• 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…

  • 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…

    Comments Off on How to Prepare if You’re Not Taking a Gap Year
  • 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…

    Comments Off on Best Way to Calm Nerves When First Working With Clients
  • 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…

    Comments Off on Red Flags to Avoid When Considering a Job Offer
  • 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!…

  • Legal Practice

    Easing Back to the Office

    I know the idea of going back to the office strikes fear in a lot of us but it is likely many will be easing back into a hybrid or a new routine where you are back in the office full time (I don’t wish this on you, unless you really want it!). Seeing as I’ve been back since July (yes, five days a week!), I wanted to share some things that made the transition easier for me. Because there is a shift in terms of time, attention, and energy that comes with being away from home 9-5 and it’s nice to be prepared for it. First, working from home…

  • Work Life Balance

    Proud of You! Recognizing Your Accomplishments During Difficult Times

    We talk a lot about stress and frustrating aspects about this work or school because it’s important to dissect that and figure out solutions. We’ve also all gone through two really tough years that includes loss in different areas of life. I know it’s easy to end this year by just steeling ourselves for whatever’s to come but I think that would be a slight disservice to ourselves. Instead, I want us to wind down the year recognizing all the great things we accomplished. Ok, caveat, I’m the last person to lean into posi vibes only–I literally wince when we have to do calming techniques or centering exercises during workshops…

    Comments Off on Proud of You! Recognizing Your Accomplishments During Difficult Times