What I wish I knew about law school a long time ago

I took Tax Law as a 2L.

I struggled. I was a liberal arts major in undergrad, and was not used to doing problem sets. The professor was renowned, but I was intimidated by him and never went to office hours to improve.

And plus, Tax is just really hard.

I had ignored my homework, so I arrived at school early one morning to get it done before class. I plopped down in a chair at the school cafe, opened up my book, took out the worksheet, and continued to feel totally stumped …

… until I saw a fellow Tax classmate at a nearby table. He sat in the front row, was focused throughout class, answered most questions and was the resident Tax class expert.

He also was a really nice guy. And when I asked him if he had a few minutes to help me with the homework, he happily obliged. He explained the concepts to me clearly and with his help I got them done in less than fifteen minutes.

Wow, I said to him, thank you. If I may ask, how did you get so good at Tax?

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Would you jump out of a plane to salvage the rest of your life?

I watched a video recently of actor Will Smith speaking about his first sky diving trip.

He talked about how he only agreed to go sky diving after being forced into it over dinner and drinks with a group of friends. They all wanted to go, he didn’t want to be the only one not to go, so he said he was in. Peer pressure even works on famous celebrities.

But he was very afraid of jumping out of the plane.

He was too afraid to sleep. He was too afraid to eat.

The fear was a feeling caused by his belief that jumping out of the plane was going to put him in danger. It was going to cause him pain. Or loss or death or whatever else bad …

The fear of course only grew as he entered the plane. As they climbed to 14,000 feet. As the door opened. As the wind rushed in. As he stood at the edge of doorway.

And then he was pushed.

And as he dropped out of the plane … he said it was the most exhilarating experience he has ever had.

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[Podcast] Is this holding you back from leaving the law?

I think you’re going to like one of our recent podcast episodes at “Love or Leave the Law“.

As many of you know, Love or Leave the Law is a point/counterpoint format, where Adam Ouellette (a fellow Leave Law Behind reader, author and founder of www.EsquireAcademy.com) and I discuss how to (re) love the law again … or find ways to leave it.

In this recent episode, we focus on the major obstacles that we unhappy attorneys face in leaving the law.

Deciding to actually leave the law can be a watershed moment in an unhappy attorney’s life. But it also is just the first step of many. In this episode of Love or Leave the Law, Adam and I begin discussing the underlying fears that serve as the main obstacles to leaving the law: The Fear Of the Unknown, the Fear of Risk & Failure and the Fear of Social Disapproval.

I hope you enjoy.

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More and more and more great jobs

What’s very unique and strategic about the Leave Law Behind Program we teach, and also somewhat frustrating and drawn out for my clients, is that we do not right away focus on what new (non-law, alternative) jobs to pursue.

Strategic … and (initially) frustrating

This approach is unique and strategic because we want our job search to first be informed by our Unique Genius.

We do not just want to go from one job we don’t like (lawyer) to another job, that may sound kind of interesting, but which we may also not really like that much.

We first need to focus on gaining a deep understanding of our skills and strengths and enjoyments, our Unique Genius, and then let this sincere catalog of what we’re good at inform the next steps we take.

Takes some time and introspection, but almost guarantees we end up focusing on jobs that we really like and that align with our skills.

But this approach can also be frustrating. We attorneys want to know right now what this process will result in. We want to know right now how the end game will play out.

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How to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to leaving the law

In this week’s video, I touch on how to overcome one of the biggest obstacles we face in trying to leave the law.

I faced it in 2004 when I left the law for good.

And I speak weekly with so many of us who still face it.

The fear and anxiety it causes can stop us in our tracks.

Fortunately, there is a way around it.

Hope you enjoy the video.

Are you serious about leaving the law?

Want to talk with me for free? Go to http://meetme.so/LeaveLawBehind.

Interested in the Online Training Program & Community? Go to http://leavelawbehind.com/online-training.

Want to discuss One to One Coaching? Go to http://leavelawbehind.com/coaching.

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Help

Ask for help. Not because you are weak. But because you want to remain strong.

