Sunday, March 2, 2008

Exit Strategy

I know that there are many contract attorneys like myself who want to make an exit from the legal profession. Some of us hated the endless paper-pushing. Others despise having to deal with irate and irrational A-type bosses concerned with nothing but their own prestige. Whatever the reason, I think it's a good idea to have a viable exit strategy.

The problem for lawyers wanting to exit the profession is that we need to make ourselves marketable to employers outside the legal field. I believe that retraining is the best option.

I encourage those of you who want to get out to take night classes in something you are interested in. It could be accounting, photography, information technology, automobile repair, chemistry, art, or whatever else. Build skills to show employers that you are serious about getting out of the law, otherwise that J.D. just pegs you as a potential flight risk.

4 comments:

JDMasochist said...

Good idea. I'm actually a law school drop out (for various reasons I wont get into, but many of which you cover)and am studying nursing at the local CC. When my classmates/instructors inevitably found out that I already have a BA and that I dropped out of law school, they look at me like i threw away a winning lottery ticket.

Wicked Words said...

How many non-legal jobs have I applied to in the 75K range that said to me, "You have the qualifications and we like you a lot, but we're afraid you'll leave," simply because of that J.D. on my resume? At least three so far. But how else to explain that three-year gap? It's a sad, sad state of things.

=^..^= Kitty =^..^= said...

If you find you would like to do something else than lawyer, there are a couple of books that might be helpful:

Breaking Traditions: Work Alternatives for Lawyers by
Killoughey, Donna M.

Changing Jobs : A Handbook for Lawyers for the New Millennium by Heidi L. Staudenmaier McNeil

Nonlegal Careers for Lawyers, 4th Edition by Gary A. Munneke and William D. Henslee

I am not a lawyer, am Resource Advisor for a bar association. Lately, these books are very popular -- for a variety of reasons.

AJ said...

Love the usage of "flight risk."

I was trying to make ends meet back in 2006 and I kept lowering my standards. I went from aiming for judicial clerkships to interviewing for UPS delivery positions. The interviewer had the same concern. I'd go to job fairs and the recruiters would be astounded each time they saw the JD. I thought they'd expect it by now.