Remembering TCPaul, 2016-2019

Leaving the law for greener pastures

Hi folks! I had an epiphany recently that the practice of la opal05/01/19
I went straight from law school into compliance, first at a supercalifragilisti05/09/19
Disability. taxamnesty05/01/19
Like ADA compliance stuff? opal05/01/19
Go into disab. law practice as a solo only if you have enoug catwoman33305/01/19
Interesting re: your comment on ADA compliance. Is the same opal05/01/19
Go back to school . It’s the only. Sure way to convince em underemployedlawyer05/01/19
I'm doing just that! (thankfully I got a pretty sizable meri opal05/01/19
Westlaw, Lexis, other providers of services to attorneys. jeffm05/01/19
I've heard this being a Westlaw/Lexis rep pays decently and opal05/01/19
Would you want the reminder though ? I’d never want to eve underemployedlawyer05/01/19
I don't mind law-related stuff like compliance, law libraria opal05/01/19
How about real estate agent? I think law is actually releva imoothereforeim05/01/19
"real estate agent? I think law is actually relevant." wutwutwut05/01/19
I'm doing this now in a government job. I don't like my job fettywap05/01/19
You will get use to it. All jobs suck. We need them to kee imoothereforeim05/01/19
Right but some jobs are more soul-crushing than others. opal05/01/19
You should have had that epiphany several years ago when the pauperesq05/01/19
It’s not a matter of “not being cut out”...it’s lack opal05/01/19
Your exact quote: "the practice of law isn't a good fit for pauperesq05/01/19
I’m intellectually capable enough to be a practicing lawye opal05/01/19
You completely ignored the last paragraph, which is all that fuckyouracists05/03/19
I am embracing reality. What makes you think I am not? opal05/08/19
Not everyone has been glued to this board for the last 3 yea catwoman33305/01/19
Nor have I, but even if you've only casually checked in from pauperesq05/01/19
Has this edict been rescinded? http://www.jdunderground.c jaredj05/01/19
Expired after one year. Plus, this time she's asking a si wutwutwut05/01/19
IMO, another degree would be a big mistake (more debt) and n catwoman33305/01/19
I’m definitely jealous of people young enough to get out o wearyattorney05/10/19
How old are you? People change careers in their 30s, 40s, 50 opal05/10/19
You're the crazy one, right? My advice is to go find a j nonlinearjdmba05/01/19
A lot of pots in this thread attacking the kettle. Not fair! taxamnesty05/03/19
You mean AML stuff? opal05/07/19
Let us know how you like where you wind up Opal. Some o bittersweet05/03/19
I made the transition after also realizing that traditional blg1505/09/19

opal (May 1, 2019 - 11:41 am)

Hi folks! I had an epiphany recently that the practice of law isn't a good fit for my personality type and desired lifestyle; accordingly, I'm working on breaking into quasi-legal/JD Advantage stuff (compliance, policy/advocacy work, human services, nonprofit management, etc.) for 2020 and beyond. I'm looking for something where my JD and legal background would confer a measurable benefit but that does not require bar licensure.

Has anyone else made the transition from legal to JD Advantage careers? How was the adjustment? My concern is that the fact I graduated so recently-in 2017-will raise eyebrows ("why is she suddenly considering nonlegal work? sounds flakey. is she a flight risk who'll jump ship as soon as she finds an attorney job? is she just a lazy bum who burnt out of the law because she couldn't hack it?) How to ameliorate these concerns that prospective nonlegal employers are likely to have about my candidacy?

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supercalifragilisti (May 9, 2019 - 11:25 pm)

I went straight from law school into compliance, first at a state agency then transitioning to higher ed. It's... amazing. Work life balance, general stress level, benefits, etc. are just so much better than what my classmates who went into practice are dealing with.

If you want some detailed advice, I'd be happy to provide plenty.

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taxamnesty (May 1, 2019 - 12:07 pm)

Disability.

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opal (May 1, 2019 - 1:14 pm)

Like ADA compliance stuff?

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catwoman333 (May 1, 2019 - 3:37 pm)

Go into disab. law practice as a solo only if you have enough $$$ to pay your bills as you wait 3 years to build your practice and get paid. SSA takes 2+ years to make decisions and you only get paid if the case is won (contingent fee). It's easy to get your foot in the door for disability rep/atty jobs working for other firms, national disability "mills" but those jobs pay peanuts and involve constant out of town, heavy travel and massive caseloads.