Les Brown – Motivational speaker, author, and former member of the Ohio House of Representatives

It’s so difficult for us to ask for help

I was speaking with a client last week who I’m helping to leave the law and he said to me at the end of our session, “I’m really happy I put aside my initial apprehension and reached out and asked you for help.”

This comment is so extraordinary in our little part of the Universe because of the simple fact that we attorneys are not inclined to ask for help.

Sure sometimes we can walk down the hall to a colleague in the firm and ask for his or her opinion.

But so many of us sit for long periods of time isolated in our offices, behind a Word document, pushing to complete briefs on our own.

So many of us project an image to the client that we know (or can know) everything.

So many of us work very hard to make sure opposing counsel and the judge think we have the upper hand and that we know what we’re doing.

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[Video] I love getting phone calls like this

I shot this video (it’s short, only 2:45) this past weekend after reflecting on my daughter’s softball game … and after thinking about a phone conversation I had with a fellow Leave Law Behind community member.

My daughter was afraid of being hit by the ball when she was at bat … and by trying to avoid being hit, she ended up striking out.

And the attorney I spoke with was afraid of all the risk he associated with leaving the law … and by trying to avoid making any mistakes, he ended up doing nothing and remained unhappy.

Check out the video below to see how both were able to mitigate their fears (not fully overcome their fears yet, just reduce them a bit) to be able to create some momentum and move forward.

 

 

Do you need some help?

Want to talk with me for free? Go to http://meetme.so/LeaveLawBehind

Interested in the Online Training Program? Go to http://leavelawbehind.com/online-training.

Want to discuss One to One Coaching? Go to http://leavelawbehind.com/coaching.

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[Podcast] Signs you may be on your way out of the law

I think you’re going to like one of our recent podcast episodes at “Love or Leave the Law”.

As many of you know, Love or Leave the Law is a point/counterpoint format, where Adam Ouellette (a fellow Leave Law Behind reader, author and founder of www.EsquireAcademy.com) and I discuss how to (re) love the law again … or find ways to leave it.

In this recent episode, we focus on all of the signs that you may be on your way out of the law.

It can be very difficult to determine whether continuing to practice the law is right for you.

On the one hand, we may be unfulfilled, anxious and unhappy as a lawyer.

On the other hand, it’s the one job we really know and we’ve invested so much in becoming an attorney.

In this episode of Love or Leave the Law, Adam and I explore the early signs that you may be on your way out of the law, even if you don’t know it yet. We get into a deep discussion about how to recognize the onset of boredom and depression as an attorney,

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You are crazy and so am I

In San Francisco subways a new ad campaign is running. Its for Fiverr, an online marketplace that connects business owners with freelancers who can help them with tasks in order to grow.

I took a picture of one of the ads that stood out to me. See it above. It reflects two core truths about starting a business: You need help to grow your business … and you also may be crazy.

Entrepreneurs need a lot of help to get started. That’s why they get co-founders and venture investment.

And they also always run into naysayers. They always run into doubters. They always have people around them who are worried about them and say their ideas are crazy.

It’s good to be crazy

And can’t we say the same thing for us unhappy attorneys leaving the law? For most of us, if we were to tell those close to us that we wanted to leave, many would likely dissuade us. Doubt us. Call us crazy.

They’ll first ask:

How can you leave such a stable job? How can you throw your law school education away? Who else will hire you?

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[Live Training] Confused how to leave the law? Join this free training.

We have totally overhauled our eating habits in our family. Our kids were suffering from pretty bad food allergies, so we’ve gone gluten-free, sugar-free and consume minimal dairy.

We’re in a good groove now, but we struggled in the beginning: We read blog posts, watched YouTube videos, talked to friends. It was helpful, but we still felt we didn’t know how best to really start.

We then took part in a live training from an expert focused on this area. She took us slowly through the steps. She answered our questions. She repeated the details over and over until it sunk in.

Now our diet is doing great!

And it got me thinking. I wanted to put together a similar type of training session for the Leave Law Behind community.

So, I wanted to let you know that I’m doing a brand new, free training this Sunday February 26 2017 at 5pm Pacific (8p Eastern).

The topic is “The first thing all people who successfully leave the law make sure they do”.

Go here to reserve your spot now

One of the main obstacles for us in leaving the law is we don’t know where to start.

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