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career

career, issues, life, personal

Work-life balance is not a “women’s issue”

I’ve lost track of panels I’ve attended with women leaders and activists – who are invited to speak about their careers, accomplishments, and lessons learned – where the conversation almost inevitably skews to questions about work life balance. And quite often, the questions are asked by other women (often younger women) who want to know how to achieve similar success, but also have a life at home. But rarely have I attended a panel about careers where men are asked how they manage to balance their life at home with their career ambitions. And I don’t think I can recall a…

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career, issues, personal, women's rights

Leaning In: Grappling with Privilege & Structural Reform

In reading Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg, I found many lessons that were highly applicable to my own life. Her words provided encouragement to stay confident and to push forward for my dream career rather than stepping back at a young age to focus instead on family and marriage. And yet, I found myself ultimately deeply skeptical of her intrinsic argument for a variety of reasons.  First, although Sandberg herself acknowledges this, her book largely applies only to the 1% — to privileged women who have had the opportunity to pursue higher education…

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career, personal

On learning to love the questions

In a previous post, I spoke about how this fall has been a time of being plunged into a whirlpool of questions. There are questions about personal career choice as law school begins to come to an end (even almost two years away, as graduation is, these questions loom ever closer). Do I love direct legal services, or international women’s rights and access to justice — or as is more likely both? Am I pursuing my dream or am I giving them up for something more comfortable, less challenging? Am I abandoning my biggest hopes for fear, once again — or…

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career, personal

How to leap despite fear

I absolutely loved this TEDx talk by Priya Parker, who designs visioning labs and creates techniques to encourage people to “reboot” into work they are truly passionate about. Much of the talk, certainly, is only applicable to a small percentage of people – the elite, who are lucky enough to have jobs, and to have lucrative positions. Parker talks about investment bankers, management consultants, and corporate lawyers. I acknowledge that this is a bit problematic and sidesteps the challenges faced by much of the world in securing gainful and non-exploitative employment. Yet, Parker acknowledges this herself — and I think…

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career, issues, personal, social change, women's rights

Leaning In

In law school, raising your hand is a competition. Hands shoot up every second, thoughts are formulated rapidly with no room for deep thinking, and the spotlight is on you as eighty of your classmates train their eyes on you — often to raise their hand and proffer a counterpoint in the next minute. Professors call you out (the “socratic method”) and can question you about the minutiae of each case. This can be a hostile environment, especially for those of us who prefer to think in writing than in speech. At my core, I am a writer. I express…

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career, non-profit, social change

On our generation and finding purposeful work

In the past few days, I blazed my way through “Work on Purpose” by Lara Galinsky and Echoing Green, devouring the stories and winding pathways of the five social entrepreneurs profiled within. This book is a reflection of our generation – slightly confused, constantly searching, never settling, seeking meaning. For Generation Y, work has been transformed from a simple means of supporting oneself to an opportunity, a blank space which we can paint with our passions and imbue with our spirits. Work is no longer about plain sustenance, but about creativity, innovation, and possibility. And most of all, our generation…

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career, life

Stay hungry, stay foolish

When I heard about Steve Jobs’ death, I felt a sudden flash of sadness hit me. Why was I so sad about the death of a man I never met? Because Steve Jobs is not just a man, but a legacy — an inventor, innovator, entrepreneur, and creative genius. Steve Jobs changed our lives by creating beautiful technology infused with love, passion, and the desire to “think different.” His marketing of Apple products was successful not simply because iPhones, iMacs, and iPods have sleek, fashionable design — but because of the brand he associated these technologies with. By purchasing a…

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career, innovation, life, non-profit, personal, social change

What gets me excited

I have a lot of interests and passions. I am driven to find ideas in justice & social change that make sense, are about the people, and fill real needs. So what excites me? Carlos recently asked me, “So how do you keep yourself motivated when it doesn’t seem like things are changing in this world?” Well, here’s part of my answer. This is what inspires me, even when the going gets rough. Change is not easy, so we have to selfishly reach deep inside and pull out what drives us, at the core. I get excited when I find…

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career, women's rights

Why we have too few women leaders

In her incredible TED talk, Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO with a distinguished resume including Harvard, the World Bank, McKinsey & Google) explains why so few women get to the C-suite, whether in the corporate or non-profit sector.  Of all the members of parliament worldwide, 13% are women. Women only make up 15-16% of the top corporate management, and only 20% of the top non-profit positions. Her message and argument rings true to my heart. She offers three crucial pieces of advice for women: Sit at the table: Women often fail to sit at the table, literally but also metaphorically. Women…

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career, non-profit, public interest law, women's rights

Event Review: Women of Color in the Law

A couple of weeks ago, I attended an event held by WIN that was incredibly warm, inspiring, encouraging, and strong. It was undoubtedly one of the best events I’ve gone to in a while. Although it was 3 hours long, no one left – everyone was riveted to their seats, fascinated by the anecdotes and advice provided by the strong and empowering women lawyers of color on the panel. I loved it! It was truly inspiring to see what other women of color have achieved in the legal field — and moreover, to see that all of them were dedicating…

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