Episode Notes

Join seasoned business coaches Sara Muender and Leticia DeSuze as they offer a thought-provoking exploration of meaningful leadership, where purpose becomes the compass guiding leaders towards a brighter future for themselves and those they serve. 

This episode will inspire and empower you on your leadership journey as they uncover the transformative potential of purposeful leadership for law firm owners, driving positive change and fostering a brighter future for themselves and their teams. 

Additionally, Zack and Marc, from Spotlight Branding, run through five law firm marketing myths in 5 minutes. 

If today's podcast resonates with you and you haven't read The Small Firm Roadmap Revisited yet, get the first chapter right now for free! Looking for help beyond the book? Check out our coaching community to see if it's right for you.

  • 4:01. Check out Spotlight Branding
  • 11:54. Defining a good leader
  • 26:05. Creating a Purpose-Driven Culture



Welcome to The Lawyerist Podcast, a series of discussions with entrepreneurs and innovators about building a successful law practice in today’s challenging and constantly changing legal market. Lawyerist supports attorneys, building client-centered, and future-oriented small law firms through community, content, and coaching both online and through the Lawyerist Lab. And now from the team that brought you The Small Firm Roadmap and your podcast hosts 



Zack Glaser (00:35): 

Hi, I’m Zack. 


Stephanie Everett (00:36): 

And I’m Stephanie Everett. And this is episode 491 of the Lawyerist Podcast, part of the Legal Talk Network. Today, Sara’s talking with Lawyerist lab coach Leticia DeSuze about strategy and leadership. 


Zack Glaser (00:50): 

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Spotlight Branding, so stick around and you’ll hear a little bit more about them later on. 


Stephanie Everett (00:58): 

So Zack, today we have a little request for our listeners. 


Zack Glaser (01:02): 



Stephanie Everett (01:03): 

It’s not often, but sometimes we ask favors of you guys, 


Zack Glaser (01:07): 

Just little ones. So hopefully it’s good. And frankly, as we usually do when we say this, this is something that you should be doing of your own clients. We would like you to go onto whatever platform you listen to the podcast on, whatever platform that you find it on, the social media, and we’ll really just rate our podcast, give us a thumbs up of five stars or whatever they do, whatever the kids are doing these days in rating the podcast. But we would love it if you give us a hopefully positive rating. I hope if you’re listening to the show, you enjoy it. And if you do have anything you’d like to say about it, you can always contact us. But really we would love it if you went to Apple and all the other places and rated this show. 


Stephanie Everett (01:52): 

Yeah, it really helps us, the algorithms apparently care about those things. And even if you were so inclined to tell a friend about the show, we would love that too. Fun fact, when the show first launched, I really didn’t like it. Am I allowed to say that? 


Zack Glaser (02:08): 

I think you are. And honestly, you don’t have to every episode that’s on the podcast either. 


Stephanie Everett (02:13): 

It was funny because when I finally met Sam and Aaron for the first time, I was like, oh yeah, I listened to your show a couple times, and then I didn’t. And they were like, tell us more. And I was like, well, you always were interviewing these lawyers and you would ask for their whole backstory, and I just didn’t care. I just wanted to get to the meat of it. Do I really need to know that you went to law school? And then what’d you do? And then what’d you right? Lawyers, we love to tell our whole story. And I was like, I just kind want to get to the meaty part. And they’re like, that’s fair. And so I don’t know if you’re ever wondering, that’s probably why I often skip a lot of people’s backstory because I’m like, what are we here to talk about people? That’s also my high deep kind of personality. I’m ready to jump right in the talk 


Zack Glaser (02:58): 

More slow talk. I think that’s the southern in me, but a little more small talk, but the podcast changes and morphs and different episodes, but we really want to hear how you feel about it. So if you just take a minute or two and hopefully if you’re just on your phone, smash that like button as they say. I 


Stephanie Everett (03:19): 

Guess, yeah, do a thing. Help us out and we’d appreciate it and keep listening. Hopefully you don’t hate us, but if you do, that’s okay. You can let us know and we’ll do our best. 


