• Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Graduation Gift Guide: Law Student Edition 2022

    Well, grads, you did it! I know that the last few weeks before the semester ends, things are stressful and bittersweet because this chapter is ending. I remember how excited I was when I finished high school, how sad I was to be done with college, and how terrified but proud and grateful I felt to finish law school. I mentioned that in law school, especially, it is a swirl of emotions. It’s so much excitement about finally FINALLY being done with school, with earning a hard-fought degree, but also that bar exam looming in the corner not letting you quite truly celebrate. But you still need to celebrate! And…

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  • Law School

    Self-Motivation In the Face of Discouragement

    We are on the cusp on making history. Hopefully soon, a new SCOTUS Justice will be confirmed and we’ll have the first Black woman on the bench. If you watched the confirmation hearings you saw that Judge Brown Jackson was grace under pressure and one response was a beautiful description of what it was like to feel so out of place in distinguished spaces. I encourage you to watch it here, which starts around 17:08. But today I want to talk about what happened a few minutes before (around 14:50). Senator Padilla starts his question with a comment about when he was a in high school a well-meaning counselor discouraged…

  • Law School,  Legal Practice

    The Magic and Panic of Post-Bar Life

    If you took the February Bar, I have one thing to say–CONGRATULATIONS! YOU DID IT!   Ok, I actually have more than one thing to say (obvi). It is such a relief to be done but the reality is that even after putting in all that work, you don’t know the results for weeks and the anxiety of what if can really drag you down. Life post-bar is filled with both the magic of what is possible–your entire career ahead of you. And the panic, “what if I didn’t pass?” It’s a horrible predicament. I remember, still, the weeks after the test where I’d have moments so excited about what…

  • 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…

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  • 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…

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  • 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…

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  • Law School

    Summer Series: Navigating the Legal World as a First Generation Woman of Color.

    I am thrilled to kick off our seventh (!!) summer guest post series! Summer Series is a way for us to learn from Lawtinas throughout the country. They share their summer experiences whether it’s an internship, prepping for the bar, or getting ready for law school, its a great way to get a glimpse of array of work available within the legal industry and to see that while it can often feel like we’re alone in this process there are many of us, all across the nation, who are going through this similar journey. And so today, I’m so happy to introduce you to Bianca Ybarra, a law grad who…

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  • 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…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Lessons Learned During Ten Years of Practice

    So, in early November I passed the ten year mark. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been practicing for ten years, but at the same time, I’ve been able to pack so much in the past decade. There was so much happening in early November, I didn’t feel like there was space to discuss this milestone but there is no way I can reach this anniversary and not say something! I thought it would be fun to share some big and small lessons that have made the difference in my career. When I graduated law school, it was at the height of the worst recession (ha!) and no one–NO ONE–in my…

  • Uncategorized

    Lawtina Bookclub: Undocumented Americans

    It’s time for another Lawtina Bookclub session! And I know lots of you loved this latest selection, Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicenico. I finished this book earlier this month and it left me feeling some type of way. I think mostly because I felt frustrated…let’s get into it!   First, Undocumented Americans is a non-fiction collection of stories of undoc folks living throughout the United States. The author grew up undocumented as well. She interviews workers throughout the U.S. and shines a light on their experiences. Not just the day-to-day, but also the dismissal and mistreatment they experienced in cities/towns where major traumas occurred–NYC during 9/11; Katrina; Flint, Mi.…