'Law Life Balance' is the industry-leading, change-seeking podcast in which Caitlin McFee chats with thought leaders in the legal and mental health spaces to help lawyers prioritise their mental health and wellbeing, and achieve long-term, sustainable success in the legal industry. Welcoming the story-tellers, the entrepreneurs, the advocates, and the allies, Caitlin seeks to bring diverse opinions around the table to raise awareness of, and empathy for, mental wellbeing issues in the law. The mission? To create space for mentally healthier lawyers through collaboration, not competition.
#18: Over And Out - Season Finale - Solo Episode
16:11I can't BELIEVE we're 18 episodes in and at the season one finale of the podcast. It's been such a journey, and I'm so incredibly grateful for all of your support, and the time of my amazing guests. I wanted to take a little time to reflect on some of the themes that have come up, and what has happened in the legal industry during the course of season one. I also wanted to take the opportunity to tell you why I'm closing up here for the first season, and to explain what I'm going to be focussing my efforts on for the next few months. Thank you again for all of your support, and I hope to see you back here very soon. If you want to stay up to date with me and my work supporting lawyer wellbeing, you can find me via my website, Instagram, or on LinkedIn.
#17: Lessons From A Leading Legal Tech Founder - with Mary Bonsor
49:08Mary Bonsor was a property litigator in a top city firm before starting Flex Legal in August 2016. Flex is an online platform which connects pre-vetted lawyers and law students to law firms and general counsel for a flexible, on demand service. Flex has over 5,000 candidates on its platform and over 250 clients including magic circle firms, FTSE 250 companies and SMEs. In 2020 Mary was recognised as one of Management Today's 35 Women under 35. Mary is passionate about the future education of the profession and how tomorrow's lawyers will qualify. She sees the SQE offering a huge opportunity to law students to get relevant work experience during their studies and is also very interested in how law firms can retain and attract the future generation. We talked about: Being a new mum whilst running your own business Flex Legal and the rise of legal consultancy How platforms like Flex can help someone transition into a completely new area of law How to help lawyers have more autonomy and control over their workloads Starting a tech platform without any tech expertise The importance of trying to solve problems by yourself first Some of the lowest moments of starting a company The importance of looking after employee mental health How the pandemic has shaped Flex’s attitude to wellbeing Reforming how we train solicitors And don’t miss the moment Mary offered to mentor me (and I OBVIOUSLY said yes)! If you’re keen to keep up with Mary and Flex legal you can find out everything you need via their website.
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#16: Back To Work After Baby: Returning To Work Mindfully - with Lori Mihalich-Levin, JD
42:56Firstly, I'm sorry this episode is a little bit late this week. Well, actually, I'm not sorry at all - I'm on holiday and having a lovely time so I decided to release it later. But I've found some time to do it so here you go! Please also excuse the audio quality change towards the end, Zoom crashed and failed to recognise my microphone - it's just a bit of a week for this one! On the podcast this week is wonder-woman herself, Lori Mihalich-Levin, JD. Lori believes in inspiring and empowering working parents. She is the founder and CEO of Mindful Return, author of Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave, and co-host of the Parents at Work Podcast. She is mama to two wonderful red-headed boys (ages 8 and 10) and is a health care lawyer in private practice. Her thought leadership has been featured in publications including Forbes, Fortune, The Washington Post, New York Times Parenting, Thrive Global, and The Huffington Post. In our discussion about all things working parenthood, we cover: How to return to work mindfully after having a baby Setting up your own business whilst simultaneously being a lawyer The importance of community Why an inter-organisational approach is the best one How to deal with the guilt of leaving your children to go back to work Supporting dads through working parenthood How to be an ambitious career woman and a mother To find out more about Lori and Mindful Return, check out their website.
#15: How To Ignite Your Self Belief And Reach Your Limitless Potential - with Charlotte Smith
50:56Meet Charlotte Smith, aka the professional Executive Coach for Limitless Lawyers. After an impressive 7 year career at a top boutique law firm in the UK, a prestigious 30 Under 30 Award, and an offer of partnership, Charlotte upped sticks and moved to California with her husband and pursue an alternative dream: to help other lawyers ignite their self belief and reach their, well, limitless potential! Charlotte now works with lawyers and silicon valley tech professionals to help them become limitless leaders. Some of the many topics we covered include: The differences and commonalities between lawyers around the world How lawyers think - the helpful and the not-so-helpful Boutique or Big Law firm? Finding your ‘zone of genius’ How to start your personal transformative journey Procrastination, perfectionism, and decision paralysis What makes a great leader The importance of self-awareness The 80:20 rule - when good enough is good enough Why people leave and what firms can learn from it If you want to learn more about Charlotte, or even work with her (which I highly recommend), you can find her on LinkedIn or via her website.
