• Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    “If You Don’t Know How, Learn.” Lessons from A Million Miles Away

    Last week after an especially jolting 5k (pro tip: don’t decide to run a 5k and then fail to train when you have asthma), I decided to take it easy for the day and watch A Million Miles Away. oh. my. god. I was a sobbing mess. It’s a must see, if you’re Latino, if you feel connected to migrant farmworkers and their story, or if you simply want to see a story about perseverance and determination.  AMMA is a biopic of the first Latino to go into space, Jose Hernandez. He grew up as a migrant child farmworker, earned a degree in engineering and went on to join NASA,…

  • Issues,  Work Life Balance

    Lessons in Success: learning from Justice Sotomayor

    Recently, Justice Sotomayor made the news because of a study that showed how the women justices were interrupted more frequently by their male counterparts. I really liked this story because not only did Sotomayor bring it to the attention of Chief Justice Roberts, but Roberts actually changed their process to help address this behavior. I mean I’ll take any victory big and small to celebrate. Good for any change that strikes back at the weird toxicity of this profession.   But the rule has just change. What did Sotomayor do before? Did she just let her male colleagues take her time? Not let her make her point?  As if. ”I…

    Comments Off on Lessons in Success: learning from Justice Sotomayor
  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    What Does Confidence Get You? Career Growth While Facing Systemic Barriers

    This past weekend I had the chance to speak on a panel on leadership with other super accomplished Latinas (including an elected official!). It’s always a great opportunity to glean tips and knowledge from others both in the audience and fellow panelists. Because we were discussing leadership, one of the big themes was having the confidence to go for it-to go for the leadership roles and have faith in your ability. I totally agree. You have to be aware of your abilities and have the confidence to know your strengths and talents and to push yourself to the next level because you know you got it (or have the skills…

    Comments Off on What Does Confidence Get You? Career Growth While Facing Systemic Barriers
  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    That’s It? The legal industry’s slow, resistant march towards diversity

    First, if you haven’t had a chance to do a deep dive in the latest legal profile by the ABA here it is. It is full of great gems and covers various sectors but as usual focuses heavy on big law. Ultimately, what the profile reveals is that it is hard out here for a Latina attorney. Latinx have the highest rates of attrition, attorneys of color, in general, are less likely to be promoted to equity partner than white attorneys and more likely to leave the firm. Women also left during COVID to take care of households and that will have long-lasting implications that we are yet to see.…

    Comments Off on That’s It? The legal industry’s slow, resistant march towards diversity
  • Issues,  Law School

    When Misunderstandings Feel Like Accusations

    I remember the first time I was accused of wrong-doing in law school and how enraged I felt. When I was weeks away from ending my first year of law school, one of the editors for one of the journals emailed me and unceremoniously told me they were rejecting my application and then offered me the “advice” to be honest in my resume going forward. It was a complete shock to my system. I was incredulous and shocked, how could they accuse me of lying on my resume of all things?! So, as a true aries, I pushed back, hard. Demanding meetings and clarifications and probably made enough of a…

  • 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…

    Comments Off on Stressed Out: Managing Vicarious Trauma and Work-Related Stress
  • 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…

    Comments Off on Responding to Racist Comments in the Classroom
  • 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…