• Legal Practice

    Old & New: Balancing Your Idealism with Your Senior Colleagues’ Experience

    I joke that I am #foreveryoung and will always attend young alumni events (though I think in all honesty I probably have one more year left on that 🙁 ). Regardless, of how I feel, the truth is that I’m not a super young attorney. Yes, I’ve been practicing for less than ten years, but I’ve done enough of the same thing to really know what I’m talking about, which has led to an interesting situation when I interact with younger attorneys. Often new attorneys will come, bright-eyed and idealistic, and present ideas that I know will not work. And it sucks to be a Debbie Downer; to lay out…

  • Legal Practice

    Be the Boss: Exuding Grace Under Pressure

    A while ago, I attended a panel of local Latinas who are also General Counsel in their jobs and they had a ton of advice to offer. One of their big pieces of advice, that they all agreed on, was the need to exude confidence and grace under pressure. This is easier said than done—especially if you practice in a field where everything is high risk or you’re in a firm where people act like everything is a crisis. How can you cultivate this skill? Being calm and exuding confidence takes practice. It’s mindful and purposeful. It requires working on your reactions and demeanor both in and out of the…

  • Legal Practice

    Quirky or Unprofessional: Spend Your Capital at Work Wisely

    I recently read a comment online about a young woman who was new to her job and doing really well, but had been getting looks from people because she was taking notes on her arms. She realized she was using up social capital at work by doing that and decided to opt for a notebook to look a little more professional. As I was reading this I kept thinking–what are some ways we use up social capital at work that hinder us? I’m defining social capital as the goodwill people have towards you at work. You want to accumulate enough of it so that people take you seriously, are willing…

  • Legal Practice

    Be the Boss: Latinas as General Counsels

    I made the right decision to attend at a panel last month hosted by my local Latina bar association. The topic was on Latinas as General Counsels and it was so great! First, the panelists consisted of four talented, committed, intelligent, and successful Latina lawyers so I knew it was going to be a win already, but the advice and stories they shared were fantastic. I want to share some of the gems I picked up from them. Basically, a General Counsel is HB(oss)IC of a group of attorneys. They not only have to keep the best interests of the firm/company in mind, but also have to manage a team…

  • Law School

    Ending Your Internship with the Necessary Follow-Through

    It’s incredible how fast ten weeks goes by! If you’re an intern you’re probably just one or two weeks away from wrapping up your summer gig. Believe it or not, there is a good way and not so good way to end your internship. The not-so-good way is that you leave your office without a way to maintain a connection. Even if you don’t like the agency or have decided it’s not the practice area for you, the legal community is small and you should always make it a point to grow your professional network system and many students fail to do this right at the end of their stint.…

  • Legal Practice

    Let’s Keep This Between Us: Emails Are Not Private

    Emails are not private. I repeat, emails are not private! Most of our firms have policies that allow for management/HR review our emails if they deem it necessary so we don’t have to worry about a wikileaks-like hack, a simple HR squabble can lead to really embarrassing disclosures. Without discussing the politics and whether or not there was some acts of collusion within the DNC let’s just talk about what the DNC email scandal can teach us about professional growth. It is so easy to fall into a lull of comfort and believe everything you’re saying is just between you and the receivers. It’s so easy to forget that if…

  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Keeping it Classy: how business etiquette promotes classism

    When we enter the legal field, it can feel complicated and difficult to master appropriate business etiquette because most of us have not had as much exposure to this type of culture. Most of us do not come from high income families, or families with professional parents, and yet after graduation we find ourselves colleagues to those that come from higher socioeconomic positions. We do what we can to fit in, but we’re so consumed with fitting in and abiding by these rules that  we don’t take time to assess them or even acknowledge why these means of communication often feel unnatural to us. Many people act as if business etiquette is just a natural part of…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Setting Professional Goals

    As practicing professionals, we can run a big risk of just putting in the work day-in and day-out without stopping to re-assess and re-align.  Even if we have a few days off at the end of the year, most people rarely take a moment to really consider ways to start anew. And it’s important to assess what you’re doing (even if it’s not at the beginning of the year) because time moves fast and if you’re not careful, years will pass by and suddenly you’ll find yourself stuck in a rut, or you’ll make career changes and decisions without really thinking about the long-term results.  That’s why I’m a big…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Finding a Work/Life Balance: Time Management

    Women professionals are constantly bombarded with warnings of maintaining a healthy work/life balance, and I must admit that I’ve also pleaded for this on many occasions. However, for those of us who are the first in our families to enter professional careers, it can be difficult to determine what a healthy work/life balance even looks like. And while it’s hard for any profession, as attorneys we also get a lot of strong signals about what how important work should be above almost everything else. Like, if you’re trying to make partner you can guarantee that you’ll be putting in long hours with little down time; it’s the nature of firm…

  • Legal Practice

    How to not Annoy Coworkers in Meetings

    I attend a ridiculous amount of meetings every month.  Some that are really necessary, and some that are like…why am I here? They are not my favorite thing to do at work, but in many cases, these meetings may be the main way you interact with various members of your team so it’s always good to take advantage of this time (as painful or boring as it may be) and do your best to present your best self.  It’s important because not only can you build a good reputation by following good meeting “etiquette” but the flip side can happen where you start annoying coworkers or they begin to question…