Zack Glaser (03:31): 

Well, on that note, here’s my conversation with our sponsored guest Spotlight Branding, and then we’ll head into Sara’s conversation with Leticia. 



Hey y’all. Zach, the legal tech advisor here at Lawyerist, and today I’ve got Marc Cerniglia from Spotlight Branding with me, and we are talking about six myths of marketing in six minutes mark. Let’s try to do that. Let’s get it into six minutes. What are some myths here? 


Marc Cerniglia (04:01): 

Absolutely. Yeah, glad to be back here on the podcast. So let’s dive in. So myth number one, we’re going to do a minute per myth here. Myth number one is this idea that SEO is the holy grail of marketing for a law firm. All right? And the reason that this is a myth is because SEO in short is overrated. It’s something that almost every law firm thinks they need to worry about, but if you just think about this real simply, it’s literally not something that every law firm can succeed at. There’s only four or five spots that matter on Google for your practice area and your city, and there’s probably a hundred lawyers that do what you do. So SEO is not this holy grail that you have to necessarily be worried about if you don’t want to because not everyone can succeed. 


Zack Glaser (04:50): 

So make sure you’re approaching it from a different direction to get your marketing going as well. Yes, optimize S-E-O-S-E-O as best you can, but approach it and have other things going. Awesome. Myth number two. 


Marc Cerniglia (05:02): 

All right, so another myth, and we’re going lawyers specific here is this idea that most lawyers are good at getting referrals. And really the myth is more that you probably believe that because you get a lot of your business from referrals, but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily good at it. There’s actually studies that show that most law firms are only getting about one third of the referrals that people are willing to give them, and we need more than a minute to talk about how to fix that. But the short version is it’s usually a lack of staying in touch with your network. It’s a lack of reminding people what you do. But the myth here that I want to bust is just because you get a lot of your business from referrals doesn’t mean you’re actually getting anywhere close to the number you should be. 


Zack Glaser (05:51): 

Ooh, that’s kind of a glass shattering thing in my mind. Just because it’s the most amount of my stuff doesn’t mean I’m doing a good job of it. That’s awesome. Alright, myth number three. 


Marc Cerniglia (06:02): 

Alright, myth number three is that branding doesn’t matter for small law firms. And the problem here with that belief is that most times when you think about branding, maybe you think about Coca-Cola, Nike, Starbucks, you think about signage at a sporting event, you think about these traditional themes of branding. But branding for a small business, especially a law firm, is really more about reputation, credibility. And so if I replace that word with a branding with reputation, all of a sudden a law firm’s, of course, they’re going to agree that their reputation matters. So branding doesn’t matter for you the way it matters for Coca-Cola or Nike, but you do need to do things that market yourself in a way that communicate that you’re an expert, that you’re good at what you do. So branding in terms of credibility is very important, 


Zack Glaser (06:53): 

Right? So making sure that you do have a brand, you have a brand whether you like it or not, and you want to make sure that that brand is saying what you say it is, maybe thinking a little bit broader about what branding is. Awesome. Alright, number four. 


Marc Cerniglia (07:07): 

Alright, so the fourth myth of law firm marketing is really just social media in general. Okay? So what do I mean by that? So myth more specifically is that is a belief that the point of social media for a law firm would be to generate leads. And here’s interesting about this myth. Usually most law firms land in one of two places on that they either think it can get them leads or they think it can’t get them leads. But the actual myth is believing either of those because the real main purpose of social media for a law firm should be what we were talking about a second ago. It should be for branding, it should be for staying in touch with your existing network. It doesn’t have to be a lead generating platform. So the myth there is really changing what you see the purpose of social media to be for your law firm. It’s not about lead gen, it’s about branding and connectivity. 


