Careers

Want to find a career outside the law? Consultants and authors provide help


Lawyers who want to change careers can choose from a bevy of books, blogs and career counselors ready to help.

Law school is sometimes a default choice for people who don’t know what else to do, says Eileen Wolkstein, a career consultant who counsels many unhappy attorneys. After three years studying to become a lawyer, graduates unhappy in their profession face “a long and hard journey” if they choose to pursue a new field. The Atlantic spoke with Wolkstein and others who offer advice to lawyers transitioning to new careers.

The article lists these resources:

• The blog Leave Law Behind, founded by former lawyer Casey Berman. “I spent more time thinking about my iPhone purchase years later than a degree that was expensive and took three years out of my twenties,” he tells the Atlantic. Lawyers who write and speak well may go into litigation, thinking they can use their skills, without realizing how adversarial it is, he says.

• The book Life After Law: Finding Work You Love with the JD You Have, written by Liz Brown. “Law is the only career I know that has a sub-profession dedicated to helping people get out of it,” she tells the Atlantic. She agrees the transition to a new career can be difficult, but says she has not met a single lawyer who regretted changing professions.

•The website JD Careers Out There, founded by Marc Luber. He tells the Atlantic of a disconnect between the theoretical skills taught in law school and the skills needed for practice. “People graduate from law school not knowing what lawyers actually do,” he says.

• Neville Career Consulting, which specializes in lawyers transitioning to new careers.

Prior coverage:

ABA Journal: “Law students prepare for jobs outside firms”

ABAJournal.com: “Want to quit the legal profession? Experts offer these tips”

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