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The Stories We Tell

Yesterday, I treated myself to a pair of Allbirds Wool Runners.  Truth be told, I’d never heard of the Allbirds brand until earlier this week when an older episode of my fave podcast, How I Built This featuring the company popped up in my feed. And that’s where I learned that the company was founded to fill a market void for casual, logo-less sneakers, while figuring out a way to use New Zealand wool for new products, and to make sneaker production more sustainable through carbon-neutral production.  Though admittedly, the sneaker style appealed to me (as well as the promise of a warm, soft shoe), I was half-way to a purchase because of the story.  
Even for the companies that I’ve patronized before - furniture from Wayfair, scheduling by Calendly and ticket sales by Eventbrite, Stacey’s pita chips, and so many others - the story behind the success adds another dimension to the product, making it more compelling.
At so many legal conferences, we don’t tell the story. We give the precedent and the rules, but rarely the backstory. Sometimes, lawyers will tell about how they use a product or how they started a firm, not so much as a story but as a “do it my way” guide, or how I found success.
All well and good, but sometimes, I want real stories. The kinds of late-night stories you shared with your roommates in college. The story of the family dog or your first time on a plane or your dating history that you share, bit by bit, when you’re falling in love.  Those are the stories that move.
That’s why, when Jeena Belil and I conceived the, we wanted to leave space for women to share their stories. Stories of challenge, and success, and leaping at opportunity; and also failure and setbacks and feeling small. Stories of overcoming odds and sticking to principles and doing work that matters.  The conference isn’t all about stories: we have practicums on marketing and law practice in pandemic that will be hands-on and detailed, with action steps you can implement right away.  But all of that administrivia doesn’t matter much anyway without a story to give it meaning.
Time is running out to register for the LawyerMomOwnerSummit.comHere’s the schedule Only another week to register for $39 and guarantee locking in at the price for the conference recording and swag.


  1. How do you OWN your career while balancing being a mom? I would say my biggest strength is having a great support system professionally and personally. I also try to balance as much as possible by setting boundaries and time management. It is critical especially as a mother during a pandemic.
  2. What is some of the best advice you can provide to others for managing their practice during the pandemic? Time management and grace. Be good to yourself. Allow yourself time to reset and recharge if you are feeling that you need it. The world is not able to operate at its highest potential at this time and that is ok. Take advantage of this time.
  3. What are some of the unique legal opportunities you've found throughout your career? I have had the opportunity to scale my social media platform and reach the people that I need to reach. I am also most proud of the advocacy work around police brutality and empowering women that I have been fortunate to be a part of as a lawyer.
  1. How do you OWN your career while balancing being a mom? I use technology a lot.  For instance, when the technology became available, I put a mobile hot spot in my car and keep a laptop under the driver’s seat.  While a costly fix, it gave me the flexibility to be out of the office so I could attend my daughter’s sporting events. 
  2. What is some of the best advice you can provide to others for managing their practice during the pandemic? Try to keep everything in perspective.  Some have suffered loss of life, health and income as a result of the pandemic.  Others may have a more general sense of uneasiness.  Regardless, do not dismiss your feelings but do not let them overtake you.  Find ways to incorporate humor and things you like to do or wished you had more time to learn or do into your life now. 
  3. What are some of the unique legal opportunities you've found throughout your career? Lawyers are folks who are meant to take confidentiality seriously. We know that no two lawyers are built the same.  I am a lawyer and a dispute resolution neutral and I truly appreciate the need my clients have to speak freely without worry of disclosure.  As a result, I’ve become a known as a fixer for people with tremendous interpersonal problems requiring discrete resolutions. 

Interested in more about the power of stories and how they’re trending?

Civil rights leaders share their personal stories on work for equality [USA Today]
Personal stories replace standardized tests [Wall Street Journal]
WIne writers share stories behind their books [WIne Industry Advisor]
Stories are sacred [MyShingle]
Why Purpose is More Important Than Planning in Starting a Law Firm [MyShingle]
Copyright © 2020 Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant, All rights reserved.

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