Zack Glaser (08:04): 

Got it. And that kind of helps us, again, going back to the first one of SEO isn’t the holy grail of law firm marketing. If you’re getting all those people that are already connected with you that are actively following you and bringing them back into the fold, that’s a positive thing for you. Awesome. Well, let’s keep going. Number five. 


Marc Cerniglia (08:21): 

Number five. So this is the myth that I need more clients. I think most firms would be like, yes, I want more clients, I need more clients. But here’s why that could be a myth. Because number one, do you need more clients or you need better clients? Almost without fail, when someone tells me they need more clients, and then I follow up with that question, they would rather have better clients. They would rather have either higher paying clients or more of the kinds of cases they want or both. And the other side of that is when you say you need more clients, does it to be from Google? I mean, could it be from getting better at referrals, like we talked about earlier? So sometimes the myth is thinking you need more clients at all when really you need better clients. And sometimes the myth is thinking you need more clients from search engines when really maybe it’s that you need more referrals 


Zack Glaser (09:14): 

Getting into that social media aspect of maybe remarketing to our current clients. Fantastic. And so last but not least, number six. 


Marc Cerniglia (09:22): 

Yes, rapid fire here. We’re in our sixth minute with myth number six for law firms. And this is kind of similar to social media, but it’s a little bit broader. It’s just the overall purpose of content marketing. I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about the role content plays for a law firm. Real quick to define that, we’re talking blogs, social media, videos, email. Okay, that’s all content. But the short version here is that that stuff kind of like social media, we said earlier, the real purpose of that stuff to generate leads, it’s not necessarily even the SEO benefit, even though it can do those things. The main value of content for a law firm is to build your credibility, to build your expertise, to stay in touch with your audience and make sure that no referral or no opportunities missed. So there’s a real reframing of the purpose of those items, 


Zack Glaser (10:19): 

Right? Love that. And I love how all six of these myths kind of go into each other, or at least the solution for all six of these myths kind of work together. So if people want to learn more about this because we just did six minutes in it, they can go to spotlight branding.com/seo. And again, that’s www.spotlightbranding.com/seo. Mark, thanks for being with me and thanks for doing rapid fire. 


Marc Cerniglia (10:44): 

Absolutely. And at that link, we actually have a free resource everyone can download on why SEO’s overrated and what to do instead. We got some specific examples in there, spotlight branding.com slots, SEOs, a free resource at that link. 


Zack Glaser (10:58): 

Love it. Love it. Alright, well Mark, thanks again for being with me. I appreciate it. 


Marc Cerniglia (11:02): 



Sara Muender (11:07): 

I am Sara Muender, a lab coach here in our Lawyerist lab community, and I’m joined by my fellow lab coach, Leticia, and we’re here to talk about leadership today. Leticia, I don’t know how your coaching calls have been going so far this year, but at least at the time of this recording, it’s still February. And I have been asking each and every one of my Labsters what kind of professional development goal that they want to set for 2024. And most of them have set some kind of goal around improving as a leader. So what do you think about that? How do you help guide your Labster, the people that you coach through this conversation of leadership and how to grow as a leader? How about we just start with that? 


Leticia DeSuze (11:54): 

I think it’s a never ending thing. I’m curious to know when people say I want to improve as a leader, what that really means. I’m a mother, I want to be a better mother. What does that actually mean? So I’m always curious to know what does improvement look like for you? Where are we now and what are you looking to improve? So for example, somebody told me they wanted to improve communication still something very, very vague, and they started to get a little agitated because they didn’t really know what improving as a leader meant. It just sounded like the thing to say, they knew they weren’t living up to their leadership potential as they defined it, but they couldn’t really say, this is what I actually want to improve. So I try to drill down a little deeper in terms of understanding, improving. How do we know that that improvement is there? Can a class help you to get there? What do we actually really need to do to see improvement? 


