You invested years of your life and vast sums of money to earn the right to work as a lawyer. You are a professional in the practice of law.

But . . . are you a Professional You in the practice of life?

I learned something very powerful from the interview of an extremely successful woman. When asked the secret to her success, she simply said this:

“You must become a Professional You. Know what you can and cannot do. Know what you will and will not do.”

I just LOVE that, don’t you?

There are 3 simple ways you can become a Professional You.


You advise clients to protect and defend against situations that could potentially cause them harm. You counsel them to successfully navigate upturns and downturns, good times and bad times.

When your client comes to you full of fear and doubt, you reassure them everything they worked so hard to build is enough to prevail against any challenge to their best interests. You will powerfully advocate for them, sparing no resource or effort on their behalf. You will ensure they have the best possible representation you are capable of providing. Their needs become are your priority.

As a Professional You, do the same for yourself.


Your legal education and knowledge of the law allows you to be a practicing professional in the legal field. Your expert knowledge of the law, facts and case authority allows you to win complex litigation matters. Your deep knowledge of the parties on all sides is your superpower.

Self-knowledge is at the core of becoming a Professional You. It truly is a superpower. The most successful people have always clearly known who they were and what they were truly capable of, even when no one else saw it or acknowledged it.

Think about this again for a moment. Know what you can and cannot do. Know what you will and will not do. This simple, basic self-knowledge will allow you to live a life by design instead of a life by default.

For example, many women lawyers find themselves tolerating less than they deserve in work and love. They said “yes” to things they should have said “no” to. They may be in a role beneath their intellect, skill level or salary requirements or in a ‘relationship’ with a man who does not love them the way they wish to be loved which creates a life by default.

The default outcomes include:

  • A knowledge growth gap and stifled professional progress, because they lack opportunities to learn from lead attorneys or work with top-tier clients;
  • Money stress because they don’t earn enough; or
  • Settling for someone they lower their standards to be with, over and over again

Conversely, a life by design means establishing a set of personal and professional standards and sticking to them. Holding yourself accountable to yourself for deviating from what you know is something you really should not do because it does not serve your best interests.


YOU are a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. YOU are so very special! There is no other person on this planet that will ever be you.

Stand powerfully, beautifully and brilliantly in the power of knowing what you can and cannot do and what you will and will not do. No one can ever be a better you than you. So make it your mission to become a Professional You.

Want to learn more? Join me by the sea for a life transforming day of inspiration exclusively for women lawyers at a live event featuring Keynote Speaker Liz Wendling, author of The RainMaking Mindest for Attorneys and Special Guest Panelists, Mei Tsang, Esq., Monica Hartsock, Esq., and Corey Minor Smith, Esq.  Register here.



I help women lawyers who feel a bit lost and confused about what they want next in their life to eliminate mental and emotional clutter, silence fear and self-doubt and gain rapid clarity around what they really, really want in their life. I coach women lawyers to create lives they LOVE.

If you would like to know how I coach and support women lawyers just like you, message me on LinkedIn or email me


Nearly every woman lawyer I have ever known has heard the exact statement above from their husband or significant other.

I bet you have too.

Communication is at the core of every relationship you ever have in your life. Your style of communication has a direct impact on the happiness and success you will experience personally and professionally.

As a lawyer, you communicate for a living. You have mastered the art of clearing away the mundane, rapidly reducing issues down to controverted and uncontroverted facts, so you do not waste time on irrelevant details.  In your work, you are an effective communicator and clearly understood.

However, at home, in your personal life, you may have trouble communicating. You often wonder why the person you love the most can’t seem to understand you, stating repeatedly, “I don’t like the way you talk to me.” You believe you are communicating effectively, but something is wrong and you just don’t know how to fix it.

Sound familiar? Feel familiar?

Unfortunately, this lack of effective communication is often the start of losing your relationship. However, when you get this right, you can have a happy, thriving relationship.

I have found there are 3 crucial communication tools that work every time.

