Diversity Consulting and Coaching for Women
Betsy Munnell offers law firms and affinity groups a meaningful way to sustain the strategic management and cultural changes initiated by firm-wide diversity and inclusion training programs, through intensive career and business development “follow-up” coaching for women and lawyers of color. Betsy’s diversity and inclusion coaching programs address relationship building strategies, self-promotion within the law firm, time management, social media and competitive intelligence, leadership and executive presence and “trusted advisor” practices.
Women’s Coaching Program
Betsy offers blended group and individual coaching for women lawyers close in age or years of experience, within a single law firm or drawn from several firms. This program, which can be tailored according to the group’s needs, objectives and budget, is composed of alternating group and individual sessions, with between-meeting personal check-in calls and emails to maintain momentum and assure accountability and sustained support.
The Women’s Coaching Program explores selected core topics in depth, while also providing the confidential, bespoke coaching experience most likely to yield measurable results. As she does in her one-on-one coaching, Betsy digs deep to assure that her guidance and advice, as well as the tenor and content of both group and individual meetings, is informed by a professionally intimate understanding of each lawyer’s career goals, practice group, institutional team and niche (if any), important internal relationships, existing and potential revenue sources, strengths and challenges and style of communications.
Commitment to Change
Betsy consults to lawyers, management and senior administrative staff in structuring and implementing firm-wide women’s initiatives and business development programs attuned to the needs of all diversity constituents. Based on the disappointing results of a decade of diversity efforts, Betsy advocates intensive training in business and financial skills and business generation, particularly for associates who may otherwise advance to junior partnership ill equipped to manage critical client relationships or originate firm revenue.
Breaking New Ground
Betsy believes unreservedly that associates in all practice groups require a business education sufficient to allow them to understand their clients and their businesses and the non-legal challenges they face, in each case as early in their careers as possible. The groups who stand to gain the most from this type of training (available only in a very few firms) are women and minority lawyers, who–practically speaking–may have as little as three to six months within which to establish the reputation for excellence and interpersonal maturity required to secure the best work and assure the firm’s commitment to their advancement.
In addition, she recommends supplementing formal mentoring with institutionalized sponsorship programs designed to help the top producers deploy their rich political and business capital more equitably and more profitably. “Sponsorship”, she observes, “is the most meaningful way of supporting mid-level and senior associates up to, and through, the challenging first few years of partnership, when the safety net, if any, is gone, and generating business is paramount.”
Betsy was one of the chief architects of her firm’s first diversity program, chairing the Edwards & Angell diversity committee in Boston and playing a critical role in the firm-wide committee at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. She chaired EAPD’s highly regarded Women’s Initiative, through which she co-founded the Firm’s first peer mentoring program, organized annual retreats and created a business development curriculum offering practical skills training to the Firm’s women attorneys.
In addition to her activities within the Firm, Betsy was very active in the broader diversity community. As a coach and consultant she remains committed to working with other lawyers and legal professionals to develop strategies for improving recruiting, retention and advancement of women and lawyers of color in law firms of all sizes and in the judiciary.
From a Participant in the New Women’s Coaching Program:
“I participated in Betsy’s Women’s Coaching Program in Summer 2016. I had found myself at a transition point in my legal career. I had a small and growing practice, but was not yet managing a large practice or a lot of clients. I sought advice from Betsy with the goal of growing my practice, improving my skills, building confidence, excelling at client management, and more. Betsy definitely offered great advice! I was part of a group of five women attorneys (two large firm senior associates and three from small firms), all of whom were at a similar stage in their careers. In the group sessions, Betsy advised us about business generation (including social media marketing), skill building, law firm politics, and client management. We also spent a lot of time discussing by phone my individual situation and goals for the future. It was all time well spent! I approached several different professionals before settling on Betsy and there are a few things that set Betsy apart from others in my mind. She really practiced law for an extended period of time, and she enjoyed doing so. She offered advice and assistance in an incredibly supportive, yet serious, manner. She truly believes that women can and should succeed as lawyers, even those of us with significant family obligations, and is committed to helping us to do so. I highly recommend Betsy for group and/or individualized coaching, especially for women attorneys at all career stages.”
Rachel Ziegler, Associate, Kaiser Law Group