Sara Muender (12:52): 

Such a good point. I like to ask the question if we’re at the end of 2024 and we are celebrating that you reached and accomplished this goal, what is it exactly? We’re crossing off the list here. So just to throw out some examples, one of my Labster set a goal of, well, the overall goal of improvement was improving in accountability, specifically holding himself accountable as a leader for his team. So we kind of drilled that down into more specific things. For example, having more face time in front of his team because oftentimes he felt disconnected. And so we talked about ways to do that more specifically, like setting a KPI around that, how many face-to-face he’s having, or I have another one that wanted to improve holding his team members accountable. But you’ve talked before in another episode on the Lawyerist podcast about what does it mean to hold people accountable and do other people really hold us accountable? So I know that’s debatable, but those are just kind of some examples of how to more so empower our team. But maybe I’ll just start with this question to throw this at you. What does it mean to you to be a good leader? Maybe that’ll get people thinking, 


Leticia DeSuze (14:13): 

Well, because I think leadership intersects so many different areas of life. I think it starts with a real sense of purpose. I hear a lot of people talking about why you’re doing something, your why in business, but your why in business may completely conflict with who you are as a person or the goals of your family. So for me, I always have to go back to the very beginning of what am I here to do? What am I meant to do? And it needs to, bleeding needs to stem from that sense of vision, not just what I envision, but a sense of what I feel my purpose is in doing. And then everything else flows out from that. Because if it’s not that I find that my accomplishments, my accolades, all of those things are very short lived and I don’t really feel a sense of fulfillment. So to go back to answer your question, being a good leader, to me it means being a leader of integrity. And I know we think of integrity sometimes the moral compass, but the word actually is taught, if you think of a pie like wholeness, just being in integrity with yourself and moving from a place of wholeness so that there’s just congruence in how you lead, whether that’s your home, your business, there’s a sense of congruency. 


Sara Muender (15:37): 

Yeah, I love that. It’s so important for our team to know where we stand as a leader. And if we’re trying to lead people, if you think of this visually, we’re trying to lead people. We need to know where we’re leading them to and what’s kind of the whole point behind what we’re doing in our business. You and I were talking in preparation for this episode about this idea of success and this idea of purpose and this term empty success. And we, in our lab program, one of the very first things that we have people do is to identify and clarify their personal vision, meaning what’s the vision that they want for their lives? And therefore, how do they want their business to help them fulfill that personal vision? I think it’s so important to know how our business vision and our business goals and strategy aligns with what we want in our personal life, because ultimately the business owners could go take a paycheck somewhere and not have to be thinking about all this high level stuff, but they had a vision for what they want in their business. And so we always try to bring it back to, okay, well how does that align with what you want in your life? So this for you, how would you go about helping someone find purpose in their business and as a leader and taking that business to a place where it supports them? 


Leticia DeSuze (17:12): 

That’s a great question. I don’t know that there’s one definitive answer for that, but the one thing that I’m always mindful of is what’s energy giving and what’s energy draining? And so sometimes people have things that they’ve written down, here’s my business vision, here’s my personal vision. And I’m like, I don’t believe you. Something about this just doesn’t, I mean, I will tell people I don’t believe you. I’m in no way saying, I can tell you what your actual vision is. But sometimes just because people need to complete a task or complete the thing, they’re like, okay, here’s what it is that I want to do or have or become. But I’m always like, let’s just look back a little bit deeper. If we think about moving it away from your law firm or anything else, what makes you come alive? What are you doing when you feel most alive? 



What are you doing that feels most effortless for you? And trying to construct that and then saying, okay, how can we create this and make sure that this is a part of what you are building in your vision? Because otherwise you can create something incredible and your heart is completely disconnected from it. So that’s one thing. The other thing is I find so many people don’t even know. So many people have no idea. So many people have gotten so disconnected from their own voices that they have no idea what a sense of purpose even looks like. It’s like, I got to pay the bills. What do you mean? My purpose is paying the bills and feeding my family? So it’s not even a part of the conversation. I worked with an attorney before and she thought she loved immigration law because she was so passionate about this. 



