Why Using Your Legal Mind In Law Practice Helps Clients

Sigalle Barness | October 12, 2022


In this week’s episode of Lawline's Lawyers Who Lead podcast, Sigalle interviews Ali Katz, Founder and CEO at New Law Business Model and Eyes Wide Open Life. Through serving others and leading with her heart, Ali shares her journey of finding herself and making a difference in the legal community through teaching lawyers how to be true guides for a client’s major life decisions. Listen to the full interview or read highlights of the interview below! Transcribed answers were edited for readability.



Ali Katz: On Gratitude

Lawyers Loving Their Lives

Really hearing from you about how many lawyers you get to talk to who love their lives. It is a radical shift from where I was just 10 years ago in this huge question about why did I go to law school? How can I love my life as a lawyer? Do I need to give up being a lawyer? And so now, to be here 10 years later, and talking to you and hearing about how many lawyers you're talking to who love their lives and being a lawyer who loves her life so much. Well, it's a great moment because we've made it. 

On Starting Her New Business Model

A Better Way for Lawyers and Clients

Absolutely. So I started my career at Munger Tolles and Olson, one of the best law firms in the country. Started by Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's personal lawyer. And I thought, oh, that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna be like a personal lawyer for my clients. And of course, being at any big law firm, no matter how great it is, it wasn't like that. It was still all about the billable hour and I was commuting an hour each way and I was the only mom, uh, at that time as an associate. 

And I could tell that something just wasn't sitting right with me about the way that we were doing estate planning for our clients because my father-in-law had died while I was in law school. And even though he had spent $3,000 on an estate plan with a lawyer, we had gotten stuck in the probate court and dealing with his ex-wife. The things that I knew that he had paid for us to not have to do and yet here we were, and you know, fast forward and I'm at one of the best law firms in the country and it's exactly the way that we did things for our clients. The associate in the estate planning department, putting in place documents for clients that I know are going to fail when their families need them because I saw it happen with my father-in-law. And it begins to dawn on me that something is very off and I couldn't change it at Munger Tolles. Like I didn't have enough power there. I actually was able to make some change there. I got us a lactation room about 20 years ago, that was kind of a big deal. But I didn't understand enough at that time to even be able to call for the change that I wanted. 

After my second child was born, I decided I'd start my own law practice and I would serve the families in my community with estate planning in a new way. I didn't even know what that really meant yet. I just had an idea that something was going to need to be different. I was still married. My husband was a stay-at-home dad. So I was the breadwinner, you know, supporting him and my two kids. We didn't have any savings in the bank. It was a pretty terrifying time, but also really exhilarating. Sink or swim. I thrive pretty well in that scenario. 

I went to one of the lawyers in my community who had the top floor of the high-rise building in Torrance, California. And I asked him if I could trade him some of my time for rent, because I didn't have money for rent. And he said, yes, you can give me 20 hours a month in exchange for the rent of an office. And I said, okay, all right, I'm gonna do it. And what I saw in that office was now a whole other reality of lawyers who were working for themselves, but they were still working evenings, weekends, all hours of the day and night. I was thinking, what is going on here? They weren't doing it because the law firm partners at the big firm were making them do it. They were the owners and yet here they were evenings and weekends working.

And I began to realize that they were doing that because they had to. They didn't have any systems. I didn't even know what systems were, but it began to dawn on me that maybe there's a better way. So fast forward then to when I did get divorced through that period. And at the same time I began to get this vision for there's a better way for the lawyers and there's a better way for their clients. 

And through that I created a law firm called Martin Neely & Associates. And within about, say, two years of leaving the second place where I was trading my time for rent, my law practice was doing a million dollars a year. I was only going into my office three days a week, but most importantly, what I was doing was I was serving the families in my community as a trusted advisor. I was providing them with a service that to this day, I sold my practice in 2008, and to this day, there are still clients who are calling me because I am their trusted advisor. 

