The Truth About Attorney Burnout
Before I share my latest tip for avoiding lawyer burnout, I wanted to make sure you got your invite to the Powerhouse Lawyers Retreat.
I believe every woman in the law not only deserves, but needs a life-changing experience like this one.
One of our past attendees described it as one of the best experiences of her life. Another said it changed the entire trajectory of her career. It’s happening September 27th - October 1st in Ocean Isle, North Carolina.
Okay let’s talk about this little-known, but highly effective tip for avoiding burnout.
When I first heard about this technique, I have to admit, I was skeptical. But I had a coach who taught and used it consistently, so I tried it. To my surprise, it actually worked.
That technique is EFT (emotional freedom technique), also known as tapping.
As lawyers, we tend to be highly analytical, logical, and used to being in our head a lot. As a result, we can become really disconnected from our emotions and our body, and have a hard time quieting our minds.
That’s why I’m so excited to share my interview with Tracy Inscore with you. Tracy is an attorney turned energy healer, specializing in burnout prevention recovery for lawyers.
Here’s the interview:
I have such a special guest here with us today: my friend, Tracy Inscore. She is an attorney turned energy healer, specializing in burnout prevention recovery for lawyers, which we all know is a very, very common topic amongst lawyers.
And she also provides support for law students and recent law school grads through her program, The Bar and Beyond.
She personally experienced burnout herself. (I did as well.) And what she found is the emotional freedom technique called EFT, commonly known as tapping, was the missing link to her recovery. I'm so excited to talk about this today.
By working with the body's meridians system, EFT helps restore the mind-body connection and has been clinically proven in treating issues such as anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.
As an EFT practitioner, Tracy's unique approach to burnout and recovery emphasizes nervous system regulation and the power of our subconscious mind, thereby empowering clients to address the true cause of their burnout.
And as a highly intuitive empath, she is one of the few certified EFT practitioners that's also a practicing lawyer. So she is bringing this to a population who really, really needs it and clients who really, really need it. So Tracy, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for coming on.
Hi, Erin. Thank you so much for having me. I've become such a huge fan of the podcast since we met, and so it's just an honor to be here.
Fantastic. So that was a bit of a Reader's Digest version of who Tracy is and what she's doing, but I would love for our viewers, if you would just go back a little bit, dial it back to the beginning. Who is Tracy? Why did she go to law school and how did she end up practicing EFT and helping others do the same?
Okay, so I'll take it way back to the 1980s, early 90s when I was growing up in Southern California. And my family was part of an extremely high control religion, very fear-based. I remember being told that meditation was bad and that we should never let our mind go blank or else the devil would take it over.
Interesting considering where I am now, and, you know, the mental health and meditation that is such a huge part of my life.
You know, I was taught that God knew everything we were thinking. So I grew up feeling like I wasn't even safe in my own mind. And this particular church really encouraged corporal punishment of children, encouraged spanking to the point that, you know, one time they would provide wooden paddles at the church services for the parents to use on their kids.
And so by today's standards, certainly considered child abuse, but in the eighties, it's kind of like, you know, we all, everyone's spanked their kids, right?
It's kind of like car seats, right? It was kind of like the car seat. Why did we need one of those things?
Yeah, exactly. So I was probably in my late thirties by the time I realized how much this actually impacted me, how much it contributed to my nervous system being in this constant state of hypervigilance and just being so out of whack.
So as a kid growing up, you know, there's a lot of anger, a lot of yelling. You know, I grew up in a constant state of just walking on eggshells, like afraid of God, afraid of my dad's anger. And I learned how to step down and hide how I really felt because I learned that my true self was unacceptable and would get me into trouble, but I learned that academic achievement and performing right were ways to make sure that no one was angry with me, gave me a sense of control, and it gave me a way to make sure that my needs were met, and then this was reinforced with a lot of praise and reward.
So my entire sense of self worth and value became tied to performing, achieving, fixing, doing, helping, rescuing, fixing, right? So it was a perfect storm to set the stage for burnout later in life.
My parents divorced when I was 14, I hated high school, and I was incredibly bored. So I tested out 15, started working full time and taking college classes.
Then comes law school, and it's something that I knew I would be good at, and it kind of fit perfectly with this high-achieving academic task. This was like the logical next step. Like, what's the next hard thing I can do to earn my right to exist and take up space?
