Because this is the start of something big.
But it’s just a start. A small start. As I may have mentioned before, I am a proponent of taking baby steps. I learned this from Aaron Ross, a good friend of mine and founder of Predictable Revenue. When I was beginning Leave Law Behind back in 2009, I would always ask “How will I make money off of this leave law idea?” and “How do I market this?” and “Why am I doing this anyway?” and “Will everyone laugh at me?” And Aaron would always say, “Don’t worry about making money. Don’t think about what might go wrong. There are people who want to hear what you have to say. Don’t worry about the ‘how’. Just take the next baby step.”
He meant to not be overwhelmed by all that was running through my head (good and not-so-good). He meant to begin by sharing this quirky idea with family and friends. He meant to go (mostly) with my gut. He meant to follow with what interested me (leaving the law, how to use technology productively) and what I enjoyed (writing, public speaking, meeting people).
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a guest post by Gabe Rothman, who left the law (twice) and now performs Salesforce.com integration consulting. Read more about Gabe at the bottom of this post, and come meet Gabe on October 2 at the Leave Law Behind event.]
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
– George Santayana
As any of you who, like me, have worked with Casey and/or read this blog know, Casey is a fountain of useful advice on this topic, a supportive and omnipresent Jiminy Cricket lighting the path away from self doubt, away from your addiction to your professional identity, and toward personal fulfillment. In that regard, I was honored when Casey asked me to contribute my insights and experiences to LLB.
After five years working in litigation with two different law firms, one failed attempt to leave the law behind, and countless hours of soul searching and second guessing; after numerous missteps, backsteps, and baby steps, I’ve succeeded in leaving the law behind. After years of hoping that things would change, that the law could make me happy, that it would stop taking and giving nothing in return,
[Sign up here to attend the free live, in-person Leave Law Behind event on Tuesday October 2nd at 6pm in downtown San Francisco.]
There may have come a time for many of us this weekend where we got that nervous feeling in our stomachs or felt our nerves get rattled or became generally unsure for some unknown reason.
It was likely anxiety. The anticipation of something bad. The fear or dread that something will not go right.
There is a lot that makes us anxious. The fear of losing our job. Disappointing our clients or boss. Feeling that we are not good at our job. Being saddled with projects or work that forces us to be away from our kids and families and fun events. Getting old and missing out on our perceived window of potential.
And for many of us unhappy with our current practice of the law, a lot of this anxiety comes from being bored. From being uninterested in our work. From wanting to do something different. Wishing for more. Feeling we’re just missing out on what we really should be doing.
[Sign up here to attend the free live, in-person Leave Law Behind event on Tuesday October 2nd at 6pm in downtown San Francisco. Come join us.]
Why do we think we can’t do it again?
There are things we successfully do now as attorneys that we once were extremely frightened to even attempt. Writing emails to clients. Speaking in front of a judge. Giving presentations. Filing briefs. Turning in drafts to senior partners. Advising clients.
There was a time when doing these things scared us, made us sweat, kept us up at night, occupied all of our thoughts. But we knew we had to do it, we might have been forced to do it, and we took a baby step, or sometimes took a leap, did it once, then again, then again, and over and over again, until we saw what worked and what didn’t work, what we were good at, and where we needed improvement. We gained confidence and improved until it became more straightforward. We became calmer as each success built on each success, as we were applauded for our efforts, or just silently and confidently knew we had done a good job.
The Leave Law Behind live event is happening at 6pm on October 2nd in downtown San Francisco (location to be announced soon). Sign up here to attend for free.
Come to this event if you are sick and tired of feeling dissatisfied with your current work.
Come to this event if you need to find someone to help mentor you, to inspire you, to partner with you.
Come to this event if you need a first step, a baby step to leave law behind.
Come to this event if you want to meet real live lawyers who have left the law behind:
– A construction litigator who now does IT and Salesforce.com consulting
– An attorney who left the firm and now manages her small practice AND in-house duties for a tech company
– An in-house attorney who just returned from a three month leave of absence
– A foreign attorney who moved to the US and now does business development for a private exchange
. . . and more . . .
Fear (and other reasons) prevent us from leaving the law.
Thanks for all of your emails about the upcoming LIVE in person Leave Law Behind event on October 2. You can now sign up by clicking here.
The event will begin at 6pm, and I’ll get back to you shortly with the location details. But it will be in downtown San Francisco
The goal of the event is simple: Give our passionate community the chance to connect in person, share stories, inspire each other and become accountable for doing the great things that are most important to us. To do the great things only we can accomplish.
There will be a short introduction from myself, other great speakers and a lot of time to network and be inspired.
The actual location of the event will be announced soon, but please mark the time from 6pm to 9pm on Tuesday October 2nd in your calendars. Click here to sign up.
And be sure to reserve a ticket early since we can only accommodate a limited number of attendees. Also, since there are limited spaces,
We are an educated group of people. We know how to work hard and smart. We have the sharp intellect, honed power of persuasion, solid work ethic and network of connections. We are driven to succeed and to help and to grow. We are overly qualified to do just about anything we set our mind to.
There is no better group of people than unhappy, disgruntled, potential-unrealized, not-totally-satisfied-with-themselves attorneys to remake themselves, to change course (altogether or just slightly) in order to help change the world. To change their world and that of others.
And I’m going to go out on a limb now and say that this shouldn’t be optional: Any of us who feel they are not reaching their full potential personally and professionally, have an obligation and a responsibility, to themselves and the world around them, to make a change. We are too valuable of a commodity to languish doing things we do not enjoy and may not be that good at.
There is money to be made. There are non-profits to be formed. There are joint ventures to be created. There are new ideas to be executed upon. There are charities that need help.