Now back then, I did not know how to set up the business systems. I had the vision of it, and I knew what I wanted it to be, and I knew how to market it and sell it and engage clients for that service. But I didn't actually know how to set up the sustainable business systems to truly be able to fulfill that promise. That actually didn't happen until much later. After, in fact, I had even sold my law practice. And after I began to train lawyers and after I went through a major spiritual kind of crisis of wait a minute, what is actually going on here? You know, can lawyers really have a business model that can fulfill this promise?

So the promise is, and was, that when you hire a personal family lawyer, you're not just getting a set of documents. You are getting a trusted advisor who is going to help you make all the right legal and financial decisions through life. As your life stage changes, as you have more children, gain more assets, as you start businesses, as family members become incapacitated, as you die, I'm gonna be there for you and I'm gonna be there for your family. And it is not just about documents.

Fast forward, now it's been 20 years, almost 20 years now, and we finally have the technology. We finally have the lawyers who desire to be this kind of lawyer who have begun to just get out of their minds and into their hearts. And I have gained the business knowledge to really actually be able to fulfill this mission. So today we have 350 lawyers who are trained in this, what I call heart-forward, counseling-based methodology, for serving clients, families, and business owners with estate planning that goes beyond the documents. And we are able to give these lawyers not just the counseling methodology, not just the way to educate their community, and do their marketing, and not just the way to sell the clients on the vision, but also the business systems and the guidance to actually build a business with this model. And I'm finally happy as a lawyer. 

I was on either Facebook or LinkedIn and I was seeing something where lawyers were talking about, would you ever advise your kids to go to law school? And there was a time. I would've said no way. Now today. Absolutely. Without question. In fact, almost every person on my team that is not a lawyer is always saying like, wow, you make me wanna go to law school. And that to me is the biggest success of all. 

On How Her Spiritual Crisis Changed Her Life

Love Should Be Our Most Powerful Motivator

I had achieved all of the success I possibly could as a lawyer, including the million dollar law practice, the best-selling book, and appearing on TV as a family, financial, and legal expert. And, you know, having my kids in private school, living two houses from the beach, all the things. Like how could I have more success? And yet I was really miserable inside. There was something that was just really off and I didn't know what it was because I had followed all the rules. I literally had followed every single rule and won every single game that was given to me to play. And yet something was very deeply off. 

And so I was led to my first coach in 2003. At $350 a month, that's how much she was gonna charge me, my mind was yelling at me, you're crazy. You can't pay this person $350. That is way too much money. And I just had to take the leap of faith of actually saying, I need help because I don't know what to do and this woman might, and I, by the way, would not have ever started my own law practice if it hadn't been for that coach. 

She guided me to see that I was the creator of my own life. That I got to choose. And she also guided me to even understanding what self-care was. Nobody had ever taught me to take care of myself. They taught me to get good grades and win and succeed at all costs. But they never taught me to take care of myself. So she taught me to take care of myself and that led me to being able to start my own law practice. 

And so all of that actually led me to a plant medicine called ayahuasca, which today is fairly mainstream. Lots of people know about it, but back then, it was still really weird. And the night that I did it, it was September of ‘09, I had a vision, cause you can have visions. And I had a vision of a world that works for everyone. And I got to experience, not just mentally in my mind, but viscerally in my body, a world beyond unhealthy conflict, because I think healthy conflict is actually necessary. And I think lawyers can really contribute to healthy conflict. 

But a world in harmony. A world where we are all deeply connected to ourselves, each other, and the planet. And I got to feel what that would feel like. And then I came back into my life. And I got to spend the next three months, seeing, and feeling every single way that I was contributing to the exact opposite. Through how I had been taught to do business, through how I had been taught to be a leader, through how I had been taught to be successful. 

