• Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    Let Them Underestimate You: What Julian Castro Teaches Us About Expectations

    First, this is not an endorsement, but we have to talk about Julian Castro. He killed it at the debate stage on Wednesday and was a surprising star of the night. It seemed obvious that his performance was a surprise to everyone but Julian Castro. I noticed how cool, calm, collected he was after he delivered it. He acted like he did exactly what he had planned to do, even acknowledging that “a lot of people were surprised” by his breakout performance. That’s when it clicked. Julian Castro, I’m sure, has a life experience of being a Brown attorney who is dismissed as someone who is incapable of delivering and…

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  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Do It Again: Overcoming the “Prove it Again” Bias at Work

    After you’ve been practicing for a while you become accustomed to people being wary of your ability and then you become super accustomed to them being blown away by how great you perform. This is a phenomenon known as “prove it again.” A horrible cycle women experience where we’re not given credit for our potential, instead our capabilities are questioned more harshly and when we deliver, those in charge need you to “prove it again” because obviously you’re past success was a fluke…   This is exhausting–seriously nothing annoys me more than seeing the ~shock~ when I do a killer job, like I’ve been killing it for years, how are…

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  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Drawing the Line: Pushing Back Against Problematic Standards in the Law

    Of the million and one things that were incredibly wrong with the Kavanaugh confirmations, one of the stories that jumped out at me was a story involving Amy Chua. Chua, of Tiger Mom fame, is a Yale Law School Professor and is um, well, somewhat problematic, to say the least. The story that made the rounds detailed how Chua allegedly instructed women law students on how to dress and style themselves to please Kavanaugh because he liked his clerks to look “a certain way.”  She denies this, but many people have heard similar advice in their own school settings. And so this type of advice does happens to various extents–that…

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  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    Everyone Has Help: Why Kavanaugh’s Denials are a Detriment to our Profession

    I got into Yale Law School. That’s the number one law school in the country. I had no connections there. I got there by busting my tail in college. You’ve probably heard that re-play of Kavanaugh’s hearing in his attempt to become a Justice. There are so many things that were a sloppy mess in this hearing, but for me, this was such an eye-opening statement. This is a man that comes from wealth, working and living with DC-elite, is a legacy student (aka White Affirmative Action) and yet he sat there and screeched he did this all on his own. He ignores every leg-up, privilege, assistance given to him…

  • Issues,  Law School

    Don’t Hustle Backwards: Using Every Opportunity to Land Your Summer Job

    As we get closer to job application season for 1Ls and 2Ls, it’s vital to remember that you must use every tool at your disposal to get the job you want. First, let me start by saying this profession and law school (and this country) does a fantastic job of claiming we succeed through merit. Success is given to those that earn it and deserve it, right? No. The idea that people get ahead by bootstrapping is a farce. People get ahead because systems are in place to ensure they get ahead. Then when people like us, women and people of color, push ourselves into this system they try to…

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  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    To Be or Not to Be: The Problem With Gender Roles & Sexism in the Courtroom

    I just finished reading two articles that I recommend people read about women litigators and issues they face at work. One is from The Atlantic and the other is a response in the ABA Journal. Each article tackles how women, who make up a dismal percentage of lead counsel/first chairs in trials, can push back against sexism in the courtroom to win for their client. The article in The Atlantic, written by Lara Bazelon–a former Federal Public Defender and Clinical Professor, suggests that women face such systemic sexism in every area of the courtroom that it behooves us to abide by gender roles so that we’re not seen as too…

  • Legal Practice

    Surviving the Gaslight: Microaggressions at Work

    Imagine, you’re in the middle of a networking event and a partner at a firm casually mentions that they’re so impressed with how well you speak English…cue record scratch. Or you’re starting a new job and your new boss says they’re so excited to have you because they really need someone to spice up the office. …que que?! You’re likely no stranger to these micro aggressions. You know what it’s like when people keep asking where you’re from, are surprised you speak English, or assume you’re not capable just because of the way you look. Believe it or not, there will be many incidents where people act way out of pocket…

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  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Is Your Work Glamourous?

    A recent article from Harvard Business Review discussed how women and people of color (so especially women of color) are often assigned tasks that while necessary to keep a business running are not assignments that help propel your career. We are often assigned to doing “Office House Work” where white men are more often assigned “Glamour Work.” Glamour work gets you noticed and can be used to show growth and your success and experience with glamour work can be used to push for a promotion or more plummy assignments. I highly encourage people to read the HRB article especially because it discusses what managers and companies should do to take…

  • Legal Practice

    Where My Ladies At? Being Excluded from Networking Events

    One of my fave work related blogs, ask a manager, recently had a post about a work situation that many of us may face. The men, often bosses, networking together in a way that excludes women. This happens a lot, especially in our field. The reason is rarely malicious, but rather some events are “standard” and the standards are still set by men. Womp womp. So in this example, a bunch of dudes wanted to go to an NFL game and most of the women weren’t into football so they ended up excluding women from this event because they assumed they wouldn’t want to attend. If you watch Insecure than…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Make Yourself Heard: Increasing Your Skills as a Litgator

    This article about a 96 year old judge making a rule to help encourage women attorneys to speak up more often in court is making the rounds. It’s a great piece and great example of how people in power can use their position to make a difference. Lost in the discussion (maybe ironically) is that the catalyst for this was a mentor/friend of the Judge’s; retired judge, Shira Scheindlin. Judge Scheindlin wrote an Op-Ed earlier this month about just this issue: the dismal percentage of women litigators speaking before the court. Judge Scheindlin discusses a study she conducted in New York that asked judges to observe when and how often…

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