Heidi K. Brown | The Flourishing Lawyer: Achieve Optimal Performance AND Well-Being

Heidi K. BrownHeidi K. Brown is the Associate Dean for Upper Level Writing at the New York Law School and a former litigator in the construction industry. As a University of Virginia School of Law graduate, she earned her master’s degree in applied positive psychology in 2021. Heidi is an internationally recognized speaker and the author of three books about lawyer and law student well-being, including The Introverted Lawyer, Untangling Fear in Lawyering, and The Flourishing Lawyer.

Having struggled with performance anxiety as a law student, attorney, and new law professor, Heidi untangled her fears and embraced authenticity as a powerful asset in teaching and practicing law. She advocates for openly discussing stressors, anxieties, and fears in the legal profession.

Heidi has garnered several awards for her work, including recognition for outstanding contributions to well-being and legal education from the Association of American Law School’s section on balancing well-being and legal education. She helps quiet and anxious law students and lawyers harness individual strengths to become advocates for work and achieve optimal performance and well-being.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Heidi K. Brown’s inspiration for writing about law student and lawyer well-being
  • The difference between introversion and shyness
  • How Heidi developed a public speaking persona
  • Why lawyers should overcome performance anxiety
  • How law firm leaders can promote optimal performance
  • Executing an authentic performance
  • Heidi shares key takeaways from her books

In this episode…

When facing public speaking anxiety and other stressors, lawyers and law students are often told to fake it until they make it or simply conquer their fears. Yet this advice is futile for introverts who rely on quiet spaces to recharge. How can lawyers (whether or not they are introverts) overcome these anxieties by leveraging their authentic personas, and how can law firm leaders support this practice?

Having wrestled with introversion, social anxiety, and shyness, legal well-being advocate Heidi K. Brown struggled to overcome deeply embedded fears of judgment and criticism that caused her to shut down. After researching these widespread experiences, she learned that while these lawyers often can’t perform in the same manner as their extroverted counterparts, they can harness unique skills through legal writing and creative problem-solving to gain confidence and execute their authentic selves. This requires deconstructing fears by identifying their physical manifestations. When law firm leaders encourage creativity and authenticity, they benefit from optimal performance, potential, and intelligence.

In today’s episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman interviews Heidi K. Brown, a prolific author on how lawyers thrive and the Associate Dean for Upper Level Writing at the New York Law School, about promoting lawyer and law students’ performance and well-being. Heidi describes the difference between introversion and shyness, how she honed an authentic public speaking persona, and notable takeaways from her books.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

Today’s episode is brought to you by the Ignite Women’s Business Development Accelerator.

Ignite is an 8-month business development program created by women lawyers for women lawyers.

Ignite is not just a one-off seminar or a series of seminars. It’s a carefully designed business development program containing content coaching and a community of like-minded women who are committed to becoming rainmakers and supporting the retention and advancement of other women in the profession.

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