And I’m just like, why are you always so sad? She thought it was just what was happening in immigration. And so she was practicing yoga and getting all these yoga certifications, and that was the thing that made her come alive. And then probably, I want to say a year down the line, her firm just, there was so many different problems. Well, fast forward to today, she’s transitioning out of law and she’s got a yoga certification, and so she’s now a wellness attorney. So she’s infused just this holistic approach, yoga reiki, some other things that she’s doing that were very life-giving for her, but now she’s teaching and training lawyers who are very concerned about their wellbeing. So that’s what I mean, things like that. 


Sara Muender (19:40): 

Yeah, I mean, there’s so many ways, and I think that there’s this temptation to kind of get stuck in this mold of thinking of like, well, I am a family law attorney and this is what I do, and I’m going to do it just like everybody else does it. But those who are listening to this podcast, the Lawyerist fans and followers, I think most of them think differently like we do. And so we like to do things that have never been done before. We like to question the norm. We like to help people build businesses that give them purpose and fulfillment. And so that’s one great example. And then of course, we had Jolene Blackburn on the podcast who was one of our Labster that did estate planning, but she found a way to start doing or bring something in that she was passionate about, which was everything related to Halloween. And so she started speaking at these Halloween conferences, conferences, and bringing clients into our estate planning firm from those. And then she kind of started this offshoot of her business around fantasy funerals is what, and just you got to go back and find that episode and listen to it. If you’re listening now, it was really cool. But tell me some other examples of what it looks like to know you are fulfilled in your business or you’re fulfilled in leading a team, fulfilled in helping clients. 


Leticia DeSuze (21:05): 

I think that when you are fulfilled, there’s an inner sense of joy, of peace, of just wellbeing. You just have an inner knowing this is what I’m meant to do. I think so few people actually get there because they won’t give themselves permission to go beyond what they feel like they can do or they’re supposed to do. But if we take the other side of that, when people are not fulfilled, there’s sometimes restlessness, there’s stress, there’s overwhelm, there’s burnout, there’s a constant seeking of the next thing because it’s the team. If I just hire the right team, then this firm is going to be what I need it to be. Oh, well, if I just set another goal. And so there’s just this constant chasing of things outside of yourself, if you will, when the answer is really to go back within to say something about this just doesn’t feel right. And I find that most people go outside of themselves instead of inside of themselves. 


Sara Muender (22:05): 

Yeah, that’s so true. It makes me think of other ways to incorporate things that feel purposeful for us in our business. Sure. There’s a lot of people listening that think to themselves, oh my gosh, what I have now just doesn’t feel right. I don’t have a lot of joy in my day-to-day work, but I’m not about to go and quit doing the type of law I’m doing or go and give up on my business. But I realized when I joined Lawyerist and I took this job as a lab coach specifically for me, my goal was to become a better business coach. I wanted to learn new ways of helping people grow and build and scale businesses. And that’s exactly what I did. I learned very hands-on, and I got a lot more experience in business coaching. But what I’ve also found along the way is I have a very specific role. 



I do business coaching for law firm owners, and it doesn’t really matter if I feel necessarily connected to the legal industry or not. I do have some background in the alternative legal space, but I’m not a lawyer and I don’t have a particular connection to the legal industry or in helping law firm owners. But what I have found is that my purpose in life is clear. My purpose in life is to set up the next generation for success, because I’m a mom and I’ve got lots of friends with kids, and it’s really important to me. My purpose is to set up the next generation for success by empowering the leaders of that generation, which are people who are running businesses in the community of firm owners that I coach. And so by showing up with that purpose and remembering why I am doing it and what’s important to me, I’m able to help them, empower them to do their jobs really well and to serve their clients well. Do you have anything you can relate to with that and bringing your own purpose in? 


