habit of cultivating new contacts. As a new law student–or an upperclassman that really wants to up their game–here are some things to focus on:  One. Participate. While obviously studying and getting used to your new program is necessary, don’t avoid all networking…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Finding Mentor: Using This Summer to Find the Mentor You Need

    If you’re a current law student by now you should have settled in nicely at your summer gig. It can be easy to lose focus in the day to day of assignments and deadlines of what your big goal for the summer should be–securing a job (or a job lead for next summer/semester). While that is the main goal, there is something else to work towards, especially if you’re breaking into the field, and that is finding a mentor that may help guide you in your budding career. How do you find a mentor?! That is the million dollar question. If you are me, a kind law professor takes pity…

  • Legal Practice

    Old & New: Balancing Your Idealism with Your Senior Colleagues’ Experience

    I joke that I am #foreveryoung and will always attend young alumni events (though I think in all honesty I probably have one more year left on that 🙁 ). Regardless, of how I feel, the truth is that I’m not a super young attorney. Yes, I’ve been practicing for less than ten years, but I’ve done enough of the same thing to really know what I’m talking about, which has led to an interesting situation when I interact with younger attorneys. Often new attorneys will come, bright-eyed and idealistic, and present ideas that I know will not work. And it sucks to be a Debbie Downer; to lay out…

  • Legal Practice

    Be the Boss: Exuding Grace Under Pressure

    A while ago, I attended a panel of local Latinas who are also General Counsel in their jobs and they had a ton of advice to offer. One of their big pieces of advice, that they all agreed on, was the need to exude confidence and grace under pressure. This is easier said than done—especially if you practice in a field where everything is high risk or you’re in a firm where people act like everything is a crisis. How can you cultivate this skill? Being calm and exuding confidence takes practice. It’s mindful and purposeful. It requires working on your reactions and demeanor both in and out of the…

  • Legal Practice

    Career Advancement: Are You Blooming?

    I’ve been really fortunate that a lot of my job duties and focus have changed about every two years. This has kept me interested and learning new areas of laws and skills, which is really fortunate because there’s a risk that we get stuck in the day to day and accidentally become stagnant in the work we do. And that is a disaster for your career. We should be constantly growing and looking for new opportunities, and I don’t mean job-hopping, I mean really growing in  your craft.  Of course, when you’re new to practicing everything is challenging and new, obvi, but a few years in you need to make…

  • Legal Practice

    Show, Don’t Tell: How to Master the Art of Self-Promotion

    We talk a lot about letting go of humildad, getting comfortable with self-promotion, etc. but it is a fine line between being good at self-promotion and looking like you’re feeling yourself a little too much, especially when you’re new and may not have the experience to back up everything you’re claiming. So how do you walk this line? The key here is to show, don’t tell. When you’re new, all you can really do is stack up those wins. Small and large victories will help boost your ability and reputation at work. And it’s not all about litigation in the courtroom– it’s being able to point to specific skills you…

  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    Skills Beyond Question: Beating the Imposter Syndrome

    I have been writing a few pieces outside of this site lately and have been trying to find the guts to make pitches to “bigger” platforms because there’s a voice in the back of my head that questions my ability to write? And to be honest, I would have taken the leap to do more and more writing a year ago, but my fear kept holding me back. I keep thinking that I’m not that good, I have no real training, is my voice even needed? But a  few things happened that encouraged me to push myself. Maybe I will fall flat on my face in my attempts to write…

  • 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…