'Latinas Uprising': Online Community for the Modern Latina Lawyer
Posted: Sep 25 2014
Graduating from law school in 2010, Nubia Willman noticed a lack of diversity – not just in her fellow classmates, but also even in law school staff members. And the numbers back up Willman’s personal experiences. Statistics show Hispanic females make up approximately 1.3% of US attorneys. Willman has started an online community for the modern Latina lawyer called “Latinas Uprising”. Latinas Uprising provides guidance and tips on how to make it through law school, excel in legal practice, as well as lifestyle tips.
Willman says before starting Latinas Uprising - she spent a lot of time search for an independent group like Latinas Uprising, but couldn’t find anything that wasn’t associated with a bar association.
The Latinas Uprising site has three posts a week, and while the focus is on women, a lot of the postings are universal and not just for Hispanics. The focus is on the whole person aspect, and professional females.
Monday: student focus
Wednesday: legal practice aspect and new attorneys
Fridays: lifestyle focus (the legal community tends towards the unhealthy)
There are many obstacles when it comes to law school for women and especially for Hispanic women. Drop out rates for Hispanics in law school are high, and Willman says schools aren’t addressing these problems. Additionally once Hispanic attorney’ obtain a law degree, Willman says in many cases a Hispanic attorney may be identified as an interpreter or paralegal. Also the lack of female Hispanic lawyers causes a legacy issue –which means potential female law school students don’t go to law school because they don’t know many/(any) female lawyers.
As for what Hispanic women can do once they obtain the degree, Willman warns law school is expensive. And while she doesn’t like to discourage people of color from attending law school, it’s important to understand the debt load before signing up for it. On the upside, Willman says, once Hispanic women get law degrees – they tend to invest back in the community and they can still use that degree to make a lot of changes.