leaving law
Wednesday
13/02/2008
13:50
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  Topic AuthorRepliesViewsLast Post
Topic image Why are you thinking of leaving the law?
I hate what I do but only I have a vague idea of what else I should be doing - something more creative with numbers and widgets. My lack of conviction for an alternative career means that I will not change for fear of causing my parents unneeded stress. Being a lawyer has left me partner-less, friend-less and penniless (spending helps mask the despair). I have no one left to talk to, that's probably why I'm posting on here. As you can probably tell today was a particularly bad day. But its been bad for years. My personality has changed from a happy, creative, self-confident person, to one who is bitter, resentful and depressed. I dream of meeting the 16 year old me and saying "Don't even think about becoming a lawyer" or meeting the teacher that suggested I take that first work experience in law and explaining how that her suggestion helped to ruin my 20s (and probably my 30s). How can someone who knows nothing about the work of lawyers suggest to a child that they should take up that career. See, the resentment. Lovely. Anyway, I think that's enough honesty for me for today.
Talent Liberator51829dazedandconfused
Topic image Jobs outside law - Axiom
Ziad - possible to have a call at your MBA experience? Would be really interested to hear about it.
Ziad21556Rashid
Topic image Getting closed out of the action
The recession, the quick rise of IT, outsourcing and a restrengthening of the establishment have contributed to many older lawyers being pushed out early and many new ones being pigeon holed or stunted in growth from the start. Lawyers are expected to study and train to the highest level for many years and then once they start work appear to be considered unable to do anything more than the specific thing they were first brought in on to do. The more general lawyer has been all but fazed out in the last decade. Companies seem to be more and more happy to 'take the risk' than to pay for proper legal protection. Often laws are not enforced and many large disputes are settled on a handshake rather than through lawyers due to intense distrust. More recently it seems that government is further pandering to big business and not upholding the laws they made. Often industry operated tribunals raise large fines that are kept well away from the consumers that have suffered. Far too much is done behind closed doors and big business and finance cannot help themselves but to carry on cheating and breaking the laws (Libor/ Forex/ VW etc). Our industry has been taken over by PR. No company is as worried about litigation as it is about bad press, which means that sweeping things under the carpet is more important than doing things correctly. So how do we change this and make money doing so? Well it will take a great deal of knocking on doors and a significant amount of diligence, but this is what we do well. This is obviously a very wide topic, but I welcome views especially on active ways of tackling closed organisations. A long while ago I tried to get information out of the Church about a sensitive matter and was completely stone walled. This is now commonplace in government and public (and private) companies and if such practice continues things will only get worse.
Nick Hichens1516Nick Hichens
Topic image Actuary
Anyone else pursuing this route? I have started studying and whilst I'm loving it, I'd love to hear from lawyers who have actually done it!
CheeseFiend11025CheeseFiend
Topic image Primary School Teaching
I'm currently doing a PGCE, it's a few years since I've had anything to do with the GTP so I'm not really able to give a great answer, but certainly a couple of years ago you needed to have recent classroom experience to cite on your application form - but only a few weeks worth. I think places are quite competitive because you get paid while you train - not much but obv it's attractive in comparison with PGCE. Best place to go for info is the TDA website. But basically no-one is going to offer a place on the GTP to a candidate with no classroom experience.
Louiselawyer21252Amy
Topic image Alternative Litigation Business Opportunity
I am a commercial litigation solicitor – an ex-partner of a small City firm. I am aiming to set up with others an alternative litigation business, which would be neither a law firm nor an ABS. It would provide litigation management for commercial clients at a fraction of the rates charged by law firms, by cutting out major overheads associated with traditional practice. I would like to find 2 or 3 other experienced litigation specialists who are out of work, thinking of leaving the law or similar, who might be willing to join me in creating and running this business, and sharing in the profits it will make when established. What I am proposing does not exactly involve leaving the law, but it would offer an escape from many of the restrictions, pressures, red tape and frustrations which cause many to leave conventional private practice.
Wayne de Nicolo11158Wayne de Nicolo
Topic image Move into teaching
As someone who has experience of this, I'd say it's an immensely rewarding job. The students are (generally) very pleasant and motivated. In this current market, law schools need tutors who are employed but also freelance tutors. I think this is to retain flexibility as student numbers go up and down. Anyway, it's a useful way, perhaps, to get experience without having to take the plunge completely. Be warned, however, that the marking periods are pretty full on - time is tight and the numbers of scripts are high, particularly hard when you're also preparing and teaching. Once this was a job ideally suited to people who wanted to be able to take holiday around school terms. This is changing as the big providers now offer 7 month LPCs at different times of the year - teaching is now pretty much a year-round thing. Good luck!
