About me

When I was a kid, I was the only girl I knew whose dream did not involve walking down the aisle in a white dress. I wanted a career. My role models were more Mary Richards than Carol Brady.

And the coolest career, I thought, would be to become a lawyer.

Imagine if the girl whose mother called her “impossible” for being argumentative could use that specific trait and be a courtroom lawyer like Katherine Hepburn in “Adams Rib!” My dreams became grander when I was in law school and watched how the lawyers on “L.A. Law” lived. The sexy cases, the gorgeous designer suits, the cars, the prestige. Yes, please!

Well, that dream lasted for three years. Yup, 1000 days is all it took for me to realize that being a lawyer can really suck if all you know is what they taught you in law school. As soon as I graduated, I began to see all the things I still didn’t know. And they were big, crucial things. How to get clients? I didn’t know. How to make partner? I didn’t know. How to change areas of practice if I didn’t like the first one I picked out of law school? I didn’t know.

And, that’s exactly what happened to me. I didn’t like being a litigator, my first job out of law school, because I had no idea what it was like. After all, we never saw the long hours, sleepless nights, drudgery, or stress on “L.A. Law.”

I realized that although I was helping some of my clients recover millions of dollars, I wasn’t feeling like a winner because I didn’t understand the basic laws of being a successful professional outside of the courtroom and so I quit. I shifted my practice a few times and, after 20 years, I decided to leave the law.

My dad said I was crazy. My colleagues said I was crazy. But I’m not crazy because, now, 13 years later with a successful coaching practice, having helped hundreds of lawyers win more careers and lives, I realize that this is my purpose, what I was made to do. I’m grateful I became a lawyer so I could become not-a-lawyer and help the rest because, although lawyers get a bad rap, the reality is that we will always need great lawyers. I’m here to make sure we still have some.

Dena Lefkowitx, Esq., PCC
Achievement by Design