Who are you? A lawyer or so much more?

Who are you?

A seemingly innocuous question.

“Hi. I’m Alicia. And I’m a lawyer.”

I am a lawyer. And that is it. Nothing else to let anyone know who we truly are. Besides our professional title.

Where are our other identifiers?

Our identity as a lawyer

Is our whole identity just that – a lawyer? Does that really describe who we are at the core? Where did all the rest of our personality, interests and roles in the world disappear to? And why do we choose our professional title as our soul identifier?

Perhaps it is society’s interpretation of the title of “lawyer”? Being a lawyer seems to signify to the world that we slot into a respectable bubble. Without the need for further explanation or introduction. People assume that we are wealthy, have a big home, go on holiday to exotic locations. That we are intelligent, hardworking or more accurately, workaholics, who bring home big salaries and have no social lives outside of the office. Stereotypical. Sometimes unfair. And we are expected to act in this scripted behavior pattern. Even if it is not us.

But in a lot of instances, saying that we are lawyers can be comforting – we work hard for the title, for the recognition. For the respect. We have earned our “stars and stripes”. Even if the perception of “who a lawyer is” is not entirely accurate. Or fair.

Aren’t we more than just “lawyers”?

And how does this limited definition of who we are affect us – by solely identifying ourselves as lawyers? What do we lose as a result? What does this persona prevent us from being? From doing? It is limiting. Unfairly so. Because we are so much more than just lawyers. We are more than our titles and our jobs. We are multifaceted human beings with varying interests and hobbies.

Who we are extends beyond how we earn our living. Even if we love how we do it.

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