Creating Legacy and Life Balance for Lawyers

John Kormanik / Certified Professional Lawyer Coach

April 05, 2023

Guest Bio

John Kormanik / Certified Professional Lawyer Coach

A significant portion of the legal profession appears to be burned out, depressed, and purposeless. The negative consequences range from the scourge of self-medicating with alcohol, prescription and street drugs, to disconnecting from families and communities, to sub-optimal work for clients. The problem gets worse the higher in an organization a lawyer goes. The result: What was once considered to be an honorable occupation, has become a punchline. My mission is to reclaim the practice of law as a noble profession.

For me, law school wasn't a natural "what's next." Instead, I chose the law as my second career of service, which I began in my mid-thirties when I was married and had a two-year old. After graduating in the top of my class, I worked for more than two decades as an attorney in both the public and the private sectors; practiced as an associate in a mid-sized law firm and owned a small practice with two partners. I saw, and experienced first hand, the stress of what being a lawyer could do - to myself, to my family, to my colleagues, and to my community. Living to work without the north star of an overarching vision and deep life purpose, was the most painful experience I have ever had. I was someone who the world deemed successful - I made the money, drove the cars, had the stellar reputation - but knew there was something missing; there had to be something more. I went in search of that "something more," and found it in a most-unexpected place. It was not "out there" but "in here." It was in my mindset, it was in my gut, and most of all, it was in my heart. What I discovered led to greater satisfaction as a lawyer and a higher level of service to those around me.

The key that unlocked the box in which I had placed myself was my coach. In fact, the work with my coach led me to understand the absolute power of a coaching relationship and the necessity of having someone beside us to achieve our full potential: someone without "skin in the game," someone who understands the fear we face that holds us back, someone who understands our greatness and helps us achieve things we refused to believe possible. Through my experience, and doing the work, with my coach, I came to realize coaching my "brothers and sisters in the law" was my passion.

The decision to leave a financially successful, engaging, intellectually challenging, and emotionally fulfilling career as a trial lawyer wasn't an easy one to make; but it was the right one. Now, as a Certified Professional Coach, I help lawyers achieve success, more success than they ever imagined. I help them see the whole playing field and do the deep work of discovering what it is they want in life and creating a career that not only allows, but virtually guarantees, they'll get it. The results? A lawyer-worthy life.

When the world says a lawyer is successful, but deep down that attorney knows there's something missing, that there must be something more, they become what's known as an "accomplished seeker." If more attorneys turned inward for the things that are missing from their law practices, they would create the true wealth of legacy, impact, freedom, and energy. They would live the life they could not have dreamt of before crossing the threshold of law school that very first day as a 1L. The practice of law would be noble again.

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