#14: How To Set Boundaries At Work & Find Time For You - with Nikki Alderson
46:19Meet Nikki Alderson, a former barrister with a 19 year career at the Criminal Bar and now a highly successful coach for women and keynote speaker. After reaching a career crossroads whilst representing two men on death row in Jamaica (trust me it’s a good episode), Nikki decided to pursue some coaching to help her figure out her next steps. That led, ultimately, to her becoming a coach herself, and she now works to help retain women in the legal profession. Nikki is also an experienced public speaker and has spoken at a whole host of national Conferences and events, such as Women in the Law UK and Criminal Law Friends Society Conferences, for a variety of legal organisations, such as Women in Criminal Law, Women Lawyers and Mothers, Midlands Circuit Women's Forum, Leeds Law Society & North Eastern Circuit. She is also the author of the brilliant book, “Raising The Bar”, where you can read more about her story and test out some of the coaching exercises she uses with her clients. Useful for anyone currently at a bit of a career-crossroads! In one of my favourite conversations to date (I know, I always say this - and I genuinely mean it every time!), Nikki and I talked about: Nikki’s life-changing career-crossroads moment whilst representing two men on death row in Jamaica Her work with female professionals, helping them to reach their full potential in their careers and be retained in the profession The purpose of coaching and what people can expect from it How to say no without actually saying no (Hint: read chapter 8 of ‘Essentialism’) Flexible working and remote working Parenthood and law Digital distraction How to be a busy lawyer and still have a social life If you’re keen to keep up with Nikki you can find her on LinkedIn or check out her website.
#13: How To Succeed As A Young Professional & How Employers Can Support - with Oliver Haddock
52:49This week we have a very exciting guest, and a good friend of mine, Oliver Haddock. Olly is a litigator at Radcliffes Le Brasseur. He is also the Founder and Chair of the London Young Professionals Network, and the Chair of the London Young Lawyers Group. In celebration of his huge dedication to young lawyers, he has been shortlisted for the Law Society Junior Lawyers of the Year award at the upcoming Excellence in Law Awards (for which we wish him lots of luck)! Obviously this episode contains loads of great information about law and young professionals, but my favourite bit was definitely the rapid fire questions at the end. Olly shares so much about his personal journey here, and I’d highly advise you listen to the end! Some of the key topics we cover in this episode are: Networking - why it's important and how to do it How the pandemic has affected young professionals Can you ever really know what you’re signing up for? Where does the pressure come from for lawyers? Salary wars: is money the solution? Why are we hearing about more mental health issues in professional services now? Potential solutions to reduce stress and burnout and improve wellbeing Projections for the future of the post-pandemic legal industry Dyslexia and learning difficulties - how to succeed if you’re struggling If you’re keen to keep up with Olly and his amazing work for young professionals, you can do so by following the London Young Lawyers Group and London Young Professionals Network on Instagram.
#12: How To Build A Law Firm Where People Can Thrive - with Jodie Hill
48:22This week I had the pleasure of speaking to solicitor and founder of her very own law firm, Jodie Hill. Jodie Hill originally trained as a barrister before cross-qualifying as a solicitor. In 2018 she became the founder and Managing Partner of multi-award winning Thrive Law. Jodie has specialised in employment law throughout her career and has a keen understanding of this complex legal sector, particularly D&I issues, together with all HR related issues. She also campaigns tirelessly for mental health, becoming a Law Care Champion in 2019 and in 2020 launching 'This is Me Yorkshire', a story-sharing movement to smash the stigma of mental ill-health in the workplace. I loved this chat with Jodie, especially how open she is about her own mental health and how that has shaped the person she is today. Some of the key things we cover in this episode are: Cross-qualification PTSD, anxiety and ADHD Setting up your own law firm Running a law firm with wellbeing at its core How to make flexible working work Measuring lawyer performance without billable targets How to encourage teamwork and collaboration The importance of a people-first approach and great management What juniors want from a workplace If you’re keen to keep up with Jodie you can do so on Instagram and Twitter, or head to the Thrive Law website.
