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Law Career Roundup: Birthday Presents & Career Fulfillment

CupcakesIf you didn’t see it yesterday, we’re celebrating JD Careers Out There’s first birthday!

If I could, I’d send you all a cupcake. Aren’t you jealous of these cupcakes from my nephew’s first birthday last weekend? Photo credit to my sister-in-law.

Watch Marc’s birthday message:

No need to send us presents for JDCOT’s birthday, but if you want to celebrate with us click here to Tweet us a birthday greeting (click on the link and you can customize your message).

Instead, our present to you is awesome career advice all year round. Here’s some recent advice from around the web:

Finding the career that fits you starts with the summer internship. There’s a lot of pressure to have the perfect (paying) summer experience, but here’s a good reminder that even finding out that you don’t want to go down a path is a good use of your summer.

Being a lawyer is so yesterday. Everyone wants to work at a startup.

You Too? Then check out this list of qualities that entrepreneurs look for in a hire. Also, you should be able to explain why your law background makes you a good fit for their company.

You may think that risk-adverse lawyers wouldn’t do well as entrepreneurs, but you’d be neglecting the fact that solo practitioners run their own businesses. Check our our law career videos and look for those who run their own firm. Watch out for next week’s interview on elder care law, in particular. She shares some great tips on starting a firm out of law school.

Lawyers often follow entrepreneurial alternative careers for lawyers. Michael Jackson built a wireless site acquisition business that employees 50 people, and most are JDs. Marc also is talking to the founder of a litigation services startup, Cogent Legal, today.

JDCOT friend Lainee Beigel also blogged about what it’s like to start a business after being a lawyer this week on Small Businesses Do It Better.

Here’s a couple stories with advice for young attorneys privileged enough to have found law firm jobs in today’s tough market. But even if you’re not in that position, these articles bring up interesting points.

First, a London lawyer writes about “taking a career break,” traveling for a while then moving to Dubai to be a lawyer. Tough life! But the article poses an interesting thought: Has the recession changed young people’s view of life? Do we want fulfillment more than money or prestige now? More so than our parent’s generation? What do you think?

This young lawyer’s letter seeking advice might be a sign of that. He asks if it’s ok to leave his BigLaw job after a few months for a smaller firm. The response is no. Tough it out for a few years, and small firms will be going after you, the advisor says.

Good point, but there’s a bigger problem here, common among lawyers. The young lawyer didn’t do the career research or informational interviewing necessary to find the right path for him. That’s why we advocate watching our career path videos and networking to figure out what career path is best for you. You can start here.

If you don’t like your job, check out these tips from Sharon Salzberg, author of the book Real Happiness at Work.

But sometimes your happiness comes down to more than tips in a book. CNN’s story on lawyer suicides this week is an important reminder that mental illness is a huge problem in the field of law. Take care of yourself and remember you can have a fulfilling career with your law degree.

To lighten things up, former law firm associate and comedian Matt Ritter wrote a column with “advice” on being a lawyer, much of which I can’t repeat here. (But yes to the office chair and retirement account advice!)

For actual advice on being a young associate, check out our professional development videos, especially the tips on workplace communications.

Would you rather have career fulfillment or money/prestige? Tell us in the comments below.

JD Careers Out There web producer Megan SweasMegan Sweas is a web producer with JD Careers Out There. During a graduate journalism program at University of Southern California, she took a law class for fun. While many of her fellow journalists have made the transition to law, she’ll stick to writing about law careers.

 

GET MY FREE SELF-ASSESSMENT!

Thinking of leaving the law? The best first step you can take is a good look in the mirror. START HERE:

it's free!
You’ll also get periodic updates, reminders & access to career guidance programs sent to your inbox. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe via a click at any time.