• Legal Practice

    Know Your Limits: Setting Boundaries to Better Serve Clients

    A few weeks ago when we discussed the train wreck interview and the need to manage clients, a point was raised about paternalism. And honestly yeah, there is a such a problem with attorneys thinking that managing clients means they know what’s best in all aspects of a client’s life. And in certain segments of the legal industry, primarily legal aids and in sectors where we worked with marginalized communities, there is a risk of falling into a paternalistic behavior. We may often hear of this when we’re critiquing non-profits whose leaderships tend to not look like the community they represent. But I have seen situations with attorneys of color…

  • Law School

    Bounce Back: Saving your GPA after 1L Year

    So, I love this community because I posted this on Insta and how excited I was to have other low-ranked law graduates represented in the White House. That’s my type! Mostly joking (I have no clue if MY PRESIDENT graduated in the bottom half of his class, but if he did, then I’m in good company). The reality is that I STRUGGLED my 1L year and when grades came out, I was disappointed but not surprised that I didn’t do so hot. More Bs and Cs than I had expected. I really didn’t know what to do, I was to embarrassed to go to the TAs and didn’t even know…

  • Law School

    Make or Break: Summer Job Search

    On top of finals, and memos, and the holidays, and next semester (anything else? A pandemic?), it’s also time to start your job search for next summer. I want to emphasize here, especially for those that didn’t grow up with parents in professional jobs, just how normal it is in this industry to apply for jobs that start six months from now. When I started law school, my only work experience was hourly work in retail/restaurants. The kind that hired you on the spot or a few weeks after you submitted an application. It was completely new to me that anyone would hire anyone for a job that started months…

  • 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…