Last week I asked readers to schedule a time to speak with me. To talk about anything – to vent, to ask questions, to brainstorm next steps.
I’ve spoken with many of you. It’s been great. I hope I’ve been able to help, and I know I’ve learned so many insights from many of you.
And I wanted to share with everyone the three main, consistent themes that have surfaced in these talks.
For those who prefer auditory learning, I shot at the above short video for you (it’s short, just a bit over 3 minutes).
And for those of you who would rather read, I continue in more detail below.
We are not alone
So many of us looking to leave the law are battling with anxiety, self doubt and the fear of the unknown.
We are kicking ourselves for going to law school and doing work we don’t like. We feel we have wasted our time, our potential and our money. We don’t feel confident anyone else will every hire us.
And we feel we’re the only ones struggling with this.
We think a lot about leaving the law. But our actions may not match our thoughts, aspirations and hopes.
The good thing is we have our kids around us. Or people that look up to us. Or a conscience that keeps us honest.
These are great forcing factors to help us model the life we really want to live, and not just the life we think we should live, or the life we think others want us to live.
I shot this week’s video to talk to you about how a BigLaw attorney left the law to follow what he enjoys, and how his relationship with his kids really helped push him through his doubts and worries.
Click the below player to watch the video.
I hope you enjoy the video, and please leave your thoughts in the comments below or feel free to contact me directly.
Interested in my one to one coaching? Click here to schedule a free consult to talk to me directly to learn if the Leave Law Behind coaching is a fit for you.
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I love hearing stories from the Leave Law Behind community, of people first realizing they want to do something different to those people who take that first step and actually leave and do something else.
Here is the story of Chris Keefer, a Leave Law Behind reader, and former Indiana based attorney lawyer who recently left the law and went back to school to pursue his dream of sports management. I think you’ll find some very actionable and motivating pieces of advice from Chris’ experience.
It all started the evening of October 31, 2014. After a week-long highly contentious jury trial with nearly every trick thrown at us, we anxiously awaited while deliberations took place. After the verdict was read in our favor, the excitement subsided much faster than it ever had before. I would have the weekend to recuperate, but would soon have to return to battling with partners for resources on other pending matters, to say nothing of the battles with opposing counsel in those matters. After nearly 16 years, the practice had become less and less about helping clients start and grow their businesses,
I spoke this week with a Leave Law Behind client who is actively leaving the law.
It was a great talk – he wanted to share with me the real positive experience he recently had working on a political campaign.
He is now moving onto networking and setting up informational interviews to learn more about the space, with the goal of soon lining up interviews for open positions.
The most exciting part is that the work is in good alignment with his Unique Genius and what he enjoys doing.
He has been able to see how his “lawyer skills” (research, writing, issue spotting, etc.) are actually transferable to “non-law” jobs, and can be used in a broader, more valuable sense.
I was so excited after our talk, that I put together a short video recapping our conversation!
Click below to watch, I think you’ll really like it.
And as always, please leave your thoughts in the comments below or feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to start leaving the law? For the first 5 readers who visit https://leavelawbehind.com/coaching and request a Free Coaching Consult phone call with me,
This past weekend my family and I were in the north Boston area for a family event.
Our Saturday was wide open and free. My wife and daughter chose to go on a short road trip with some aunts and uncles to New Hampshire and Maine.
My 6-year-old son and I chose to spend the day at the nearby waterslide park!
Giant whirlpools, body and raft waterslides, a fast paced river tube ride, a basketball hoop in the pool, a water themed obstacle course, hamburgers and fries and ice cream … all cozily contained in a 65,000 square foot, 84 degree indoor biosphere.
It was a blast … so much so that we stayed too long and were late for the family event!
The value this place provides
But amidst all of the fun and noise and chasing and laughing, I did take a moment or two to slow down and be as mindful as I could and observe the scene.
The park’s website said that we would have a “splashtastic” day of “kidfriendly fun”.
