I remember vividly the moment I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. I was twelve and had just learned about Clarence Earl Gideon, a career criminal and unlikely source of inspiration. (Mr. Gideon was the subject of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Gideon v. Wainwright, that established the right of an indigent criminal defendant to have a Court-appointed lawyer.) Mr. Gideon and that case opened my eyes to the world of law – a world full of fascinating people, complicated situations, incredible arguments, and hard-fought battles. I was instantly hooked!
Fast forward through college and law school. I landed my dream job as an associate at a large law firm and later earned an equity partnership position there. Over the years, I worked part time, full time and overtime. I performed challenging work in a wide variety of areas, cultivated rewarding relationships with clients and colleagues, and balanced the competing demands of work, business development, community activities, and family. I had what many dream of – great work, great friends and family, great life.
Yes, I craved something more. I decided to leave my safe, secure practice at the law firm not knowing what would come next. I did know that I was ready for a new challenge that would push me to grow personally and professionally. An urgent request from a friend gave rise to a successful solo practice which brought with it a newfound understanding of what it takes to market and operate a law firm.
Some soul searching led me to coaching and training professionally. I’ve always been fascinated by the “why” and “how” – why people do what they do and how people interact and react. I’ve been teaching and mentoring in one form or another for as long as I can remember. Consulting provides an opportunity for me to combine my love of people (especially attorneys) with my background in psychology and sociology. I enjoy thinking strategically, problem solving collaboratively, and leveraging my background, interests, and experiences to help others achieve the life and career they want.
When I’m not working, you may find me on the slopes skiing, on the lake waterskiing, or on the lacrosse field coaching. Most of my free time is dedicated to raising two amazing kids who are my world. I often have a camera in my hand trying to capture them in action. If I got started telling you about them this would never end…
Just the Facts:
Prior to founding Rock Solid Consultants, Kristin Haugen discovered her passion for using personal experiences to coach other attorneys on managing their practices, building critical relationships and achieving their goals. Kristin has worked with clients of all ages and stages – from law student to equity partner, from solo practitioners to the AmLaw200, and in cities across the country.
Before becoming a professional coach and trainer, Kristin practiced law as a partner at a large full-service law firm. She litigated high-stakes intellectual property claims, sensitive employment matters, and complex commercial transactions. Following her passion to support and develop attorneys to their full potential, Kristin was actively involved in the recruiting, training, mentoring, retention, and diversity and inclusion programs at the firm.
Prior to joining the firm, Kristin attended the University of Illinois College of Law on a full tuition scholarship. Having excelled at student practice in the civil litigation clinic, she became the clinic’s teaching assistant guiding students in what was often their first exposure to real clients and real cases.
Kristin proudly claims Cornell University as her alma mater. At Cornell, she majored in psychology and was inducted into Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with Distinction in All Subjects.