Employers seeking applicants for in-house ADA compliance jobs usually only hire attys with many years of previous experience in the disability field.

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opal (May 1, 2019 - 3:45 pm)

Interesting re: your comment on ADA compliance. Is the same true for Title IX compliance? Or higher ed compliance in general (clery act, ferpa, etc.)

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underemployedlawyer (May 1, 2019 - 12:16 pm)

Go back to school . It’s the only. Sure way to convince employers you want out of law

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opal (May 1, 2019 - 1:15 pm)

I'm doing just that! (thankfully I got a pretty sizable merit-based scholarship for my JD program so not an absurd amount of debt).

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jeffm (May 1, 2019 - 1:16 pm)

Westlaw, Lexis, other providers of services to attorneys.

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opal (May 1, 2019 - 1:18 pm)

I've heard this being a Westlaw/Lexis rep pays decently and has good work-life balance.

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underemployedlawyer (May 1, 2019 - 1:27 pm)

Would you want the reminder though ? I’d never want to even hear a lawyer speak ever again

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opal (May 1, 2019 - 1:32 pm)

I don't mind law-related stuff like compliance, law librarianship, nonprofit management, policy/advocacy work. I'm just turning my back on law practice. It's more so that law tends to attract workaholic sorts who put their career above all else-family, mental/physical/spiritual health, etc. whereas I value balance. Don't get me wrong-I've met wonderful people who happen to be practicing attorneys, however very high-strung, toxic, type A people tend to self-select into the law. Attorneys tell me that the law is incredibly high pressure and deadline-driven. The work is neverending and soul-crushing. You will deal with abusive, high-strung bosses, clients, opposing counsel, judges, etc. on a regular basis. You work nights and weekends, have to attend to work email at all hours, be "on-call" at a moment's notice-even during your "vacation". It can break even mentally healthy people.

ETA: not saying that compliance, policy, etc. is a cakewalk-far from it. However they don't have some of the same pressures faced by practicing attorneys.

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imoothereforeim (May 1, 2019 - 1:52 pm)

How about real estate agent? I think law is actually relevant.

If you want to stay in law, I would say immigration and will/trust offer decent life style.

*Note that a combo real estate agent and will/trust lawyer will probably get decent business.

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wutwutwut (May 1, 2019 - 2:57 pm)

"real estate agent? I think law is actually relevant."


That dude from Illinois Law who got caught punking the school's admit stats says that on his real estate website.

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fettywap (May 1, 2019 - 1:52 pm)

I'm doing this now in a government job. I don't like my job though. Need to go back to practicing or find something else.

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imoothereforeim (May 1, 2019 - 1:54 pm)

You will get use to it. All jobs suck. We need them to keep us alive, but that's it.

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opal (May 1, 2019 - 3:19 pm)

Right but some jobs are more soul-crushing than others.

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pauperesq (May 1, 2019 - 2:11 pm)

You should have had that epiphany several years ago when the entire board told you, in no uncertain terms and in numerous threads, that you weren't cut out to practice law.

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opal (May 1, 2019 - 3:18 pm)

It’s not a matter of “not being cut out”...it’s lack of interest, differing life goals, etc.

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pauperesq (May 1, 2019 - 4:15 pm)

Your exact quote: "the practice of law isn't a good fit for my personality type"

My point: this was conveyed to you by virtually everyone who posts here, ad nauseum, across numerous, lengthy threads. You now find yourself in the unenviable position of having to explain to prospective employers why you don't want to pursue a legal career when we all told you to avoid this position to begin with.

You need to convince employers that you only pursued the JD to build your skill set for use in a JD advantage job and you aren't interested in pursuing a legal career. There are no magic words to make that happen.

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opal (May 1, 2019 - 5:24 pm)

I’m intellectually capable enough to be a practicing lawyer. No question about that. I just don’t want to. My personality type is soft, nurturing etc. and law is cutthroat and combative. Also I value balance (exercise, healthy diet, meditation/prayer, time with family and friends, pursuing hobbies, travel, etc.) Law leaves little to no time for that. Career and money are important obviously, but they take a backseat to physical/mental health and caring for loved ones.

