I Hate Being a Lawyer – How to Successfully Transition Out of Law and Into the Career of Your Dreams

How many times have you muttered these words to yourself? As a former practicing attorney who successfully transitioned out of law I KNOW the feeling. Sure, when you used to watch LA Law and Ally McBeal, it all seemed glamorous -sexy people litigating sexy issues. But that is not the reality of it, is it?The reality is that you probably sit in your small, fluorescent lit office, speaking with annoying clients or claims adjusters, being berated by annoying partners, wondering why you let yourself be talked into this career path by your unwitting parents. You think, hmmmm….maybe I should have listened to every other attorney I ever met before graduating law school who told me to choose something else…anything else.Desperate, you comb the Craigslist ads looking for a way out. You imagine that the next associate position at the next firm may be better – Trust me, it isn’t. I had literally accepted and quit more than 50 associate positions in less than 7 years.Well, I am here to tell you it is alright, and you CAN change your career path. You are not alone. As an Executive Management consultant and former litigator, I have worked with thousands of attorneys of all levels and fields. I have found that for most people the depression stems from the grind and monotony. When you’re young and vibrant, you have the energy and drive to be a top litigator. You want to find camaraderie — possibly an office romance? Quickly you find that unless your dream girl is a crabby 40-something divorced paralegal with a bad attitude…it’s probably back to the bars for you.In working with attorneys from all over the world, the stories all seem to share the same foundation: From day one, you were berated by a tag team of stale older attorneys and cantankerous paralegals who seek to drain your soul from your body. I distinctly remember sitting at my office after 2 weeks on the job thinking I hope the status conference calendar is packed so I can try to get priority without alerting the partner, scavenger out of the courtroom and into my car to smoke a joint and relax for a few hours (Sidenote: You are not the only attorney who smokes weed – they all do)Once you’re older, you start to take stock in your life and wonder if this is it. Is my life really drafting interrogatories, arguing semantics with opposing counsel and trying to collect a $500 retainer for a case I spent 40 hours preparing. But, the kids need dinner and the mortgage won’t pay itself, so you continue down this road.Here’s the deal. There are things you can do to change it, but it takes the 3 D’s Drive, Dedication, and Determination. You have 1 life – do NOT waste it!!!Here are 4 things you can do to Transition out of Law:1. Research Graduate Programs: For many of us, we chose law because it was simple. You were unsure of what to do with your life, and assumed being a lawyer would be a solid career choice. This time, really figure out what you want to do. If you want to be a manager, look up MBA courses, if you want to do real estate, look up MSRED programs. In other words, take the time to find what moves you. If that means taking some online or community college programs to find your interest, then DO IT!2. Study for the GREs: The best advice I can provide is that this was the ticket. (Note: Most graduate schools will accept the GRE instead of the GMAT). Not that the GMAT is harder, but it is designed for people with analyst and finance backgrounds. The GRE is like the SAT for adults. I was a 9th year attorney with a passion for executive management. I knew that I had something more to offer, but I also knew that without a top school degree, it would be tough. So, I took 3 months to study for the GRE, cut back on partying, and scored a 1300+. For reference, my initial Kaplan diagnostic score was less than a 1000.3. LEARN!!: It is important for you to show interest. While you may be short on time, you are not short on options. Apply for internships, obtain certifications, and take graduate school courses at various professional organizations and community colleges such as IREM or SPHR.4. YOU NEED A GREAT RESUME. A resume is your ONE and ONLY Career tool. Most of the time, it is your only method for getting your foot in the door. If it has spelling or grammatical errors, it will be discarded. In this difficult market, it is also important to include essential search terms, as many employers use OCR software to scan your resume. By hiring a Certified Professional Attorney Resume Writer, you can guarantee that you will have a legal professional (Who has already transitioned out of law) help you achieve your goals.GOOD LUCK!

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