Thriving as an Attorney
Finding balance and wellness in your legal practice
The legal profession has evolved into one where lawyers put their work ahead of their own mental, emotional, and physical needs.
Let's rewrite this script.
I help lawyers regain a sense of peace and joy in their work.
I used to practice law. And I practiced the way that I was taught. Working too much, constantly on call, always putting out fires, billing for every possible thing, constantly getting criticized for not completing tasks more quickly or understanding abstract concepts more completely. I had too much to do and no training on how to prioritize tasks, partner with clients, or manage the expectations of my supervising attorneys.
I also made poor choices for my health and well-being.
I didn't honor my feelings.
I didn't eat nourishing foods.
I drank too much.
And most devastating to me was that I viewed the world from a really negative place.
I lost sight of love and joy.
And without love and joy, I felt hopeless.
I was another unhappy lawyer in a sea of unhappy lawyers.
I wasn't aware of anyone who could show me a different way of practicing.
I felt like my heart was dead.
My dissatisfaction with my law practice grew to the point where I quit practicing.
Perhaps you can relate on some level to what I experienced or maybe you've seen colleagues really struggle in their practices.
I know that a lot of lawyers fantasize about switching their practice areas, changing employers, creating their own firm, or perhaps something drastic happening in their lives which prevents them from practicing.
It's perfectly normal to feel this way.
In fact, I think the majority of lawyers feel like this.
But we're not given a safe environment to talk about the flaws of law.
We're expected to suck it up, be stoic, put our practices above our needs, our wishes, our desires, our families, our friends. Many of us spent an absolute fortune getting our law degree, we fulfilled the rigorous demands of law school, we sat through a nightmarish Bar exam(s), and thus far we've survived the trials of being a lawyer. The thought of not being happy with our work can be almost unbearable to us because we've invested so much into getting where we're at.
If we're not allowed to talk about the ways our practices don't satisfy us, however, it makes the situation worse and we can experience disconnection, isolation, loneliness, shame, despair. Perhaps there was a time when you advised a client to take action on something because avoiding the issue was only going to exacerbate it. This is very similar. Avoidance makes our discomfort worse - not better.
From a neuroscientific perspective, it is traumatizing to our nervous systems to be in distressed states for extended periods of time.
If you relate to anything I've written, please know that you are feeling exactly the right feelings and you're brilliant for listening to them.
And you can move out of these feelings.
I had to leave the practice of law to save myself. To gain perspective.
To listen deeply to myself and find out what I want to do with my life.
Leaving the practice of law doesn't have to be your path.
It can be if that's what you want, but it doesn't have to be.
Changes can be made to your practice so that you actually enjoy it.
I know this to be true because I've helped lawyers do it.
If what I'm writing resonates with you in some way, keep on reading to learn more or click the button below to schedule a free consult to talk about your practice.
How I Support Attorneys
I teach and educate on a combination of practical, body-based tools to help attorneys explore ways to live a rich and fulfilling life. I also work with White lawyers to become more race literate. Although studies aren't necessary to believe people of Color that racism exists in our profession, studies have shown that people of Color experience race-based distress at much higher rates than White people. It's crucial that we, as White people, become more racially literate and take steps to dismantle White supremacy in the legal profession.
I provide attorneys with practical tools - how to create better boundaries with work, how to have courageous conversations with others, how to explore what truly brings you joy.
It's helping you have a law practice that you enjoy because it caters to you.
For the most part, the legal profession values the mind over our hearts and bodies. But we're more than walking heads.
I help attorneys get in touch with their hearts and bodies so that you can hear what they have to say. This builds our emotional intelligence and self-awareness.
The legal profession is racist. White people must do our inner work around our racism to dismantle White supremacy within our profession.
If you are White, I work with you to expand your racial literacy and become more conscious of how White supremacy is baked into the legal profession.
When you hire someone to help you with something related to your practice, you may receive explicit next steps to take or to try (consultants often do this).
I help you receive your own guidance as to what your next steps are and what's best for you. I provide suggestions based on my own experiences,
but ultimately you are the one who has the answers
and I'm helping you find them.
Body awareness is a crucial piece to my work. The reason is because lawyers are taught that emotions aren't important. Law school taught us to "think like a lawyer" and the legal profession often demands that we work regardless of how we're feeling. Perhaps you've heard stories of colleagues who were expected to work right after giving birth to a child. Or lawyers who were expected to attend client meetings while grieving the death of a loved one. Some of us have even been punished by other lawyers when we shared how we were feeling. Maybe we were reported to our state Bar association or removed from important client work or shunned by colleagues.
This devaluing of our feelings and our psyches is rampant in the legal profession.
There is a strong message - both implicit and explicit - in the legal profession to "shut up and do your work".
The result of this messaging is that we've shut our feelings down for so long that we're paying the price in our physical bodies, in our emotional lives, in our productivity, and in our sense of Purpose in the world.
Body awareness helps us reconnect with our emotions and explore what's going on in our hearts.
After a long time of ignoring or suppressing what we feel inside, it might seem frightening opening up our feelings. I empathize with this fear and have compassion for what you need in this process of self-discovery.
I help you safely feel and release feelings of discomfort. So that you can move towards hearing your own inner guidance.
Feeling and releasing emotions are key steps in hearing our inner guidance. To do this, we practice presence and awareness of our own being. We learn to understand the subtle (or not so subtle) cues that our body is giving us to let us know that things aren't in alignment.
Lawyers are fabulous at thinking things through, analyzing information, making decisions strictly from a cerebral place.
What we weren't taught in law school or allowed to explore is how to incorporate our feelings, our hearts, our inner guidance into our work. It can be unsettling because we haven't been taught that these parts of us are important. And so we can get confused because we have emotions, but we're taught that feelings have no value. When there's this inner confusion - which we may not consciously be aware of - we find ways to cope. Coping can look like drinking, drug use, gambling, sex addictions, working out too much, control issues, and many many other things we turn to in order to soothe ourselves.
It's extremely important to have someone walk with you as you untangle feelings and understand what's going on at a deeper level. Our nervous systems need the connection, the support, and the love. I can walk with you and provide guidance as you go through this process.
I help guide you to explore these different aspects of who you are so that you are functioning from a more integrated place.
How Do I Support You?
I work with clients virtually for 12 sessions over a period of seven months. We meet 2X/month for 45-minutes each time.
Over the course of seven months, we'll cover the following topics:
Is it meeting your needs?
What is your body saying? What does it need?
What do you really want?
Building awareness of racism in our profession
We'll start by talking about your legal practice and how you're feeling with it. Is there any part of your practice that you'd like to change?
We'll also explore what you really want. We can be so busy as lawyers that we may not get a chance to reflect on activities we'd like to do. So let's do it during our time together! Would you like to travel or have a leadership position within your organization? Do you want to take a cooking class or run a marathon? We'll put on our explorer hats and find out what would really make you happy.
And we'll work with body-based tools so that you develop a stronger relationship with your body and can start using your body as a compass for your life.
Throughout the 7 months, we'll also be doing race literacy work if you're White. We'll be reading race literacy materials and exploring how racism is baked into the legal profession. And steps that need to be taken to dismantle White supremacy in our profession.
These 7 months are meant to be very comprehensive. You will have a better understanding of yourself and what you need to thrive after our time together.
How Much Does It Cost?
A 7-month package with me costs $6,000.
There are no refunds unless I'm unable to commit to our sessions for some reason, in which case you'll receive a pro rated refund.
Click the button below to schedule a complimentary 60-minute consult with me.
The chat probably won't last more than 30 minutes, but carve out 60 just to be safe.