Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Where Will All The Lawyers Go?

One of the Dean's of Solo Law Practice, Carolyn Elefant, writes that lawyers are moving to the "right."

The "right Carolyn speaks of "is the bold, creative side of the brain that typically doesn't get much of a workout by analytically minded, left-brained lawyers."

Elefant mentions one former in-house counsel at former Lehman Brothers who is now running a marketing Web site for professionals, and another former BigLaw who left to "fulfill his passion for interior design.

The question is asked: "Has the recession forced you to consider leaving the law for a job you always dreamed of? And do you think that your background as a lawyer would help or hinder your success in another field?"

As to the first question, the answer is of course "yes." There has got to be thousands of lawyers who have considered leaving the law. There are too many lawyers, too little work, and too many lawyers who got in to get rich, having no passion for practicing law. This is the time for those who never wanted to be lawyers, to strongly consider being something else. It is also the time for "real" lawyers to consider a second career. Nothing wrong with that at all. The economy is about supply and demand. If there's no supply for you, even if you love what you do, time for something else.

On the second question, being a lawyer can both help/hinder success in another field. If you've been stuck in a library for 4 years as a "lawyer," obviously customer service jobs or marketing careers are not for you. If you can't have a decent conversation with someone else, looks like sending letters ending with "GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY" is your only option.

On the other hand, if you're a client-based lawyer, or trial lawyer, sitting in an office alone is probably not your thing.

Elefant's post raises an issue that is hard to discuss amongst lawyers - what else is there?

It's no different for any professional or person dedicated to their career. It is understandable and troubling at the same time to think that there is nothing else in the world that can be done to make a living than the job you are doing right now.

But it is the time to consider doing something else, especially if right now being a lawyer is not what you expected.

Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com


1 comment:

Mike Gort said...


And then there are those of us who got our JD, spent a couple of years at BigLaw, and switched to a business career. After 30 years of business, I'm actually trying to move back into the practice of law.