11 December 2020

The Lawyer’s Love Cycle

I was an overthinker at age 8.

Seriously - I thought through the worst-case scenario of everything. As a child.

A natural-born lawyer.

So - it’s funny that I’m now a life coach for lawyers, because the law was my first love.  

As an attorney, I gravitated toward litigation after my judicial clerkship, and went on to become a prosecutor. I started in Montgomery County, MD, trying criminal and serious traffic cases in District Court DAILY - win, lose, humiliate myself, learn, grow, and thrive. It was so fun.

About three years in, some promotion gridlock propelled me to move to Baltimore City so I could advance to felony cases. There, I joined the Special Victims’ Unit, and satisfied my desire to bring sex offenders and domestic abusers to justice.  

I loved my job.

You COULD NOT MESS with my workplace confidence.

Even when a jury opined that they hated my shoes, and that I didn’t smile enough.

I didn’t care. I got the conviction. Their opinions of me didn’t mean anything.

But, cut to my personal life? I had ZERO confidence, TOTAL mess.

To the outside world, maybe it looked… okay. I always had boyfriends, and generally found myself in pretty low conflict relationships.

But at any point from one to three years in, we’d pack things in and call it a day. It was always like the way sports teams shake hands after a game – we’d just drop the act, and acknowledge that it was NOT working.

At 35, after YEARS of therapists telling me “your picker is off” and “he just isn’t meeting your needs” I had a startling realization.


After all, the good lawyer in me clocked the feedback from the exes, none of whom, by the way, were terrible people. And it was always kind of the same:

Rachel worries a lot.

Rachel doesn’t trust easily.

Rachel assumes the worst.

Rachel doesn’t give the benefit of the doubt.

BUT that stuff makes me a great lawyer! Worrying about losing is how you AVOID losing. Trust no one; cross examine your victim harder than opposing counsel will. Assuming the worst is just good preparation, and reasonable doubt was my enemy. I saw NO benefits associated with doubt.

Was there a way I could work on these tendencies in love, without losing my courtroom skill?

Was there a way I could take ownership of my baggage, without HATING myself? Without overcompensating and becoming a pushover?

NOTHING is more frightening to a prosecutor than being a pushover…

ENTER … life coaching.

I know what you’re thinking. Life coaching is for California girls who light candles, and pray over crystals, and eat vegan food, and manifest.

NO. Not this kind of life coaching. This was practical, normal, applicable WORK that made sense to my highly logical brain.

And it appealed to the control freak in me who HATED delegating, because it was the FIRST mental health modality that didn’t require other people to be different in order for me to be happy. No one else controlled my happiness.

My life changed forever at 35 when I started working with my life coach, because I started to see how all the thought processes that compelled me to legal practice, were the same ones that were undoing my love life.

Reading into actions.

Requiring human beings to be consistent.

Assuming people were lying/misleading/misrepresenting.  

Sensing the subtlest, nearly imperceptible, shifts in human energy and responding to them instinctively.

The list goes on…

And the way to KEEP it all at work, and drop it at home, was to see that all of that mind chatter was totally OPTIONAL.

I alone controlled it.  It did not control me.

I could go home and be a simple, straightforward, vulnerable, loveable partner, and still walk into court, and opt into my overthinking, overanalyzing mind.

I was stunned by the power and the simplicity of this work, that I knew I wanted to learn more.  I got certified as a coach myself, and committed to serving LAWYERS.  I knew I was not the only lawyer doing well at work, but totally deprived of a normal love life.  

I felt DRAWN to share what I learned with other lawyers.

And the weirdest part? They believed me.

Sure, some said it couldn’t work for them.

Some thought that I must have had a weird, sad, disbarment story (I don’t), but FAR more than I imagined, reached out to tell me it felt like my posts, my emails, my words were READING their minds.  

So, now that’s what I do.  Full time. I’m an elite coach (and, still a licensed attorney) committed to helping lawyers stop trying cases against their partners in their minds. I help them stop settling, stop negotiating with themselves, stop overthinking and analyzing everything, and quiet the cross exam, so they can get back to enjoying love, sex, and partnership.  

You for sure CAN have it all. Stop believing that you’ve got to pick between your job and your love life. You can be amazing at both. I know because I thought it was impossible, and now I know that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Rachel Coll is a certified life coach and lawyer, licensed to practice in MD and DC. She no longer practices law, and exclusively coaches lawyers on their romantic lives and relationships. She is a bi-weekly columnist with Impact Lawyers and is here to answer your love and dating questions. To have your question answered or problem addressed, please email RachelElizabethColl@gmail.com.

Copyright © The Impact Lawyers. All rights reserved. This information or any part of it may not be copied or disseminated in any way or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of The Impact Lawyers. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of The Impact Lawyers.

Would you like to read more?

The Impact Lawyers offers a FREE newsletter that keeps you up to date on news and analysis about the international latest legal news.
Please complete the form below and click on subscribe to receive The Impact Lawyers Newsletter subscription

Subscribe for free

The Impact Lawyers Newsletter

  • Practical templates and guides for lawyers and law firms
  • Podcasts, videos and webinars explaining how to be sucessful
  • Tips made by lawyers and other practitioners