I am so out of my comfort zone right now its not even funny. For 40 years I’ve practiced law (I started at age 12…) within a set of rules and boundaries. Although we all know that the law is often based on interpretation, there is generally a well-worn path to follow, be it a straight line or one filled with potholes.
I never considered myself a lawyer’s lawyer, one that went to Bar Association functions, knew every court of appeal ruling and thrived on talking legalese with other attorneys. Rather, I have always been a people person, interested in the stories and problems of my clients, looking for the quickest way to a solution, where everyone leaves the table feeling like a winner. Justice and fairness have always been important to me.
Lady Justice is blindfolded to show impartiality, holding scales to show equal opportunity and a sword for quick resolution. Growing up in my father’s world of international business I often witnessed injustice in impoverished nations. Poverty leads to lack of education and with lack of education comes an unequal playing field. Unequal playing fields lead to “have and have not” politics and a lack of general distrust by all. Without trust and empathy, there can be no coming together, no collective wisdom, no resolutions.
Out of sheer boredom, I have moved in and out of the legal fray over the years. I would go off on a great adventure and come home to the stability of something I knew well. None of us were born to do one thing for our entire life and if you have, you should probably ask yourself why. Are you growing? Are you still stimulated and inspired? If you automatically answer yes, do you ever stop to ask yourself why and how?
I have always had this knack for taking massive amounts of information and distilling it to a common denominator, for creating clarity out of chaos. Over the years I have created legal departments for companies, women’s business networking organizations and a nonprofit that supports women in many countries through microfinance. Looking back, we moved so many times as a child (five times in four years) that I had to learn the lay of the land, make connections and figure out how to navigate each new situation quickly.
Now I’m paid to help other people do the same. We figure out their value propositions, how they show up online and offline, what their interests are, who their tribes are and how they can make the most impact. I do this in the name of justice with the hope that collectively, we will even the playing field together, each of us doing work that supports us both emotionally and financially.
I am being called to do this on a full time basis, to leave the trappings and boundaries of the law behind and to adventure into the world of teaching, mentoring and training others to find their place in the world of social innovation. It’s a world I know well and one I am deeply committed too. But, it can be scary to move on and to step in to a new pair of shoes away from the ones that are well worn, though old.
People who see my vision for a better way are joining me daily and my tribe of Solutionaries is expanding and growing. I am comforted by the knowledge that despite the friction and what seems like madness out there, there are many of us that hold the light up for others. Your support and care mean a lot to me and the other’s in our community and, we welcome all adventurers.
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All rights reserved – Linda Lattimore