Member Monday: Kathy McCabe

Life & Executive Coach, J.D.

Description of my practice:
I practiced law for 22 years. Today, I coach professional women, including many attorneys, who want to excel while maintaining a work-life balance, enjoying better health & joy, negotiating for more, and creating their best lives now – even if they don’t think they have time!

Why are you a member of the WBAI?
I love connecting with awesome women, and I love the WBAI’s mission to empower and advance women. Now, more than ever, we need women leaders in government, business and law firms.

What do you think is the best way to empower women in the law?
I have many thoughts on this, but these 3 ideas are really important:

  1. Women attorneys need to embrace the importance of putting their own health and well-being first, no matter what. To do this, women need to say “no” to things that drain them, and they need to establish firm boundaries so they don’t find themselves last on their list of priorities. Women need to ask for help, at home and at work.   When women put themselves first, they are in a much better position to excel at work – and they are much happier.
  2. Women attorneys need to promote themselves and “ask” for more, whether it is more money, flexibility or advancement. Nationally, female attorneys are paid less than male attorneys, according to the A.B.A statistics. I recently sat on a panel for the WBAI called “Posturing Yourself For More,” and I offered strategies that included promoting yourself in a confident way and showing how you add value to an organization, beyond what is on paper. They don’t teach you how to promote yourself in law school!
  3. Law firms and companies need to encourage female leaders to mentor and empower other women, so that women can learn the “inner workings” of their organizations and understand how best to advance. At law firms, women need to be taught how to obtain clients and cultivate those relationships.

What are the qualities you have seen and admired in a senior female attorney you know? 
One of my former partners, now Judge Jean Golden, was someone I always admired and viewed as a mentor. She paved the way for more women leaders and flexible policies at our firm. Jean managed to balance raising five children while excelling at work, advocating for women, being an incredible lawyer and never losing her sense of humor.

Tell us about a story or time when being a female attorney was advantageous.
The day before I was to go on my first maternity leave, a new potential client called requesting that I represent them in a large litigation matter. The company’s representative was a female attorney and she wanted female counsel. I had never met her and knew nothing about her. I was completely torn because I did not want to miss an opportunity to bring in this new client, but I was determined not to work during my leave. I dreaded telling this potential client about my situation, as I thought she would send the case to another firm. After figuring out a plan that allowed me to still support the client while enjoying time with my son, I told her the truth about my situation. Her case would be handled very well by another partner, and I would oversee it.  But I would not be handling the day-to-day litigation.   She said, “congratulations,” and sent the case to our firm. Because she was a female attorney, I felt this woman understood my situation, was flexible, then said “OK.” Over the years, her company became a valuable client to my firm.

What am I most looking forward to in the following year, personally/professionally?
Personally, I am looking forward to watching and supporting my young teens continue to grow and learn to navigate life’s ups and downs. Professionally, I am very excited to be working with more women in my online “Best Life NOW Mastermind,” and to continue working with amazing women – helping them create more personal wellness and fun, make more money and learn to lead in ALL aspects of their lives.

Tell us something interesting about you.
I used to hate dogs, and now I am madly in love with our rescue dog, Buttercup!