• Law School

    Adjusting to Office Work: What Every First Gen Needs to Know

    As summer is getting closer and closer, I’m thinking a lot about my summer experiences in law school. My 1L summer was also the first long-term exposure I had a professional/office setting and I’m so grateful it was in a small social service agency, focused on Latino community because it let me “ease in” to those office standards and it didn’t feel so jarring. Looking back at my other experience, I do think one reason I always felt out of place in the other internships—and thus, didn’t really make the most of my experiences—was because I felt like I was playing a role of a professional rather than being one.…

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  • Legal Practice

    Managing Angry & Volatile Clients

    One thing they don’t teach you in law school is how to respond when you think a client is going to harm you. Hopefully you never need to know that, but reading a recent article of an immigration attorney who was stabbed by their client, it dawned on me how necessary it is to talk about managing experiences with volatile clients in order to keep yourself safe. First, I don’t want to talk about this to instill fear in people or make lawyering seem overly dangerous. However, in one study of 22 states, it found that up to 46.5% of registered attorneys had been threatened or assaulted. It helps no…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Two Years Later…

    Two years go by so fast that you don’t even notice how things change. I  want to take some time to reflect on the past two years (times BC) because I think it’s important and also because, in general, people are so quick to dismiss the trauma and the shift we’ve experienced and that’s not healthy, bestie. First, and most important, there are so many people whose lives were upended because of this illness (to put it lightly). And as a country we’re really quick to overlook the loss of millions of people gone and what that means. I don’t have any solutions on how to make us more empathetic…

  • 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…

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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,  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…

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  • 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.…

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  • 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

    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…

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