• 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…

  • 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.…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Happy Anniversary! Seven Years of Latinas Uprising

    I can’t even believe that Latinas Uprising is turning seven this week! When I hit publish in summer 2014, I had no idea—I could not have imagined—the type of community this would form. All I knew was that I wanted to find other Lawtinas like me and offer whatever support I could. From that grew a community of fierce, engaged, and driven people who work to make this profession better. I’m alway so grateful for everyone who reads this space and for the support and encouragement provided. Seven years went by in a flash! So I wanted to share some of our top posts, those that created dialogue and motivated…

  • Legal Practice,  SideBar

    Lesson Learned: Two Years In…

    So, two years ago, which already feels like a lifetime, I started my job in policy (within a local govt branch). To say it’s been eventful is an understatement. Not only was this my first job in policy, it was only second job post-law school—after working for almost a decade. I had been at my old job in legal aid since I graduated. I grew up in legal aid and will forever feel like a legal aid attorney. But it was time to go and me being me, I picked something so different and challenging that the first few months, I honestly wasn’t sure if I could succeed. Then came…

  • Legal Practice

    How To Deal With Disrespectful Clients

    Updated June 2021: I wrote this originally when I had been practicing just four years. Since then I’ve experienced even more forms of racial and gendered harassment. Things like: Client’s not wanting me to represent them because I was not white Inappropriate/sexualized comments by outside parties More microaggressions than I can even count… But even still my answer on how to respond to disrespectful clients has only changed slightly. That’s because while the landscape has changed—I notice that for new attorneys the fear of speaking up isn’t as prevalent as it used to be—I don’t think we’ve made as much progress in the profession that the risk of backlash isn’t…

  • Legal Practice

    Goal-Getter: On Setting Goals as a New Attorney

    We’ve discussed goal setting before (a lot!) but today I wanted to share a little more on why goal-setting is so important, especially when you’re new. Because when you’re a new attorney and new to the professional world, it’s easy to think that your firm or boss will always keep your career growth in mind. And some might! Some firms are really good at performance evaluation and career development, but your career is too important to leave in the hands of others. It’s important to set long-term and short term goals for yourself so that regardless of what your firm does or doesn’t do, you are developing as an attorney…

  • Legal Practice

    Whose Gate are You Keeping?

    A few days ago I posted about the quandary I often feel in discussing professional norms and how to abide by them while understanding that those norms are rooted in classism, sexism, and racism. As always, my goal with teaching “how tos” is not to push for assimilation but rather to uncover these unspoken rules so people can decide which, if any, to follow. And how one abides by those norms is wholly dependent on your own career goals, current needs, and other obligations. Ok, but say you quickly learn and adapt to these standards, what does that mean? It means that while you’ve figured out the way to advance…