How Executive Coaching Impacts Your Career feat. Laura Terrell

Laura Terrell discusses the importance of challenging our assumptions and the need to advocate for ourselves. Laura earned her master's degree in law school and worked in the public sector before becoming an executive coach and in-house counsel with a non-profit organization. Listen to Episode 103 as Laura explains her career journey and her insights as a lawyer.


  • How to get out of your comfort zone
  • Ways to transition from public to private sector
  • Tips for finding a challenging career role


  • The value of Joint JD/MA programs
  • How executive coaches encourage professional growth
  • How lawyers can foster a supportive career network


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How Executive Coaching Impacts Your Career feat. Laura Terrell

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How Executive Coaching Impacts Your Career feat. Laura TerrellHow Executive Coaching Impacts Your Career feat. Laura Terrell

About This Episode

Laura Terrell’s Background

Laura’s educational background is a testament to her commitment to understanding the intricacies of the law. She pursued a joint JD/MA program at the University of Virginia, earning a Juris Doctor degree and a Master’s in Government. This combination allowed her to gain a comprehensive understanding of both the legal and policy aspects of government work. Laura’s experience as a political appointee at the Department of Justice and the White House gave her insights into the intersection of law and politics.

Executive Coaching and Lawyers

Laura Terrell became an executive coach because she wants people to explore the value of coaching and mentoring in career development. Laura Terrell discusses her experience working with coaches, finding it helpful to navigate their career paths and determine their next steps. Additionally, Laura expressed a passion for connecting with and guiding others, which they needed more opportunities to do in their previous role. 

"I feel like I am somebody that can partner with and help support someone as they are working to make a change," explains Laura Terrell on the You Are A Lawyer podcast.

Coaching and mentoring allow individuals to receive guidance, advice, and support in their career journeys. Coaching will enable executives to learn from the experiences and insights of others, gaining a fresh perspective on their own goals and aspirations because there are many similarities in high achievers. 

Laura's work as an executive coach focuses on helping lawyers navigate these career transitions. She understands that lawyers often desire to do something different with their lives but may only sometimes know what that looks like. Through her coaching, Laura assists lawyers in exploring their options and finding a path that aligns with their personal and professional goals. Her experiences in business development, promotion within the federal sector, and mentorship make her well-equipped to guide lawyers through these transitions.

After becoming an executive coach, Laura realized mentoring provides accountability and motivation, helping individuals stay focused and committed to their career development. Overall, this episode highlights the benefits of coaching and mentoring in assisting individuals to navigate their career paths and make informed decisions about their professional lives.

"I think finding ones that can help you get to the next level in your skills as a lawyer and as a professional are critical," said Laura Terrell on You Are A Lawyer.

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Lawyers and Comfort Zones

In this episode, the speakers delve into the topic of stepping outside of one's comfort zone as a means to achieve personal and professional growth. Laura and Kyla emphasize the significance of embracing new experiences and challenges, even if they initially feel uncomfortable. By staying within familiar boundaries, individuals can limit their growth potential and miss out on valuable opportunities.

Laura Terrell considered working with an executive coach before becoming one and working with lawyers and other C-suite executives. Laura stresses the importance of embracing discomfort in a rapidly changing world. While it may be tempting to seek comfort and familiarity, they argue that proper growth and adaptation require stepping into the unknown. Laura Terrell encourages listeners to challenge assumptions, ask difficult questions, and remain open to new experiences.

"If you know that you are in a place where a layoff might apply to you, one of my goals is to start working quickly with you to establish and protect yourself as much as possible," explains Laura Terrell on Episode 103 of the You Are A Lawyer podcast.

Overall, this episode underscores the crucial role of stepping outside one's comfort zone for personal and professional growth. By embracing discomfort and taking on new challenges, individuals can expand their skills, knowledge, and network, ultimately leading to more significant opportunities and success.

Drawing from her experiences as in-house counsel for a publicly traded company and a nonprofit organization, Laura Terrell emphasizes the importance of client service and understanding the alignment between legal and business priorities. Laura also challenges the notion of a linear path for lawyers, highlighting the multitude of options available in today's world.

"To be an advocate for yourself, you've also got to be willing to reach beyond your comfort zone to ask some of those questions," shared Laura Terrell on the You Are A Lawyer podcast.

What Can You Do with a Law Degree

Laura further explores different career paths that lawyers can pursue, such as excelling as a litigator in private practice or specializing in a specific area of law as a government lawyer. She expresses her passion for assisting individuals seeking to pivot or explore new opportunities, whether through promotion to partnership, a managerial position, or a federal sector.

Overall, this episode emphasizes that lawyers can apply their skills and knowledge in various ways. It encourages new lawyers and law students to seek roles that challenge them and provide growth opportunities. The episode underscores the importance of remaining open to different career paths and not limiting oneself to a specific trajectory.

Laura Terrell emphasizes the value of culture and company beliefs, business practices, procedures, and organizational hierarchy when looking for a job. Culture is essential in every organization, as Laura explains in her role as in-house counsel with Connect Our Kids, a 501 3C organization focused on foster care and child welfare.

"One of the things I think that most people who are lawyers have in common is they have a desire to really make a difference," shares Laura Terrell in Episode 103 of You Are A Lawyer.

Laura chose the organization because she believes in their aim to build a system that can identify patterns, connections, and relationships within the foster care system to support children and professionals in the field better. By utilizing technology, Connect Our Kids has connected children with potential support networks and reunited them with family members. This technology-driven approach highlights the role of culture in shaping an organization's mission and the impact it can have on the lives of individuals.

"We're going to build a system where we can see patterns. We can see connections. We build so that we can look at every child that's part of this," said Laura Terrell on You Are A Lawyer.

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Contact Laura Terrell

Laura Terrell is licensed to practice law in Washington, D.C., and as in-house counsel in Virginia. Learn more about Laura Terrell:

Connect Our Kids:

Executive coaching:

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