Unfortunately, leaving the law starts out as a very lonely endeavor. It can be difficult to find others who have done it successfully to serve as role models or sounding boards. It is extremely hard to map out a structure and set of steps to follow successfully. It is not easy to forecast and prepare yourself financially for the potential unknowns.
And your current network of attorney friends, co-workers, colleagues and family will likely be of little or no help. Many attorneys are surrounded by other attorneys. We don’t often plan it this way, but the people we gravitate to, the people we mingle with, the people we (of course) work with and the people we just find in our network are often predominantly attorneys.
And while these people may be fantastic and close to you and care about you deeply, when you want to leave the law, this huge, solid, connected, professional, intelligent, dynamic network is often of little use, because this network of mainly attorneys may not be able to understand or connect to or relate to or open up about why you would want to leave this reality that they have built for themselves.
Some may love the practice of law, and just can’t comprehend why you would want to leave it. Many others may feel as dissatisfied as you do, and feel as beat down as you do, and yearn for change as much as you do … but they won’t have the courage or wherewithal or energy to take that first step and explore. They may have their identity so tied to law, or feel they are too old and set in their ways to change, or feel their monthly expenses are too great for them to branch out, or they wonder what their colleagues and peers would say if they were to leave. And if they find out you do have this courage and wherewithal and energy, they may get mad. Or jealous. Or slowly fill with bad energy.
Whatever the case may be, they will not be of much help to you.
And we all need help. Lots of it. On a consistent basis. From like-minded, giving, confident, courageous people.
So as you explore leaving law behind, and begin to open up to some of those around you, remember not to be dissuaded by the first reactions you receive from others. They may not provide you with the best advice or support or guidance. And that’s okay, as it’s their problem, not yours.