Leaving The Law – How To Make The Leap & Change Careers
Let’s face it: Leaving the law isn’t easy.
You went to law school to be a lawyer, and now you’re doubting that law is the right path for you. It can make you question your whole identity! Maybe family is pushing you to stay in a law job that you hate. The financial pressures can chain you to your job, too.
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone and you’re not stuck.
Here on JDCOT, I’ve interviewed a ton of law grads working in alternative careers – and I am one of them too!
I always ask my “JD Refugee” video guests about how they clear the hurdles of leaving law. I’m going to help you get rid of them below.
But first, if you’re new here at JDCOT, you may want to start at “I hate being a lawyer.” Not leaving law? Visit “Start Here” for law degree jobs that fit you. You’ll find out more about JDCOT’s 3-step Formula for Career Fulfillment. Here are the 3 steps, with links to more information:
- Self-Assessment: Click Here To Get Your FREE Self-Assessment tool.
- Career Exploration: Explore Law Graduate Jobs
- Breaking In: How To Land Non-Legal Jobs For Lawyers
Leaving The Law
The 3-step Formula for Career Fulfillment is a surefire way for anyone to find a career they love. But when you’re thinking about leaving law, you need to take another step – a leap, in fact. You need to decide that you’re ready to make a change – that you need to follow the formula.
Let’s knock some of those hurdles down so it’s easier for you to take that leap:
“I’m a lawyer!”
You’ve probably watched TMZ and heard the little voice at the end of the show proclaim, “I’m a lawyer!” And yes, you are a lawyer. But get that voice out of your head. You’re going to want to be able to think of yourself in different terms.
You’re actually someone who brings a diverse, valuable skill set to the table – and it’s not just “being a lawyer.”
Think about it. Your skill set includes analytical skills, problem-solving skills, negotiation skills, research skills, listening skills, organizational skills, being detail-oriented…the list goes on.
You really think that only law jobs use those skills?
The reality is that all kinds of employers can benefit from a workforce with that skill set – and you’ve got it! Simply seeing the light and making this realization should be incredibly freeing. Feel the metal shackles drop off your ankles!
“What will people think of me?”
I’m always hearing from lawyers who are worried about disappointing their parents by leaving law. Or perhaps you like the prestige of saying “I’m a lawyer” at a busy cocktail party.
My questions for you: Who says you can’t find a career that’s equally, if not more, prestigious? That will both impress family and strangers and make you happy?
Have you ever met somebody at a cocktail party who’s really passionate about what they do? I bet you’d rather talk to an enthused accountant than an unhappy lawyer.
Finally, you’ve probably heard this 100 times, but it’s true 99% of the time: Your parents just want you to be happy!
“I can’t afford to leave law.”
If you hate being a lawyer, you can’t afford NOT to leave law.
After losing a loved one at a young age, I learned that life is too short to not love what you do. The depression and suicide rates among lawyers are too high for you to ignore your unhappiness.
Let’s talk dollars and cents.
Yes, you may have to adjust your lifestyle to fit your new salary, but my guests point out that you buy less stuff when you’re filled up by a satisfying career.
“I’m just not sure.”
This is why I recommend hearing from other people who have been in your shoes.
You can find all of my guests’ advice on making a career change and leaving law here:
After you watch a video, scroll down to the bottom of the post to find the link to their full career path interview. You’ll gain more insights about leaving law and perhaps get some inspiration about what you want to do next by watching their full interview. You can also find the complete list of alternative careers for lawyers on JDCOT here:
Ready to take the leap and leave law?
Click here to find out more about JDCOT membership plans today for full access to all of these videos: