December 21

Episode #37 Elena Deutsch

Love or Leave the Law


Join Adam and Casey with their guest, Elena Deutsch, as they talk about her experience with women lawyers leaving the law, taking baby steps towards your calling, and the steps to remove the roadblocks that stop you from starting to make a change. Elena is the founder of WILL: Women Interested in Leaving (big) Law, which specializes in helping women find clarity and take action on their dreams. She shares her story on how she found her purpose, explains why any lawyer can choose to leave the industry, and shifts the common perspective that people in the law have when going for a non-law career. Stay tuned, and enjoy!

What You’ll Learn

Micro Relief To a Macro Result

Many of us might get consumed dreaming about our end goals that we forget to take action in the present. At the moment, the journey is more important than the destination! If you're constantly musing on the idea of finally being able to break free from the law, the pesky emails, and the harrowing stress from your current lifestyle, what are you doing about it? Your aspirations may seem so far from reality at the moment, but each step in the right direction, even baby steps, will add up to bring you where you need to be in the future.

Where do you start? Curiosity. Instead of sinking in the ideas that you'll never be able to get out of your mortgage, escape from the kids, or put food on the table, Elena says that we have to break ourselves out from this thought pattern. Instead, ask yourself, "What if I took that class or webinar?" "Why don’t I scour the internet to find the right information?" "Where can I locate people that can help me get to the next step?" Once you understand the concept of Elena's "micro relief", you'll see that each step towards your ideal self is right in front of you!

Mend Your Mindset Using the TFAR Method

In the podcast, Elena gives a tool based on the cognitive-behavioral theory that gives an outline you can follow to realign your problematic beliefs. 

  1. Thoughts. These are ideas in our heads are the foundation of everything. 
  2. Feelings. Those thoughts bring out a sensation from us. 
  3. Action. Our feelings lead to a response. We take a step, or, decide not to move forward. 
  4. Results. The actions we take (or lack thereof) lead to an outcome.

For example, if we think that we can't maintain our family's lifestyle without the wealth in the law, we'd feel stuck. Because of this anxiety, we may incline not to do anything and let things continue as they are. Obviously, the situation remains the same, yielding no results.

However, if we change the initial thought into "we're smart and wise people", we'd feel confident about ourselves. This innate courage then pushes us to find a solution to solve our present problems. Going back to the idea of baby steps, even the tiniest of actions can produce results for us bit by bit. It all starts from having the right thoughts. Make sure to listen to the full episode to take advantage and learn more about this method!

About Elena Deutsch:

Elena Deutsch, MPH is founder and CEO of WILL – Women Interested in Leaving (big) Law.  She is committed to helping women lawyers who struggle to leave big law take action towards a career and life they love.   

Prior to this, she was a partner in Wildfire Strategies, a consulting and coaching firm that ignites leadership in executives and teams.  Before Wildfire, she held leadership roles at the American Cancer Society and CAI Global.

Elena has coached senior leaders and teams in a range of industries, including: law firms, health care, and the arts. She supported executives and teams to lead with greater ease, confidence and impact.

Elena completed her coach training at New York University, and her Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  Elena is also a certified MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) practitioner.

Currently, she lives with her family in upper Manhattan.

Show Notes

Outline of the Episode:

  • [01:21] Why would Elena work with women lawyers when she isn't one in the first place?
  • [05:03] The Call in Cape Cod – Elena's discovery of a newfound purpose in life.
  • [07:20] Experiencing an "emotional high" when realizing what you want to do.
  • [10:34] "If you're as hardworking, smart, and capable to go to law school and work in a big firm… then you can do anything." Give yourself permission to start!
  • [11:48] No matter how big the golden handcuffs are, you can still listen to the whispers calling you to take that first step!
  • [13:25] The value of taking baby steps toward your big dreams. If you want to be out of the law someday, then you have to start somewhere.
  • [17:22] The main challenges that Elena's observed among her members.
  • [19:13] Thoughts, Feelings, Actions, and Results. Elena discusses the steps for you to formulate a solution for your issues in leaving the law.
  • [21:27] There's an infinite number of jobs out there that call for your skills. You can get paid just for being nice and charming!
  • [24:42] Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. If all the successful people at the top have coaches, then why shouldn't you?
  • [27:21] Being a lawyer and your emotions have an impact on the relationships you have.
  • [30:24] The potential effects of leaving the law on your family and the next generation.
  • [33:22] The need to get out of the mindset that we’re stuck in the law.
  • [36:43] Breaking free from the limiting beliefs around identity and stature. You can still have the identity of being a lawyer while in a non-law pursuit!

Resources and Links:

Connect with Adam and Casey!


attorneys, law, lawyers, leave the law, practice of law

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