"Working for male attorneys who made me feel like I wasn't good enough or wasn't smart enough."
Attorney Kathleen Martinez resembles Reese Witherspoon's character from the 2001 movie Legally Blonde. Like Elle Woods—Witherspoon's character in the movie—Martinez also has long blonde hair and loves anything pink. In fact, she strongly believes that brighter is better. And just like Elle Woods, despite being super smart, she was never taken seriously by her male colleagues. But did she let this kind of negativity get to her? No. Instead, she chose to wear pink and win the case. Now, the woman from Dallas has her own law firm, and Martinez and the rest of her staff all rock in pink! Now, Martinez is a viral sensation on TikTok. In a video, she shows off what a day in the life of "Elle Woods in real life" is like. She takes her followers through a day at the office—which is also pink—and shows how she handles work as a married mom of two young boys, according to PEOPLE.
Also, for Martinez, Elle Woods truly is her source of inspiration. "I was maybe 10, 12 years old," Martinez, now 31, said. "I love that movie, and I always loved pink, I always loved fashion. I knew since I was a little kid that I wanted to be extraordinary," added the lawyer, who started dressing in pink in reaction to male attorneys who told her to dress "conservatively."
"I wanted to do something that had an impact on this world and my community," added Martinez, who now has 30 pink suits. "I loved that she could embrace both, that I didn't have to grow up to fit in some kind of stereotype." Her videos on social media are witty and she recently shared one about how she was once fired by her boss after she refused to make him coffee. But after she started her own law firm, she said he reached out for a job. "I told him we need some help making the girls' coffee," she replied to him.
Martinez, who established her own immigration law practice in 2020, claims that her journey started in Oregon, her native. Her mother was a healthcare executive whom she looked up to. Martinez, while attending Mount St. Mary's University in Los Angeles, was unsure of what her future had in store for her. Then, she was advised to try the activity by her college counselor, who also happened to be the school's mock trial coach. "I fell in love with the competitive aspect, it made studying a little bit more fun," she said. "And it was definitely something I was good at." Then she realized she was meant to pursue a career in law. Following law school at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, Martinez's first job was for an oil company in San Antonio.
The best part about it all is that Martinez did not expect to go viral when she began to post her content on TikTok, but she soon realized that her content was empowering other women, too. "Ever since I started posting content of my firm and us wearing pink, I did not expect the massive viral reaction from other legal professionals as well a female professionals in general," said Martinez.
"We've had upwards of 2,000 to 3,000 women ask to work for us because they feel like they don't fit in. They feel degraded like they're not smart enough," she shared. "And that's how I felt working for male attorneys who made me feel like I wasn't good enough or wasn't smart enough, or I needed to be pretty or smart, feminine or smart like you couldn't be both. It's just crazy. I can't believe that we're still having these conversations in almost 2023." For Martinez, embracing her individuality has been empowering. "I wasn't confident all my life, but then once I became a lawyer and started my own practice, I started having more fun with practicing law," she said. "I think you could tell with my TikTok, is that I just have fun with it.
Honestly, that's the best way to move forward in life, isn't it?
Cover Image Source | Getty Images/Westend61