·      Be conversational

·      Be clear

·      Be considerate


Lawyers tend to have a fact and evidence based communication style, which can feel very interrogative and offensive to your listener.

To avoid that, embrace a conversational style. That means this . . . they talk . . . you listen . . . then you talk . . . they listen . . . and then you can talk again. You would be surprised at how many lawyers don’t use this very simple communication model.

The most important aspect of any conversation is to listen. To listen, you must be completely silent. (I personally love that listen and silent have the exact same letters.) This includes silencing your mind and listening to understand.  Don’t listen to defend or accuse. Instead, listen as if your relationship depends upon it. . . because it does.


You may have a long list of issues to discuss and have expertly compiled them, like an evidence log. Instead of bringing up one or two concerns, you may present all of your “evidence” at once, overwhelming your partner who becomes confused and feels defeated. He shuts down and refuses to engage in further conversation with you.

Every time you do this, it chips away at your relationship. Every.Time.

Your message should always be clear and easy to understand.  Leave your ‘lawyer speak’ at work.  Your non-lawyer love can be made to feel belittled, ignorant or stupid because you use words they never use.

So when you have an issue you want to discuss:

·      write out every way in which you have thought about the issue

·      pare that down to one or two topics/sentences

·      then speak those sentences kindly and clearly

Better yet, convert those sentences into questions . . . not interrogatories . . . questions.  Try not to use conclusive statements.

Employ a discovery process where you invite them to explain how they see the situation, how they feel and what they are/were thinking. And listen to what they say. Listen without judgment. Just listen.


If you are going to approach your spouse with a heavy issue that’s weighing on you, prepare them for that. Ask them if it’s a good time to talk. If they say no, don’t push it.

The person might be dealing with other stressors that you are completely unaware of.  They may be hungry or tired or already dealing with a personal frustration or disappointment. You may make a bad situation much worse for them by your timing.

So, be considerate of the time you choose to approach an issue, ensure that the other person is open, ready and emotionally able to have the conversation you want to have.

Also, make sure you are considerate in your approach. Don’t use insults, harsh words or name calling. Refrain from using phrases like “you always or you never . . .” If you are really angry or frustrated . . . pause and give yourself time to calm down. That may take a few hours or a few days. Do whatever it takes.

If you would like to find out how I coach and mentor women lawyers just like you, message me here or email me at

Lakeshia S. Ekeigwe

Have you downloaded your free copy of my ebook – 3 Huge Mistakes Women Lawyers Make & How You Can Avoid Them. Grab your copy now.



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.

But know this. You are valuable, significant and powerful. You.

I have personally coached several women lawyers who secretly believed their Juris Doctor 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 (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 honor 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 rigors of law school, passing the bar(s), starting work as a “first-year” 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 LAKESHIA EKEIGWE – I coach women lawyers to create lives they LOVE. If you would like to find out how I work with women just like you, let’s schedule some time to talk about it. Feel free to message me here or email me at

Have you downloaded your free copy of my ebook – 3 Huge Mistakes Women Lawyers Make & How You Can Avoid Them. Grab your copy now.



Income inequality is ‘a thing.’ Unfortunately, I know firsthand from working with clients literally around the world, that income inequality for women lawyers is pervasive.

I have seen a disturbing pattern of women lawyers tolerating situations that inure to their financial detriment. They charge fees below fair market value for their services, accept lower salaries and unequal billing rates, and liberally give away free legal advice. On the surface, their reasons for doing so are varied. However, at the core is always an underlying self-worth issue.

There are several reasons women lawyers charge and earn less than their male counterparts, including:

  1. They mistakenly believe charging less makes them a good person, thereby avoiding the negative stereotypes of those “who give lawyers a bad name.”
  2. They don’t want “to rock the boat” and fear being judged as ungrateful for the opportunity to sit with the ‘Big Boys.’
  3. They question what is “fair,” so they err on the side of accepting less instead of requesting more.