And one of the big illuminating parts of this was, I was on Nancy Grace, because at that time I was doing TV, and I was there about Tiger Woods because he had just had his divorce and his crash. And so I was there to talk about what was gonna happen to his kids and custody and all of that. And normally when I would go on the Nancy Gray Show, or any show for that matter, O'Reilly Factor, all of those, you know, I would be there and my mind would be silent. Completely silent because my ego would be very fulfilled and I would be doing what my ego mind felt I should be doing. I'm here. I've done it. I'm on TV. This time though, I'm about to go on and I'm just sitting there waiting, and I hear this huge loud voice. It says, what the F are you doing? Using the actual word. You have spent four hours to get into hair and makeup and come down to this studio and gossip about another human being on national television. You are contributing to the world negative 1000. You can never do this again. And in my mind, I'm going, wait, what? No, this is what I love to do. How could I never do this again? You can never do this again. This is not why you're here. And within 60 days, I had left LA and moved to Colorado, and piece by piece began to dismantle everything I had created. 

Walked away from all of it, moved to a farm, filed for bankruptcy, got a new name, and began to deal with the reality of all of the conditioning that I had been given through life and law school. So what I discovered during this time is the way that our legal and financial systems have been constructed as lawyers and financial professionals who are helping people make the most important decisions of their lives around the use of their resources. Our business models cause us to guide people down the wrong road and make poor decisions about how we use our resources. Because of the way that we, the legal and financial professionals, make our money. 

And so at the very core of what I was able to unravel and then recreate is a way for lawyers to actually untangle this conditioning and the use of our resources. And I'll teach that to the whole legal insurance, financial, and tax industry if I live long enough. But at least starting with lawyers, we need to shift how we get paid so that we are not incentivized to help our clients make the wrong decisions for the people that they love. And that had to start with eliminating the hourly billable. Where we're actually incentivized for things to take longer and drag out more and for conflict to escalate. 

I saw it in my own divorce where even though my husband and I used collaborative lawyers, so they weren't allowed to take us into court and litigate. Towards the end of our wrapping up our divorce, I had gotten a clear message from spirit that said, ask him what he needs. And whatever he says, just give it to him. And my lawyer was trying to get me to fight and his lawyer was trying to get him to keep fighting. Now, I don't think they're bad people. I think that they got deeply conditioned because of their financial incentives that they couldn't even see. So why would they want us to keep fighting over pennies? Over stupid things? 

Because they're getting paid by the hour and when you're getting paid a certain way, money is the most powerful motivator in our universe. We would like it to be love. I would like it to be love. And the truth is that it's money. And so if that is true, which I think that we can probably all agree that it is, if that is true, then we have to use money to motivate. What we want to see in the world. And so the way that we do that is by changing the way that we get paid. So as lawyers, no more billable hour. As lawyers, no more too low of flat fees that makes it where we actually cannot deliver on the services that we're promising. And the only reason we're charging too low of flat fees is because we want to be accessible. We want to be affordable. We have bleeding hearts and we want to serve as many people as we possibly can. 

But then what happens is, because that's actually coming from a scarcity-based mentality, which many lawyers have, which I had, we can't deliver on the promises that we're making. So we need to build our compensation models to incentivize what we actually want to see in the world. And so ultimately this spiritual crisis led me to see that I'm not here just to live on a farm, which I totally could have done. Moving to the farm and letting go of everything I created in some ways was the best thing that I ever did, because that was my escape fantasy. And we all have one, I think. 

I don't have an escape fantasy anymore. I'm living my fantasy actually right now. And I want us all to do that, but not the fantasy, the reality. And so at that time, my escape fantasy was, I'm just gonna move to a farm and live off the land and live in community. So by indulging that escape fantasy, I was too young and immature to do it in a healthy way. I was there and I was like, okay, am I gonna just do this now forever? And for a year, I spent that year saying, what would I do if I wasn't doing anything for money? Who would I be if I wasn't doing anything for money? And through that, it came to me like, oh, okay, no, I need to serve lawyers still. 