Pierre 31373Angela
Topic image Are lawyers 'one trick ponies?'
The answer, we think, is 'no', of course not, but that is the perception a lawyer is battling against. Lawyers are often seen as a 'technician' in a commercial context, straight-jacketed by their training, limited by their risk averse approach, lacking the requisite nous etc. But this is just pigeon-holing, for whatever convenience of motive. We all embark on a professional life in our early twenties possessing similar raw materials, whether you go into law, advertising, banking, whatever. A legal training is not lobotomising of the other skills and personality traits that are not pulled upon to practice law. You might need to learn some other ropes on the way, but who is to say a former lawyer would not make an excellent burlesque dancer just because they chose to do a few years of law beforehand. It is within the power of any individual to challenge the pre-conception and re-package yourself. The legal background must be touted as a plus, but not defining of you: I am all this AND I have this fantastic and disciplined training behind me. Although granted, it does get more difficult the longer one has done any one thing, both to broaden your own mind and to challenge other peoples' perception of you
talentliberator21576leavinglaw
Topic image Real assistance
In truth there aren't any recruitment consultants who help lawyers become ex-lawyers. From their point of view, it's about filling a position, and there will always be someone of relevant experience who is easier to place. Career change is about positioning and packaging of the individual, to persuade an employer that they should take you instead. Often it's about taking that packaging direct to the employer. The closest person to what you describe, to provide the 'real assistance', is Simon Broomer of Career Balance (see the 'career consultants' tab). He will provide actual and practical job search assistance, not just the 'yes I can see you are unhappy' counselling to which you refer. Yes, he is an ex-lawyer, and he will help determine what you should be looking at, position and package a lawyer in the best possible way, and identify with you the most sympathetic employers and assist with an approach.
Something more interesting22110leavinglaw
Topic image Start your own business
If there is one thing I would impart in my experience of setting up a property business, it is to keep up the day job for as long as it's tenable. It means you're doing 2 jobs, one evening and weekends, but it is amazing how quickly and the extent you can get into arrears without a salary. Sounds obvious, but it is easy to carried away in the excitment and quit your day job while there is so much you can achieve in your own time (or surrepticiously!).
Administrator21723Tom Sherwood
Topic image Long hours and misery
I dont think anyone is as trapped on the treadmill as they think they are. It just takes a bit of bravery to get off, into what can often be a less prescribed professional life.
Dawidn51598Tom Sherwood
Topic image Insurance
Subject to a few exceptions, most notably AIG, generally speaking the insurance industry has weathered the storm of the financial crisis better than the banking sector. While investment returns were affected by declining stock markets earlier in the year, the hope is that as markets rise and with a relatively benign Atlantic Hurricane season so far many large insurance companies with a diversified book of business ought to post solid results for 2009.
Elizabeth21445Colin
Topic image Start your own firm
The first few months will be taken up with a lot of marketing to potential new clients and brand awareness in any case, and so a brief delay in picking up old contacts in order to comply with any restrictive period is not the end of the world, as you will be fully up and running then and possibly better placed to provide the kind of service they are used to.
Administrator41396Oliver Hunt
Topic image Teaching law
I suspect law schools will find themselves in the same position as universities - with demand being higher this year, as students work on gaining further skills to make the most of a time when getting a job is nigh on impossible. Of course, I guess it's all subject to students finding the necessary funding...!
Chris21411Beata
Topic image legal recruitment
The problem in this market is an over supply of candidates but precious few firms with active hiring requirements. The recruiters might well be as busy as ever representing numerous candidates needing or wanting to move firms but how fruitful this is for them is clearly a different matter. Firms that are bold enough to 'buy straw hats in winter' could very well gain some excellent talent, a near impossible feat when activity and demand are high.
Rob31485Joy
Topic image Taking US bar exams
Americans are a pretty focused bunch - it's almost like they don't notice there are other people around when they want something, but if you want to be an attorney in the US you have to do 4 years as an undergraduate followed by 3 years at Law School before sitting the Bar exam. So most are up to their eyeballs in debt. The Bar exam is, therefore, make or break for many.
Rob41463Charles O'Brien
Topic image Study grants
Administrator11401Administrator

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