#11: Mind-Body Health Optimisation & Outstanding Communication - with Charlène Gisèle Bourliout
1:06:04This episode’s guest is Charlène Gisele Bourliout. Charlène is a former top London lawyer who transformed her career from corporate business centric living to health centric living and now specialises in mind-body health optimisation and corporate executive health coaching. Her online coaching service combines cutting-edge science and technologies with ancestral techniques which make her Health Coaching Program incredibly impactful. Her clients include CEOs, executives and partners from some of the world's top law firms, FinTech companies and wellness brands from the UK, US and across Europe. She supports them with nutrition, meditation, biohacking, breathwork and corporate wellness programmes so that they can have it all - a healthy personal life and work life. Charlène is now a certified Primal Health Coach, a certified NLP and Life Coach, MindValley certified Business Coach, 500 YTT Yin Yoga, Meditation teacher and Breathwork facilitator, and an established Keynote speaker within the health optimisation and Biohacking community. Charlène’s Coaching programme has been featured in the likes of The Guardian, Stylist, Metro, Evening Standard, Lawyer Monthly, Legal Futures, Legal Women and more. Recording this episode was like having the greatest kind of chat with a close friend, despite the fact that Charlène and I connected not long ago on LinkedIn! We shared personal truths and our top life learnings, covering some key things like: Life at a global corporate law firm - a cautionary tale What other lawyers can learn from her story & mistakes Her quest across the world in search of self-discovery and wellness The wellness-education gap How she helps lawyers and high performing executives make the changes they need to thrive at work Habit optimisation - how to form new, healthier habits The importance of recovery The caffeine-insomnia feedback loop Creative release for the brain The impact of poor wellbeing on relationships How to optimise your relationship for love and success The key to great communication If you’re keen to keep up with Charlène you can do so via her website, or find her on LinkedIn (like I did!).
#10: How to Beat Burnout & Optimise Mental Health for Peak Performance and Wellbeing - with Nick Bloy
56:36This week’s episode is Nick Bloy, experienced wellbeing strategist, coach, international speaker, trainer, and founder of WELLBEING Republic Limited. Nick began his career as a solicitor before realising he was more of a “people person” and finding his way into HR. Years of hard work, and his own burnout story, later, Nick decided to found his own company to help people harness their optimal mental state for peak performance and wellbeing. I was really excited for this chat with Nick, and to learn from him about how he is working to solve some of law’s biggest problems. Some of the key topics we cover in this episode are: Nick’s journey from law to HR to wellbeing coaching and consultancy Burnout in the legal industry - how to avoid and recover from it What to do if you never “have enough time” (hint - it isn’t time that’s the problem) Anxiety and the fight-or-flight response The impact of poor wellbeing on work and relationships Important factors in good mental wellbeing Optimism for the future of the legal industry You can keep up to date with Nick’s work by finding him on LinkedIn or checking out his website.
#9: How to get a 1st Class LLB, Social Mobility & Top Tips for Trainee Success - with Lucy Cole
47:41Lucy Cole is a formidable incoming trainee of Clifford Chance, and proud holder of a 1st Class Honours Degree in Law from the University of Exeter. Lucy is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and supports aspiring lawyers through her platform @LucyDoesLaw and through her work with GROW Mentoring. She was Co-President of her university's law society and has even delivered a speech on young women's empowerment at the UN Headquarters in New York as a representative to an NGO. I really wanted to speak to Lucy about her experience of pursuing the journey to becoming a lawyer during the pandemic, and get some insight into how she’s feeling about her upcoming training contract. This episode will be incredibly useful for any students out thinking about becoming a lawyer, or soon-to-be trainees looking for some stand-out tips on setting yourself up for success from the very start! Some of things we discussed in this episode include: Being a law student during the pandemic Online learning v in-person and the mindset shift required to make that work The impact of online learning on social connection & friendships Maintaining wellbeing as a student Demystifying the process of becoming a lawyer, especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds or who have no family or friends in the profession Nerves and concerns about becoming a trainee solicitor & expectations of the role Her Instagram account and the work she is doing to help other aspiring lawyers Keep up with Lucy’s journey on Instagram @lucydoeslaw or on LinkedIn. The book Lucy is currently reading is '84 Charing Cross Road' by Helene Hanff.