And being able to go beyond the burnout fantasies, right? Because the burnout fantasies are like, oh, I would go live on the beach and read books all the time. Or I would go travel all around the world. Yes, and then you would get bored. Especially if you're a lawyer, because we love to use our minds. We love to create. We love to serve. I believe that as lawyers, we are kind of rare birds, especially if you're the kind of lawyer that went to law school to really make a difference. And you didn't just go to law school because you didn't know what else to do, or because you wanted to make a lot of money. If you went to law school because you actually really wanted to make a difference, probably you are the kind of lawyer who you just would not be fulfilled eventually. Let's give it one to three years. 

For me, it was one year. One year of living on the farm, just reading whatever I wanted, doing whatever I wanted. Because I was gonna file for bankruptcy, I actually wasn't allowed to earn money. And I had to create that construct for myself. I had to keep my income below $5,000 a month in order to be able to qualify for bankruptcy.iStock-586055578

On Learning the Hard Way

Giving Others What She Didn’t Have

During that time I had moved to Colorado because my best friend was graduating law school. And I'd come out to speak to her law school class about entrepreneurship and lawyering. And a house was for rent, two houses down from her. It was on a cul-de-sac and her kids and my kids were best friends. So life was really saying, like, move there.

And she was gonna go into public interest law when she graduated, but she had also just gotten divorced. Her alimony was only gonna last another year. You know, I said to her, like, you cannot go into public interest law. You are not going to be able to support your kids. You have to figure something else out. Why don't you do estate planning? The way that I was doing it, the way that I teach. And she's like, oh no, I don't wanna do that. I don't wanna, you know, just serve old rich people and help them save money on their taxes. And I said, it's not like that. I promise you that the way that I did it, it was not boring. It was not just for the rich people saving money on their taxes. Why don't you just give it a try? I'll just teach it to you. You don't need to pay me cause I can't earn any money anyway. I will just teach it to you. 

And I did, and I watched her build a thriving practice from scratch really quickly that she loved. She became a personal family lawyer and it dawned on me as I watched her do that. And some of my members that had been very early members, in fact, who are still with me to this day, they had started with me in like 2008, 2009, even though I wasn't creating anything new. They wanted to keep paying me. And I was like, oh, this is fascinating.

Okay. They wanna keep paying me for things already created. I didn't really understand IP back then, even though I was a lawyer, even though I had graduated first in my class from Georgetown and worked at one of the best law firms in the country, I really did not understand IP. But they wanted to keep paying me for the IP that I had created. 

So through that year, I got to see, okay, I didn't come here just to live on a farm the rest of my life. I did come here to serve lawyers and to help lawyers with everything that I have created here. I just have to find a way to do it, where I get to be all of myself at the same time, where I don't have to hide parts of myself. 

And also where I really understand the business aspect. Because as you know, in law school, they don't teach us that. And you told me you ran Lawline for three years as a COO. And that's fascinating to me, like how did you even learn how to do that? Because everything I learned about business, I had to learn the hard way over, probably at this point, you know, a couple million dollars in mistakes. Completely losing self confidence in the process because business did not come naturally to me. And nobody seemed to be able to advise me on it. The really practical aspects of contracts, and intellectual property protection, and managing my financials, and making good tax decisions. And so ultimately because of how I operate, I had to learn the hard way. And I also now teach that as well, not just to lawyers, but through Eyes Wide Open.

I am giving as many people as I possibly can the person, the trusted advisor, the guide that I wished I had. And of course I can only serve so many people. I'm just one, you know, human. And so that's why I train lawyers now to serve their clients in the way that I wish I would have been served as a young mom when my kids were little and now as an adult businesswoman. 

And eventually the long term vision is that I will not just be training lawyers, but the whole legal insurance, financial and tax professional advisory world, through something that I am calling Lifted Advisors. It has not launched yet. It does not exist yet, but it will, could be one year. It could be 10 years. I don't know. But eventually I envision, it's a lot to say, but 250,000 advisors that are serving 70 million families to make eyes wide open decisions around the use of their time, energy, attention, and money in a truly holistic way that gets the advisors paid to be on the same side as their clients, and maybe can turn around what's happening in our world in some sort of a truly meaningful way because we have to do it. And it's our legal and financial professionals that, to me, need to lead the way in doing it, because if it's not them, who would it be? 

