I spoke with a very unhappy attorney last week. She is dying to leave her job and leave law altogether. The firm life saps her of energy. She dreams of a more flexible schedule and satisfying day-to-day life.
But she stays. For job security.
The refrain I hear the most from attorneys who wish to leave the law, but cannot muster the courage to do so, is that they cannot contemplate a lack of job security.
What does security really mean? When we talk about “security”, we really mean financial security. We really mean having enough cash so that we can survive (and live reasonably well) for a certain period of time – 12 months, 24 months, 36 months – without a job or consistent income.
Having a job at a law firm or with the government does mean you receive a paycheck every two weeks. But it doesn’t mean you are necessarily secure. As we’ve seen in the past few years, things can change very quickly.
If you’re unhappy practicing the law, don’t let an illusory sense of security prevent you from living your dream. The only security in your life comes from you .
I was never an “entrepreneur”. I was not that guy running lemonade stands at age 14 or working in my parents’ garage on a software company at 24. I enjoyed college, trudged my way through law school, and sent a ton of resumes out for “traditional” jobs.
It wasn’t until 2004, when I read Rich Dad Poor Dad, that something triggered inside of me.
At that time, I seemingly had a great job, that any lawyer would love: I was VP Operations and In House Counsel of a growing software company. But after reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, I realized that I was just a small cog in a growing corporate wheel. I realized I was not getting the tax benefits of being on my own. And I began to think more critically about where I wanted to go in life.
I saw where my professional trajectory was heading, tech executive and lawyer, and while on the face of it this sounded great, it became apparent that this just wasn’t for me personally. It just wasn’t in alignment with my unique genius. I began to realize that my skills,
With the shrinking legal job market and decreasing job satisfaction for many attorneys, this long accepted truism may no longer be that accurate . . .
. . . that is if you stay in the law.
Leave the law, however, and (ironically) you’ll see how your law degree (and all the training that comes with it) helps you excel in the business world, from mundane matters to high level strategy. From writing concise emails to speaking clearly on the phone to managing projects well to motivating colleagues to identifying real life, business issues to crafting creative solutions to projecting an air of confidence. Many of the skills we all possess that we all take for granted are often in short supply in the general population.
You can really do anything with a law degree . . . if you leave the law.