By Basetsana Makhalemele
MOTHER to three boys, lawyer, student, University of the Free State council member and Mandela Washington Fellow for 2019; these are roles that the ambitious Leah Molatseli have taken on with flair.
Fiercely driven and fabulous however depict the larger than life personality that she is.
The Bloemfontein born exudes an energy of calmness and purpose right from the get-go, when we meet her at her offices in Bloemfontein.
She believes in leaving her best life and pushing herself to the limits. Leah knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a lawyer.
She studied at the University of the Free State (UFS) law and incorporated legal technology course online and later did her articles at the law clinic of the same institution.
In 2012 she moved to private practice, but realized after a short while that things were not particularly working for her.
She resigned in 2015 and decided to give birth to Lenoma Legal which was launched in June 2016.
"There is life beyond employment, you can actually do your own thing outside of formal employment,” says Leah.
She went on and studied for a certificate in entrepreneurship at UFS. This gave her the confidence to leave formal employment and start her own company.
"You need a backup, especially in the legal space, something to confirm that you have the authority to speak up on particular issues" she says.
New mom entering entrepreneurship
While entering entrepreneurship was exciting, it presented a new challenge as Leah was also a new mom.
Leah did not let motherhood stop her from following her dreams as a lawyer and entrepreneur, instead she became creative andshe incorporated digital infrastructure into her work.
"I was relatively a new mom and I had started my own company, it became quite difficult for me to leave a child. I randomly spoke to one of my clients through Skype and that was an eye opener for me."
She saw an opportunity to provide legal services to other people who are not in Bloemfontein through technology infrastructure and save cost for both the company and the clients.
Lenoma Legal focuses on small businesses and has created an online platform for small business owners to gain access to legal advice and legal documents on the platform itself.
According to Leah, lawyers are kept in terms of how much money they can make because as service providers are limited by the hours, but when digital infrastructure is incorporated into it makes it limitless.
She says she believes that the law still has barriers to entry not only as legal professionals but also for people getting access to it, and one of them is expensive lawyers costs are.
Her company is changing the game by providing legal services to anyone who needs them, through any form of digital.
Being a lawyer requires one to be a critical thinker, problem solver and have a thick skin.
You have to be passionate about whatever that you do and be prepared not to have much of social a life. But you have to make a decision that you want to have a life because it is not an easy profession.
"If you are incorporating technology into it be different and think of different ways to change law space in terms of how you do it” she adds.