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fuckyouracists (May 3, 2019 - 2:28 pm)

You completely ignored the last paragraph, which is all that matters in this instance. You're focusing on what you want to hear or defending yourself when no defense is needed. Listen this time around. It's not rocket science, but you sure as hell have a knack of complicating things for yourself. Embrace reality.

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opal (May 8, 2019 - 7:48 pm)

I am embracing reality. What makes you think I am not?

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catwoman333 (May 1, 2019 - 4:00 pm)

Not everyone has been glued to this board for the last 3 years....:).

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pauperesq (May 1, 2019 - 10:30 pm)

Nor have I, but even if you've only casually checked in from time to time you should be well aware of OPs mental health issues.

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jaredj (May 1, 2019 - 2:42 pm)

Has this edict been rescinded?

http://www.jdunderground.com/law/thread.php?threadId=153320

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wutwutwut (May 1, 2019 - 2:56 pm)

Expired after one year.

Plus, this time she's asking a simple question and hasn't (yet) gone ballistic.

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catwoman333 (May 1, 2019 - 3:46 pm)

IMO, another degree would be a big mistake (more debt) and not make you any more marketable in the real world. One exception: you suddenly decide you want to go to med school. Then taking on more debt is justified.

Don't give too much credence to the "JD Advantage" line. It's a phony fantasy line made up by LS recruiters to boost enrollment, reduce LS revenue loss in a terrible, oversaturated job market for attys where many of their grads end up in doc review for years or making $25/hr. slaving away for small "firm" owners in glam jobs babysitting drunk drivers, illegals, or violent criminals.

I recommend you just take a break/gap year (if you can afford it) or 4-6 months off work to clear your mind and think hard about what kind of direction to take in life. You can even take a completely non-legal/JD mindless job like Lyft driver or barista to pay the bills. IMO too many people blindly leap from LS pressure cooker, to bar passage, then straight into the law work without really knowing what they are getting into.

I assume you're pretty young (20s?), so you have plenty of time to change course. Doing that in your 20s should hardly raise eyebrows with employers. Don't let anyone else shame or pressure you ("You should ALREADY have known that when you applied for LS!"). That's just nonsense. How many people know about real life when they're 23-25? Probably very few. And I've noticed that this board is full of vocally miserable and bored souls, all spending entire days complaining about their lot in life--even decades after they got that glam title and degree. They're probably just jealous because you still have time to do something about it before you become one of them...:).

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wearyattorney (May 10, 2019 - 3:31 am)

I’m definitely jealous of people young enough to get out of law without ruining themselves.

I hate legal practice more than anything.

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opal (May 10, 2019 - 8:16 pm)

How old are you? People change careers in their 30s, 40s, 50s all the time.

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nonlinearjdmba (May 1, 2019 - 5:13 pm)

You're the crazy one, right?

My advice is to go find a job in compliance or third party risk management at a bank.

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taxamnesty (May 3, 2019 - 4:04 pm)

A lot of pots in this thread attacking the kettle. Not fair!

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opal (May 7, 2019 - 10:18 am)

You mean AML stuff?

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bittersweet (May 3, 2019 - 5:49 pm)

Let us know how you like where you wind up Opal.

Some of us are still looking to get out as well.

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blg15 (May 9, 2019 - 1:39 am)

I made the transition after also realizing that traditional legal practice was not for me. After graduation I worked at a mid-law firm for about 4 years in a secondary market. I didn't like the work, but I learned some good skills and how to navigate a "real" job. I kept my eyes open on other jobs and applied to many (both legal and non-legal). I randomly applied to a job in local government in a city I wanted to move to. I hit it off with the interviewers and got the job. It is not an attorney position but I would not have gotten it without the legal background. I now work about 60% as much, am paid slightly less than my legal job, and have more vacation. The work is more interesting. It is everything I wanted so far (still relatively new). Regardless, my advice would be to always be hunting for non legal jobs because you ultimately don't know which ones will work out. You also need to put yourself in a position to do it without much risk (ie pay off loans, keep legal option open if possible just in case). Finally, be prepared to be somewhat scared when taking the leap because you are making a career change and may not really know what you are signing up for (the unknown can be more scary for some people). I have friends from law school that talk about doing it but don't because it does take more work to break out of the mold. I am happier for it career wise, so would encourage people to do it. Good luck.

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