Frustrated Lawyers R Us. Plan 'B' Mutiny?

Posted on August 28th, 2010 by Chrissie Lightfoot

‘The sun is out… the sky is blue… there’s not a cloud… to spoil the view… but it’s raining… (doodle doodle doom)… raining in my heart.’

You may recognise the lyrics from a song. I’m referencing it in relation to how all you frustrated lawyers out there may be feeling right now. Whether you’re frustrated as hell about trying to get into the profession, or whether you’re in it and desperately depressed and you want to get the hell out… but feel stuck… this article’s for you. For some of you, it may feel like a tornado is whipping around inside that legal beagle heart of yours.

I’ve just read in the Sunday Times (business section) last weekend that we’re in for a double dip as far as the economy and recession is concerned. And, the double-dip pessimist mongers say that ‘looking forward the wider economic picture is not so bright’.

I’ve also been chatting and meeting with tomorrow's lawyers and partners in law firms over the past couple of months and law student, associate, senior associate and barrister clients. It’s partly why I’ve been a wee bit quiet on the blog post scene of late – my apologies; some of you may of course be thinking ‘thank God’ – my ‘anonymous’ commentator fan club in particular.

Bottom line… doom and gloom. The feeling is that there will be no boom for many years to come.

I’ve probably made you feel like jumping off the proverbial crumbling ivory tower roof (or equivalent). Jeronimoooooooooo!

But hey, don’t jump. Ever the eternal optimist I reckon there’s still hope. We just have to find the strength and courage to persevere.

For a start, we shouldn’t believe everything we read or hear. So, you can choose to stop reading this article right now if you’re thinking I’m talking a load of blond bimbo utter tosh (or about to).

I believe there is hope because we have choice. We have options.

For example, if you can’t get through the ‘no training contract here for you’ brick wall, are struggling to duck around it by applying for a paralegal and/or legal executive position and having no success there either because law firms are hoarding any cash they have and are reluctant to take on more staff as the global economy faces continued uncertainty, then here’s an idea: go and do something else with your life. For now, at least. While the economy and legal world is struggling and desperately trying to find its feet again and get itself on an even keel.

Reality check – there’s an obvious over supply of law students, an obvious under supply of training contracts available (and/or paralegal positions available) and a pool of highly qualified and skilled ‘give us a job’ lawyers already in the market who were ‘let go’ in 2008/9/10, ever hopeful of reclaiming a rowing position on the good ship legal enterprise.

Taking another path may well mean less risk of racking up debt. After all, there is no guarantee you will make it as a lawyer and have a legal career at the end of it; some things may well be beyond your control. The saving grace is that there’s always the chance you can come to the law later in life (as many lawyers have, successfully).

You may well find (like most people) that you will have more than one career during your working life. There’s a whole range of exciting career paths for an intelligent, hard-working, ambitious young person such as you. Remember, you are one of the top 5% in the world (as an educated budding professional). Even in a recession there are industries and niches doing rather well. Go seek and ye shall find… because it just may turn out that the dream you once believed as being the holy grail might actually turn out to be a paper cup. If you don’t believe me then go and talk to all those frustrated lawyers who remain in the industry and all those who have since left (out of choice).

Whether you’re a paralegal, legal executive, assistant solicitor, associate solicitor, a senior associate, attorney, lawyer, partner or barrister you may well have already reached the point, mindset and realisation which Jim Rohn speaks of:

‘Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you.’

Being unhappy in your role/job/career is akin to being unhappy in your marriage. When you’ve reached the point that there’s more ‘bad’ than ‘good’ happening then you have to do something about it (for everyone’s sake).

So, if you want out now because in your case the holy grail you may have once searched for and found has actually turned into a paper cup, then how about these ideas:

1) Become a virtual lawyer – if you’ve got the network, contacts, collaborative relationships, wherewithal, personal marketing skills, personal sales skills… and guts, then go do it; or

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This entry was posted on Saturday, August 28th, 2010 at 12:31 pm and is filed under Entrepreneurs, Future Law, Lawyers, Trainee solicitors, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


13 Comments

  1. Excellent post, Chrissie!

    There are always attractive opportunities waiting for us when we’re ready to see them, I wholeheartedly agree.

    Looking forward to Volume 2 of The Naked Lawyer!

    Enjoy,
    Christine Hueber

  2. dowen insurance says:

    The best thing that I have read in my life?

    Warm regards,
    Maude

  3. ess insurance says:

    Great writing! Maybe you could do a follow up on this topic??

    Luz

  4. SEO Boston says:

    Thanks for this post. I definitely agree with what you are saying. I have been talking about this subject a lot lately with my father so hopefully this will get him to see my point of view. Fingers crossed!

  5. limbi straine says:

    When I finally get going with my blog on copywriting and running a small business, I’ll follow these tips!If only more bloggers did!

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