On Turning Her Visions Into Realities

Taking Things Step by Step

So I'm gonna be really honest that I could not even claim that vision until about two years ago. It lived in me, but it was too big. I did not have the capacity internally to hold it. And so anytime that I thought about it, I would kind of just collapse into all the various syndromes, imposter syndrome, and just a disempowerment. And I couldn't. So this is part of the methodology that I have created, which is to really take things step by step.

So the first step is to, and this is all part of a methodology called the Journey to Financial Liberation. The way our financial services industry teaches us right now is that we need to be on a quest for financial freedom. And then one day, we will have enough money in the bank where we can retire and live on our savings for the rest of our life. That is an old paradigm. That's no longer true. We can see it happening right now in the inflation, and we're not gonna be able to count on social security, and just all of the things that are happening in our economy. So we have to get rid of this idea that one day we're gonna have enough money and then we're gonna retire and then that's gonna be the end of that.

Instead, we get to realize that there's this journey of financial liberation and the first step is to know really clearly what you need to generate. And you have a number that you need to generate in order to pay your expenses. And so what do you need to do in your business to generate what you need, when you need it, on demand, in alignment with your values?

And what's great about lawyers is we have an incredibly high-value service to offer to people who need it and want it, especially when we're delivering it in a way that makes them feel good, because so few lawyers know how to do that, have them feel loved and taken care of. People love their lawyers when you're practicing in this way. And so when you have used your law degree, and you've packaged your services in such a way where you have a high-value service to deliver. You can get really clear about exactly how many clients you need to serve each month to generate what you need to cover your own personal needs, as well as the needs of a small team.

That's the first thing that you write down. Don't try to write down your vision for serving 250,000 people in advisors. That's crazy. That's literally crazy talk. It took me 15 years to be able to even say those words out loud. I would not be able to say those words out loud if I had not first gotten to the place where I knew how to generate what I needed and even been able to say, okay, here's who I serve. Here's how many clients I can serve. Here's my capacity to serve. Here's how I'm gonna engage those clients. Here's how I'm gonna serve that many clients with this size team. 

Just get that. Just get that. That is the foundation of you moving out of the scarcity and fear-based mentality of taking on too many clients, taking on the wrong clients, charging too little, charging too much, constantly running around like a chicken with your head cut off. How can you possibly claim any sort of a big vision from that place? Having a life that you don't love. Taking on work that you don't love. Taking on clients that you hate to serve. All of that gets to go away when you just claim clearly. And, you know, honestly, what do I need? 

On the Rush to Accomplish Goals

The Importance of Slowing Down

This plagued me. It plagued me for years. It's a rewiring of the nervous system. So that is also part of what happened in that year at the farm, is I began to rewire my nervous system. And I got a lot of help. I got a lot of therapy. I mean, that's why I say it was a spiritual crisis. I began to learn to feel my feelings. A lot of that I'm gonna run out. It is the conditioning that we've passed on ancestrally. Because the survival mentality that exists in us, our parents and our grandparents and those before them, they needed it. We wouldn't be here right now. If they had not operated from that place, we could all look back in our ancestry to see where that was born. And so we can be really thankful for it. Thank you, ancestors, for having that at getting us here, but then we can look at our lives, the reality of our lives today and see it's not true. It is a conditioned inherited response. 

And, and by the way, right, estate planning, I had to come to, what is estate planning? Really? Estate planning is really being willing to look at the inheritance that we're gonna receive. And so what you're describing is part of our collective inheritance. We think, oh, we just inherit money. No, we've inherited these nervous systems. 

So the beginning place, every single person should read this book. It is called the Art of Contemplation. It's by Richard Rudd. It is very slim, very easy to read. It is the truth about prosperity. And the truth about prosperity is it has nothing to do with money. Money exists to support us, to buy back our non-renewable resources of time, energy, and attention. Time, energy, and attention are non-renewable. And so that feeling of, oh my God, I'm gonna run out of time, energy and attention is actually true. We're gonna die. We're all gonna die. We're gonna run out. 

