I did everything I was supposed to do but I’m still unhappy

 October 3, 2013

By  Casey Berman

Many of us did everything we were supposed to do. We did everything right.

We got good or great grades in college, we labored through a LSAT prep course on Sunday afternoons and Tuesday nights, we got a decent or good score on the LSAT, we dutifully filled out law school applications and got accepted to a good or top notch law school. We took on student loans, we studied our outlines and graduated law school, spent a summer studying through Barbri or Kaplan, then took the bar, and anxiously awaited our results and then passed and then got a job, and then worked really hard for a lot of hours as a young practicing attorney.

Some of us even did better than that. Some of us nailed the LSAT and Am-Jur’ed through law school, and visited professors at office hours and got published in Journals and volunteered in clinics and nailed the OCI interviews and graduated in the top 20% and then passed the bar with flying colors and got a job after the first year at a top firm or clerked somewhere prestigious.

We saw being a lawyer as a way to make good money and create a secure lifestyle and to do good and to care for others and even save our small little piece of the world.

We did everything we were supposed to do. We did everything right.

But we just didn’t do what we were supposed to do for ourselves. We just didn’t do what was specifically right for us.

And as such, many of us are still unhappy. For many of us as attorneys, the hours are too long. The work too uninteresting. The path to partner too murky. The mentorship hard to come by. The financial incentive tenuous. The happiness factor close to nonexistent.

But what’s great is that as an attorney, the ability to leave the law is only becoming more and more feasible. Right now. There are babysteps you can take right now. There are like-minded communities out there right now. There are more and more books (and books) on this topic right now.

Right now, you are not alone.

As such, it is now time to do what is right for you. It is now time to focus on yourself and what you should do, and not focus on or do what you think others think you should do. The only way to care for the world is to first care for yourself. The only way to save the world is to first save yourself.

It’s not too late. Push aside that self doubt. Your timing couldn’t be better. Who better to care for yourself than the person you are right now.

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