I’m taking my turn on the Firm’s Blog this week to talk about some changes you may have noticed on my social media (LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter @ingatalk) over the past month. Some of my posts have the #LawyerMentor and #LawyerCoach labels and the content is focused on law career happiness, rather than substantive issues in law.
I’m still practicing Business Law: still kicking butts and taking names, but I’m also being more vocal about another part of my career I enjoy and letting lawyers know that I can help them and also, they can enjoy what they do.
It’s become clear to me post-pandemic that too many lawyers, both young and old think that law is an awful career that is intended to burn you out, make money for other people and suck every ounce of joy you ever had in your life. This. Is. Wrong.
I have been practicing business law for over 29 years. I still love my career and I love the fun things I do when I’m not working as well.
While many people may write that off as being lucky, those people would be wrong.
My quick backstory is: I come from humble beginnings. Both of my parents grew up in Nazi-occupied Holland. They immigrated to Canada after the War. My Dad sold appliances for a department store and my Mom ran an in-home daycare. I am the first person in my family to go to law school. I do not come from wealth, let alone generational wealth. I am not from Toronto. While I did go to law school at Osgoode Hall, that was because I wanted to be a litigator and it was the best school for that, I was naïve about how important making connections was for the future of my career. I was not hired back from my Articles and was Called to the Bar in 1993 at the height of a recession. It took me four months of applying to jobs and not getting them before I opened my own firm and grew it from there. So luck? I don’t think so.
Because I built my career and am happy I know I can help others so that’s becoming a larger part of what I do. I’m still litigating and will be doing so for many years to come (sorry opposing counsel, you’re not winning that easily <G>) but I’m also happy to coach lawyers on happiness.
So now you’re caught up.
Inga B. Andriessen, JD