And, you know, of course I also had altruistic reasons. I did want to help people. I did want to make a difference in the world.
Financial security was also very important to me because I had seen firsthand how divorce can leave you vulnerable and I had made a vow to myself, a silent vow that I would never be in that position, so it was like, “What will make me the most money? What will make me the most financially secure?” Keeping in mind that I'm, I'm bad at math and I'm super squeamish and grossed out. So medicine was out.
And I would say that even in law school, on some level, I knew it wasn't right for me, but I felt like I couldn't change my mind. Like even after the first year, you're already in so much, you're already in debt.
So I felt like I just had to keep going. I didn't want to be a quitter.
I graduated in 2008 and I was lucky to have a good job offer in the midst of the recession. So I was the star associate. I was doing really well on the outside, but inside I was miserable.
And I was self medicating with alcohol. I was severely depressed. And I struggled with imposter syndrome to begin with, anyway, but the fact that there was such a huge disconnect between my inner world and my outer world just really intensified that feeling of being an imposter, like I was a fraud, because if people only knew how much I was struggling. They wouldn’t, you know, trust me with any of this.
So about 10 years ago, I left full-time practice. I continued to practice part-time and still do. And I also went in-house for a time. I did editing work. I was a professor at a few different colleges and lawn schools. I was even a fitness instructor.
All these things that I really enjoyed doing and that were, you know, I thought would be so much more fun and they were, but I managed to burn out doing all of those things too.
Number one, because I was trying to do them all at the same time. Let me just say that. But two, it was never really about the job or what I was doing. It was the energy that I brought into each of those roles.
I felt responsible for other people's experiences. Felt like I had to be perfect. Felt like I could never say no to anyone. And my ego thrived on being in demand and being that go-to person.
So I went through, you know, kind of a spiritual awakening for lack of a better term, and I've been on this healing path that is still very much ongoing, but it has caused me to question everything and really flipped everything on its head for me, and I became so curious about holistic and alternative healing. And so here we are today.
That's amazing. And I resonate so much with your story. And I know our viewers do too, because so much of that, like you're in it, right? You're in the law. You, once you start, it's almost like you can't go back.
It's like that fear of like, “Oh my God, I need to cancel my wedding.” Like I can't do that. You know, like I can't do that. Everyone's already invited.
So you feel like you can't go back and then you feel like there's something wrong with you because you're so unaligned. It's like this internal and external push and pull that's happening every single day. And it's like the anxiety increases, the self doubt increases, the imposter syndrome increases, and it just keeps stacking.
And you would think that the exact opposite would be happening with these high achieving, really smart women, but in fact, like you said, our subconscious mind, your nervous system was all jacked up and burned out before you even got there. So there's no way that mental state can produce anything other than burnout.
I would love for you to explain how particularly you found the emotional freedom technique and what exactly that is for our viewers or people who have never heard of that.
Got it. Yeah, so EFT stands for emotional freedom techniques and it involves tapping on certain meridian points in a specific sequence while we focus on a particular emotion or memory or problem.
So it's based in traditional Chinese medicine and it centers around the core premise that everything is energy, that all negative emotion is caused by energy blockages within the body.
So you may have heard the sayings like “Our issues are stored in our tissues,” or “Our biography becomes our biology,” or “The body keeps the score.”
Our body is a living, breathing record of everything we've ever experienced. And sometimes just like a vital record gets scratched and it won't play properly anymore. It jumps and skips and scratches, our emotional experiences can do the same thing within our body.
We find ourselves being triggered by things, feeling an emotional charge, or having a physical reaction when we think about a past event.
So the meridian system is like an energetic highway running through the body and tapping allows us to restore the proper flow of traffic to that highway or going back to the record analogy to smooth out those grooves in the record so it can play clearly again.
And so traditional Chinese medicine and the practice of acupuncture were actually way ahead of their time thousands of years ago. In identifying this meridian system, because it corresponds to the nervous system as we know it today in, in modern Western medicine, but which we're really only beginning to fully understand.
So most of us are familiar with that meridian system because of acupuncture, which involves placing needles at certain meridians of which are like passageways. There are 12 main meridians, each one is believed to correspond to a specific part of the body, lung, liver, you know, et cetera.
And our life force energy or chi is thought to flow through these meridians. And when there's any sort of blockage, that's when physical ailments and illnesses and emotional issues start to happen.
