Leave Law Behind! Break Free Now!
"I have decided to Leave Law Behind and change my career." The astonishment and amazement amongst friends and family is huge,when you make this announcement. The first question invariably is "why are you going to leave law behind?"
The perception is that as a lawyer you are in a high status, glamerous and prestigious career, ranking alongside that of a Physician or Engineer. But, let's be frank, the majority of people who think of Lawyers have this misguided view of us as the television lawyer who at the eleventh hour steps with a smoking gun and saves the day.
Don't we all wish this was the case?
However the reality of law is far removed from this notion that people carry in their heads.
From day one in our study of Law any ideas we have that we are the noble knight on a stead saving the day are quickly dismissed. The practice of law is actually very slow and methodical. We put long hours in with our noses stuck in books learning the worst scenario for every event that could happen. So in general, we leave university as died in the wool pessimists and we begin to have a 'worst case scenario' outlook on life. We spend a large portion of our day working with the mundane and we have to get it perfect every time, there is no room for error in what we are doing! The simple rule being if it is not pefectly executed then we lose.
By its very nature the law is generally adverserial. In the large majority of any legal issue there is a situation of a clear winner and a clear loser. This also extends into the law practice you are in, where the very lawyers you are working with, particularly in private practice, are competing with you to outshine the others and 'win' a better position over you. Having worked in the Magistrates Courts Law offices, I can say that I was more fortunate than many of my colleagues in private practice in that the work environment was more collaborative than adverserial.
Many a time, whilst I was studying, I had colleagues who had realised that they did not want to become lawyers. They however were stuck, because of the expense of the tuition. Many had loaned large sums of money to pay for their education and they had to grind out their studies in the hopes of qualifying and then getting a position in a practice to enable them then to pay off their student debt, although they had a desire then to leave law behind. Once you have qualified and are employed in a practice, having survived doing your articles, we now become set into the routine of practice. In general we still have a 'lowly rank' in the firm and are reasonably isolated from contact with clients and seeing if our work is having any impact as we work in a rather compartmentalised environment. Once again you are becoming an expert at the mundane and humdrum, especially in private practice. The menial is perfected and frankly becomes extremely boring, whether we admit this or not.
I was extremely fortunate in working for Her Majesty's government in that I worked a steady 9 to 5 job, Unlike many friends and colleagues in private practice who worked anything up to 12 hours or more. This was highly stressful to them and also they had the added stress of filing cases, meeting deadlines et cetera. It is therefore no wonder that statistically lawyers rank in the high numbers related to divorce, depression, substance abuse and suicide.
You can easily deduce from this that there are many unhappy lawyers in practice that are thinking of quitting law.
I'm stuck, what now?
Due to our ingrained pessimism and 'worst case scenario' view on the world, we believe that our lot in life is to be stuck where we are and grind out our existence until we can retire and escape. Many of the friends and colleagues I talk to are unhappy and really want to Leave Law behind but feel trapped and do not feel that this is possible.
I can with absolute confidence say that after my 29 year career in law it is possible to change and live a successful Life After Law. But there is a caveat, you have to make the decision to leave law behind and YOU need to act on it. The choice is very possible and if you carefully analyse your position you will find that as a lawyer you have been given a skill set that you can successfully apply outside the legal profession.
Leave Law Behind - My Decisions.
After a 29 year career, with changing government legislation, I had become effectively sidelined and was not able to practice in my chosen field of speciality. I had become an overqualified administration clerk and was very disillusioned. The realisation had also struck home that I was bored and unfulfilled in what I was doing, so the law had very definitely lost its shine. I had the option to change my speciality but I would then me moving from my current unfulfilled position into another position doing the same drudge in another area of the law and this was very unappealing to say the least. Needless to say I felt stuck in a dead end and where to next?
"Apply our training and assess your situation I told myself" and that is what I did. After much analyse and my changing personal circumstances, it became clear that I needed to Leave Law Behind and strike out on a new path. The idea of working in the corporate world, being beholden to a boss, still having the daily commute and working stuck in the 9 to 5 rut was not appealing and I very quickly ruled that option out. So by a process of elimination I was going to be a Lawyer turned entrpreneur.
To work from home was the option best suited to my circumstances. I then after further research started a property business in partnership with a friend, but this is a business with more of a medium to long term return. I needed to create a short term return business as well and after a lot of digging and further research discovered internet marketing. This is a growing business model and I feel that it will eventually overtake the conventional business market, it also has the potential for short, medium and long term results.
Having embraced internet marketing, I can say, I now have a global business. After 10 years I can say that I have become very successful in this market.
Leave Law Behind - Final Thoughts.
Reaching the decision to Leave Law Behind and then implementing that decision is the most difficult first step. Leaving the law and breaking free of the corporate environment will give you a huge sense of freedom and perhaps even a sense of weightlessness. Be aware however that you are going to need to get back in touch with you! Yes you will need to undo all the boring and mundane perfection you have had drummed into you and will need to look at reinventing yourself, but the good news getting back in touch with you is not as hard as you think.
"So what do I get involved in after leaving the law?" is a common question I get asked. The answer, in my view, is relatively simple as when we were studying law the majority of us chose a particular speciality. How did we make that choice? We looked at what our interests are and lined our choice up with those and the same principle applies to choosing what you want to do after being a lawyer. I have always enjoyed helping people and so it was a simple step for me to become involved in mentoring.
Click here to view some business opportunities I am involved in and would recommend to you.
Wishing you every success in your future decisions.
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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