• Legal Practice

    Managing While Managing Your Own Stress

    So by now we’ve maybe gotten into a groove of working from home, and overseeing projects, but if you’re a new supervisor (whether it’s full time staff or interns) finding a way to manage while managing everything else that comes with a pandemic can feel like a bit much. In these situations, when it feels overwhelming, we may end up doing one of two things: completely letting go, which is not great or micromanaging to an extreme, which is never good. So what can you do to ensure you’re still being a good supervisor while dealing with everything else? One. Scream. Seriously! We may not recognize how anxious we are…

  • Issues,  Work Life Balance

    What’s Next? Life After the Election

    Wow. All weekend I was at a loss for words because of how HAPPY I felt about the election. Not going to lie, some days before election day, I was going to sleep super worried about what another term would mean and how devastating it would be in so many ways and how the Right has decimated the justice system even further and well… I can’t put into words how relieved and happy I am!  What an incredible moment for grassroots organizing and people power. One thing I also wanted to say is how grateful we should be to organizers and communities who are often the most harmed who still…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Stressed Out: Managing Vicarious Trauma and Work-Related Stress

    We’ve spoken about vicarious trauma before–it is essentially the mental impact we experience by being exposed to other people’s trauma. Generally, we may think this is something we see with EMTs or other first-responders, but this type of trauma seeps into legal work as well. It’s the prosecutor that has to stare at murder scene pictures, the guardian ad litem that has to work with abused children, the immigration attorney that hears about the atrocities their client experienced–all those instances, and many others, do a number on us and it’s not a question if we will be impacted by it, but when and how. First, a disclaimer: nothing, not better…

  • Issues,  Law School

    Responding to Racist Comments in the Classroom

    I wrote a post years ago about responding to racist comments and when that was written the discourse and awareness of racism in law school was not as out in the open as it was now. When I was in school (yikes that makes me sound old!), if someone complained about racist comments by other students, the students of color were told to grow thicker skin. There were few recourses for things that weren’t over the top overt so the idea was that you just grit and bear it, for the most part. And even though there is more self-awareness within some schools about implicit bias and space for students…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Break It: Moving Past Stereotypes to Advance your Career

    I want to direct folks back to the ABA report about women of color leaving law. The report is great and breaks down so many of the issues women face that cause a road block in their career. One frequent theme that the participants highlight is how difficult it is to find mentors/sponsors in their career because they are not able to make a connection with those in positions to help advance their careers. The women profiled found it difficult to connect with the white male leaders in their firms, but noticed that the men did not have that same hesitancy/barrier to help white women. They hypothesize that a big…

  • SideBar,  Work Life Balance

    Side Bar: One Year

    I haven’t done a side bar in a while. Things are just so routine, working from home, and also tumultuous, that it’s hard to keep track! But I did want to take a moment to acknowledge this milestone. I survived one year in city hall! And holy wow–what a year. I can’t even get into the nitty gritty of it, but just the growth (along with the growing pains) has been tremendous. Early on, a colleague who has been there for a really long time told me the work would flow between the ridiculous and the sublime and I think that captures exactly what it is like to be in…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Summer Series: Trusting Yourself

    Wow. In what I hope is the wildest summer of our lives (because no one needs a 2020 repeat), I am still sad to see this year’s Summer Series come to an end. But the end of something isn’t always bad, especially when we get a gem like today’s guest writer. Genesis Palma is a law school grad who planned to grow this summer. And she did just that. I am so excited to share her piece, which discusses coming to terms with the damage law school can cause, taking a moment to reflect on what is best for you and our mental/financial help, and always, always recognizing the strength…

  • Law School,  Work Life Balance

    The Bar + Covid: Breaking Past One Last Barrier

    In normal times, this would be the week so many of you would be gearing up to take the Bar. And many of you have been studying and preparing diligently even as your State’s admission commission are still deciding what to do; or have decided to delay or cancel the exam. And there have also been plenty of folks advocating for Bars to do the safe, cautious choice and confer diploma privilege to avoid exposure to covid and to help people move with their job search/begin practicing. While I know safety precautions can be taken at the exam site, I am so confused why so many states can’t just do…

  • 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,  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…