If your law degree could love you

by Lakeshia Ekeigwe in Blog

DatePosted on December 16, 2016 at 11:14 PM
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Many women lawyers possess the subconscious limiting belief that their Juris Doctor is more important than they are, the person who actually obtained the degree. They mistakenly presume it validates their value, significance, and power. 

Coach to high performing female attorneys, Lakeshia Ekeigwe.But know this. You are valuable, significant and powerful. You.

I have personally coached several women lawyers who secretly believed their Juris Doctor (or law degree) made them worthy, special and lovable. So, instead of becoming more deeply connected to who they are as a woman, they deepened their commitment to becoming better at what they do as a lawyer. 

The result was that many found themselves shocked, surprised and saddened that loving relationships and personal happiness eluded them.

Having worked with lawyers for nearly 30 years, I believe if your law degree could love you, it would tell you 8 vital things that would increase your personal happiness and self-esteem:

  1. If your law degree could love you, it would tell you that a lawyer is not who you are, it is what you do. You are a daughter. Sister. Wife. Mother. Friend. You can give and receive love because of the person you are, not because of what you have achieved.

  2. If your law degree could love you, it would tell you that it validates your having worked really hard to accomplish something really big. But it can never validate your worth. You were born worthy.

  3. If your law degree could love you, it would tell you that the man of your dreams will not love you more because of it. So do not try to impress him with it. He will love the woman you authentically are and treasure the way your love for him makes his life happier and better. Your JD can never love him and it can never love you. 

  4. If your law degree could love you, it would tell you that your family does not want to experience you as a lawyer. They want you to love them, see them and hear them.  Not interrogate, debate or manage them.

  5. If your law degree could love you, it would tell you that, though the letters behind your name (LL.B, Esq.) historically denote male English gentry, you are not a man. Your femininity is an asset and can be your super power if you properly honour and esteem it.

  6. If your law degree could love you, it would tell you to nurture your long-term friendships. The world of women lawyers can be insular and isolating because non-lawyers do not easily fit into it. Your non-lawyer friends do not manage heavy case loads, working long hours like you do. They do not have to meet the unrealistic expectations of Partners and clients who infringe upon their personal time like you do. They do not have to worry about committing malpractice like you do. They do, however, want to spend time with you and enjoy your company. Remember to respect, honor and nurture your friendships. 

  7. If your law degree could love you, it would tell you to practice extreme self-care. The rigours of law school, passing the bar(s)/PCLL/LPC (or equivalents), starting work as a "first-year" or trainee solicitor, then building a strong career and stellar professional reputation is hard on the body and the mind. For some women, it can be a solid 15 years of continuous overwork, toxic stress levels, delayed self-care and reliance upon adrenaline and caffeine to keep going. Add getting married and having babies, and it is no wonder many women lawyers are exhausted All.The.Time. Self-care is vital

  8. If your law degree could love you, it would tell you the more successful you become, the more support you need. Delegate and outsource as many tasks, chores and errands as possible to conserve your energy.  Find a mentor and hire a life coach.  No successful person journeys alone, and neither should you.

Thank you for reading my article. Is there anything you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.  

 

About the Author

Lakeshia Ekeigwe

Lakeshia's motto is, "I coach women lawyers to create lives they LOVE.

Based in the US, Lakeshia is certified as both a Life Coach and separately, a Mediator.  In addition, The Asian-Pacific American Legal Center have recognised her skills in Leadership Development, and Lakeshia is a long time member of Mensa.

Throughout her career spanning nearly 30 years, Lakeshia has had the privilege of working with and coaching lawyers in North America and around the world. Her work particularly focuses on female attorneys and helping them in both their career and life, through one-on-one consultations and webinars.  

To enquire about Lakeshia's coaching services, please email: lakeshia@coachingattorneys.com. In addition, you can find out more about Lakeshia on her website, www.lifeschoolforlawyers.com, and on LinkedIn

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