So EFT is sometimes referred to as acupuncture without needles or emotional acupuncture because we just get the tap on these certain points, particularly on the head and upper torso, these points that are connected to emotions. When we tap, it actually sends calming signals to the amygdala and the brain which calms our nervous system and helps get us out of either that fight or flight state.
And so how I discovered it, I actually am embarrassed to say that I heard about EFT probably three years before I tried it because I was so skeptical. I was like, “That sounds way too good to be true.” I don't think that could help with my severity of issues, but if that helps you, good for you.
One thing I noticed is that, especially as lawyers, we are wired for things to be hard, and we are very skeptical about anything that promises to be easy or fast or painless. We’re like, “No, I must struggle.”
So, I discounted it, I dismissed it, I did a lot of other things, which in hindsight, I'm grateful for. I did the therapy, I did other, you know, tried other modalities. It was all sort of leading to the point where I was actually ready to do this step of work.
And I honestly just was watching a YouTube video one night and started, you know, tapping along, and I was just blown away at the results, kept doing it and realized I need to get certified in this and bring this to as many people as I can.
Absolutely. I came upon tapping much the same. Like I had heard of it and I was like, that sounds a little woo woo. I don't know. Like that just sounds too good to be true.
And we're wired for hardness. It's like, you know, that's our cross to bear. It's like, “Let me drag it, the heaviest over the finish line, please. I'll be your girl.” But no, it is truly one of those things.
And I had a coach who - that's one of her strong modalities that she uses and that she teaches consistently. And so I started actually tapping when she was my coach and was like, wait a second, oh my gosh, that actually works. That is really crazy.
So tell me why are attorneys so prone to this level of burnout? And how can EFT help them start unraveling a little bit of that burnout?
Sure. So, you know, law is certainly not the only profession to have high rates of burnout. But to understand how burnout is unique among lawyers, I think we first need to understand what makes lawyers unique.
To start, the gold star syndrome that you talked about in one of your episodes, which was just a spot-on description. You know, not to play into lawyer’s stereotypes because obviously we're all complex, diverse individuals, but I think we can agree that as a group, we tend to share some characteristics, right?
Like many of us would likely be described as overachievers, perfectionists, having type A personalities, alpha women. And these qualities usually serve us very well professionally. We don't want to disown those parts of ourselves, but they do make up a very important part of the burnout pattern.
So we have the common experience of going to law school, which is highly competitive. And then we're literally trained to look for problems. We learn to anticipate the worst case scenario, which again, valuable skills for a lawyer, but literally wires our brains for difficulty. It trains us to focus on the negative.
Then once we actually start practicing, we get used to suppressing and ignoring our emotions, putting our own feelings aside to serve the client, sometimes to advance an argument or position we don't necessarily agree with.
Even ignoring our own bodily cues of stress, fatigue, pain, hunger, you know, in a lot of law firm environments, going without sleep or billing a crazy number of hours is seen as a badge of honor.
We're often in adversarial, highly stressful, high conflict situations - sometimes within toxic law firm cultures on top of that.
So it's not just your opposing counsel, it's your co counsel that can be a problem. We tend to be lonely, whether that's because we don't have a lot of extra time to spend with our support system and friends and family or because we work in isolation a lot of the time depending on your practice.
Lawyers also work with a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty and gray area, which is very stressful, especially for people who want to always know the right answer. How many times do we have to say, well, it depends.
And we're asked to predict the outcome out of these crazy high stakes scenarios when so much is outside of our control, like what a judge or a jury or other parties to a transaction are going to do. And I'm not minimizing any of that because of course our job and how we spend most of our waking hours absolutely impacts our mental health.
But the number one thing I've learned about burnout is that it's never really about the job. It is a symptom of much deeper issues. And those issues can be things like lack of alignment.
So that can be very draining to pretend to be someone you're not, or if you're living in conflict with your core values or priorities.
I love your emphasis, Erin, and your work on values. These deeper issues can be traced back to childhood family dynamics, that nervous system dysregulation we were talking about, subconscious blocks, fears, limiting beliefs around money, or a belief that we have to struggle and sacrifice in order to be worthy, that it's not allowed to be easy.
Sometimes these deeper issues can actually be what drew us to a high stress profession in the first place. And so this means that changing jobs or changing industries might give some temporary relief, but that pattern of burnout will find a way to keep showing up in other areas of that person's life or in that new job until they truly heal those deeper root cause issues.
