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Frustrated Lawyer Hangs His Own Shingle and Finds Meaning in His Work


A frustrated Philadelphia lawyer didn’t find happiness until he hung his own shingle and began mentoring two lawyers who now work for him.

Lawyer David Koller writes about his decision to start his own law firm four years ago in an article for the Legal Intelligencer. Though he liked his prior job, Koller says, he was thinking of leaving the legal profession altogether.

“I did not know what I wanted to do next,” Koller writes, “but I knew it was not what I was doing at the time. I wanted to do anything else. Anything.”

Koller says he felt no accomplishment in his work and was beginning to regret his decision to pay for the high cost of law school. The problem, Koller knows now, was his knowledge that someone else could do his job just as well. “In essence, I felt very, very replaceable,” he says. That changed when he formed Koller Law.

“For me, the first time I truly felt special and not expendable was when I started my own law firm,” Koller writes. “Certainly, for others, that feeling comes at different times and for different reasons. Individually, we have to find our own way to that path. It does not matter what you end up doing that makes you feel irreplaceable, or how you end up getting there. It simply matters that you get there. As young lawyers, we still have plenty of time to feel it, but the sooner, the better.”

Updated at 7:15 a.m. to correct publication name to Legal Intelligencer.

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