i don't want to be a lawyer anymore

I Don’t Want To Be A Lawyer Anymore! A Lawyer Reinvented.

I Don’t Want To Be A Lawyer Anymore, Are There Alternatives I Can Explore?


Mark Ford

Mark Ford

I don't want to be a lawyer anymore is normally a slow, accumulative realisation that builds over time, although many times we will claim a single event was our eureka or 'aha' moment. In my view that 'moment' we experience is, as the expression says, the straw that broke the camel's back. So it is a bit like building your case for a client and is an accumulative action.

I am a qualified Solicitor, who worked in the Magistrates Courts in the United Kingdom specialising in licencing law. "Luxury" you might say as working for the government is a rather 'soft' job from a lawyer's point of view in that I worked a regular 9 to 5 job, got to interact with the public regularly, had a fair though not spectacular salary and had a 'safe' position. My position was secure, well not really. The government in their wisdom started rapidly changing the licencing laws and eventually devolved the implementation of these laws away from the Magistrates Courts to Local Authority level. So my 'great' job was suddenly no more and I was suddenly a Solicitor without portfolio.

quittinglaw.com chained to your desk

I was chained to my desk

Long before this I was an unhappy lawyer, because frankly the law is boring.To be honest the practice of law is repetitive in the extreme, even the licencing law, although the type of premises or venue may be different, the law applied is exactly the same and this goes for any form of the law. We are expected to perform like a machine and be flawless in every detail, perfectionists to the extreme. For my colleagues in private practice your success for your client pivots on this. So here I was stuck on the career treadmill, get up in the morning choose the suit of armour to wear( a suit and tie to you) remember this must be conservative no polka dots or gaudy stripes, join the amazingly awesome commute, arrive at the office slightly before time 'wash and rinse' and repeat in my case for 5 days a week for some in private practice 7 days a week. So there I was unhappy and wondering if there were alternatives to law but I found that I felt stuck where I was as we have this pessimism ingrained into us and feel that there are no alternatives but to persevere and be happy with what we have. I could however say that I was fortunate in working for the government in that they were reluctant to make me redundant and therefore add to the unemployed statistics so I was 'chained' to a desk and employed basically as a statistical clerk('joy of joys') and I didn't even get to practice as a solicitor, but I would still be getting the regular paycheck. I don't want to be a lawyer anymore was now uppermost in my mind and I had become extremely unhappy which was reflecting in my personal life.

Unhappy at work = Unhappy at home

My eureka moment happened under very sad personal circumstances, my father lost his fight with cancer in 2006. I was granted an extended leave of absence and was fortunate that the charity organisation that helped both my father, my family and myself cope with the sad event through counseling was the catalyst that caused me to re-evaluate my position.

I dont want to be a lawyer anymore, the alternatives.

Make the statement "I don't want to be a lawyer anymore" and see the shock and consternation amongst friends and family. The biggest reaction is the loss of status both of yours and others by association, then the worry of what are you going to live on?, the lack of understanding of why you would ever want to leave this prestigious position and what on earth are you going to do? The biggest 'sympathy vote' or understanding you will receive is from close colleagues who are generally in the same boat as yourself.

You can choose to break away or you can choose to stay

The first suggestion that is generally made when looking to change being a lawyer is to change your position. If you are an unhappy lawyer and are unhappy with practicing law then all you are really doing is taking your baggage with you to a different venue and in reality not changing anything at all. If you do this there is that 'honeymoon' period if you want and you will feel that it was a good move but you will quickly realise that you are back at square one.

When considering alternatives to law you will have to look at reinventing yourself to a certain extent. When I say this there is a lot of resistance and I don't know if I can do that, but I assure you this is possible although it may not be easy and a large amount of self analysis would need to be done. Remember this, however, we do have a lot of negatives ingrained in us when doing our law degree but there are also a large amount of very desirable traits that we also take away. I not going to look at the negatives, I have already mentioned some above and I am sure we could spend even more time adding negatives all along the way, but let's move on and look at the positives. We are equipped with a unique and valuable skill set such as research, logical thought, breaking down a large amount of information and making sense of it, being adaptive to change, strong negotiation skills, strong writing and communication skills. All these skills are transferable skills and can be applied anywhere, in fact many businesses seek qualified lawyers out because of this skill set which are unique to the legal profession.