So while a stressful job can definitely be a factor, you know, too often we focus on changing the outside circumstances rather than looking within, which is where our power actually is. ‘Cause we can control very little about the job, but we can control our responses, where our boundaries are… We can increase our resilience. We can learn to soothe our own nervous system so that we're no longer walking around in this highly reactive, hypervigilant state of fight or flight, and this will transfer to other areas of our lives too. So what I call the burnout archetype or this larger burnout pattern.
People who have this pattern tend to overgive in one sided relationships. For example, they might be in codependent relationships. They just allow their time and energy resources to be drained. This is especially common with women. It could even include things like over exercising, pushing yourself to the point of injury. I used to do all those things.
And so, especially with lawyers, we try to correct the problem up here with our minds and with our logic and problem-solving abilities.
So we often make the mistake of blaming the job for feeling this way. We say things like, “Well, yeah, but I don't have any choice. This is just the nature of the job.” But once we correct these imbalances, you can start to relate to your job in a completely different way. You start responding to things differently.
You're able to come up with creative solutions that you never would have noticed before. You start being able to connect to the things of people who bring you joy and help replenish you.
And as this happens, your clients, your colleagues, partners all start responding to you differently because it's just universal law as within, so without, and now you still might need a break.
You might even still need to make a career change. But once we do this energetic work, you're able to do that with so much more clarity rather than a knee jerk reaction, because we never want to leave out of desperation because we just can't take it anymore.
So for, for a lot of my clients, this is the first time in their adult lives that they're actually able to get really clear on what their core purpose and mission, their values and priorities actually are, and to start making choices and taking action that are in alignment with who they really are and not who they've been pretending to be their whole lives.
You know, you asked why EFT is especially useful for lawyers. I think lawyers and anyone who's highly analytical, logical, used to being in their head a lot, can be really disconnected from their heart and their body. So one thing that we lawyers tend to have in common is that we have a hard time trying to quiet our minds.
In meditation, because of like, trying to go from a hundred to zero. Have you experienced that?
Yes. Yeah. Yes. So I have a funny story. When I started trying to meditate, I would meditate in the bathtub so I could not get out. Like it was a problem because I had to force myself to sit there.
Yeah, no. And I love your advice too, about sitting in the car and turning the radio off and being in silence.
But it's so frustrating that so many of the self care tools that lawyers are given and told that they should be doing just aren't realistic. They're not made for a lawyer's brain or circumstances. Like, no one's gonna meditate for an hour or go to yoga when they're in the middle of a trial or a stressful closing.
So what I love about EFT is that once you learn that basic tapping technique, you can use it on your own whenever you need to. You can close your office door, go sit in your car, sit in the restroom, and use this to immediately help take the edge off when you're feeling stressed or you're really upset about something. It takes less than 10 minutes to do a few quick rounds.
So I encourage my clients to tap on their own so that they have a resource to use in between sessions. And tapping is an active process. And we're able to measure the results right away by using a zero to 10 scale of how we're feeling, which can really help satisfy that results-oriented part of our personalities.
You know, there's other energy healing techniques out there that are wonderful. They certainly each have their place, but I find that a lot of lawyers have more trouble with some of the more passive techniques, like Reiki, for example, because they feel like they're not doing anything.
So until we've learned to relax, PMSD can be a great bridge to maybe get us to those places of being able to quiet our mind.
So this allows us to take a really active role in our own healing and to immediately gauge the results, which is very appealing to us, and it allows us to be calm and yet still alert and focused. So it's not like, if you're going to fall asleep. When I was trying to meditate, I would just end up falling asleep. So I like to say EFT really helps us take the edge off without losing our edge.
And, you know, EFT isn't just useful for overcoming a crisis or healing trauma. You know, nothing necessarily has to be wrong for you to try EFT. It's actually an amazing tool for peak performance, to get clarity. It can be used to help brainstorm creative solutions. And of course, by learning this technique before you're burned out, before you're at a crisis point, it's an amazing preventative tool.
So can you give us an example? I know most people will be listening to this, so maybe can you just give us an example of how an EFT like round or session looks, develops, how you get started.
I remember when I did this, I simply Googled the tapping points, which you can also do, you can see the tapping points, but Tracy, I would love for you to kind of walk through how someone would set this up, all that kind of stuff.
