John “The Purple Coach” Mitchell

As a leader, professional coach, and former practicing lawyer, I am committed to helping lawyers discover and maximize their leadership potential so that they continuously develop themselves and their organizations in pursuit of changing the world.

I specialize in working with lawyers who are in formal roles like general counsel, managing partner, practice group leaders and committee chairs, and those in informal leadership roles. I also support in-house lawyers transitioning to business roles, junior associates, new partners, major rainmakers, and senior lawyers considering their “second season” in life.

One of my main areas of focus is helping leaders transition to new leadership positions. I also have extensive experience assisting women and attorneys of color successfully apply their talents in new roles and new environments. My unique background allows me to bring personal experience to these types of transitions and my educational experiences grounds those first-hand experiences with a foundation of sound theory and applied research.

During the past several years I have coached and/or consulted with hundreds of lawyers and dozens of law firms throughout the United States and Canada. This work has included everything from teaching inexperienced attorneys (and some later bloomers) business development skills to helping senior rainmakers take their game up another notch or two; from helping to develop new leaders to creating a process for successful succession planning and transition of senior leaders; and from leading firm retreats to advising management committees on a variety of strategic issues.

My 20-plus years of business experience includes working as a professional in a social service agency, practicing law in a large international law firm, leading a large urban affiliate of an internationally known not-for-profit housing  development organization, and starting a successful company that helps leaders develop and hone their own unique leadership style. I also have extensive leadership experience serving on various not-for-profit boards of directors, and in civic and professional organizations.

Most of my formal studies took place at Northwestern University, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Communications, a Juris Doctor, and a Master of Business Administration from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management. I also earned certificates in executive coaching from Coach U and Corporate Coach U and hold a wide variety of certifications in coaching methodologies, assessments, and leadership models.

When I am not working with clients, I can often be found running or cycling along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront or spending time with my wife enjoying one of the city’s many restaurants, cultural institutions, or music festivals.  An annual pilgrimage to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, visits with friends around the country, and bicycle trips anywhere the terrain is more varied than Chicago’s keep me on the move.

You can reach me at or 773-486-4620. If you get my voicemail, please leave a message. It’s more than likely I am out someplace having fun. But don’t worry – I promise to return your call!