So where does that leave you? Well you then apply for work in the corporate world for positions such as company secretary, estate agent, stock broker, investment banker and various other types of positions in the city. The advantage is they do allow a certain level of 'failure.' For some of these positions you may need to add further degrees or training to secure a position. There are however many lawyers who have chosen to leave law behind and are now Chief Executive Officers of various organisations. There are some lawyers who have discovered or rediscovered their burning/all consuming passions and stepped out into that field and become actors, comedians, singers, artists and yes even travelers, chefs and professional bloggers.

quittinglaw.com chained to your desk

Become an entrepreneur

If however like myself the above doesn't appeal to you then can I be so forward as suggesting you seriously consider becoming an entrepreneur. Considering the growth of business on the internet, there are many opportunities to create your own global business and brand. If you scoff at this idea just remember you are reading this on the internet.


I don't want to be a lawyer anymore - What did I do?

During my leave of absence I did a large amount of self analysis and took stock of my strengths and yes my weaknesses as well. The result was that I clearly knew that staying in law in any form of legal practice was definitely ruled out. My personal circumstances were also changing and the optimal choice for myself was to look at working from home. So after a 29 year career in law I resigned and quit law and launched out on my own. At the time one of the first options that was very attractive was the property market, which was buoyant at the time. I realised that I could become involved in this market and run it from home, but I am not au fait with the property market and it was obvious I needed to be involved with someone who knew the property market, a mentor, so I was fortunate to form a partnership with just such a person and so I found someone to help me avoid the pitfalls and also had an 'inside track' on what was happening in the property market. We have managed to build a successful property management business with a portfolio of 21 properties. There are however a few limitations to this business in that it is rather geographic specific and the major returns from this type of business is really long term. I have a bit of a wanderlust so I carried on looking at other options and also something that would play to my strengths.

Then I found it, Internet Marketing. There are huge opportunities available, but be warned there are also a lot of scams around and you can very quickly burn your fingers. Having burnt my fingers once I very quickly found some mentors to help me, yes I still work with them and also bounce ideas off them. Again there are many varied opportunities available and like me you are going to need to find the niche which suits you. Some of my strengths are helping people, writing and communication, bearing these in mind I found the best niche market for me was being a mentor and a home business lifestyle coach. This has enabled me to create a location independent global business and given me the freedom to work at the hours that I can perform at my best.

I don't want to be a lawyer anymore - Closing remarks.

Don't be 'happy with being unhappy' you are uniquely positioned to do anything you want to do. The proviso is YOU NEED TO TAKE ACTION! If you decide to do exactly the same thing every day then how do you expect a change to happen?

The decision to leave law behind and look at a life after law can be daunting, but we as lawyers have this unique and sought after skill set that we can apply almost in every business situation.  Don't however just leave your career, you need to have a plan and know your particular skills that you can apply to your endeavours after quitting law. Find a mentor to help you in your endeavours they have been where you are now and can very quickly walk with you down the road to your success.

Click here for a recommended solution that worked for me.

Wishing you every success.

Mark Ford

Mark Ford Home Business Lifestyle Coach

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Mark Ford.
CEO and Founder Nice Money Publications Limited
Home business lifestyle coaching with Mark Ford, loyally stepping up for others SO THAT they are given inner peace.
Many people live the life they think they have to live. They are overworked, underpaid, and unfulfilled. But the good news is that it doesn't have to be this way. My name is Mark Ford and my goal is to help you recognize your potential and equip you with the skills you need to turn that potential into a viable online home business in the digital economy.
We have to stop making excuses and make it happen, whatever that is for you?

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About The Author

Mark Ford

A former lawyer in the UK who quit law to build a property portfolio and then an internet business and live a new lifestyle.