Getting to know the Bad Girl
Darielle is the founder
of AWE Legal–any entrepreneur’s
right hand woman
Not Your Typical Lawyer | I wanted to step away from the traditional model of lawyer-ing,” Darielle said. “It’s intimidating, it’s expensive, it’s hidden costs, you don’t know what you’re going to be paying. You maybe have to dress up – put on a suit. My service is flipping that on its head – this is how I am, this is how I meet with my clients,” Darielle pointed to her casual get-up. The absence of a suit and tie might seem trivial, but it’s a testament to Darielle’s focus on simplicity and accessibility. “I try to explain things in very simple terms. I’m trying to empower you to understand,” she said regarding her approach to clients. Access to justice and access to education are integral to Darielle’s practice. Darielle hosts workshops geared towards creating conscious entrepreneurs. She recently presented a legal fundamentals seminar at Ryerson University’s Startup School and has hosted various workshops, including a legal series at Lululemon called “Launching Your Brand”.
“Jack of all trades” | Darielle’s path has been anything but obvious. She studied Media, Information and Technoculture at Western. From there she pursued theatre school in New York. She left acting for a job in advertisement. At the same time as she applied to law school, she also applied to a documentary film making program. While waiting for her acceptances, she taught English in South Korea.
It can be equally empowering and crippling to be interested in various fields. But Darielle managed to dip into a variety of interests and meld them into a cohesive business.
“I remember always feeling like ‘a jack of all trades who’s a master of none’. Growing up, the school system rewards you for being well-rounded, an ‘across the board A-student’. But that’s actually not helpful. It’s hard when you are capable at a lot of things to know what to do and what direction to take. It took all these experiences to realize where I needed to be. Now when I look at what I’m doing, everything makes sense – when I’m doing my talks, there’s my theatre and speech and drama training; when I’m designing my website, those are my strategy and creative skills. So, it all leads into my legal work, writing and passion to help entrepreneurs in my community. ”
“ It’s hard when you are capable
at a lot of things to know what
to do and what direction to take. ”
Shut out the Noise. Focus on Your Hustle. | Darielle put it well – building a business is both ‘nice and scary’. “What’s nice and scary is that it’s been almost 3 years, but I’m still in the beginning phases and growing. It’s good because I don’t have a set idea so I’m flexible and willing to try new systems. But at the same time, sometimes [I think] maybe there’s a reason why law firms are very traditional – they do law and that’s all they do. I don’t have a successful model of someone doing what I’m doing. Do I know this is exactly what I should be doing? No, but it’s important to be able to shut out the outside noise and focus on what you’re doing. Being my own boss has allowed me to maintain my passion for fitness and I still work as a spinning instructor. Pursuing my hobbies has actually allowed me to connect with so many people within the AWE industries in an authentic way.”
You Do You | There are definitely moments when I think – why am I even doing this? But I think if you’re a creator, nobody is telling you that you have to do this. I’ve always been very self-motivated and organized. But of course I hit periods when I think “why am I doing this?” – my best advice is: don’t. Take a break, take the day off: go for a walk or go to your favourite movement class. Do whatever you need to do to feel good. I’m a big sharer. I am not afraid to pick up the phone and say ‘I feel so lost’. Of course, it’s scary. Anyone who pretends it’s all good all the time is not being authentic. But the driver is feeling like this is something I built, it’s worthwhile and I’m helping people like me. I want to create a community and help entrepreneurs who are setting up/running their business, who need support and need legal protection.
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