Adam Carvalho, our coach:
I am a coach for lawyers. I am a member of the International Coaching Federation and I am also an ICF Accredited Certified Coach.
What is coaching?
Coaching is about working towards personal and professional development. It is not about the coach telling the client what to do; instead, it is about the coach and the client working through issues together in a way that leads to positive and lasting changes.
Coaching differs slightly from therapy in that coaches tend not to focus primarily on the past. The past can be relevant, but the main focus is on the present situation and the future direction of travel.
The work I do
I work on a one-to-one basis with lawyers. I have put some details of the types of coaching that I provide and how this works in practice below.
I work for a number of law firms to provide regular coaching to their lawyers (and, sometimes, support staff).
I provide training to legal organisations which seeks to pull together theory and insights from sessions in a practical and insightful way.
I had a decade and a half working as an associate and latterly a partner at Farrer & Co in the litigation team, with an emphasis on high value, complex and often multi-jurisdictional private wealth disputes.
I enjoyed working as a lawyer hugely, but I also had a real interest in working with individuals to help them deal with issues and move forward with their goals.
As we started to explore the idea of me joining with Annmarie at the Consultancy, I knew I wanted to take a chance and try this other career.
The type of coaching I provide
Coaching can be very effective in helping clients to explore issues they are facing and then empowering change.
Especially when we are busy, we tend to get stuck with issues and feel overwhelmed and out of our depth. Clients say, after initial work together, that they have a lot more perspective and greater feelings of control over their circumstances.
Because of my history in law, I understand the pressures and stresses of the career.
Now, working exclusively with lawyers, I see the same issues come up again and again and I see the ways that people are able to move forward and transform their perspectives and ways of dealing with issues which are causing them stress.
Please see below for the types of areas I often work in with lawyers.
I also provide therapeutic coaching. I am a foundational therapist and where necessary I combine therapeutic and coaching tools and approaches. This can be useful for clients dealing with conflict or stressful workloads.
In addition to my ICF accreditation, I am trained in the Time to Think approach to coaching developed by Nancy Kline and in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) coaching. These can be very useful in unlocking specific issues.
Types of areas where I work with lawyers
- Coaching for junior lawyers. During my time at Farrers I mentored and supervised a number of junior lawyers. Since moving into coaching, I have worked with a large number of junior lawyers on issues such as confidence, finding the right level of autonomy and supervision, establishing a sense of direction, dealing with anxiety and impostor syndrome and finding a way to switch off. I can offer not only coaching experience but also actual experience of moving up through the ranks of a firm and insight into what partners and supervisors need from juniors.
- Coaching for associates. I find that by the time clients have established themselves in a practice, other questions tend to arise: ‘Do I want to be a partner?’, ‘How am I going to work in law to a high standard and develop my practice while also having a family, social and personal life?’, ‘I want to deal with the pressure of work and my own and others’ emotions and stresses in a way that has less impact on my life’. I work with associates to find more direction, control, clarity and enthusiasm and some ability to manage the demands of the job while enjoying life.
- Coaching for partners. I have worked with a number of partners to help them work towards establishing the type of practice and team that they want – how to juggle personal work and targets with other responsibilities and building a team, how to both lead and manage, how to navigate wider dynamics. Often, this can involve looking at mindsets and values, and sometimes questions around meaning, and issues such as how to balance kids, parents, friends and health with ambitions and obligations at work.
- Coaching for performance issues . Lots of clients have worries such as: ‘My hours are not what is expected, or what I want’, ‘I find business development or social media painful’ or ‘I want to become more visible, or show more of my personality, but I can’t work out how’. I can provide a mixture of coaching and mentoring in this area as appropriate to help work on specific issues – often, alongside bigger picture things.
- Where am I going? A number of clients have reached a point where they feel something needs to change but they are unsure what to change and they feel generally stuck. I enjoy helping people find clarity about where they are heading and how to get there – whether that is staying in the same place but with a new focus or approach or making a move.
- Introverts and intuitive in law. Many lawyers tend to be quite ‘common sense’ and extroverted, but there is also a large number who are introverts and/or intuitives. I have worked with a number of lawyers in these categories to help them use their unique strengths more effectively in areas which can feel that they are not set up for such personality types.
- Dealing with conflict. Lawyers often don’t relish dealing with conflict even when they are in conflict areas of law. I work with a large number of lawyers in building resilience, an ability to deal with the stresses and emotions of clients and colleagues and hostility and aggression from counter-parties.
How I work
Most sessions are remote but I do also offer in-person sessions.
Sessions are an hour long.
I tend to suggest that potential clients sign up for a half hour introductory chat (see below) and then usually I find that after four to six sessions we will have made significant progress.
Some clients then choose to continue with sessions where, for example, it is useful to have ongoing support – and sometimes fewer sessions are needed to reach a landing. We keep this under review as we progress.
If you are interested, please do book in for a free half hour chat using the link below to see whether coaching would be useful for you.
You can book in online or contact me via email (at email@example.com) to fix a time.
I just wanted to say thank you so much for your support in this process, it has been so valuable for me. The sessions have been able to show me that
there is choice and that is something which I hadn’t seen for a really long time. It’s also helped me to recognise my worth and where adjustments can and should be made to enable me to carry out my work. I wouldn’t have had
the confidence to make the changes had it not been for our time together so, again, thank you so much.
Our conversations were fundamental to me working out what I wanted and turning a happier corner. I still refer to some of the techniques we developed when trying to control my anxious thoughts. I'm extremely grateful and I wanted you to know.
Family Law Solicitor
Adam helped me to unleash my own intuitive thinking to understand what my obvious next steps should be. He enabled me to have the best conversation with myself by gently probing and asking the right questions. At times, I even forgot he was there. I can't recommend him enough. Thank you Adam!
I really enjoyed our sessions and we achieved such a lot in them. I felt that I was stuck and had lost sight of something important, but I wasn’t quite sure what that was. You helped me think about work and life in a way that has left me feeling more free and able to deal with all the challenges. [A particular partner] said in [my appraisal] that he had noticed a change in me.
Private Client Solicitor
Adam helped me in looking at a few important blocks which I have had for years now. He was always very relaxed and we had plenty of laughs but he can also be surprisingly challenging if you need which I definitely did sometimes! It makes a huge difference that he gets exactly what is involved in this area and type of firm.