Yeah, and so there are a ton of free resources online, which I highly encourage everyone to check out. But I also highly encourage everyone to invest at least a few times in working with a practitioner who specializes in your particular issue. Because we know what questions to ask, and we know a lot of different advanced techniques that might not be on, you know, YouTube, for example.
So I always start my sessions with asking a lot of questions. Because we want to be as specific as possible. So I'll take a lot of notes, and then I have the client repeat statements, and I want it to be in their own words as much as possible.
So after we get a really good idea of what's bothering them, and we've prioritized the first issue they want to work on, I'll have them assess how strongly they're feeling that emotion or issue on a zero to 10 scale so that we can check our results as soon as we're done with each round. And then I will guide them to do, we tap on the side of the hand, which is the karate chop point. I'll guide them to say three different, what we call setup statements.
And these are designed to reduce any resistance that we may have to the process. So we might say things like, even though I'm so stressed about this deadline, I'm doing the very best that I can. Something like that.
Then we move through the various tapping points. So I use the top of the head, back of the neck, inside corner of the eyebrow, outside of the eye, under the eye, the point right under the nose, under the mouth, and the collarbone… I like to use the finest point in the center of the chest, under the arm. I also like to tap the wrist together. There's other techniques you can use to get some of the points that are running through with fingers, and then we go back to the side of the hand.
A lot of times, as clients are tapping, they're very surprised at what else will come up and what will surface. So I'm always looking for body language. I'm looking for very subtle shifts in their energy or their facial expressions.
So that's what I love about one-on-one sessions is that I can immediately ask “What just came up for you?” And usually what they'll say is like, pure gold. Like, their subconscious has just allowed something to surface that may seem kind of unrelated to the issue we're tapping on, but it actually gets us so much closer to the heart of the real root cause.
And oftentimes at the end of the session, we've worked on so many things where like not the issue they came in with necessarily, but that needed to be addressed and it all ties back together.
So, well, it's all going back to quieting your mind to be able to hear your thoughts because otherwise we are just on autopilot. I mean, that's what our subconscious mind does. It's there to keep us safe and alive. And so it's on autopilot 95% of the time. I laugh, I'm like, that's how you get to Target and forget you drove there. Like that's what happens.
So, and unless you take that intentional time to sit there, those thoughts can't come through. But I think it's also so important to note that even while you're tapping on this idea, you're settling these thoughts in your brain and thoughts are still coming through.
So like you said, you're actively working on the problem while you're quieting your mind. The two things are possible at the same time.
I think that's important to know that you don't have to be a Buddha and be in silence for 30 minutes, that you can actually still actively be doing something yet allowing your mind to calm.
Exactly. And you are in full control of that process. I always tell my clients that it's not like you're going to go into some trance state, have things suggested to you. This is you actually feeling your emotions and doing this processing, which helps your body actually experience and, and finally process. Most of us are walking around with so many unprocessed emotions. It's mind-blowing.
And I think it's also really important for attorneys to realize. How much we exist in complete fight or flight all the time, that our body is literally waiting for like a pin to just go in it.
And for us to just… People don't realize that you're sitting there so wound up that your nervous system is literally teetering on the edge of a mountain 24/7 a day. While you're working, that is like that level of, “Oh my God, I have so much anxiety, I can't breathe.” Or like, “I can't think,” or like, “My head is hurting” or “My heart is pounding.” That kind of stuff.
We are so wound up in that flight or fight stage that we don't know how to get out of it because that's the only way we've been taught how to be, that was the only way to survive in law school.
If you weren't on all the time, then somebody was going to call you out for not being on and then you weren't smart enough. And if you weren't on all the time at your job, then something's going to fall through the cracks and something terrible is going to happen.
And if you're not on all the time at home, see how this translates into every single facet of your life. And so, you know, you wonder why you snap at your kids or you snap at your husband or you just yelled at the random person at the donut shop.
That's why, because your body doesn't know how to get rid of that energy and by tapping you are helping your body alleviate it through the channels of your nervous system.
Exactly. Yeah, that fight or flight response is such a... double whammy and it does such a disservice because we're dealing with legitimate stress anyway. But when we're in that state, the blood flow in our brain actually is taken away from our prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that helps us with creative problem solving.
So it's like when we are in that stress state, and we need to access our brilliance and our capability the most, it's taking that away, and our brains and our bodies have not yet evolved to know the difference between a stressful email or a tiger. The physical response is the same.
So we are walking around in this constant state of feeling like we're being hunted for prey.
