For Individuals

As an executive coach, Catherine works with lawyers on issues that present a problem, opportunity, or challenge. Catherine will listen and ask questions designed to help her clients move forward with their career. The issue to be resolved is up to each lawyer, but is entirely focused on their business career.

In individual attorney coaching, clients often absorb the cost of coaching, as they may not want their employer to know that they are receiving services. There are a myriad of reasons why a lawyer seeks this kind of “confidential” coaching, such as:

  • The lawyer is having difficulty relating to colleagues.
  • The lawyer has been approached about a position in another organization either directly or through a recruiter and needs help navigating the search process.
  • The lawyer struggles with making presentations at meetings.

The length of the coaching relationship is often about five or six sessions. It may be longer or shorter, based on the needs of the particular client.

If you are an individual attorney striving to excel in your current position or seeking to advance to a new one, attorney coaching can help you take the next step. Contact Catherine Nathan to schedule a consultation.

Coaching v. Consulting

Catherine Nathan offers both coaching and consulting services, and is often asked: What is the difference between coaching and consulting?

Coaching: The coach stands with the client and helps them develop insights, but it is the client who is responsible for achieving identified goals. Giving advice may be a part of coaching, but advice is offered sparingly. Coaching can be of any duration, but is typically a longer process than consulting.

Consulting: Consulting focuses on specific problems and their resolution. A consultant stands back, evaluates, and then advises the client. Consulting is usually of shorter duration than coaching.

Often, clients present issues that cannot be easily categorized as either a coaching or consulting request. Catherine works with each client with a focus on their individual needs, rather than emphasizing a label. She offers advice if that is what the client wants, even if she is working with them as a coach. If a client has a short-term request and primarily seeks advice, Catherine will work with them as a consultant.

A client may seek Catherine’s advice for short-term consulting and realize that they could benefit from a longer-term coaching relationship, or may pursue coaching only to realize that targeted consulting services are enough to enable them to move forward. Whatever a client’s unique needs, Catherine offers effective, efficient services to help each client achieve their goals.

To learn more about coaching and consulting, and which services might be best for you, please contact Catherine Nathan to schedule a complimentary consultation.


Following are some examples of coaching situations which might be helpful to attorneys who are considering hiring Catherine as a coach. In each example, either the general counsel or the organization is not receptive to coaching, or the individual lawyer prefers to maintain confidentiality with respect to the coaching relationship.

“I have a problem to solve.”

Problem: An in-house attorney has been told by his general counsel that others in the department are complaining about his argumentative behavior in meetings. He is confused by the feedback, because he is one of the most productive attorneys in the department. The GC is not a big fan of coaching and expects the lawyer to figure it out by himself. Catherine helps him understand the problem, consider alternative behaviors, develop a plan for improvement, and holds him to specific goals.

Problem: Catherine’s client is a general counsel of a start-up. The CEO is the founder and largest shareholder of the company, and demands answers in a fast-paced environment. The general counsel often gets into arguments with the CEO which is affecting the GC’s ability to perform up to the CEO’s expectations. Catherine will work with the GC on how to adjust her behavior so that her interactions with the CEO are more productive.

Problem: Catherine’s client realizes that he is not going to move up in his company and decides to leave. Catherine will help him understand what employment options are realistic for his career level, explain how the search process works, give him resume advice, and help him develop a strong, positive statement on both why he seeks to switch jobs and why he would be a good fit for a specific position.

“I have an opportunity to consider.”

Opportunity: There is an opening in the legal department and Catherine’s client has been told that he is under consideration for promotion. Catherine will work with him to maximize his chances for success.

Opportunity: Catherine’s client wants to leave her company and has been approached about another company. She likes the new company but is unsure about the specific position and if it will enhance her career. Catherine will help her figure out what she is truly looking for and if the new position will further her career.

Opportunity: Catherine’s client is a senior law firm partner who is starting to think about the next phase of his career. He has a long-held interest in philanthropy, and will soon be in the financial position to consider a legal position in a major charity. He knows little about working in a nonprofit and seeks guidance on how to evaluate nonprofit opportunities. Catherine will give him an overview of how to go about searching for positions in a nonprofit and what it will take to actually get such a position.

“I have a challenge to overcome.”

Challenge: Catherine’s client has been asked to take on a project way outside her comfort zone. She understands that successfully completing the project will help her career but is very anxious about her ability to deal with the myriad of issues the project presents. Catherine will work with her to allay her fears and bring discipline to her evaluation of the project.

Challenge: Catherine’s client has recently been promoted to the general counsel position. She gets along well with the lawyers in the department but has limited managerial experience. Catherine will work with her to develop the skills necessary to succeed as a manager.

Whether you are looking to take the next step in your legal career or trying to excel in your current position, attorney coaching can give you the insight and inspiration you need. Contact Catherine Nathan to schedule a consultation.


Consulting is typically more directed and short-term in nature than coaching. Clients who need a lawyer consultant often need specific advice whether they are working in a corporation or in a law firm. Because of Catherine’s unique training as a lawyer, executive recruiter, and executive coach, she can quickly understand and evaluate the situation whether they are seeking a new position or need to resolve issues in their current role.

Moving to a New Position

Given her background as a former executive search consultant, clients often seek Catherine’s advice on how to secure their next position. She regularly helps lawyers, both in-house and in law firms, position themselves for their next opportunity. Services include advising on:

  • Resume preparation
  • Developing networking skills
  • How to approach recruiters, and the difference between legal recruiters and executive recruiters
  • Timing of a job search
  • Interviewing skills
  • Negotiating an offer
    • Understanding relocation policies
    • Reviewing healthcare benefits
    • Specifying family considerations including employment opportunities for spouse/significant other and schooling for children

Specific Consulting Services

Consulting engagements can also include issues that need immediate or near-term decisions. Examples of services include:

  • An immediate management issue as the general counsel
  • Navigating a job offer or termination
  • A request by senior management to move internationally
  • The need to resolve an immediate dispute between two members of the legal department or between a lawyer and a member of the business team
  • An issue with outside counsel
  • Problems with law firm partners or associates

Many challenging issues can be more easily resolved with the guidance of an experienced, objective consultant. To learn more about how you may be able to benefit from consulting services, contact Catherine Nathan.