Annie Little realized she was unhappy in her fifth year of legal practice, even though she was a successful attorney by all outward metrics. After becoming frustrated that she could not find any career coaches that specialized in assisting attorneys, Annie herself became a career coach specializing in lawyer job search and career transitions. Annie now helps attorneys change the way they think about their legal career.
What motivated you to pursue this area of focus? When I got pregnant with my first child, I knew I didn't want her to know me as a lawyer. I didn't want to set an example for her that it's normal to stay in a job that is emotionally and physically draining even if you're good at it or it pays well.
ANNIE LITTLE, Esq. Attorney Career Coach, Founder, JD Nation ANNIE LITTLE
When I was looking for resources on finding a new career, I didn't find support that was specifically targeted to lawyers. I hired a life coach to help me figure out my next steps, and I fell in love with the coaching process. I knew there were other lawyers like me who were unfulfilled in their careers, and I wanted to be the resource to them that I didn't have. That's when I founded JD Nation and started my coaching certification.
I knew there were other lawyers like me who were unfulfilled in their careers, and I wanted to be the resource to them that I didn't have. How would you describe your expertise and the message you have to convey? I want my fellow lawyers to know that they can do anything with their law degree (although I only recommend that people go to law school if they intend to practice law--long story for another time!). Whether it's changing practice areas or changing industries, every lawyer has transferable skills and experience to carry them through a successful career.
How is your expertise valuable to our 40,000 lawyers who will view this article? Too many lawyers think it's normal to hate their job. Or they think they're the only lawyer who doesn't like their career. But they're not alone. Not only are they not alone, but they also have so many options for making a change! Another misconception lawyers have is that they should be able to figure out their careers on their own--despite never having been taught how to write résumés, network effectively or even how to manage people as they rise through the ranks. It's not a personal failing to reach out for help. Just think of all the successful people in the world; not one of them got there without asking for help along the way.
Who has been your inspiration? This may sound cheesy, but I've been inspired by everyone I've come across who has cast aside the traditional definition of success in favor of a life that feels successful to them. These people have been clients of mine, high school friends, celebrities and even strangers standing next to me in line at the store (pre-pandemic, of course). I'm inspired by them because they have allowed me to consider how much is really possible and serve to remind me it's worthwhile to pursue my personal version of success.
MSBA.ORG | ISSUE 2 2020