Interview: Ella Gawrych, Lawyer on Demand/CLP-Consultant

The CLP - Interview series goes into the second round: After the successful prelude with over ten experts from the legal industry, who have betrayed their very personal success tips for a successful legal career, this time ten lawyers will have their say, who coach - legal coaches, who for very different reasons have acquired additional competences with a professional coaching training.

CLP has interviewed these legal coaches in very different positions about what motivated them and how coaching has significantly influenced their professional careers.

Ms Gawrych, may we ask you to briefly introduce yourself?

I am currently employed as a Lawyer on Demand in the legal departments of large companies and accompany CLP colleagues as a legal coach. I studied law at the Heinrich Heine University with a focus on public law, philosophy and English language and literature. My wide-ranging knowledge led me through various and exciting legal stages. Thus, I became acquainted with academic work / legal research at university, the daily work of a large international law firm as well as the administrative legal procedures of a public authority and the tasks of a corporate legal department. In addition, I was politically active for many years and was a councillor in my home town for more than one and a half terms of office. The various stations finally led me as the next logical step into self-employment as Lawyer on Demand and independent Management Consultant / Legal Counsel. Inspired by years of yoga practice, I decided to train as a yoga teacher parallel to my yoga teacher training, which I successfully completed. Knowing how to combine yoga and law, I was accompanied by Dr. Geertje Tutschka in my process of finding my way through coaching. It became clear to me that I wanted to pass on my legal experience as well as the energy and enrichment from yogic methods myself as a coach. The training as a legal coach at the CLP Academy then led me to my current professional activity: I am now Lawyer on Demand, Yoga Trainer and Legal Coach. As a CLP instructor, I would like to support other lawyers in finding their own strength, developing their own potential and mental strength. Therefore, I am responsible for the topic "Top Performance and Mental Strength for Lawyers" at Lawyers, which has been very well received by lawyers, especially at the last Legal Revolution 2019 in the Coaching Lounge.

#1 When did you first become involved with coaching and why? Did you get to know coaching as a client?

Even before my yoga teacher training, I was able to explore the many possibilities for personal development and, both during and after my yoga studies, I was able to get to know many tools and methods, try them out for myself and appreciate their effects. During an important change of course in my professional life, I wanted to be accompanied by someone who knows the legal world from his own experience and helps me to find new ways. The choice to work together with Dr. Geertje Tutschka as an experienced lawyer and coach was simply obvious to me. Since then, I have been convinced that coaching is a very natural, helpful and supportive method in many situations in life, for example to take the next step in your career, to possibly reorient yourself or even to find your own vocation. 2. what was it that particularly fascinated you? What do you see as the added value of coaching for lawyers in particular? The teaching of soft skills has long been part of legal training, both during studies and during legal clerkships. In later professional life, social skills are all the more needed as the career progresses. However, in the demanding everyday life of lawyers, whether in business or in the public sector, there is usually not enough time for further training beyond the professional field. The further one progresses in professional life, the more responsibility is added. Whether in the private sphere with a family, obligations or in the career e.g. through management positions. The wheel of everyday life keeps on turning, possibly even faster. We are often so busy trying to hold our own in our jobs, to be successful, to combine family, friends and hobbies in the best possible way that there is no time to pause, to look at things, to feel inside ourselves. Until sometimes situations arise which tear us out of our rut, challenge us. Let us stop. Perhaps it is then a matter of making essential decisions, of making changes. Or first of all to assess the situation and find insights for yourself. Then more is required than soft skills, then it is about the ability to deal with oneself, to process, to process. At this and many other points, coaches can support, accompany, mirror, challenge, inspire us, help us in exactly the way we need at that point in our own development. The greatest added value is the personal, individual support on the way to being the architect of one's own success.

#3 How do you use coaching today in your professional and/or private situation?

In your experience, how and to what extent is coaching used by lawyers today? In my everyday life, both professionally and privately, coaching tools have a fixed place. I am a spiritual person and I am convinced that we lawyers can benefit greatly from dealing with our spiritual, inner world if we want to be successful with joy and ease. For me, meditation and breathing techniques have become part of my daily routine. The combination of spirituality and business has given me strength and serenity and fills me with confidence and meaning in my work as a legal coach. Experience from working with lawyers shows that through mindfulness and empowerment stress can be reduced, success and satisfaction can be increased. Events such as the Lawyer Well-Being Week from 04.-08.05.2020 show how important it is not only to focus on the professional side and further training in order to be good lawyers / attorneys. The many changes such as digitalization, increasing mechanization, the advance of legal tech and, more recently, the shift to the home office are challenges that also affect the interpersonal and personal sphere. Therefore it is important to pay attention to our well-being, our strategies for stress management, resilience, our energy balance and personal growth and potential development. Whether it's further planning the next career step, being more satisfied with yourself in the firm, in the company, in your job or acting calmly, calmly and confidently during presentations or pitches in front of clients and colleagues - the methods and tools available to us for this purpose are as numerous as they are varied. In order to gain an overview here, or when you start to deal with these techniques or are looking for the right way for yourself, individual support through coaching is ideal. In my opinion, the cooperation of lawyers with legal coaches who have the appropriate professional experience and insight into the various fields of activity is optimal, since they work in partnership and on an equal footing.

#4 Your very personal tip for success:

By carefully using the power of the present we do not get bogged down in past problems or waste mental energy on worries about the future. In this way we lawyers remain mentally strong, efficient and present in the moment.

Thank you very much.

Read the entire series of interviews including the first round here. 

Get to know another ten legal coaches from the international environment. 

Click here for the CLP Academy's legal coaching training.



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