Legal Practice

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    Best Way to Calm Nerves When First Working With Clients

    Ok, you’re a licensed attorney, you have a real lawyer job, with a client case and everything! But now you actually have to talk to clients-on your own and sometimes they don’t trust you because you look so young. Or they expect you to know about some random issue that has nothing to do with your practice area. How can you present a cool, calm, collected persona so that your clients trust you when you know there is so much you don’t know? First, take a deep breath. The good thing is that knowing there’s a lot you don’t know is the first step in good client counseling. It’s good…

  • Legal Practice

    Red Flags to Avoid When Considering a Job Offer

    It’s always exciting to receive a job offer (and what a relief!). During the interview phase, each party is putting their best face forward and there’s no reason to think you’re stepping into a bad situation. But it can happen that you go in with rose-colored glasses and suddenly a few months in (or worse, weeks),  you realize they were selling you a false bill of goods because the office is toxic AF. How can you avoid that? Especially in an industry where the work is always high-stress, fast-paced and urgent? Are you doomed to just work someplace you hate always? Not so much. First, I went to differentiate between…

  • Legal Practice

    Easing Back to the Office

    I know the idea of going back to the office strikes fear in a lot of us but it is likely many will be easing back into a hybrid or a new routine where you are back in the office full time (I don’t wish this on you, unless you really want it!). Seeing as I’ve been back since July (yes, five days a week!), I wanted to share some things that made the transition easier for me. Because there is a shift in terms of time, attention, and energy that comes with being away from home 9-5 and it’s nice to be prepared for it. First, working from home…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Feeling the Pressure: How to Respond to Stress

    We talk about stress, burn out, vicarious trauma, whatever you want to call it A LOT. For me, it’s important to discuss what stress and trauma look like in this profession because it impacts not just how much we enjoy the day to day practice but ignoring it  can result in real negative physical/mental effects. This has been at the forefront of my mind lately because of a recent incident at work. It was an unusually hectic week and it culminated with an in an incident that caused a huge adrenaline rush (in a bad way). In the heat of the moment, I felt fine and in control. But a…

  • Legal Practice

    New Licenciadas! Passion, Perspective, and Grit

    New Licenciadas has dropped! In episode 6 of Licenciadas, we hear from Regina Hernandez, a legal aid attorney working at the intersection of criminal justice and civil rights. She is a supervisory attorney at Legal Aid Chicago and oversees the Criminal Records Expungement project. We hear about her journey in law school, how she overcame feeling like she didn’t belong; how she survived a rocky job market; and what it takes to succeed in public interest. In the episode we discuss a paper Regina wrote along with another Lawtina, Lisbet Ballon, entitled: The Journey to Becoming a Latina Lawyer. Read it here Licenciadas is a podcast from Latinas Uprising where…

  • Legal Practice

    Five Things I Brought Back to the Office

    Yes, it’s true, I’ve been back 5 days a week to the office. Work for Home really said we had a nice run, goodbye. It’s ok. I’m ok. I know for many remote work is still reality or there’s a hybrid routine in place. Still, with more and more folks going back to the office I wanted to share five things I brought back with me to help as you adjust. And, honestly, if you’re still WFH, these items may still be helpful!   One. A small fan. Sometimes offices are warm, other times we get agitated at work. Sometimes it’s both! For either instance, a small fan is nice…

  • 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…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    What Will You Be? Figuring Out Your Legal Practice

    I’m going to reveal a big secret—a lot of law grads and new attorneys don’t exactly know what kind of lawyer they want to be. Seriously! Maybe you go to law school with the exact idea of what you want to do and stay the course—that’s great! But maybe you’re unsure because all you know is you want to “do good” or make money but not sure how that looks. Or maybe you have an idea of what you want to do but one day you are in torts class and suddenly realize you have a passion for personal injury (which I’m adamant is how personal injury attorneys are born).…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    What’s the Point? Understanding the Purpose of Networking

    We’ve discussed networking before of the many pitfalls that can come with it but lately I’ve seen some takes on networking that doesn’t seem to capture the purpose of what this type of relationship building really involves. I understand why—as a new student or professional, you’re often bombarded with the cry to “network!”  And it promotes this idea that you go to these events to meet people to see how they can help you. It feels transactional and disingenuous and icky. And yes, part of networking is to meet people with connections, especially if you’re job seeking, but if you’re only going to these events when you need something, then…

  • Legal Practice

    Adjusting to Work as a New Lawyer

    First, if you’re new a attorney—whether you just received your law license or are awaiting bar exam results, CONGRATS! That is such an exciting time and not to be dramatic but this marks the beginning of your career as a lawyer and how you’ll participate with your local legal community—the possibilities are endless! But it may not feel that way as you get used to process of being a lawyer; the day to day stuff that can be a little tedious, plus possibly adjusting to a new work/office culture as well. Oh! And add loan payments but also substantial paychecks that you also have to learn how to manage—especially for…