This week, I am very excited to have former BigLaw attorney now author Amy Impellizzeri come by Leave Law Behind to answer a few questions that seem to always come up for many of us looking to leave the law.
And Amy is perfectly positioned to help us out. Amy practiced for thirteen years as a corporate litigator at Skadden Arps in New York City. She left the law, became a start-up executive and now is a full time author.
Her most recent book is a non-fiction piece, Lawyer Interrupted, published through the American Bar Association. I was honored to be interviewed by Amy for the book, along with others in the space like Liz Brown and Marc Luber. It’s an extremely informative, well written and entertaining description of what it takes to leave the law (buy the book).
So, without further ado, let’s ask Amy some of our pressing questions!
How can an unhappy attorney “give up” all they worked on to become an attorney (law school,
As some of you may know, I was interviewed for yesterday’s feature on Slate.com titled “You Can Do Anything With a Law Degree: That’s what everyone says. Turns out everyone’s wrong.” (read it here)
The article explores the misconceptions around the perceived broad usability of a law degree. Writer Jim Saksa (former-lawyer-turned-freelance-writer) encourages readers to critically assess as best they can if law school is the ideal path for each of them. He also explores the difficulties lawyers face in making a career shift and securing non-legal jobs. At press time, the article is one of the “Most Read” on Slate.com and has over 600 comments. I am excited to be included and I applaud Jim for bringing awareness around this topic.
I did a careful reading of the article and while a lot of points resonate with me, I also wanted to highlight some viewpoints that I feel are important for us to get our arms around to inform our progress as we explore leaving the law behind.
As many of you may know by now, Leave Law Behind was featured in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal online (WSJ subscribers can read it here, or scroll down below for the full article).
It was very exciting and gratifying to be interviewed. It also was very validating and comforting to know that a major news outlet tried to shed some light on one of the greatest challenges we lawyers looking to leave the law face: How best to turn our “legal skills” into more transferable and expansive “attractive professional skills”.
In addition to finding ways to re-position our resume, we also face the challenge of convincing others in our lives that we are unhappy with our job and life as a lawyer, and that we need a change. Many people we surround ourselves with (family, friends, work colleagues) think we have it all and admire our status as an attorney and think we’re crazy (and possibly entitled and spoiled) to even want more in life. Sometimes they get mean when we aspire for more. Other times they imply we have wasted time in law school and in practice. And some times they just don’t help out at all.
Yesterday I was interviewed by Beryl and Mel, the founders of Wired for Success, a UK based videoblog. We had a great conversation, and a few of the topics we discussed include:
– The five main steps in leaving the law
– Why it takes a long time to leave the law . . . and why that’s a good thing
– The reasons that led me to law school, and the reasons that led me to leave the law
– Why we all suffer from that confidence knocking demon voice in our heads, and how to not let it get us too down
– Why a serious look at your personal money situation will actually make you more confident and motivated
When you have some time, head on over to Wired for Success and watch the interview. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly to discuss any ideas you may have.
I hope it motivates you to take a baby step today.