Los Angeles, CAc: 917.771.9762
I worked in big New York law firms for more than 15 years, first as a practicing litigator at Davis Polk and Akin Gump and later as a leader on professional development and diversity teams at Weil Gotshal and Skadden. I also spent time as a career counselor at NYU School of Law’s Office of Career Services. A sweet spot for me in each of these roles was working with lawyers one on one, helping them to be more effective, successful and balanced in their work. My passion for the people side of law firms led me to coaching.
Today, I help lawyers at all levels to develop in their careers throughout their career life-cycle. We may develop an action plan around time management skills, delivering and receiving feedback, communication and difficult conversations, or building relationships and networking. Or we may focus on leadership skills like executive presence, effective listening skills, projecting confidence and developing brand. Having participated in hundreds of associate performance reviews and partnership conversations, I have an understanding of the inner workings and expectations of top law firms and am able to draw on those themes to serve my clients.
I am especially passionate about helping people to optimize performance and manage their career during major life changes, whether joyous, like becoming a parent, or traumatic, like experiencing infertility, miscarriage, divorce, illness or the death of a loved one. I also enjoy working with lawyers during career transitions.
I approach each client with curiosity, energy, positivity and excitement for his or her journey. And I wear two hats: As a career counselor, I offer tactical and strategic advice based on my experience and industry knowledge; and as a coach, I help lawyers to change their habits and behaviors by helping them to identify strengths and values, build awareness of critical voices and limiting perspectives, gain clarity and focus, and develop confidence and resilience.
About 70% of my work is with lawyers. Roughly 30% is with executives in various industries, including private equity, finance, management consulting and higher education.
Like most coaches, I typically work with my clients via phone or skype sessions of 45-60 minutes. Sometimes our work is in person. I am also available around the clock by email and phone between sessions.
Once we determine through a sample session that we are a good fit for each other, we begin an intensive process of identifying goals and core values. Then we build a plan and establish milestones to meet the goals, whether they are to develop as a leader, strengthen career-related skills, manage the career impact of a major life change or crisis or transition to a new position or career. During each session we collaborate on smaller achievable goals, with homework and accountability as part of the process.
I work with groups of lawyers, including high performing women and members of affinity groups, through 1:1 coaching, workshop facilitation and group coaching.
I use a 360 review process and self-directed exercises as appropriate. I typically offer 3 and 6 month packages, but the specific details about the engagement depend on the situation.
My clients are smart, disciplined, determined people who demand excellence and are used to working hard. I ask that they apply just a bit of their energy and diligence to the coaching process. Clients benefit when the process rises to the top of their to do list, even when their work is incredibly demanding.
I use a 360 review process as appropriate. I find it can also be effective to have clients ask supervisors, peers, more junior associates and their clients for specific feedback.
Leadership/Personal Crisis Management: I worked with a high performing senior lawyer whose performance and ability to lead her teams dipped when she began infertility treatments. Most of her colleagues were unaware of what she was going through, as she was reluctant to talk about something so personal. Feeling frazzled and out of control, she considered leaving the firm.
Initially, we focused on damage control, developing a short-term strategy that included plans for communication and messaging, identifying allies, managing workload, including developing a short-term flexible work arrangement, and self-care. As she implemented the plan, her stress levels decreased and she became more calm and engaged. Partners and team members quickly noticed a positive change.
Over the next several months, we focused on tools and skills to optimize performance and enhance leadership during what continued to be a difficult period in her life. Our work included building greater resilience and confidence by developing tools to manage critical inner voices and self-sabotaging behaviors. Ultimately, she recovered from the performance issue and remained on track. The firm was able to keep her in the pipeline, retaining important talent.
Career coaching: I worked with a high performing associate who needed to “take more ownership of his matters”. We worked together to decode the feedback and improve habits around anticipating next steps, addressing upcoming needs, identifying potential issues and understanding the client’s business objectives.
We also worked on leadership skills including communicating with confidence, time management and relationship building. Senior lawyers noticed the difference and he received higher ratings on his next performance review.
Chemistry. There needs to be a good fit.
My fees vary depending on the engagement. Please contact me directly to discuss.