Correct! And that's literally, I mean, from a real foundational level, like we are living, like we are running for our lives from a lion, like that's what our internal body feels like 24 hours a day, and that is, that is why it manifests in every single other physical symptom that you can't imagine. Exhaustion, depression, drinking, all of these things, like migraines, adrenal fatigue, I mean, I could go on and on and on and on.
But our body will betray us eventually. We can't carry all of that around. And so you may be like, what's wrong with me? There's actually nothing wrong with you, right? It's just you've been wound so tight for so long, that it's just time to start unwinding that a little bit.
So if there is an attorney sitting there and she's like, okay, well, so you say this EFT business work, okay, I'm super stressed. I'm feeling like I'm burned out. What are some simple ways she can get started today?
So I would say book a free burnout strategy session with me. I would love to meet you, her, anyone out there. I work with both men and women, and let's chat and let's find out what your unique burnout pattern is, and I can answer your questions and give you a lot more information.
You can check out my website. I have other resources and answers to some common questions there. You can find access to some YouTube videos and things like that.
But yeah, if this resonates with anyone listening, I have been there, and I just want to tell you that it is allowed to be easy. And I want you to have what I have. I want to share this peace with you.
Is that why you think it's so important for lawyers? Why EFT for lawyers? As a lawyer, as a practitioner, why do you feel like this is the modality to use to unravel burnout?
I think, going back to what, what we were talking about, it just appeals to the way that our brain is wired. And because we have often been in such a state of disconnect, so that that mind body connection has been almost severed.
Like, I'll notice when I first begin working with someone and I'll ask them, okay, they have trouble even identifying what they're feeling, let alone when I'll ask them, “Where do you feel this in your body?” They just look at me like, “What do you mean?”
And that was the exact case for me. Someone would ask me that, and I'd get so irritated. Like, “What do you mean? I don't know.” Let's just solve the problem. Right?
“Let's like, do the thing. Let's tap this thing out. What are we doing? Yeah. Like, come on.”
And like, just to reiterate, I mean, I tried all the things. I did traditional talk therapy and medication and breath work and yoga meditation, all of it.
All of those things have value, by the way, and, and have their place. I often joke that my clients are the type where if therapists gave out grades, we would get an A plus.
Oh my God, Tracy, that is the funniest thing. I actually have a meme that someone sent to me, and they were like, “Erin, you need to put this on your wall,” 'cause that is me to a tee.
I would be like, “I’m the best therapy student here. Check!”
Yeah, and the thing is, we are brilliant. Lawyers are so good at seeing different perspectives, making those cognitive shifts. So if we were able to do that with our conscious mind, we would just do it. It would be so easy as anyone could do it with just the power of your conscious mind, it would be us.
And so a lot of times people will go through therapy, and they'll say all the right things, and they'll make all the cognitive shifts, and their therapist is like, “You're so self aware, you're so insightful,” and we're like, “Yes, I'm winning at therapy.” And then we still feel this disconnect. Or maybe we feel a little better for a while, but the problem comes back.
And it's because if your body never gets the message that it's safe, all the positive affirmations and cognitive shifts and reasoning and logic in the world will not solve the problem, right?
Right, you have to move that energy out. When that energy is in there, it's released. What you have inside is what it comes out and that's what ends up cycling back into your life. That's how the burnout cycle continues.
You have to release that energy from your nervous system to be able to work that out and clear the channels in the pathways.
Okay. This is so great. So you said a little bit about how people can work with you. Tell us a little bit more about your Bar and Beyond program. I love that you're working with law students and recent law grads. Tell me about that work a little bit.
‘Cause I think. We're probably maybe some of this demographic, it has been practicing for a few years, but I also think that it's so important for women like us to have a mission for empowering women in the law to look at this generation who is coming up behind us and helping them do things differently, even in a small way.
So talk to me about your work with the younger crowd, as I’ll put it.
I realized that the six months or so period from graduation to getting bar results, which at least in California, you know, you take the exam in July, you don't get results till November - that six month period, here anyway, are some of the most stressful months of our lives.
We have the stress and excitement of graduation. We go immediately into bar prep, taking the exam itself, which there's very little out there as far as the physical, emotional, mental, even spiritual preparation for the exam, right? It's all focused on the substance. But there's very little about the mental health and self care that's needed for that, that endeavor.