And so when that feeling comes, my invitation is to listen to it and start to recognize I need to make changes in my life. Yes, you do. If you are operating from that place, you do need to make changes in your life. Absolutely. Without question, you need to make changes and the changes are not to go faster. The changes are to use money, to buy back your time, energy, and attention. 

And as lawyers, we are so lucky to be able to do that. To be able to have this high value service that people want and need. And when we've used our law degrees and structured the way we serve our clients, we get to hire so much support. We get to be the creators of our economy. We get to be the bosses. We get to be the ones who lead and we get to do it in a really great way that doesn't just create more time, energy, and attention for ourselves, but for all of the people around us.

And our life is made up of seconds and minutes and days and hours. And when we can get beyond the decisions we're making as a result of what money tells us to do, and we can start to make all of our choices from this piece that you really brought up here of feeling as if we're gonna run out of time. We don't have enough time and start to make all of our choices from okay, if I wanted the seconds and minutes and days and hours of my life to truly feel spacious, where everything I was doing was from a heart of service and love where I became the change that I wanna see in the world. Where love is the most powerful motivator of my life. What would I have to change in my life? 

Well, probably I would have to start charging for my services differently. Right. Let's just bring it down to like most basic level. Probably, I would have to start charging differently so that I never had this false belief running through my mind that says I don't have enough money. Where I'm using my law degree in such a way where I am charging what I need to charge to be able to deliver on a service that I love to deliver on with the support that I need to deliver on it in a really great way where I am supporting other people. And I'm not like burdened by the responsibility of hiring other people, because I don't think I can actually pay them cause I'm not charging enough. Nope. Flip that whole thing around. Use your law degree to truly serve and charge what you need to charge and serve only the people that you love so that you can slow down.

On Making a Difference in Law

Making Life Better for the People Around Us

I couldn't live any other way. I'd be in a pit of despair. I mean, there is a reason that we have one of the highest incidences of suicide and addiction in our profession. It makes sense to me. I get it. And we did not come here for that. And I believe this for every single person, I truly believe we were born at this time for a very important purpose. And as lawyers we are critical to this time because I think so many people want to change the world and save the world and like, oh my God, how can we possibly do that? And we can get overwhelmed. And then, like, drown under the reality of how much there is to do. But every single person can, every single one of us is, we can change how we are. We can change how we are. And, you know, Gandhi said, be the change you wanna see in the world, but what does it actually mean? It means that we can actually be what we wanna see. And then when we do that, it feels good to be alive. It feels great to be alive. And when it feels great to be alive, we start to see that it feels great to be alive for the people around us too.

On What Leadership in Law Means

Using Your Law Degree to Change Culture

It means using your law degree to change culture. And that begins with the culture in your life. In your office, in your home, in your community, it doesn't necessarily mean that you go into public interest law because I don't think that they're doing such a great job out there of changing culture. Now, if you are, and you are so satisfied by that, and you are having your best life possible as a public interest lawyer. Yes. Do that more, but don't do it as a martyr and live every day of your life sick and tired. You have to be the change. You have to be the leader of your own life, first and foremost. And that's how you change the world. And so use your law degree in a way that allows you to take care of yourself, allows you to take care of your clients in a really meaningful way, allows you to hire team.

You all take care of each other because you're being a leader. You're not being the kind of boss that many of us had where just being, like, this benevolent dictator-ish kind of thing, where you think you're a great boss, but really, you know, you suck. Be a great boss and you pay people well, create great boundaries and set clear expectations and ask for what you need. All of which we need to learn how to do. Nobody taught us this.

I had no concept of how to do this for a long, long time, because I didn't really have any models for it in my life. Now the good news is that, collectively, our consciousness is starting to shift. It's obvious. Like I can talk about this now. To lawyers. How amazing is that? That was not the case 10 years ago. And when I did start talking about it, there were many lawyers who rejected me in a really big, hurtful way. Like, you know, my, my journey has not looked normal. It hasn't been normal. It's been like, what does Steve Jobs say about, you know, the crazy ones and the misfits? That's me. Like, how could I have possibly created what I have created without that?

