I recently got a two-part question from a second year law student in Florida. Taking a page from Jeremy Blachman, one of may favorite bloggers, who likes to post his answers to such questions on his blog, I’m going to start to do the same whenever it makes sense. I’ve started to get a lot of questions from readers, and I’m guessing that if one person has a question, might have a similar one. Plus, it will share more of my back-story, something I want to do in this blog. And it should give readers an idea of how I feel about the questions I get.
The question was: What prompted you to leave the law after 10 years? I inquire because I am a 2L and would appreciate some candid insight into what I can expect from a career in law. Thank you in advance for your response.
Here’s what I wrote:
What you can expect from a career in the law is an awfully big question and the answer is completely different if you end up working for the A.C.L.U., a small law firm in Iowa, a big firm in L.A., or the federal trade commission in DC. That question is a bit like asking what you can expect from a career in business.
If you tell me a bit more about what you want to do in the law or the kinds of opportunities you’re choosing between, I might be able to shed more light.
As to why I left the law, that’s also not a short answer kind of question. But here are a few reasons.
1. I ended up doing very specialized work that I wasn’t passionate about and after some searching around didn’t feel like there was another practice area that jazzed me enough to try to figure out how to move in that direction.
2. At the same time, I was becoming increasingly drawn to writing. I was reading a lot, taking classes, and the urge to get published was really nagging at me.
When you combine #1 and #2 it was a bit like feeling like your marriage is starting to fracture and then noticing that rather conveniently you were starting to find yourself attracted to an available and willing partner.