A proven guide to landing that first side gig

[EDITOR’S NOTE:  The following is another guest post by a current criminal defense attorney, and frequent guest blogger on Leave Law Behind, as he details his ongoing experience in leaving law behind.  Last time, he talked about identifying those skills and strengths at which he excels and enjoys, what we call one’s Unique Genius.  This time, he tells us how landed an awesome side gig.]

It’s been about four months since I had a breakthrough in my quest to change careers: I landed a part-time, freelance writing gig with a legal information website.  Yes, I still have the same full-time job, and no, I don’t know what the next one will entail.  But, bearing in mind that a career transition is often a gradual process, I’m grateful to have gained some traction.  Here’s how it happened.

Thinking about my Interests

Though I haven’t necessarily found my “one true calling”—if there really is such a thing—I’ve long known that I like to write. I especially like it when I’m not responding to a sharply worded letter or burning the midnight oil to finish an opposition brief. So, a while ago I decided that,

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Posted Today on AboveTheLaw.com – From the Career Files: The First Step in Leaving Law Behind — It’s the Money, Stupid

As a contributing writer to Above the Law’s Career Center, today they published part I of a five part series I’m writing on how to leave the law.

In  “From the Career Files: The First Step in Leaving Law Behind — It’s the Money, Stupid“, we explore why the first step in properly leaving the law is not polishing your resume or networking or combing through job posting.  The first step is to overcome any money fears we may have and to become as confident and exact as possible in understanding (i) our expenses and (ii) our safety net and other sources of financial support you can call upon if needed.

Please give it a read, and add your thoughts on abovethelaw.com or email me directly.  Thanks so much.

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Why leaving law behind is like studying for a law school final exam

1.   You need to do it yourself.  While preparing for finals, I often deceived myself into thinking that I was actually studying, when all I really was doing was sitting through a study group or copying someone else’s notes or buying packaged outlines.  While I thought I was doing the work for the exam, I was only going through the motions.  I wasn’t doing the hard work, I wasn’t digesting the information, I wasn’t familiarizing myself with the case law, I wasn’t understanding exactly what the professor wanted.

The same goes with leaving law behind and making this life transition. You can read as many self-development blogs or buy as many coaching books or listen to as many inspirational quotes as you want.  But until you actually begin the hard work of changing your current situation (assessing your money status, exploring your unique genius, getting over your fears, actively networking) your progress and results will likely be limited.  No one can leave the law behind for you.

2.   It takes a lot of hard, incremental, focused work.  In law school, successfully cramming for an exam in the final weeks of the semester was almost impossible (trust me,

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How any cliff, fiscal or otherwise, can be avoided

So the fiscal cliff has been averted.  The sky has not fallen.  The news channels will now look for the next breaking news to cover.

For everything that it is not, the fiscal cliff actually did cause Congress to act.  It actually did trigger a deal to get done.  It actually was able to (ultimately) force aside the politicians’ bluster.  It actually set a direction.  It actually compelled the politicians to collaborate and problem-solve and think (somewhat) creatively.

But this deal has come at a fairly steep price.  We Americans have feared falling back into a recession.  Confidence in our politicians and our systems is low.  And one would hope that it would not take being backed into a corner for our politicians to act decisively.

But the same can often be said about ourselves.  For many of us considering leaving the law, we really may not be doing much about it right now.  We like the idea, of course, of a different job and being happy with our day-to-day and really doing something that is in alignment with what we like and enjoy.  We like the idea of doing something different than what we are doing now. 

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