Leticia DeSuze (24:08): 

Oh yeah, totally. And I’m glad you mentioned that because it doesn’t have to be just like in this box, like, oh, you’re a business coach for law firm owners. If you replace law firm owners with financial services, you could do the exact same thing just like across industries, because you’re clear on what it is that you’re there to do. You’re clear that you’re setting next generations up for success and working with the business leaders. So that can transcend industry, whatever it is that you choose to do. So for me, I know that my purpose is to work with leaders. A lot of times I’m leading the leaders, not because I’ve done what they’ve done or what they do, but it’s exactly the opposite because I don’t, because in many instances I haven’t done, but I help leaders to, what’s the best way I can say it? 



To me, I work with so many leaders who find themselves lost under the weight of what it is that they’re actually doing, or what it is that they’re doing is not a true reflection of who they are, that sense of purpose. And so I create a container with them to help them find that sense of purpose and infuse it into their leadership. They don’t necessarily have to change careers or change businesses. It’s almost like an adjustment or fine tuning what it is that they’re doing and how it is that they’re doing what they do. And the reason I think I work with leaders is because things flow from the top down. Oftentimes, if something can be changed at the very top levels of leadership, then it can be changed in every other area of a business or an organization. And I find that working with leaders, that is a huge challenge because of trust. Who can you trust? Who can trust to tell you the truth when everybody else is on your payroll and they’re going to tell you yes. Right? Who can you trust to get as real as it gets with you, and to be the gatekeeper of your greatness in a way that is not necessarily impressed by accolades? 


Sara Muender (26:05): 

How would you determine whether a law firm owner, if they have a team, if they are leading that team, and if the people on the team are aligned with their vision that encompasses so much of their purpose? 


Leticia DeSuze (26:22): 

Well, I think you can determine team alignment by the flow of the team. By the way, the team moves together just like in cadence and seamlessly together. But I don’t want to say that everything is always smooth sailing. Sometimes there are people that are aligned with your team that challenge you, that challenge you to think about things in a way that you hadn’t previously thought about. But if we look at what your goal is or what your vision is for your firm or for your business, do you have the people that can help you get there? Right? Are you moving towards that vision in a way that is progressive, in a way that is consistent? I find so often that people point the finger at their team members and say, I need a better team. And I’m just like, well, if I hear one more time about these rock stars or these A players, and I’m like rock stars and a players are in high demand and they don’t want to work for C and D leaders. You can’t want A players and then not want to grow and develop as a leader. And so I think that the more you grow as a leader, the more you evolve as a leader, the more you will see progress in whatever your vision is for your firm and for your business. And you bring those people along with you in leadership and in the realization of that vision. 


Sara Muender (27:42): 

So Letitia, where would someone start? So they’re listening to this and they want to improve as a leader. They want to find more purpose and fulfillment in their leadership, and then therefore, their team feel like they’re finding purpose and fulfillment in their roles working at their law firms. So where would you start? What would be some steps or actionable takeaways that they can start to head down the road of finding more purpose in their leadership? 


Leticia DeSuze (28:12): 

I’m a huge believer in reconnect if people are not connected with themselves and with themselves, I mean just like their inner voice, the inner wisdom of their own spirits, and finding a way to actually connect with that. For some people, that might be prayer, for some people that might be journaling, because I believe therein lies all the answers that you need. And you can get a real sense of whether or not you are on track or not. And if you get a sensing that you’re off track, then it’s like, okay, what is just the baby step or a next step that you can take to make an adjustment? And what is your life telling you about your leadership? Are you stressed? Are you overwhelmed? Are you burnt out? Your life will give you signs. When something is out of alignment, your life will tell you. But I think sometimes we’re just not listening. Your team will tell you, your business will tell you, and I think sometimes we just don’t listen. 