The legal profession, in some ways, it's been really hard to be all of myself, and yet we live in a sick society and so we have to be willing to be a little bit crazy, or we are participating in this sick society that's making us sicker. And so part of this, like, awakening that is happening right now on the planet is this recognition that to do well, there's a quote, to be doing well in a sick society is no evidence of health. And we know that. We can feel it. And I just maybe felt it sooner? Or was willing to do something about it sooner? But lawyers are getting it now and right on time, because there are big shifts coming. 

On Practical Advice for Leaders in Law

Self-Care and The Money Map

Get really honest about what you need and that begins with your self-care. Let's go back to that coach in 2003. When I hired her, she asked me first and foremost, when's the last time you went to the dentist. When's the last time you got your hair done? When's the last time you got a pedicure. When's the last time you exercised at the gym? And I was so angry at her because I'm paying her $350 a month, and she's asking me about my hygiene and I never did any of those things. I was like, I'm quitting this coaching. And, uh, she said, no, you are never gonna be able to be happy with anything that you do if you're not taking care of yourself. What would you need in order to start taking care of yourself, from a time and money perspective? What would you actually, truly, honestly need?

So I created this whole process called the money map. Not just for lawyers, but for people to get clear on what they need and then how they will need to structure the use of their time, energy, attention, and money to support first what they need, and then know what they need to be of service, and then to know what they wanna create, if they are living in a desire world, not just what you need, but what you want.

So it's a whole process. And if you go to moneymapforlawyers.com, you'll get to go through that process and get really clear on what you need and then how you can use your law degree to provide what you need so that you're no longer coming from scarcity. Because if anybody should have plenty of time, energy, attention, and money, it's you.

On What People Misunderstand About Her Work

Being a Lawyer is About the Service and the Heart

I think they think it's just about the money. And it is so not just about the money, it is about the service and it is about the heart. And it is about becoming a person that you love to be and serving clients that you love to serve and being a leader in your community. And as I said at the beginning, money is the greatest motivator on our planet at this time. We might not like that being the case, but let's just call a spade, a spade. It's true. 

And if that's true, then how do we use money to motivate more of what we want to see in the world? Put money in its right place. Use it wisely and free up our time, energy, and attention so that we can be the most generous, heart-centered, heart-forward people using our minds as the tools that they are, rather than having our minds be the leaders. That's actually not what they're for. Our hearts are here to lead and our mind is designed to be in service to the heart.

I see myself as an artist. Which I didn't because my mom is an artist. She's like an art teacher and she draws and paints and makes jewelry. I don't do any of those things. I am an artist of business. I am an artist of lawyering and how fulfilling for lawyers to get to be artists using the law to create. 

Lawyers Who Lead is a weekly podcast that celebrates lawyers who are making powerful changes through extraordinary leadership. Each week, Lawline’s Chief Storyteller, Sigalle Barness, interviews a lawyer who is driving meaningful change in the legal industry. Guests represent a diverse and exciting range of experiences but with one common thread, the pursuit of bettering the legal profession. 

Each episode explores the guest’s journey to leadership, the underlying principles that helped them make an impact, and devises ways listeners can apply these concepts in their own lives.

Subscribe or follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Audible, or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts. You can also follow @lawyerswholead on Linkedin, and Twitter. Let's celebrate and continue to build a community of leaders in law together.


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About the Author

Written by Sigalle Barness

Sigalle champions and grows Lawline’s brand awareness through impactful stories that are authentic, meaningful, and thought provoking. She designs communications strategies that underscore the why and how behind Lawline's work. Sigalle is an avid lover of music, video games, blogging, asking questions and all things food. She is also fluent in Hebrew and enjoys writing fiction, traveling and scuba diving.


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