• Law School

    Breaking Barriers: Selecting the Right Law School

    Law school is different when you’re brown. It shouldn’t be, but it is. I mean, you already know that life is different for us. I think about this past summer when I did an outreach trip with coworkers and we traveled in southern Illinois. Someone wanted to stop to get a drink at a hole in the wall bar, but I became a wet blanket and encouraged us to just get to our next meeting spot. Not because I didn’t want a drink–hello, you must be new, but because I was so hesitant about entering a bar in the middle of S. Illinois. Whether that’s fair to those residents or…

  • Law School

    Breaking Barriers: FAFSA and Proving You’re Low-Income

    April is Financial Literacy Month and I want to talk about financial aid for school. For the most part, I depended on FAFSA to help pay for college and law school. I was super thankful to have access to grants, scholarships, and loans but it wasn’t easy to navigate the financial aid system with little help. While I’m years removed from filing for FAFSA, I do recall the feelings of anxiety—would this year’s package give me enough to cover everything? How will my mom help pay the family portion? How much will I need to earn this summer? Can I find another campus job? I’ll be honest that I hella…

  • Issues,  Work Life Balance

    Know Your Worth: Combating the Wage Gap

    This piece was originally run on ShopLatinx, but they’re currently under construction, so I thought I’d share it here to raise awareness for Equal Pay Day.  ————————————————————————————————————————— 54 cents. That is how much Latinas earn to the White man’s dollar. Often it is recited that women earn 77 cents, but that is the figure attributed to white women. In reality, Latinas fare far worse when it comes to income disparity; in states like California and Texas, which compose of the largest amount of Latinas working full-time and year-round, they earn a dismal 43 cents to the dollar. The negative impact of wage disparity reaches beyond the individual worker and spans generations.…

  • Law School

    Breaking Barriers: De-Mystifying the LSAT

    We all know that I basically tripped my way into law school. Like, information was so inaccessible when I was applying. I kind of generally knew I had to take an exam, but didn’t really know the purpose or how important it was to the process. So I signed up to take it because a book I read said I should sign up for it in June before my senior year. Then I spent a semester before “studying” for it. Meaning, I had one practice book that I worked on sporadically and that’s it. Usually, law students study their LSAT books for hours on end and even hire a lsat…

  • Law School

    What Lin Manuel Miranda Can Teach Us About Law School

    First, and foremost, I have been on the Lin Manuel bandwagon since 2010. It’s on record, people. So I saw his tweet today and was like aha! his work ethic is a great example of how to succeed in your educational pursuits. He tweeted:   You will have to say no to things to say yes to your work.   I mean, I know he’s an artist, but he was basically describing the path to a J.D. It’s not a newsflash to current law students or attorneys that getting to (and through) law school requires sacrificing many things in order to succeed. But in the midst of that sacrifice it…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Latinas at Work: Working Hard for Half the Recognition

    There was a recent a study conducted on Latinas in the corporate world.  The study found that Latinas are more likely to feel like they have to work harder than colleagues to be taken seriously. There is a fear of being seen as “too Latina” and a great effort to downplay our otherness at work. When I read this I was like, aha! I very much attempted to assimilate my looks into a more mainstream “look” when I was in law school. I still don’t wear hoop earrings for fear of how they’re perceived. L We’ve hit on these topics before, but it’s a recent student that shows how Latinas,…

  • Legal Practice

    Beyond Identity: The Economic Importance of Knowing Spanish

    Do you speak Spanish? I know there’s such an (unfair) assumption about our community’s language abilities and assume we should all have this skill. I happen to be fluent—actually Spanish is my first language, but I’ve never understood the backlash and weird arrogance some people display when they hear that other Latinas don’t know Spanish. Like stahp. Why do we add these barriers on top of each other? In reality, I’m actually lucky to still know Spanish and have become stronger in my language skills only because of my job. However, there was a time that I forgot Spanish because I lived in a small town with no other Latinxs…

  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Balancing Act: Dealing with the Guilt & Frustration Attached to your Finances

    I was running out of data on my phone early this month and had to resort to reading during my commute. Usually I have a book, but this past week I decided to read my “guilty pleasure” magazines and I’m so glad I did! I’m a long-time subscriber to Glamour and was so impressed by this article on finances. The author focuses on helping young adults establish some financial standards for themselves, but through her writing she also revealed some struggles that first-generation professionals experience. I kept thinking, “omg, this is a struggle so many of us experience!” Yes, I said omg because somehow growing up in the Midwest I…

  • Law School

    Conquering the Beginning of Law School

    School is going to start soon!  For so many reasons, I still distinctly remember starting my first day of law school. Probably it’s a mixture of disbelief that this was actually happening and also coming out of a really horrible summer that very literally could have cost me being able to attend law school at all. So, I remember how excited I was to start, but also how ill-prepared I was for what was about to happen. Story of my life.  But I want you to be super-prepared. I want you to go in so confident about what’s going to happen that all you have to worry about is your…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Pick a Passion: Overcoming Guilt While Providing Support

    Once you start working as an attorney, you’re typically bombarded with requests for fundraisers, events, etc. helping support one cause after another. The good news is that, student debt aside, many of us eventually find ourselves able to participate in traditional forms of philanthropy. The bad news is that being more aware of problems can lead to you feeling overwhelmed with your ability to help. As women of color, we may feel more empathy to seeing these injustices because we know first-hand how unfair, mean, and biased the system can be to others—many of these causes are not just something we hear of, third-hand, but rather real problems our family…