Sara Muender (29:07): 

That’s such a good point. So maybe it would look like blocking out some time to do some visioning work and getting clear on your personal vision, the business vision that you have, and thinking about that question that I asked you in the beginning, what does it mean to you to be a good leader? What does a good leader look like? Maybe that would be helpful for people to start exploring that so they can identify what’s missing now. What else do you think? 


Leticia DeSuze (29:39): 

Well, I think too, it’s important to do this in a place where you feel inspired. I remember spending eight days in Salum, Mexico on the beach with an attorney while she visione and figured out what it is that she wanted to do. And it was there that she said, I’m meant to be untethered. I’m not meant to work in a law firm office in flush downtown Miami. And probably within the next year, she closed that firm as she knew it started traveling the world, and now she’s over in Dubai. She just in September, just moved to Dubai because she said, I’m just not meant to live in this way, but she was inspired by eight days on the beach in Mexico. So I think, yeah, 


Sara Muender (30:25): 

That’ll do it. 


Leticia DeSuze (30:26): 

Yeah, I think just again, if you think about what gives you energy and what takes energy away from you, what inspires you? 


Sara Muender (30:35): 

And I imagine that there’s a lot of people thinking like, oh my gosh, that’s such a beautiful story. How inspiring, but I’m just so busy. I can’t take eight days off and go to Tulum and do this visioning work, or I can’t just uproot my life and move to another country and make my law firm remote. All these excuses that come to mind. What would you say to someone who is feeling those kinds of feelings right now of overwhelm? 


Leticia DeSuze (31:03): 

Oh, sure. I would say think about the opportunity cost. What’s the cost of remaining where you are and being there another six months or listening to this sending year, and you’re still in the same place, so everybody’s busy. It’s one of those things where you as many people that there are that may need you, you need you more. And so you need to be your own priority and figuring out how to do that. 


Sara Muender (31:30): 

And I mean, it doesn’t have to take a lot 


Leticia DeSuze (31:33): 

Eight days. It 


Sara Muender (31:34): 

Doesn’t have to take eight days to come up with your vision, and it doesn’t have to take a whole life redo or a business redo. No, 


Leticia DeSuze (31:41): 

It does 


Sara Muender (31:41): 

Not. I mean, little things like maybe there’s listening to this and they’re just inspired to think about they’re 2024 goals again, and ask themselves if they’re really aligned right now with the priorities that they’re spending their time on. Are those priorities aligned with those 2024 goals? Or maybe it’s just thinking about what’s one thing that I can do better this quarter to work towards a business that feels more purposeful for me and my team? And that question again that I’ve been asking my Labster is, what’s one thing that I really want to improve on as a leader? What do you think? 


Leticia DeSuze (32:25): 

Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. I also find though that there is oftentimes a disconnect between lawyers and their team. And I’m just like, who do you have working with you? What’s important to them? What are their goals? What are their goals? Or what does their vision or sense of purpose look like? How is that integrated into what it is that you are creating? And I find that not only are so many lawyers disconnected from themselves, but they’re also disconnected from their team. So everybody just shows up to do whatever is going to pay the bills. And so everybody feels disconnected. And I think that by starting in that direction, the leader can actually change that and create a culture of purpose driven people. 


Sara Muender (33:10): 

And that culture is created in the conversations we choose to have with our team and the conversation we have with clients. I mean, one thing that I love about working at Lawyerist is from day one, they wanted to know what was important to me. That was a part of the interview process, was learning my values and asking me to provide examples of times when I displayed the Lawyerist core values. So they were looking for me to know whether I understood the core values of Lawyerist or not coming into the interview process. But then even after they hired me, they wanted to know what was important to me. They wanted to know what I wanted to do After I worked at Lawyerist, they’d straight up say, we know you’re not going to work at this company forever, so what is it that you want to do after you work at Lawyerist? And how can we support you now while you’re here? Maybe there’s things you can learn. Maybe there’s specific projects we can put you on. 


