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Why High Exhaustion Makes You A Legal Liability And What To Do About It

Updated: Feb 1

As a woman who’s spent nearly 25 years in the legal sector achieving double-digit pay rises and promotions, I was on a fast track – but then I questioned, “A fast track to where, and at what cost?”

Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

What if I had learnt how to choose my next role or how my unique distinctiveness could have allowed me to shine in each of those roles?

What if I had understood the realities of high performance and its inextricable dependency on wellbeing (not exhaustion)?

What does this exhaustion look like? You wake up and go to work. By 10am you’ve received a second frantic phone call and a fifteenth email. You’re super busy, and too busy to question what you’re busy doing. Every day is Groundhog Day.

Status quo

It’s time to challenge the status quo. I’ve launched the Water+Air podcast (more on the name later) so that you can benefit from my experience in a way that you can hear and understand, from one lawyer to another.

Many of you will have read inspiring books, listened to podcasts but then forgotten all about them as every day is “so busy”. Every so often you return to a book or inspirational speaker to recharge your inspiration tank but you feel

“too busy to take action”.

My story

I’m not going to lie, throughout the early years of practising law I wore my long hours and big deals like a badge of honour. I had no idea that my attitude was holding me back from the one thing I wanted more than anything: to be an excellent lawyer and deliver outstanding outcomes for my clients.

In 2009 I stopped practising law, and when I returned a few years later, it was a whole different experience (for me and those I worked with) – but all of this has put me in a unique position. Now I can turn my bumps and bruises, eclectic experiences and knowledge, into ladders for other lawyers who are navigating their careers.

There are countless instances that show us the true impact of exhaustion, of tiredness and rushing. It has a negative impact on our cognitive and physical p