Some of those reasons have played out in the real life scenarios shared below (all names have been changed.)


Melissa, a deeply caring, heart-centered lawyer, practices in a US market where average billing rates for partners of firms her size is $500/600 per hour. Her rate was $425. Her (male) partner’s rate, $525. Her stated reason for this disparity was “I don’t want to charge rates beyond what my clients can pay.” If a client can pay $425 per hour, they can and they will pay $525. Clients who trust your advocacy for their best interests will gladly pay what you tell them your service is worth.

Melissa’s lower rate was a direct result of a worthiness limiting belief we uncovered. Her billing rate is now $525.


Sarah’s salary had been $100,000 per year LESS than her 2 (male) partners. Though she was the latest to join the partnership ranks, her financial liability and accountability for the firm was exactly the same as theirs (including the lease, business line of credit and payroll obligations). She was afraid to stand in her own worth and power.

In the 2 years since she made partner, this had cost her over $200,000. Sarah allowed her partners to dictate how powerful she could she be and she acquiesced. That, of course, had ripple effects in her authority and she could never really be seen by them as a full ‘equity’ partner because truthfully, she wasn’t.

In time, Sarah was coached to understand the value she brought to the partnership. She closed the income gap and her salary now equals her partners.


Catherine is a 25+ year practicing partner of a mid-sized Los Angeles area law firm. She has been working for several months on a high-profile 20M+ contingency fee case. Unfortunately, she was told she is not eligible for a bonus this year as her ranking would drop (thus her salary and draw) because her billable hours were down. Though she has worked excruciatingly long trial prep hours, she is being financially penalized because of the nature of this particular case.

I am certain if she were a male partner, her firm would never even consider suggesting such a thing.

Are you facing a similar situation?

Here are 3 Simple Mindset Shifts to Charge What You Are Worth and help you close the equality gaps in your income.


Immediately remove any emotionality around your fee or salary, which is simply a rate of exchange for a service. There is nothing emotional about that. If you do not charge enough for your services, you cannot pay for the infrastructure that allows you to actually be a business, practice law or serve the very people you became a lawyer to help.

Think of your fee or salary as a restaurant menu. You review the dishes and pricing. You place your order. Eat your food. Pay your bill and leave. The restaurant has ascertained the costs, overhead and profit margin to determine the price you will pay for your meal. See, no emotion in that. The price is just the price.

Your ability to provide a high level of service to clients can protect businesses and families from staggering losses and potential ruin. You must get this right.


Lower fees do not mean you are a heart-centered lawyer. Being a heart-centered lawyer does.

Lower fees and undercharging sends a message that causes people to question the quality and value of your service and expertise.

Higher fees actually serve your best interests. For example:

  • They filter out individuals and businesses who are not your ideal client. If you feel your service is worth $500 and a potential client only wants to pay $300, simply put, they are not the right client for you. They will ALWAYS request time for free, will likely challenge and/or ignore your advice to them, not pay the $300 on time and be a problem client from start to finish. Usually, things end the way they start. Start off lowering your value, end up lowering your value.
  • With your rates increased and your business in financial flow instead of financial struggle, you can actually take on pro bono cases that matter and speak to issues personally important to you.


Lawyers are often maligned and mischaracterized. Most people have a visceral response to lawyers, believing they are either a superhero or someone who will take advantage of their vulnerable state and financially bleed them dry. Many women lawyers fear being viewed as a shyster so they over compensate by under charging, even giving away their valuable time and service for free.

If you are not taking advantage of your clients, then do not consider that negative perception as a reason for billing at a lower rate or writing off time for services rendered. If a client (or potential client) doesn’t trust lawyers, don’t work with them. Find clients who understand the value of the service you provide and happily pay you for it.

Changing your mindset is a process, but you can do it. Start today!

I would love for you to share this article with your friends and network. You never know what someone is going through. It might just be the encouragement they need today.

If you would like to know how I personally coach and support women lawyers just like you, message me on LinkedIn or email me