Leticia DeSuze (34:05): 

I think that when you are values aligned with someone or with a company or organization, it’s easier to move in a shared vision. But when you are not, that’s where division comes from because there’s two visions. 


Sara Muender (34:20): 

Absolutely. And I mean, this is just a reminder to those listening that take the time to get to know your team members and you’ll soon find out whether they’re the right person for the job. They’re the right person in the right seat, that they’re aligned with the vision that you have for the business. And I’m sure you can find some common ground, but it probably ends up leaving the team members feeling more motivated to get to work and show up and do a really great job. They feel heard and understood. 


Leticia DeSuze (34:52): 

I worked with someone before, and a lot of people do this, but they would have an annual vision board party for their team, and they would roll out, here’s going to be our 20 23, 20 24 vision. And every team member though had to write their own personal vision. And then they took one thing from the team’s personal vision to put on the firm’s vision because now this is a part of our quarterly planning and our conversations, because what’s important to you is just as important as this business. And they were also mailed at the end of the year, they are mailed the letters of what they said they would accomplish or where they said they would be. And even if they’re no longer with the firm, those letters are still sent to them. 


Sara Muender (35:37): 

That is so cool. It’s making me think we should do some kind of vision board workshop in lab. 


Leticia DeSuze (35:43): 

Yeah, so I remember a couple of years ago, there were three of them that wanted to get a house, and so the firm owner is, Hey, let’s do a webinar. Let’s get somebody in here to talk to you about credit, to talk to you about what needs to happen. Let me pair you with realtors. She was just as invested in what made them feel purposeful or even their goals, and so it just created a culture that was just like, wow, just what we’re doing for the business is not important, but she’s just as invested in us and in our wellbeing, which helps set them up for success outside of work because it filtered over into their family lives, right into things that had nothing to do with work. 


Sara Muender (36:27): 

I love it. It’s beautiful. Well, Latisha, this has been such a beautiful conversation with you, convers. Thanks for coming on and chatting with me. For the listeners, any final words of inspiration, encouragement, advice you would give to people around leadership? 


Leticia DeSuze (36:44): 

Yeah, I know everybody says, write down your why, but sometimes your why. It’s not necessarily the real why, the real thing that you were meant to do or created to do, but you may not have eight days on a beach in Tulum. You may have eight minutes before your next appointment, but if you can really go within and get the blueprint for leadership for what you’re given to do and start moving in that direction, the world will be so much better. Because right now, if you are misaligned as a leader, there’s something that the world is doing without. 



The Lawyerist Podcast is edited by Britany Felix. Are you ready to implement the ideas we discuss here into your practice? Wondering what to do next? Here are your first two steps. First. If you haven’t read The Small Firm Roadmap yet, grab the first chapter for free at Lawyerist.com/book. Looking for help beyond the book? Let’s chat about whether our coaching communities, are right for you. Head to Lawyerist.com/community/lab to schedule a 10-minute call with our team to learn more. The views expressed by the participants are their own and are not endorsed by Legal Talk Network. Nothing said in this podcast is legal advice for you. 

Your Hosts

Sara Muender

As a Lab Coach, Sara works with lawyers to build healthier law firms through workshops and 1:1 coaching. She makes sure lawyers have the guidance and tools to implement their ideas and grow their businesses.

Featured Guests

Leticia DeSuze Headshot (1)

Leticia DeSuze

Leticia DeSuze is a highly skilled coach specializing in mindset and strategy coaching for law firm owners and their teams. With over 15 years of coaching experience, she brings a wealth of expertise to her work. Leticia firmly believes that true success stems from aligning personal growth with a powerful mindset. She guides law firm owners in cultivating a winning mindset that sets the stage for their teams’ exceptional performance. eticia’s coaching philosophy embraces a holistic approach that combines personal development with actionable strategies. Leticia empowers law firm owners and executives to lead with intention and create workplace environments that foster collaboration, psychological safety, and outstanding results.

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Last updated February 21st, 2024