Lauren Lake, the judge we have all come to know from TV’s Paternity Court, built a prominent law career as a member of the New York, New Jersey, and Michigan bars with a concentration in family, criminal, and entertainment law. But she’s branching out beyond the courtroom, landing multiple television opportunities in various fields.
Lake was also the host and designer on HGTV’s Spice Up My Kitchen and has sung backup for Diddy and Mary J. Blige, just to name a few. She has her own interior design business and already has top ratings for the second season of her court TV series. She gives us advice on how to get what you want in your life and learning how to multitask to stay on top.
MadameNoire: Paternity Court just began its second season. How do you feel about this new season?
Lauren Lake: I feel amazing. We just got word that our numbers were better than ever; the ratings soared. Sixty-five percent in households and almost fifty percent in women 25-to-54. I’m so thankful that the show has been received the way it is because there are a lot of people that say people don’t want to see people be empowered on TV. I believe that our audience really does root for our families.
MN: What obstacles have you had to overcome in your career?
LL: Oh gosh, so many! Mainly, people not understanding the spirit of our show. When they hear Paternity Court, they immediately associate it with how paternity has been handled in the past. People in the beginning, they would even ask me, “After you’ve spent your entire career empowering others, why would you choose to do a show called Paternity Court?” And I go, “You got to watch it.” It’s a name that describes exactly what it is. It’s a show about paternity and its set in a courtroom. People made assumptions about the show that just weren’t true and I think now people understand the spirit of the show. We’ve overcome that obstacle with truth and authenticity and the proof is in the pudding, but it was a big one in the beginning.
MN: You have a background that touches a variety of fields. How did you manage to get into all of these areas?
LL: Well, I believe in living life without limits. We’re all multifaceted people and we have to have the courage to go for things and experience things and try things that interest us and I did. That’s why I am able to host a design show on HGTV. I was interested in design, I opened up an interior design business. It was a side business I opened with my best friend and it worked out for me because I rode the wave of life and saw where it could take me.
As far as being a singer, I’ve always had a passion for singing and the arts. I’ve been that little girl singing in the choir since I could remember. I decided it was a great way to earn money and it helped me pay my way through law school. It helped me to supplement my income during times when other earnings were thin. I’m a big believer in multiple income streams and using your passions to create an additional income stream.
MN: What advice would you give to individuals who want to utilize all of their talents?
LL: I think what people have to do is to step out on faith and just start doing something. You can always think of a reason why something isn’t possible. It can go on and on to the point where five or 10 years have gone by… At some point you just have to stop yourself and say “no limits.” Even if I am only able to dedicate four hours on a Saturday morning to whatever I believe my gift is and my craft, that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll start there and I’ll watch it grow. When I started my design business with my best friend we said we were only going to do two design projects a year and it turned into an entire year’s-worth of projects. And that turned into a television show for me.
MN: How did certain projects such as interior design and your law career turn into television opportunities?
LL: Interestingly enough, years ago there was a documentary that aired on a local New York channel. They wanted to follow real-life Sex in the City style women, that really lived life limitlessly and were also dating. Women in the UK were very interested in Sex in the City-style women and they asked me. I was chosen to be a part of that and during that time they saw that I was a lawyer, a designer and a singer all on the show. And then people started calling.
That show was completely out of my comfort zone. My brother encouraged me to do that. He goes “Hey, what can you have to lose? They want to follow your life.” This was before reality TV, 15 years ago. That’s why I can give people this advice because it comes from a place of experience.
MN: How do you manage to balance a successful professional life with your personal life?
LL: I think we are always in constant motion trying to balance what we can do and what we can’t. I say to people all the time, “You can have it all. It just may not be at the same time.” Meaning, sometimes there’s a different iron in the fire that’s hotter than another one.
There have been plenty of cases where I’ve had a lot of legal cases going on and not a lot of houses to design or maybe not a singing job that I’m doing. When you look at Diddy, sometimes his music is hot, sometimes his clothing line is hot, sometimes he’s on Broadway. The people that do multiple things, they understand that.
… I think as women we have to understand that as mothers we are examples to our children of what is possible in this life. What we can do, what we can dream, what we can accomplish. There’s no sense in us sitting around as mothers acting like our dreams are dead. I want to be an example to my son that his dreams can be a reality. That he can live his very best life, achieve his goals, his dreams, [and] pursue his passions. When he sees his mother I want him to know that it’s true. When he sees his father I want him to know that it’s true.
MN: Are there any new projects in the making that we can look forward to from you?
LL: Yes, I actually just left the studio recording my new song, “Limitless.” I am working on my new book Lauren Lake’s 100 Laws of Living. I’m also going to be going around the country on the Lauren Lake Limitless Living Empowerment Tour talking to people about how to live life limitlessly, so I hope we will be coming to a city near you really soon!