• Issues,  Legal Practice

    What Does Confidence Get You? Career Growth While Facing Systemic Barriers

    This past weekend I had the chance to speak on a panel on leadership with other super accomplished Latinas (including an elected official!). It’s always a great opportunity to glean tips and knowledge from others both in the audience and fellow panelists. Because we were discussing leadership, one of the big themes was having the confidence to go for it-to go for the leadership roles and have faith in your ability. I totally agree. You have to be aware of your abilities and have the confidence to know your strengths and talents and to push yourself to the next level because you know you got it (or have the skills…

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  • Issues,  Law School,  Legal Practice

    That’s It? The legal industry’s slow, resistant march towards diversity

    First, if you haven’t had a chance to do a deep dive in the latest legal profile by the ABA here it is. It is full of great gems and covers various sectors but as usual focuses heavy on big law. Ultimately, what the profile reveals is that it is hard out here for a Latina attorney. Latinx have the highest rates of attrition, attorneys of color, in general, are less likely to be promoted to equity partner than white attorneys and more likely to leave the firm. Women also left during COVID to take care of households and that will have long-lasting implications that we are yet to see.…

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  • Legal Practice

    How To Deal With Disrespectful Clients

    Updated June 2021: I wrote this originally when I had been practicing just four years. Since then I’ve experienced even more forms of racial and gendered harassment. Things like: Client’s not wanting me to represent them because I was not white Inappropriate/sexualized comments by outside parties More microaggressions than I can even count… But even still my answer on how to respond to disrespectful clients has only changed slightly. That’s because while the landscape has changed—I notice that for new attorneys the fear of speaking up isn’t as prevalent as it used to be—I don’t think we’ve made as much progress in the profession that the risk of backlash isn’t…

  • Issues,  Law School

    When Misunderstandings Feel Like Accusations

    I remember the first time I was accused of wrong-doing in law school and how enraged I felt. When I was weeks away from ending my first year of law school, one of the editors for one of the journals emailed me and unceremoniously told me they were rejecting my application and then offered me the “advice” to be honest in my resume going forward. It was a complete shock to my system. I was incredulous and shocked, how could they accuse me of lying on my resume of all things?! So, as a true aries, I pushed back, hard. Demanding meetings and clarifications and probably made enough of a…

  • SideBar,  Work Life Balance

    Side Bar: What a year

    I don’t even know where to start. This year was just beyond and I know I’m not sharing any huge revelation here because we’ve all been through it, but I do want to take a moment to just acknowledge what occurred. At the beginning of 2020, I was six months into my new job in local govt and to put it plainly—I was ex-haust-ed! The pace of the work was a huge jolt to my system. And while I felt like I finally was getting it, I was still barely home and barely sleeping. Additionally, there were constant threats that ICE could descend at a moment’s notice—remember when they threatened…

  • Issues,  Work Life Balance

    What’s Next? Life After the Election

    Wow. All weekend I was at a loss for words because of how HAPPY I felt about the election. Not going to lie, some days before election day, I was going to sleep super worried about what another term would mean and how devastating it would be in so many ways and how the Right has decimated the justice system even further and well… I can’t put into words how relieved and happy I am!  What an incredible moment for grassroots organizing and people power. One thing I also wanted to say is how grateful we should be to organizers and communities who are often the most harmed who still…

  • Issues,  Law School

    Responding to Racist Comments in the Classroom

    I wrote a post years ago about responding to racist comments and when that was written the discourse and awareness of racism in law school was not as out in the open as it was now. When I was in school (yikes that makes me sound old!), if someone complained about racist comments by other students, the students of color were told to grow thicker skin. There were few recourses for things that weren’t over the top overt so the idea was that you just grit and bear it, for the most part. And even though there is more self-awareness within some schools about implicit bias and space for students…

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  • Issues,  Legal Practice

    Break It: Moving Past Stereotypes to Advance your Career

    I want to direct folks back to the ABA report about women of color leaving law. The report is great and breaks down so many of the issues women face that cause a road block in their career. One frequent theme that the participants highlight is how difficult it is to find mentors/sponsors in their career because they are not able to make a connection with those in positions to help advance their careers. The women profiled found it difficult to connect with the white male leaders in their firms, but noticed that the men did not have that same hesitancy/barrier to help white women. They hypothesize that a big…

  • Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

    Never Making Partner: Can You Be a Happy as a Lawyer?

    The ABA recently issued a report on Women of Color in the law on why they leave or stay in the profession. The results are …stark. It was nothing surprising, but even still, it was disappointing to know the same issues I’m struggling with for a decade are issues women who have been practicing twice as long have endured. It’s like, ya, guey. Please stop. The study (which is worth reviewing) discusses the bias and stereotyping the participants (all women practicing for more than 15 years) experience. They discuss the prove it again bias; the othering we experience as attorneys; how we are never seen as equals by those in…

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  • Issues,  Work Life Balance

    Don’t Talk in Whispers: Becoming Better at Advancing Racial Justice

    Many years ago (ok not that many, but a while ago) I was a freshman in college and will be forever grateful that my school had mandatory events for MLK day. I randomly attended one on white supremacy, expecting to learn about organized white supremacist groups (hi, I was a criminology major so felt it was more align with my studies). But instead, I experienced an eye-opening panel that “raised my consciousness” and became really the first step in understanding racist systems; acknowledging racial injustice; and pursuing racial equity. On this site, I never hesitate to talk about race and its impact in the legal system because I believe that…

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