Laura Noble is the founding partner of The Noble Law Firm, offering employment law counsel and representation to both individuals, facing problems in their employment relationship, and companies wishing to execute “best practices”. You will catch her thoughts on women in the workplace, from time to time, here on Kuel Life.
There is power in story telling. There is power in community. There is power in sharing. The more we know about one another; the more we understand; the more powerful we become.
We invite all of the KuelWomen out there to share their stories with us.
This is Laura’s.
KUEL LIFE: What are you pursuing now, after 50, that surprises you or might appear to others as if it’s come out of left field?
LAURA: I am still surprised when I’m asked my age and I hear “Fifty” come out of my mouth. I guess I always assumed that “Fifty” was the end of dynamism, energy, vitality, etc. I don’t feel like any of that has diminished for me. In fact, I feel more engaged and energized than ever because I have more experience and resources to actually accomplish the things that matter most to me.
KUEL LIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
LAURA: I’m not a terribly scheduled person so it really varies. I have the bad habit of checking email and texts first thing in the morning but my control freak side needs to check in and respond to urgent matters before I can start my day. Then, I do the morning mad dash with kids, husband, dog, etc. After that, I generally try to get a workout in which puts me at the office around 11 am or 12 pm. There I divide my time between acting as a lawyer, manager and entrepreneur. I love that every day is different at work and includes a variety of activities that I truly enjoy like research and writing, mentoring, business strategizing and public speaking.
KUEL LIFE: With what do you struggle?
LAURA: Time Management. Overcommitting. I have a lot of curiosity about the world and the people who inhabit it. There are so many things to do that appeal to me and so many people that I want to help. It’s very difficult for me to say no. As a result, I can disappoint folks if I don’t deliver. My second biggest struggle is one many women have, that is, giving myself permission to be “good enough” in my personal, professional and emotional life. Constantly feeling like you have to do more and more to achieve perfection is not a recipe for happiness.
KUEL LIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
LAURA: That’s a question I don’t think I’ve ever asked myself. I have a strong will and am pretty competitive so the motivation just flows sort of organically.
KUEL LIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?
LAURA: I find myself saying, “because I’m old” and I really don’t like that expression. I don’t like that we put ourselves in age boxes on so many things. My advice (to myself and others) is to just stop referencing age and aging altogether. Just be and let that be the definition of who you are.
KUEL LIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
LAURA: My first job out of law school was as a prosecutor in Brooklyn. I regularly saw images of dead or severely injured victims, interviewed child victims of physical and sexual abuse and participated in the prosecution of violent teenagers who would end up spending most of their adult life in jail. After I had my first child, I lost all ability to engage in criminal law. I did not want to know, with exacting certainty, that my beautiful baby had to live in a world with so much human-inflicted violence and misery. The thought of her suffering in such a way was too much to bear. So, in two words, “my children” have the greatest ability to make me feel vulnerable.
KUEL LIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
LAURA: Living abroad, becoming a lawyer & having children.
KUEL LIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
LAURA: I refuse the premise of the question! (had to get my lawyer jab in). There have been so many critical influences at different periods of my life. Impossible to say who influenced me the most. But, chronologically:
Mother – Ann Noble, by fighting her way up in a male-dominated profession at a time when professional woman still wore suits with bowties.
Father – John Noble, by his intellectual curiosity, integrity and work-ethic.
Female High School Friends – by providing a love and support network that still exists today.
Law Professor, Mike Millemen – by being everything I wanted to be in a lawyer and believing in me.
Husband, Josh Kalish – by being a mirror to my internal and external struggles and making me more honest as a result.
Best Adult Girlfriends – by giving me unconditional love and the occasional kick in the ass.
KUEL LIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
LAURA: I am so grateful for the smart and insightful women in my life. I get incredible advice weekly (sometimes daily if it’s a particularly tough time). But, I go back repeatedly to two well-known phrases by incredible women:
Eleanor Rooevelt: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Maya Angelou: When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
KUEL LIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
LAURA: Again, so many to choose from. I go through phases of admiration crushes where I like to research and read about certain women. For a long time it was Eleanor Roosevelt, right now it’s the Notorious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsberg).
KUEL LIFE: Are you grown-up?
LAURA: For all clients reading: Yes, absolutely. For everyone else: Definitely not.
KUEL LIFE: What do you do for self-care?
LAURA: Exercise, spend time with girlfriends, cook, get massages and play with my dog.
KUEL LIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
LAURA: 1. Travel to all continents; 2. Run a Non-Profit or Foundation for womens’/children’s issues that survives beyond me; 3. Hang out with the Obamas.