There are lawyers out there who really care about the work they do, who find satisfaction and fulfillment in being an attorney, who enjoy reading and soaking up the finer points of the profession, and who find meaning in representing their clients.
You are not that type of person.
You went to law school and became a lawyer for any or all of a host of reasons: Because you wanted a stable job or because of the allure of being an attorney or because you thought you wanted to change the world or because your parents wanted you to go to law school or because you felt growing up that you always wanted to be a lawyer.
And looking back, these reasons might not have been the most critically thought out.
Or they were reasons driven by other people in your life, not you.
Or they were reasons that now do not align with your priorities.
And because of this, being a lawyer has begun to shape up for you as simply a job where you trade time for money. It’s become a job where helping clients or companies or institutions make (or save or protect) their money feels more and more shallow and stressful,
And you adopted these beliefs from other people.
In other words, you think and act the way you do because someone told you to think and act that way.
You were a blank slate when you were born. We all were. And as you grew up, you took on beliefs from your parents and siblings and extended family and culture and city and country and friends and class.
You gained faith and confidence that certain things told to you were true.
Some of these beliefs may contribute to your greater good.
Some of these beliefs hold you back.
For us attorneys who want to leave the law, remember that the source of how you think and live your life came to you from others.
So when you feel right now that you cannot leave the law because you could never possibly make enough money in an “alternative” career to live on, that belief came from someone else.
When you feel right now that your skills allow you only to perform “lawyer” work, that idea came from someone else.
When you feel that stress and working hard and always having to be “on” in case a client needs you,
You have started many things (law school, law career, getting married, having kids, starting a new hobby, etc) that you were, or still are, not good at from the get go.
Let me say that again: You know you are not fully proficient at these things, you are not the expert at them … yet you still begin these things, you still undertake them.
But you hesitate, and often don’t get started at all, to begin to leave your legal practice and explore your dream “alternative” career.
You remain stuck.
I have an idea.
I shot a short video with my thoughts on this which I think you’ll find very insightful.
Click here to watch the video, or on the player below.
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I spoke with a number of new Leave Law Behind Career Coaching Members last week. For those who joined, one recurring theme surfaced in our conversations … that moved me so much, I shot a short video to share their experiences with you.
Click here to watch the video, or on the player below.
I have a feeling you might be feeling this way too.
If you know you want to leave your legal practice, and are trying to understand the best next step, sign up here for a 1 hour Strategic Coaching call with me, Casey.
And if you’re serious about leaving and finding your dream career, join the Leave Law Behind Career Coaching program here.
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You believe certain things. I do too. We all do.
These “belief systems” govern how we judge, think, and act in this world.
Some beliefs serve us well:
- “Everything will turn out all right”
- “Life is a game to be played, not a problem to be fixed” (and there are others).
Some beliefs do not serve us well:
- “I am not worthy and no one is going to hire me”
- “My worth as a human being is proportional to what I’ve achieved”
- “I need to be a workaholic to feel successful” (and there are others).
And when we talk specifically about leaving the law, and transitioning from our legal practice into an alternative, “non-law” career, two other belief systems sabotage us:
- “There are only a finite number of “non-law” jobs I need to compete for”; and
- “As an attorney,
It’s required to be a perfectionist as a lawyer … when writing a brief or meeting a client deadline or ensuring your client complies with a law or regulation.
You can’t make a mistake.
But needing to be perfect is exactly what you don’t want to be when looking to leave the legal profession. It will slow down your courage, motivation, and soul.
Case in point: The below email exchange with a fellow Leave Law Behind reader who was interested in learning more about the Leave Law Behind Coaching Program, but ultimately passed for the time being:
Thanks so much for reaching out. I’m still assessing and evaluating my situation and timing a bit, but didn’t want to leave you in limbo! I greatly appreciated talking to you and better understanding what you have to offer as I figure out my next steps.
And my response:
Sounds good, keep us posted how we can help.
And as far as “figuring out your next steps” … that can be a lot to ask,
Leave Law Behind is a blog and community to help unhappy and dissatisfied attorneys find ways to leave the law behind and create new career paths for themselves.
It’s an active community that comments on blog posts, emails me each week and interacts with each other.
It also contains a huge amount of self-admitted perfectionists, myself included.
You see, while it is rare, every so often I may make a mistake and include a typo in my writing.
No matter how many times I review and re-read my posts, sometimes there is a small grammatical error or some other type of inconsistency.
A few years ago, I saw a typo for the first time right after I hit “Send” on the email newsletter … and published it on Facebook … and tweeted it on Twitter. It was repeated as people forwarded the post along and retweeted. Some readers even emailed me directly to let me know it was there.
My mistake was out there and there was nothing I could do about it. I should have taken the time to re-read the post more carefully before sending and publishing.
While my parents wondered for years what this whole “Leave Law Behind” thing was, and really just wanted their nice son to have a respectable career as a lawyer, they now are big fans of what we are doing … my dad was even in attendance at the Live Event we held in San Francisco in December of 2017.
And he recently sent me an Albert Einstein saying to share with you all: “Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.”
It got me thinking about all of the people in your life that influence and impact you as you explore leaving the law.
Some of them are supportive and positive: They encourage you to change your life, they tell you it’s okay to want to be happy, they provide great feedback on your Unique Genius, they help you network and find job opportunities, and they are the first to toast you and your success in finding your dream career.
And then there are the negative people that Einstein warned us about. We can of course encounter negative people in all aspects of our life,
I am a big fan of the J.R.R. Tolkien books.
I just re-read the classic “The Hobbit”, and it inspired me to shoot a short video about what the hero of the story, Bilbo Baggins, did time and time again … and how what he did is something we all need to do as we leave the law. Watch the video here. I hope you enjoy it.
Are you ready to leave the law? Are you really serious that now is the time for you to explore your dream career?
If so, you have found your tribe.
At Leave Law Behind, we have developed the proven process to find your dream career. Click here to find out how it can work for you.
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I recently emailed with a fellow member of the Leave Law Behind Online Coaching Program who is at the exciting stage of identifying and then interviewing for careers out of the law.
She’s building momentum – some of these job descriptions are shaping up to be a fit with her Unique Genius … with her skills and strengths.
But as we reviewed many of these specific jobs, her fears and self-sabotage of the actual change required to leave the legal profession would still arise.
This manifested specifically through her saying “I don’t …“, as in:
- “I don’t think I want to do [“NON-LAW” JOB X] ”, or
- “I don’t know much about [THIS ASPECT OF “NON-LAW” JOB X], so I guess I won’t pursue it” … and on and on.
Fear of change
Saying “I don’t” is a manifestation of our fear of change. It’s a way we think we protect ourselves from the unknown … but we are really just sabotaging our growth and development.
So she and I worked together on some new ways to re-phrase … or reposition … or rethink …