Many CWBA members will know Miranda Hawkins as an accomplished small firm owner and estate planning practitioner, as well as 2020-2021 CWBA Past President. Now, Miranda is embarking on a new adventure in her career, starting a professional coaching practice. The inspiration for this move came from Miranda’s personal passion to see women succeed professionally and personally, her own work with a coach, and her experience with the CWBA.
Years ago, when she sought the advice of a professional coach, her coach asked her, “What are you tolerating in your life?” Although she didn’t think of herself as someone who tolerated much of anything, she realized that she was navigating many transitions at once. She was adjusting to life as a single mom, feeling the pressure of billable hours and business development expectations, and struggling to find her voice as a new partner at her firm. While wrestling with working mom guilt, she was thinking of running for CWBA President. According to Miranda, the thought of being CWBA President “was the one thing that lit me up every single time I thought about it.” However, she could not see a clear path forward and was getting in her own way. Her coach helped her see things in a different light and approach situations with curiosity. With a coach, she took on these transitions and felt she had someone in her corner.
As CWBA President navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, she started the popular “On What Grounds?” forum, where attendees shared personal stories about hard topics, including imposter syndrome, mental health, career transition, professional confidence, goal setting, resilience, and value-centered leadership. It struck her that women at all levels are willing to share and are open to resources. It became clear that she was going to pursue a career in professional coaching (in addition to her law practice). It was the place where her passion and a need intersected.
To prepare to become a coach, Miranda attended one of the top global coaching schools, the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. She took part in an intensive year-long program that included 90 hours in class, 60 hours of practice, and 30 hours of self-study. Miranda describes it as a profound training experience that was life changing. She completed her certification in June 2023 and launched her practice, Miranda K. Hawkins Coaching, in July.
Miranda’s coaching focuses on supporting women attorneys in transition, though she is open to potentially adding other clients in the future. She partners with women attorneys to move from where they are to where they want to be, and thrive in the process. Miranda acknowledges that change — often around career, starting a business, changing practices, or balancing family — can be scary. She is helping women who are at a crossroads in their careers, or simply need additional support navigating work and life.
Miranda offers both one-on-one coaching and group sessions. When a client first comes to her, Miranda schedules an initial meeting to explain the coaching process. She and the client discuss what coaching is and is not. Miranda clarifies that coaching is not therapy. It is also different than mentorship as it is not based on the mentor’s past experience. Coaching is a partnership, and the client sets the agenda for each session. She partners with her client to create an outcome for each session so the client feels they are moving closer to achieving their goals. Miranda’s coaching process has three steps: clarifying the client’s core values and what the client really wants, shifting the client’s mindset (challenging the client to let go of limiting beliefs), and designing a path forward. Those interested in learning more can visit her website, www.mirandakhawkins.com.
For Miranda, the most fulfilling part of coaching is when she can see a client have a shift in mindset or recognize a particular limiting belief that has been holding them back. It’s that “aha moment.” For Miranda personally, being coached and becoming a coach have made her a better mom, partner, and attorney. Through coaching, she learned to be fully present and to approach situations and conversations with curiosity and without judgement.
In the beginning, the most challenging aspect of starting her new practice was thinking about how to balance coaching in addition to having a law practice. Miranda is quick to note that she is not retiring from the practice of law. However, she has been able to carve out time for coaching and is taking a limited number of coaching clients at a time. Miranda finds that coaching is actually an excellent complement to her estate planning practice. As an attorney, she partners with clients to plan for some of life’s most difficult situations. Similarly, as a coach, she partners with clients to find clarity and a path forward during some of life’s biggest transitions.
The CWBA has always been influential in Miranda’s career. She cites serving as CWBA President as the professional accomplishment she is most proud of. She is particularly proud of starting “On What Grounds?” as a space for CWBA members to connect and share their experiences.
Outside of her busy estate planning practice and her new professional coaching practice, Miranda loves spending time with her two middle-school children, Holden and Margot, and her fiancé, Sean. She also enjoys travel and recently visited Tofino, Canada in the Pacific Northwest, where she enjoyed sea kayaking and hiking in rainforests.
Kate Noble is a CWBA Publications Committee member and a legal editor with Colorado Bar Association CLE, the nonprofit educational arm of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations.