The Coaching Process
Consulting clients consistently comment on my ability to engage and connect with people at all levels in the corporate hierarchy. I take a direct, caring, pragmatic approach to problems. I will not hesitate to speak up when I think that I am not the right person for a client engagement. As a coach, my focus is always on challenging clients to achieve a rewarding and sustainable professional life for themselves, and those that they lead. I adhere to the International Coaching Federation Code of Ethics that includes clear guidelines on transparency and confidentiality.
I studied law at the University of Toronto, and practised labour and employment law at corporate firms in Canada and Australia for eight years. In 2002, I began serving clients in a new way: first as a professional development leader in a global law firm, and since 2007, as an independent consultant, facilitator and professional coach. I received my Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University, and am a certified member of the International Coaching Federation.
I am often invited to speak about lawyers’ professional development at conferences hosted by organizations like the Canadian Bar Association and the National Association for Law Placement.
Effortless Schmoozing: A Lawyer’s Guide to Authentic Networking (CBA Solutions Series)
Canadian Bar Association Webinar
Controlling Your Time Trolls
Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Legal Conference
Ottawa, August 2016
Down and Up the Ramp: Maternity Leave Coaching for Lawyers
National Association for Law Placement (NALP) Annual Education Conference
Boston, April 2016
Productivity is the Key
CBA Leadership Conference for Professional Women
Vancouver, November 2015
A Quiet Diversity: Supporting and Learning From Our Introverted Majority
NALP Annual Education Conference
Chicago, April 2015
Peas in the Mac & Cheese: Boosting Your Mentoring Culture
NALP Annual Education Conference
Chicago, April 2015
Mentoring For the Rest of Us
Professional Women's Network
Recent speaking invitations
A professional coach, facilitator, and practice consultant serving lawyers and other professionals in the public and private sectors.
I bring over 20 years of experience: first as a corporate lawyer in Canada and Australia, and now in service to those with ambitions for a rewarding, sustainable professional life.
BA (Hons), JD, CEC
Professional Coach &
Andrea Verwey, a certified executive coach, facilitator, and former lawyer.
I help people re-kindle their love for what they do. I help individuals and teams build their leadership and communication skills. And I help organizations tap into their vision and values as a way to engage their people.
As a certified executive coach, I work with lawyers and executives who are seeking clarity about their career path or are wanting to achieve specific goals. My clients are at all stages of transition. They include people who are:
High performers and/or “stuck” performers seeking clarity about their career path
Preparing for partnership, or getting comfortable in a leadership role
Preparing for and returning from maternity leave
Laid off and preparing for new opportunities, or navigating the path to retirement
Seeking greater confidence in developing business, managing clients, or leading people
Ready to shed work habits that are affecting their productivity
I also work with new and established teams wanting to take their collaborations to the next level.
I deliver workshops on practice management, leadership skills, and communication. None of them are “off the shelf”.
Over the last 15 years, I have created a library of popular workshops that I can customize for clients—e.g. Communicating With Influence, Controlling the Time Trolls, Schmooze 101, Making the Most of Your Mentoring Relationship, A Delegation Primer, Before You Hit Send: Emailing With Impact.
I also love creating new workshops to meet clients’ needs. In every case, I encourage participants to take an active ownership of their learning, and offer creative ways to make learning stick beyond the classroom.
Working with corporate and not-for-profit leaders, I facilitate strategic planning sessions that put the client participants front and centre as content experts. I help them get to the heart of their vision and purpose, and design strategies and action plans to reflect them.
I also act as a talent management “gun for hire”. Clients engage me to take charge of, or support, a variety of initiatives, including:
Creating or revitalizing mentoring programs, or curricula for practice areas or seniority levels
Overseeing performance reviews and annual business planning processes
For small and medium sized clients, providing talent management support on retainer
This consulting work requires a deep level of trust, so I would be delighted to connect you with appropriate client references ahead of any engagement.
As a Certified Executive Coach, I don’t tell you what to do.
I support you as you figure out what to do, plugging into your own expertise and energy to make the changes you desire.
Coaching typically begins with a conversation to assess your opportunities and challenges, talk about what a coaching relationship might look like, and assess fit.
If you decide to engage me, we will work to identify priorities for action, set desired outcomes, and agree on how best to work together.
Clients most commonly schedule fortnightly sessions, which gives enough time to implement agreed actions but not so much as to allow for “drift”. Others choose a more accelerated or leisurely pace.
Subsequent coaching sessions are conducted over the telephone or (for Vancouver clients) in person, with sessions usually lasting 60 minutes.
The duration of the coaching relationship varies depending on what you need and prefer. Some clients get what they need from four sessions; others continue for six months or more
Special Coaching Offerings
Maternity Leave Coaching
As a former lawyer and working mother running my own business, I understand how important it is to support a woman’s transition to and from maternity leave. Maternity coaching helps build the resilience needed to get through the changing landscape of a new parent’s work and personal lives.
Maternity coaching also supports diversity and helps legal employers retain talented lawyers. It helps smooth the way to maximum productivity. And it helps avoid the common struggle faced by returning mothers to make it all work – a struggle that can result in opting out for greater flexibility or because it is simply “all too hard”. I work with maternity coachees over three distinct stages.
I offer an outplacement coaching package for lawyers affected by redundancy. I typically work with lawyers in this position for a flat fee over a 3-6 month period, moving through three distinct stages.
This form of transition coaching provides a departing lawyer with moral support in a safe and confidential context. I work to assist them as they regain self-confidence, build self-awareness, and prepare to head out with their best foot forward.
1. Before Maternity Leave
Planning a smooth transition into maternity leave that usually includes a short-term business plan. This allows the lawyer to leave work feeling organized, relaxed and ready to concentrate on her baby.
2. During Maternity Leave
Planning for a return to work, including: (1) getting arrangements in place at home to ease a smooth transition; (2) reassessing the business plan; and (3) communicating with work and clients about the return-to-work arrangements.
3. Returning from Maternity Leave
Supporting the lawyer’s return to work and confident transition back to sustainable productivity.
1. Taking Stock
Addressing the emotional aspects of the situation, planning for a good departure, exploring strengths, values, and career aims
2. Building a Portfolio
Developing current and compelling profile material, from the resume to references and harnessing LinkedIn
3. Looking for Opportunities
Networking, preparing for interviews and learning from feedback, persevering through ups and downs
"Andrea’s time in the trenches shows, and gives her a credibility that many experts lack when it comes to the peculiarities of law firm practice."
Senior lawyer, Vancouver office
of a national law firm
"Andrea is an excellent communicator -- decisive and insightful. When it comes to leadership and the legal industry, she is experienced and helpful. More generally, she is invaluable to anyone seeking focus and returning to key values. I highly recommend her."
A Vancouver corporate and commercial
solicitor with over 12 years’ experience