I'd rather mop a lawyers office then be one for another day.....anybody get out? What did you become?
I felt that way. You may need to just find something that makes you happier in law than whatever you're currently doing.
Or you could do Teach for America.
Can you teach law somewhere? How about working for Legal Aid or some sort of philanthropic group?
What exactly do you hate about law? Is it the corporate environment, the kinds of clients you have?
Become a paralegal, OP. No pressure.
Or become a legal commentator or blogger, an agent, manager, etc. Most who have law degrees actually work in other fields.
I have to laugh at this because I'm worth at least $100 an hour as a paralegal at this point, if not more.
I'll go DL on this one and guess he got sick of being rejected by the actors who pay their bills on the support staff.
Is there and age limit for teach for america? I thought you had to be right out of college.
I would like to hear more about being a Paralegal, r4. What are the educational requirements? What do you actually do in a legal office? I just retired this year after 38 years as a nurse and I'm looking for something new in the way of a second career.
I am a British Lawyer and I too hate my job. I have felt like this for at least the last 2 years but have done nothing about it. I hate the incredible long hours and the stress which ruin you social life. I am exhausted all of the time.
My boss is a total workaholic and money mad he expects all of his employees to be workaholics too. He thinks because he pays you a salary he owns you. I bill huge amounts of money for my firm and it is never enough and I have not had a pay rise in at least 3 years.
There are substantial changes being introduced to the area of law that I work in which will come into force around April 2013 which will mean even longer hours and more stress. Also billing and costs will substantially drop due to the new changes. Therefore, if I cannot get a pay rise now when the changes are introduced I will never get a pay rise.
I have thought about switching to other areas of law. Conveyancing is a no no as the housing market is in the toilet. Family and criminal law is also out of the question as there are massive cuts to legal aid that lawyers already in that field are trying to get out.
I feel that my whole personality has changed and I have gone from being an easy going, laid back, positive person into a tired, grumpy, nasty and negative person. My advice to any teenager right now would be if I had my time again knowing what I know now I would do something else.
I am thinking about teaching. I cannot find the time with my current job to do the PGCE course part time with all the practical teaching time you need to do as well.
I apologise for my long post and if anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate their advice.
Seems like this happens to a lot of lawyers. Is the reality that much different than what you imagined when you made the choice to go into law?
I love British lesbians!
OP, are you hot? You could always become a stripper.
OP? Try getting a gig at a community college. You can start out as an adjunct while you work as a lawyer, teaching a night class or two, and then work/con your way into something full-time.
Of course, you're going to have to lower your standard of living considerably.
@ R 9 the reality is very different to what I thought it would be. It's not like I did not do my research. I spent many summers working in law firms for the work experience whilst studying. I went into the law because I thought I could help people and have an exciting well paid job at the same time. It's just long hours, stress and endless paper work. Also I have discovered that the partners who run the law firms only care about money. I have been in a position to help people but have not been allowed to by the partners because there is no money to be made by the firm.
@R 10 I love American Lesbians.
8 / 10
I became a judge which is much better than practising law. I hated being a lawyer. You have my sympathy.
Come up with an idea for a TV show and cast yourself as the host.
Say it isn't true, OP. So much money yet to be stolen!
Use your imagination. I've known a few lawyers who have transitioned out. One became a bartender and went back to school to teach. Another became a contractor then opened his own construction company. Another became a massage therapist and yoga teacher and eventually opened her own studio.
Figure out what you like to do then go from there. Sounds simplistic but it's true...
Mike, you still have a lot of fans from your previous line of work.
Run an ad "Liar For Hire."
I know many lawyers who are unhappy practicing law, but only a few who left the law entirely.
My partner was a tax lawyer (BigLaw partner, then went in-house). She quit, has written a novel, and is now learning how to trade in the foreign currency market. She is happier now than I've ever seen her, which is what makes the significant financial investment in her career change worthwhile.
Another colleague left my firm in his second year and opened a bicycle sale and repair shop. I have no idea how he's paying off his student loan debt.
Another colleague quit BigLaw outright and is now trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up.
If it's the billable hour thing that bothers you, OP, try to go in-house. If it's the practice of law itself, figure out what other marketable skills you have.
Has anyone said, "Work is hard!" yet? Being the spawn of a lawyer (and wrong-wing congressman) paid for my houses, etc.
Another American lesbian lawyer hitting on r8.
And I'm fairly happy, but I've been self-employed since 2005. Sure, it's still stressful but 80% of the stress of practicing law is dealing with assholes who have control of your career. I choose the cases I want, I have a long term contract, and I can bring my dog to the office. But my identity has never been caught up in being a big firm lawyer in a prestigious firm.
If someone wanted a thread on hanging out a shingle or starting and building a practice, I'd contribute. I did it in one state and now I'm doing it in another. It is entirely possible, but you have to let go of a few things.
Lawyers seem to forget they have been trained to be assertive and solve problems where it comes to their own lives.
@ R 23 would you like to hire me? You are the kind of boss I need.
You are right about lawyers needing to be great at problem solving and to be assertive I just find you have to do so much of that all day at work that you have nothing left to give in your personal life. You neglect your personal life.
My law degree isn't worth the paper it's written on. I'll be in debt for the rest of my life.
Work in a legal clinic
r24, I actually would but you should try not having a boss. Assuming you are the hot solicitor, is it possible to open your own firm in the UK? In the US it really varies, but I now live in a state that imposes mandatory mediation of all civil cases, including divorce, so I am going to train to be a mediator.
In the US one of the more reliable ways to get started in a small practice is to do contract work through the court systems or through panels. For those who have criminal and especially appellate experience the Criminal Justice Act provides conflict representation for federal defendants through every federal court (administered by the local office of the Federal Public Defender.) It pays OK, not great, but there's no reason you can't work at home. I got my first criminal jury trial that way.
Courts often have guardian ad litem appointments available and there are also conflict appointments through state and local PDs offices. Unions often offer legal plans to their members and when you get on those lists, people call you off the list and you represent them and get paid by their benefits plan, which is much easier than prying a retainer out of the client.
All this work doesn't pay what you're being billed for in a large firm, but you get to keep it, and it provides a stream of income that allows you to take on risky or bigger cases.
You wanna be a...lumberjack!
I am a British lawyer but have only been fully qualified for a couple of years so I guess I have not been worn down by the job yet. The only thing is I am doing well and billing well but my boss (Senior partner) seems to be playing on the recession and not giving anyone here a pay rise. I don't know who he thinks he's fooling because the firm is doing well.
Anyway I want to leave for another firm but want to improve my chances of getting more money. I really don't mind if I have to move to another city to o it as I have no ties. I would like the city I move to, to have a good scene.
I was thinking of signing up to do the Higher Rights of Audience course and exam. Have any of you British lawyers completed this course and do you think it was worth it.