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Rosemary Byrne

Step By Step’s First Step: Rosemary’s Story

Rosemary ByrneFor Rosemary C. Byrne, Step By Step Coaching is more than the name of the company she founded: It’s how she thinks, as well as the key to her personal and career success. Whether it’s retirement life planning, career transitions or personal development, for Rosemary and her clients, the process of transition and change starts with having a plan -- deciding what you want to achieve, considering your alternatives and then taking the first step—no matter how small—toward your objective. Rosemary believes if you don’t take that first step, you will never move forward: You simply stay stuck where you are.

Rosemary is an expert at transitions, successfully navigating them herself and assisting others to achieve their goals and aspirations. Long before she became an NYU-certified personal coach, Rosemary was coaching friends and colleagues through their personal and professional transitions and dilemmas. Known for her extraordinary communication skills, she has the ability to listen and truly hear what others are saying, to ask perceptive and focused questions and to generate insightful thinking and analysis.

How She Got Started

Rosemary’s own story is a case study in successful personal and career transitions.

  • First in her family to attend college, she left after two years to marry, worked as a secretary then became a manager in a NYC poverty program
  • Moved to Hunter College as an assistant to the president, later becoming a student counselor and director of student aid – all while completing her undergraduate degree in the evening
  • Faced with an unexpected and difficult divorce, Rosemary applied to law school and moved from counseling students on personal and financial aid matters to counseling clients on business and legal issues
  • Became a member of the second graduating class at Yeshiva University’s then-fledgling Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, graduating with honors
  • Began legal career with a prestigious clerkship with a federal judge
  • Became a litigator at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, a major New York law firm, handling cases in state and federal court for major corporate clients. She has appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court on several occasions to sponsor the admission of Cardozo alumni to that Court.
  • Transitioned from litigation to corporate law as executive vice president and general counsel of a private investment bank, closing billions of dollars of financing transactions.

Rosemary has been equally successful and generous of her time in her voluntarism. She has been tireless in her work on behalf of Cardozo Law School and its alumni. She is a member of the law school’s board of directors and is a past president of its alumni association. In 2003, Cardozo recognized her achievements and contributions to the law school community by awarding her the first-ever Alumni of the Year award. She currently chairs the Cardozo Alumni Committee on Lawyers in Transition. In her home town of Englewood, NJ she serves on the Zoning Board of Adjustment and is its current chair.

From Lawyer To Life Coach

Several years ago, Rosemary began preparing and planning for her own “seniority” transition. One of her first steps was to improve her health and fitness. After battling obesity and weight issues most of her adult life, she lost 80 pounds and has successfully kept it off.

Career reassessment seemed the logical next step. As she puts it, “I enjoyed being a lawyer, but had reached an age and a stage where the demands of full-time lawyering were no longer appealing. I needed a new challenge. I saw so many people who were really stuck where they were – fearing retirement or wanting to make a career change or have a more fulfilling life – and just unable to find the way to make it happen or even believe change was possible. I realized I could help others navigate the difficult waters of personal and professional transition. The NYU coaching program helped me develop the coaching skills and techniques I needed to transition from full time lawyer to personal coach and retirement life planner.”

Now Rosemary has an active practice assisting lawyers and others who want to make life and career changes and baby boomer professionals who want to segway into their own version of retirement. Her goal – to help them discover and create the life they want and deserve.