What is Coaching?

Recognize the Value of Hiring a Coach

A professional coach can help you clarify your professional goals and create an action plan for reaching these goals. The coach then works with you to achieve these goals. A coach is a sounding board, a reality check, and a mentor. A coach provides support, validation, and resources.

A good coach helps you unlock your potential and change your behavior so that it aligns with your goals.

Most importantly, a coach holds you accountable and helps you move past roadblocks and self limiting beliefs. An effective coach offers a highly customized service that considers your specific goals and your particular strengths and weaknesses.

Working with a coach can decrease the time it takes to achieve your goals.

Law firms recognize the value of hiring coaches to work with attorneys who have excellent legal skills but need to develop their marketing and leadership skills.

Corporations understand the value of bringing in executive coaches to help senior management lead with greater effectiveness.

Individual attorneys who want to work more effectively, generate more business, or find more career satisfaction are also turning to coaches.

And senior lawyers who are trying to figure out what comes next are also turning to coaching.

Coaching FAQs

My clients are ambitious partners, associates, and in-house counsel who are serious about making change to achieve their professional and personal goals.  They have a growth mindset, they are open to feedback, they are willing to do things differently, and they recognize that they have obstacles they need to overcome in order to achieve their goals.

Sometimes, my clients are feeling stuck in their careers or uncertain how to achieve their goals.  Other times, my clients simply value having an accountability partner who understands the legal industry, how legal services are sold, and what is the range of career options for lawyers.

While my coaching engagements are highly customized to meet the needs of my clients, typically, we meet twice a month for a period of four to six months.  During the initial phase of coaching, the focus is on assessing your goals and coming up with a plan to achieve those goals.

Between sessions, you will have exercises and other action steps to help you gain more awareness of your preferences.

As we enter the implementation phase of our work, you may choose to meet more frequently for shorter sessions.

I remain available throughout the engagement by email and phone as a coach-on-call for pressing matters. This is a valuable part of coaching which enables us to experience challenging moments in real time together, so that you can pause and consider how to apply/practice new skills and insights you have gained during coaching. It is also an opportunity for me to share additional resources and contacts with you to help you keep your process moving forward.

Fundamentally, I see coaching as a partnership between the coach and the coachee.  I ask the questions.  You make the decisions and do the necessary follow up work.

Coaching, therapy, training, and consulting are distinct approaches to personal and professional development, each with its unique focus and methodology. Coaching emphasizes unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their performance, focusing on the future and setting goals to achieve desired outcomes. It’s a partnership where the coach supports the client in developing their own insights and solutions.

Therapy, on the other hand, often deals with healing, addressing past traumas, and emotional or psychological issues with the aim of improving mental health.

Training is more structured and content-focused, aimed at enhancing specific skills or knowledge through instruction and practice.

Consulting involves providing expert advice to solve specific problems or improve processes, where the consultant diagnoses issues and prescribes solutions. While each approach has its value, the choice depends on the individual’s or organization’s specific needs, whether it’s personal growth, skill enhancement, problem-solving, or emotional healing.

Lastly, mentoring is typically a longer-term relationship where a more experienced individual (the mentor) provides guidance, advice, and support to a less experienced person (the mentee). The mentor shares knowledge, experiences, and wisdom to help the mentee grow personally and professionally. Mentoring is often broader in scope, focusing on the mentee’s overall development and career progression. It can be more informal and may evolve naturally.

While my focus is on being a coach.  I do bring my three decades in the legal profession to give my clients some of the answers they need. In addition, while coaching is not therapy, it is therapeutic.  As I like to say, “I’m not a real doctor!  But I play one on Zoom.”

For more on this see How Coaching Picks Up Where Training and Consulting Leave Off.

Most professionals can benefit from the accountability that comes with coaching. But lawyers who are not committed to changing their behavior, lawyers who are not open to feedback, lawyers who are not willing to invest time between coaching sessions to do the work that is necessary, and lawyers who have a fixed mindset about their capabilities, will probably not get a lot of benefit from hiring a coach.

Our Programs

Read more about Steve’s programs for lawyers who are:
Moving Up
Moving Out
Stuck in Neutral

Scroll to the bottom to access links to more resources on coaching.

Are you unsure how an attorney coach can help?

Take my marketing, career or leadership assessment. Then book a no-obligation consultation with me.

What my clients say…

“I worked with Steve to plan my transition from an in-house career back to private practice, with the ultimate goal of developing a large enough book of clients to secure my independence from working as someone else’s employee. Steve helped me develop a business plan and coached me in networking tactics, and perhaps most importantly he gave encouragement when the goal seemed too distant. It took a few years, but I recently formed a new boutique law firm with a partner, and I could not be happier.”
Former General Counsel at Technology Company

“Steve is brilliant at what he does. I have learned networking and marketing from him. Previous to meeting Steve, I was relying on generic networking advice that was not that effective. Steve helped me up my game. I would recommend Steve for anyone who wants to step up on this side of lawyering (he’s also a great guy to bounce ideas off of unrelated to marketing and networking, as well, but these are his specialties).”
Sole Practitioner with Regulatory Consulting Firm

“As the managing partner of a midsized law firm, I have many competing responsibilities and a diverse mix of personalities to manage.  Steve has been a great sounding board as I think through approaches to effectively align my team.  Steve is insightful, compassionate, and a lot of fun to work with.  Many years ago, Steve was instrumental in guiding me to comfortable ways to grow my own practice.  I continue to share these lessons with my colleagues.   I feel very fortunate to have Steve in my corner.”
Managing Partner/Tax Attorney, Midsized law firm

Representative Clients

A senior associate who made partner at a major firm in 2021-worked with associate to assess his career options; when he concluded he wanted partnership at his current firm, worked with client to develop and execute a marketing plan and build his brand inside and outside firm

A senior associate at a boutique firm who was considering launching a solo practice -worked with the associate to evaluate whether solo practice was for her. Helped associate come up with a business plan and marketing plan for launching her practice and leveraging the relationships she had built at his firm.  Several years later, worked with the attorney to grow her firm and add staff.

A managing partner of a branch office of an AmLaw 100 firm-worked with MP to further develop his leadership skills and get more alignment from his partners;  worked with client on how to grow the office and retain talent; helped partner to better leverage his time through more effective delegation and planning

A general counsel who was new to leadership-client had been very successful in her role as an individual contributor. Worked with the client to assess her leadership strengths. Elicited feedback from her team to help her find and address areas for improvement.

A senior associate who was passed over for partnership at a firm in Texas; helped her process her disappointment; worked with client to better package herself and target specific firms in New England where she had spent many summers.  Once she landed, helped her to come up with a marketing strategy for leveraging her contacts in Texas to position herself for future referrals.

A senior partner who was facing mandatory retirement in several years-Helped the client assess his options and come up with a plan for transitioning his clients to younger partners; helped client explore his interest in pro-bono, non-profit work, reaching, and several personal hobbies.