And then there's virtually no aftercare. They're like, “Great, you did it, you're done, try to relax for a little bit before you start your job.” If you're lucky enough to have an offer straight out of school, if not, maybe you're still doing a job search, which is stressful. Maybe throw a long distance move in there, or um, a wedding that you've been postponing.
Then you start your job. There's never a meaningful break, and then you get your results. Hopefully it's the result you wanted. Sometimes it's not. Either way, those six months are just a critical time where I think a lot of extra support is needed so that that stress doesn't just bleed over into the rest of your professional career.
And to teach these techniques early on as, I mean, in my opinion, this should be taught in every law school. Probably not gonna happen, so I'll just bring it to as many people as I can.
But just learning this technique, and I'm sure you'll agree, having done it yourself, will set you up. This will be a game-changing tool for you to be your very best and healthiest version of yourself to do this important work.
I mean, I'm telling you, studying for the bar and the months after the bar exam were probably the most unhealthy I've ever been in my life. From a physical and emotional standpoint, I wasn't eating. I was drinking too much. It was awful. I was not mentally okay.
And then went straight on into a job just like that, and never even just was like, “Oh, that's the way it is.” Again, this is why community is so important and why I'm so glad that there's women like you and I, and all of these other female lawyer voices who are speaking up, who are saying, “Hey, I felt like that too,” but at the time, I had nobody. And then you've just got all these guys who are like, “Oh yeah, that's cool.”
You know, all the dudes are, “Oh, we're just fine and everyone's fine. Just suck it up. This is how it is.” Those were some of the most stressful months.
And I just think that that is a real gift that you are giving these students to be able to have a modality just to, God, even before an exam, just to be able to tap before you go into an exam instead of throwing up, that would be awesome.
Exactly. And yeah, thank you for mentioning that. I also offer extremely discounted rates for anyone who's a 1L or 2L, you know, maybe they're not ready for the bar and Beyond program, which is usually someone in their third year, but I want this to be accessible to everyone, including students.
And so this fall, I'll be launching the program for any February bar takers. And then next year, we'll do another round for July.
Oh, that's so great, Tracy. I am so glad you were here. If you are listening to this and you are a baby lawyer, or if you know someone who's going into law school, make sure they get in touch with Tracy and learn this technique just as an added tool in their tool belt when they go through this very stressful experience.
They are obviously very smart and capable or they would not have gotten into law school in the first place, but every little bit helps in this exceptionally competitive and stressful environment.
Okay so, before we leave, I always ask two questions, but before I ask my two questions, I tell the audience how they can work with you. We've kind of skirted around all that, but I'll let you wrap it up in a pretty little bow of where they can find you to work with you.
Absolutely. My website is tapoutburnout.com. And I'm also on LinkedIn, Instagram. You can find me there. Shoot me a message. I'd love to talk to you.
Awesome. That's how we connected, LinkedIn. Y'all know that's - I preach it all the time. I have met some of the most incredible women, every guest you've ever heard on this podcast. I've made a connection through LinkedIn, and then we've just gotten on the phone and became friends and just see how we can help each other in life and in law.
And so what a beautiful symbiotic relationship. This is so great. Okay. Two questions before we get out of here.
All right, Ms. Tracy, what is your superpower?
That is such a good question. It would be the ability to see people as the highest and best version of themselves, even when they cannot yet see that version of themselves.
And I can see that in you. And that's why you're so gifted in this work. And that's why lawyers need you. And we need you. That's beautiful. Thank you. What is one thing that you would tell baby Tracy lawyer today? What's one thing you would tell the younger lawyer version of yourself?
Oh my god, I feel like I want to cry. You're allowed to change your mind. And it's okay to make a change if something isn't working for you. You don't have to be so tough and so brave and be miserable. It's okay to change your mind. And it's allowed to be easy.
That's so good. It is. That's why I say all the time there are lots of ways to practice law differently. And it's about finding the community and the connection and the network of people that can help you get there. But you're not alone in this world and you certainly don't have to strong arm it over the finish line. That's for sure.
But Tracy, this was such an amazing conversation. So information-packed. I am tickled to death for our audience to hear this.
If you would like to get in touch with Tracy, I'll have all of her information in the show notes. Tracy, thank you so much for joining us and I will see you guys next week. All you powerhouses and remember, share this with a friend, leave a comment or a review and thanks so much for joining us. See you next week.
Thank you, Erin.