That was correct. But I don’t think the owners of this park truly realize the value that their park provided us all:
- Dads and sons were able to bond and be together distraction-free and have fun
- The teenage lifeguards were able to make some side cash and be independent authority figure
- Young children were able to run around freely and safely away from their parents and learn and engage with other kids and on their own
- We were all able to disconnect from our cell phones and quiet our minds and enjoy the moment
- We were all able to run around and burn calories and move our muscles
- We were all able to be around and talk to and play with people of all ethnicities and races
- We were all able to stand under plentiful,
Sure, we want to leave the law.
But we have so much else to do …
- Our day job as a lawyer.
- Taking care of our kids.
- Paying our bills.
- Trying to stay in shape and eat healthy.
- Trying to have a social life.
- Getting sleep.
- And what seems like more and more work …
So while we want to leave the law, it can be difficult to find the time.
In this week’s video, I discuss some ideas and ways to stay motivated and incrementally build confidence and momentum.
Want to take the next step in leaving the law? Check out the new Leave Law Behind, self-paced online course.
Need some more support in leaving the law? Click here to learn more about the one to one Leave Law Behind coaching program.
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When everything is going very well, it can be surprising to fall into a funk of doubt. But that’s what happened to me recently … and a friend of mine used my own writings to pull me out.
I was speaking with my team here at Leave Law Behind about the work we’ve recently completed: The free Video Mini-Class, the new Online Course, the Ultimate Coaching Program, the new videos we’re producing.
And we discussed all the things we have in store for the future: live events, new products, webinars …
And through all of this excitement, yup, I unfortunately let some cold-blooded doubt creep in.
I thought aloud about how daunting all of this could be. About how I could possibly get all of this done. About whether all of this work would actually help attorneys looking to leave the law. About whether I was the right person to do this.
I further reinforced this doubt with what I thought was some quite irrefutable evidence: I had tried my hand at entrepreneurship in the past, and I had achieved varying levels of success.
So … who was I to think I could really be entrepreneurial again … if I hadn’t been able to fully do it before?
We have so much that we want out of our professional career as a lawyer.
Stature. Security. Wealth. Social acceptance.
For so many of us, it was these needs that drove us in large part to apply to law school and then become a lawyer. We thought becoming an attorney would be the best way to attain them.
And as we leave the law, many of us still have these needs in mind when we consider any non-law job.
The irony is that even if we have attained these needs as a lawyer, we’re still not as happy as we want, and should, be.
I want to share with you in the below video an alternative need we can focus on … an authentic, well-aligned, and helpful need that we can now begin to prioritize as we change our life.
Some might even agree that pursuing this is part of the key to life …
Click the below player to watch the video.
I hope you enjoy it, and please leave your thoughts in the comments below or feel free to contact me directly.
Last week, I wrote a guest post for Above the Law’s Career Center, about why I went to law school.
It was a personal piece … about how I didn’t really think critically about going to law school, and how I’ve resolved lately that going to law school could have been a mistake.
And many of you have written me and asked whether I can do more videos, in addition to writing the weekly blog post. I love the idea! I’m going to do more videos, and I’ve decided to record my kick off video about this topic for the Leave Law Behind community.
Click the below player to watch the video (which I recorded from my home). I hope you enjoy it, and please leave your thoughts in the comments below or contact me directly.
Need more support in leaving the law? Check out the new Leave Law Behind self-paced, online course.
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The hurdle so many of us run into when trying to leave the law is that all we have known ourselves to be in recent years is an unhappy, unfulfilled, not-the-best-but-not-the-worst lawyer.
What we in essence have been saying to ourselves is “Because I have been an unhappy lawyer, I still am an unhappy lawyer.”
“And I may always remain an unhappy lawyer.”
This logically doesn’t make sense
We know things change all the time. Nothing is set in stone.
So why are many of us so set in the stone of lawyer drudgery, non-mentoring partners, little professional training, stressful fiduciary duties, anxiety ridden deadlines, money issues, and overwhelming amounts of work?
Because we think our past has everything to do with our now … when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.
We cannot constantly focus our mind on all of the active, negative thoughts we have about our career as a law student and lawyer. Just because that is who we are now doesn’t mean we therefore still need to be that way, or still need to think that way or will always be that way. Continue Reading