The First Step in leaving the law behind: Mitigating our fear




Through Leave Law Behind, I work with many intelligent, driven, personable, resourceful, knowledgeable but nonetheless unhappy, dissatisfied, unmotivated, upset, and burnt out attorneys. They tell me that they want to leave the law behind and explore a completely new line of work. They tell me that they want to change their current practice of the law in order to enjoy their work more.

I tell them that there are five main steps that I use in helping people just like you leave the law. These are the steps I take my clients through in my one to one coaching or through the self-paced online course I just developed (I’ll be sending you more on both of these resources in later emails).

Five time-intensive-but-manageable, build-on-each-other-to-grow-your-confidence, incremental, rewarding (baby) steps one can take to leave the law behind for a fulfilling professional (and personal) life.

I shot the above short video for you (it’s less than 2 minutes long) describing this first step …

… and if you prefer reading, I jotted below some of the points I talk about in the video.


Let’s dive in with the first step: Facing, and mitigating, your fears.

You can plan as much as you’d like, disconnect from law school and be as self-analytical as you want. But nothing will happen, you will never be able to create a new life for yourself unless you face down and begin to manage your fears of change and of leaving the law. This is a life-long process, of course, but as with anything, there are small, incremental steps you can take now to build up the courage, emotion and structure to face your fears and begin to leave law behind.


What are some of these fears that prevent us from creating change and leaving law behind? There are many:

1. I’m afraid that if I leave the law, I’ll be different than all of my attorney friends

2. I’m afraid I won’t be able to make as much money as I make now

3. I’m afraid that I cannot do anything different than the practice of law

4. I’m afraid I won’t be able to convince someone else to hire me

5. I’m afraid to tell my firm I want to leave

6. I’m afraid that I will fail

7. I’m afraid to take a risk

8. I’m afraid everyone will laugh at me

9. I’m afraid I’ll get my bar license stripped away

10. I’m afraid I won’t be able to say I’m really a lawyer anymore

11. I’m afraid I’ll have to find a new identity

12. I’m afraid it’ll takes a long time

13. I’m afraid I’ll have to face some difficult facts about myself

14. I’m afraid it won’t be easy

15. I’m afraid I will be ridiculed and doubted

16. I’m afraid I will make mistakes

And there are likely many more we could think of.

Now let’s be honest – I’m not sure you can ever get over many of your fears. A lot of the anxiety from these fears remains in our lives, or comes back to mess with us throughout a given week, or arises when stimulated by something, or is just something we will always have to deal with.

But some of these fears you can wrestle down and get over. And those fears that you can’t totally eliminate, you can at least manage them so they do not utterly prevent you from making change, and leaving law behind.


At Leave Law Behind, we work on how to get over these fears, so they do not remain as obstacles in our pursuit of happiness.

– We begin to realize that these fears come from our own minds

– We begin to realize that we can leave the law by taking confidence building, momentum gathering, low or risk free “babysteps”

– We begin to realize that we lawyers actually have many transferrable skills to other industries.

– We begin to become comfortable with failure, and understand it’s an essential part of the process.

– We begin to realize that we are not alone.

– We begin to realize that the flip side of anxiety and stress can be exhilaration and excitement.

– We begin to realize that saying thank you more often is a powerful tool.

Fear of failure and embarrassment and risk and ridicule can stop us dead in our tracks before we can even get started leaving the law. This first step in leaving law behind is all about how courageous and creative and forceful we can be in showing these fears to the door.

I hope this email and video were helpful. I’ll soon be sending you the second step to leaving the law, keep an eye out for it.

And if you’d like to watch today’s video, click above.

Again, I am so happy to have you as part of the Leave Law Behind. I’ll be back in touch via email soon.



PS Questions? Thoughts? Just want to vent? Hit reply or email me at