• Legal Practice

    Who are You to Judge? Managing Feelings Around Clients

    You’re not going to like your clients. Well, you’ll like some of them but more than likely you’ll have a few that you just don’t like. It could be because of their personality or because of their decisions, or because they zap your energy, or they’re downright rude…clients are humans and we normally don’t always love every human we engage with. But when you’re representing them, you’re duty to your client requires you figuring out how to overcome feelings of dislike. Now to be clear, there’s no duty to like your client. But when you dislike someone or find yourself judging their behavior/character, it impacts your work and that is…

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  • Law School

    Summer Series: Breaking the Glass Ceiling in IP Law

    It’s another Summer Series post! The series where law students, law grads, and pre-laws share what they’re doing for the summer. Today we hear from Cassidy, a rising 2L who will share about her experience in intellectual property—one of the more difficult areas of law to break into because it’s one of the few that does require a specific background, but Cassidy is doing it! Let’s hear more from her! Hello everyone! My name is Cassidy Aranda, and I am a rising 2L at Chicago-Kent Law School. I am currently working as an Intellectual Property Summer Associate at Ice Miller in Chicago. Intellectual Property focuses on protecting people’s innovations. Intellectual Property…

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  • Law School

    Three Gentle Truths to Remember A Month Before the Bar Exam

    “It’s going to be the worst summer of your life,” that’s what my trust and estates prof told me one night when our class went out with some professors. She made me so scared for bar prep–here I was a barely making it by as a student (at least that was the vision I had of myself) and here she was, this super successful professor telling me it was going to be horrible. If it was horrible for her, how could I make it? I don’t begrudge the professor’s blunt warning because it did help me prepare for a mental storm that many of us experience during Bar prep. 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…

  • SideBar,  Work Life Balance

    Sidebar: Surviving a Chicago Winter

    Happy new year (a month and two weeks late)! It’s so funny because in the fall, I wrote about how things felt a little more normal and then of course the next wave came and put everything back on pause. How much longer is this going to take? Very frustrating. But easing into the year wasn’t a bad thing, it let me really plan out my time and focus on my health a little more. And that was really the theme in January–getting more in tune with how I feel/making healthier decisions. So, I think I mentioned that at my annual the Dr realized I had extremely low vitamin D.…

  • Law School

    How to Prepare if You’re Not Taking a Gap Year

    When you’re in undergrad and know you want to be a lawyer,  there’s a fork in the road where you have to decide whether you’re going to go straight through or take a gap year. I have spoken before on why a gap year is helpful and I do encourage folks to take one. But maybe you’re like me and won’t. In those instances, being in your early/mid-twenties and going into law school does require a little extra preparation to ensure you go in steady on your feet. If I could do it all over again (I’d take a gap year lol) ok but if I was going straight through…

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  • 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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  • Legal Practice

    Red Flags to Avoid When Considering a Job Offer

    It’s always exciting to receive a job offer (and what a relief!). During the interview phase, each party is putting their best face forward and there’s no reason to think you’re stepping into a bad situation. But it can happen that you go in with rose-colored glasses and suddenly a few months in (or worse, weeks),  you realize they were selling you a false bill of goods because the office is toxic AF. How can you avoid that? Especially in an industry where the work is always high-stress, fast-paced and urgent? Are you doomed to just work someplace you hate always? Not so much. First, I went to differentiate between…

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  • Law School

    The Best Way to Prepare for a New Semester

    Congrats on getting through fall semester. For me, those were always a bit tougher. As you head into a new semester I thought it would be helpful to share some ways to assess and better prepare for a new year/new semester. Whether you were happy or disappointed with your grades, it’s helpful to stop and think about what went well—where did you do better than expected or what class took you by surprise by how interesting you found the topic to be? For those classes where you excelled, what do you think made the difference? And is there a way to replicate that for other classes? If you found a…

  • Law School

    Don’t let law school take your joy!

    Around this time each year I share this post. But a lot of time has passed since the original and I thought an update was warranted. For law students, as you try to enjoy your time off, I know that for many there will be a little voice in your head reminding you about your grades. And reminding you about a tough question and how you’re not sure about your answer. Or you’ll agonize over the question you didn’t get to because of time… What if your grades are bad? What if you don’t grade on to journal? What if you can’t apply to the job you want? It’s nerve-wracking!…