Leila Nosrat is a self-motivated entrepreneur that works to help her clients and law students alike. Leila is an attorney and founder of Nosrat Law, where she helps entrepreneurs through all stages of building and growing a successful business. Leila is also the founder of Bar Prep Mindset, where she helps law students throughout the United States. Additionally, is the producer and host of “Law with Leila”, which gives simple and effective strategies to help law students succeed in school, on the Bar exam, and beyond.
In this Fireside Chat, we speak with Leila about how she built two successful businesses and how current law students can navigate the hardships of school.
How did you transition from being an employee to an entrepreneur?
I’ve always wanted to do my own thing, and I knew that I would start my own firm one way or another—even if that meant that I had to struggle. It’s very scary to go from something stable, like working for someone, to something completely unknown and unpredictable. However, I wanted to be more creative and passionate about my work. I wanted to do things differently. I’ve worked at other law firms, but working for someone else doesn’t give you much freedom to choose how you want to run your practice or what kinds of clients you want to help. A lot of people told me that I would fail and that I could not practice law virtually, but I persisted. There is no single way of doing things; you just need a plan and to be committed. Most of all, you must stay true to yourself.
How did you recruit your first clients?
The first thing was to teach myself how to create websites so that I could make one for myself and to learn online marketing. I remember starting my firm and asking others how they got clients. The answer “word-of-mouth” would bug me, but I learned that it’s true. If you are patient and do good work and the referrals will come to you.
What is a typical day like for you?
Although every day is different, I generally follow this routine: in the morning, I spin for exercise, and then I may have anywhere from 3-5 client meetings. These may be in-person or virtual meetings. When that is done, I will create and tackle a to-do list and set goals for myself to make sure that I am accomplishing things in a reasonable amount of time. Having two businesses requires that I am on top of things.
What were some of the challenges you faced getting to where you are today?
1. Personal interest. When I didn’t feel personally invested in the cases I took on, I faced emotional and mental challenges. People come to you for different types of help, and sometimes you have to take on cases that you may not be interested in simply so that you can pay the bills.
2. Time management. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t know about. You have to research past cases, take meetings, and lots of other things just for a single case.
3. Underestimation. People will underestimate you, undermine you, and question your work, especially if you are a woman.
What are some lessons you learned in law school that best prepared you for the work that you are doing now?
The best time of my life were the periods when I was in law school and when I was preparing for the Bar. These were the times that made me into the person I am today. Law school teaches you patience and endurance, and so every single setback or ego-crushing moment becomes majorly instructive. It was really about building the mindset of a successful person. I learned how to take on challenges and live complaint-free. I stopped victimizing myself because I acknowledged that [law school] was challenging and that you have to move past the noise and negativity.
Tell me about Bar Prep Mindset.
I have always been passionate about many things, and Bar Prep Mindset allows me to utilize my skills to give back to the legal community and help those who may be struggling with the Bar Exam.
Taking the Bar can be a challenge for lots of students, and half of the challenge is mental and emotional. I wanted to help students tackle all of the barriers that stand between them and passing the Bar, especially getting into the right mindset. We accomplish this during one-on-one sessions and coaching over Skype in which I help students develop a game plan and help them tackle the Bar. One unique aspect is that I offer feedback on student essays. Many Bar prep services don’t offer one-on-one, personalized feedback. I am also working on developing a brain training course which is a pre-training module course in which I walk students through the mindset, how to plan and prepare, ways to reduce Bar-related stress and anxiety, and other useful study strategies.
Bar Prep Mindset also has a show, Law with Leila, which I create, produce, and host. The show offers simple and effective strategies for law students to help them succeed in law school, on the Bar exam, and beyond.
What single piece of advice would you give to students preparing for the Bar?
Stay present. This is general, but what I mean is to trust and surrender to the process. This is about the journey, not the destination. When you are feeling overwhelmed, just take a deep breath and release your tension. We are accustomed to all of the fear that we have been taught, and we have to get rid of that. We have to learn to move forward in spite of fear. And remaining present is the fastest way to overcome fear. When we are not present, when we’re either thinking about the past or the future, that’s when we experience stress, fear, or anxiety. So by continuously remaining in the present moment, we can systematically accomplish whatever we set our minds to.