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1. 800. 973.1177

CAREER COUNSELOR’S CORNER

Is Considering Career Alternatives an Alternative for You? [Chet Olsen] Most attorneys have one thing in common - they don’t want to be attorneys. Is the unhappiness that is rampant throughout the profession due to the profession itself or the attorneys getting in the wrong situations?

One thing that most lawyers have in com-

law you have an issue with or is it something

more.” In other words, maybe you like the

mon is that they don’t want to be lawyers.

else? There are several things that could be

law but it takes so much out of you that it’s

It’s almost part of the lawyer culture to be

that “something else.”

no longer fun or enjoyable. In this case, maybe too much of a good thing is bad and

constantly searching for something new and

you just need to manage your workload.

different. We are inspired by stories of for-

1. Your own situation. Maybe there are not

mer lawyers who go out and start airlines or

a million and one of them, but there are

produce television shows. We tell ourselves

many options available to you in your current

4. Are you itching to start and run your own

that’s how we want to put our legal education

profession. Working in the DA’s office could

business? Whether you had a Rich Dad or

to work.

be as different from being a bankruptcy at-

a Poor Dad, you may be feeling the urge to

torney in a large firm as it is to many of the

start your own business. When most lawyers

Producing television programs may or may

nonlegal jobs you might consider. In other

do this, they think about what kind of busi-

not be in your future but, at one time or

words, don’t give up all you put into becom-

ness venture they might want to launch. Take

another, you have probably been intrigued by

ing a lawyer to become an insurance adjuster

a minute to consider that a law practice can

an advertisement for one of those seminars

when you haven’t thought through all your

be very much like your own business. This is

focusing on nonlegal careers for attorneys.

options.

true if you start your own firm or it can also

These ads are placed by individual career

be true within a law firm environment.

counselors and career counseling com-

2. What you are looking for may be closer

panies that specialize in helping lawyers

than you think. Be careful not to make the

Especially when you hit the partnership level,

escape the law. I may be exaggerating a bit,

assumption that all law firms are alike - even

or even as an of counsel, you may be able to

but the names of these companies and their

if you have worked for two or three that were

find a situation where you can work autono-

seminars are typically something like “A Mil-

very much alike. Again, there are big differ-

mously, be paid directly for your efforts and

lion and One Things You Can Do With a Law

ences to be found. A larger or smaller firm,

call most of the shots. Some firms, of course,

Degree” and “Lawyers Who Quit the Law and

a firm in another geographic region, starting

will be more conducive to this than others

Ended Up Marrying Michelle Pfeiffer.”

your own firm - these are all options that can

but the point is that, again, you might find

give you an entirely different perspective on

what you are looking for within the legal

the law.

profession.

the things you need but may not get all you

3. Is it law or is it working that you don’t

5. Finally, it may be that you just need to give

were looking to find. In other words, I don’t

like? If you are just our of law school, it may

yourself some time before making the jump

think many people walk out of there saying

be that you are having trouble adjusting to

out of law. Your situation might improve and

to themselves “Hot damn, I now know I was

working forty or more hours a week for the

you’ll enjoy the law more as you get more

meant to be an astronaut. I’ve got to call

first time in your life. Speaking of adjusting,

senior. One of the advantages of paying your

NASA right away.”

if this is the case, you probably won’t enjoy

dues practicing law is that more and more

insurance adjusting any more than you do

opportunities present themselves to you.

practicing law.

With a few years under your belt, you will

If you attend these seminars and/or read books on this topic, you will get some of

One of the good things about considering

have a better sense of what you are looking

career alternatives outside the law is that it makes you seriously consider how you really

If you are used to working forty or more

for and be in a position to do things you were

feel about being an attorney. If you’re unhap-

hours a week, that too could be a problem.

not qualified for just out of law school.

py with your current career situation, is it the

Especially if the “or more” is “or much

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continued on back


CAREER COUNSELOR’S CORNER

If none of the above applies, it might actually be the case that you are meant to be an astronaut.

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1.800. 973. 1177

Is Considering Career Alternatives an Alternative for You?  

Most of the attorneys have one common thing in them, they do not want to be attorneys. Is the unhappiness that is rampant throughout the pro...

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