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99 tips to leave

the law right now

Easy-to-follow tips, steps and pointers to

help you leave the law and find a new,
non-law job and career that you enjoy and
are good at

By Casey Berman
Founder Leave Law Behind
What's In This Book

1. Is This Book Right for Me?

2. About Casey Berman

3. Being Able to Let Go of Our Identity as a Lawyer

4. More Ways to Positively Shift Our Overall Mindset

5. Some Little Things We Can Do Right Now

6. How to Gain a Much Better Relationship With Money

7. Our Unique Genius: How to Better Understand What

We Are Good At, What We Enjoy and Where We Can
Provide the Most Value

8. How to Network and Create & Find (Non-Law) Jobs

9. How to Build Momentum and Confidence

10. Thank You!

Is This Book Right for Me?
This book is designed to help unhappy attorneys leave the law.

This book is for disgruntled attorneys who are miserable practicing and want
to leave law altogether; for lawyers who may not hate work but nonetheless
do not feel inspired or passionate about doing law; and for attorneys who
simply want to explore other businesses and ventures on the side.

This book is also for you if you have every said "I'm afraid":

- I'm afraid that if I leave the law, I'll be different than all of my attorney friends

- I'm afraid I won't be able to make as much money as I make now

- I'm afraid that I cannot do anything other than the practice of law

- I'm afraid I won't be able to convince someone to hire me

- I'm afraid to tell my firm I want to leave

- I'm afraid that I will fail

- I'm afraid everyone will laugh at me

- I'm afraid I won't be able to say I'm really a lawyer anymore

- I'm afraid I'll have to face some difficult facts about myself

- I'm afraid I will be ridiculed and doubted

We're in this together. Let's take a first step.

Casey Berman

Founder Leave Law Behind

About Casey Berman
The founder of Leave Law Behind

Thank you for being part of the Leave Law Behind community. To begin, I
wanted to tell you a bit about myself.

I graduated University of California, Hastings College of the Law, in 1999

and after five years as in-house counsel and VP Operations of a software
company, I left the law behind to create a number of different enterprises.

Then in July 2009, the UC Hastings career services office asked me to speak
during its summer speaking series to its graduates and students about my
professional experience in branching out from the law.

After speaking to a packed room of lawyers and law students, and hearing
of their desires to do something "alternative" with their JD's, I was drawn to
another idea blogging at Leave Law Behind.

In addition to Leave Law Behind, I am a management consultant with a

special focus on enterprise leaders in technology and media.

Feel free to contact me at casey@leavelawbehind.com, @caseyberman or

Being Able to Let Go of
Our Identity as a Lawyer

1. First, realize that we are not alone. There are many of us attorneys who
are unhappy. You are not going crazy.

2. Realize that others have left go to leavelawbehind.com to read real life


3. Wanting security and stability is what got us here. Begin to explore the
mystery and beauty of the unknown.

4. Write down our fears that keep us from leaving the law. Read them over
and over. Realize they actually aren't that daunting.

5. If we're a genuinely nice person, let's consider leaving litigation.

6. Realize that as attorneys, we need to learn how to take a risk. Leaving

the law is a risk. But risk isn't necessarily bad.

7. Be prepared to say that going to law school was a mistake.

8. Tell someone we trust that we're unhappy being a lawyer. Catalogue

how this feels to open up. See how this person is supportive.

9. Give the law a break. What really is making us want to leave? Is it the
law? Or some other aspect about our job?

10. The angst we feel in leaving the law is just the sensation we're
supposed to feel when being redirected to something better.

11. Perfection is unattainable. And it's actually not that great.

12. We have not lost our potential. We are right where we need to be.
More Ways to Positively
Shift Our Overall Mindset

13. Be selfish in a good way. As we begin to leave the law, don't think
of careers or jobs or money or what others will think. Instead, for the first,
or one of the first times in our lives, think of ourselves. Just ourselves.
Yourself. Think of what we like and are good at and enjoy and let that
inform what we do next.

14. Smile when you're on the phone, with a client or friend or family
member. They'll feel the good energy.

15. Be grateful for what we have. I know, I know, we are stressed out
attorneys who feel we have little life potential and are not making
enough money. But we have a roof over our heads and we're able to see
the sun come up in the morning and we've admitted we're unhappy and
we're beginning to leave the law. When we appreciate what we have,
more good stuff will come to us. Really. That's how it happens.

16. Listen to inspirational speakers. When we drive or jog or walk or wait

in line, let's fire up YouTube on our phone and put on our headphones and
listen to something motivation. Search for some of my favorites, like
Abraham Hicks or Bob Proctor or Wayne Dyer or Zig Ziglar or Law of

17. Become self-aware about who we are and how we feel. Let's not
deny it any longer.

18. Let's find a therapist or health professional. Many are covered by

insurance. It's a great baby step to talk to someone about our feelings
and struggles and hopes.
19. Let's get help from a coach that focuses on attorneys. Contact me or
some other coaches and mentors who focus on attorneys like you. Some
of my favorites are Jennifer Alvey (based in Nashville) and Kate Neville (In
Washington DC). All work with clients nationwide.

20. If we feel depressed, we're not alone. Read

lawyerswithdepression.com for support, insight and resources.

21. Stop being a perfectionist about everything. We may need to be

perfect to be an attorney, but we don't need to be in order to leave the
law. In fact, leaving the law requires (demands!) we make mistakes.

22. Realize that even if we have done everything right" in life, it might
have been right" for everyone else but ourselves.

23. Envision what it is like to be a success and happy and self-fulfilled.

Take that time to repel the demon voice from your mind and to really
enjoy some thoughts of yourself happy and no longer stuck. Begin to
visualize what it is like to not be frustrated. Begin to realize what it is like
to be motivated to do your work. Begin to realize what it is like to have a
healthy, robust, positive sense of self. Get excited again and force
yourself to feel good butterflies. Remember what is like to feel positive

24. Realize that we have enough. Right now, right now, we have enough.
We don't need much more. Feel that we have enough and we will have

25. Work smarter, and not necessarily always harder as a lawyer and
as we begin to leave the law.

26. Let's wear our mistakes as a badge of honor. Let's get into the
mindset of many other successful people, who boast of the mistakes they
have made, and yet still got through it.

27. Become more self-accountable. Let's not rush to blame others.

28. Think different than before. As Einstein said, we cannot solve our
problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

29. Live your life as the main hero in your own movie.

30. It's not easy, but we don't want it to be. As Bruce Lee said, Don't pray
for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.

31. Cry when we feel we need to. It can feel so good to get it out.

32. Don't worry about what others think. Yeah, it can be easy to say and
hard to actually do. But remember, other people likely aren't thinking that
much about us anyway. It's mostly in our heads.
Some Little Things We Can
Do Right Now

33. Remember, take baby steps.

34. Reserve our name at godaddy.com (e.g. www.YOURNAME.com) or

some variation. Just do it. It's around $10-$20 a year. It's a small, easy,
entrepreneurial babystep we can do right now. Who knows what type of
website we will build in the future.

35. Let's manage our time a bit better. I know how busy we all are, with
work, emails, family, commutes. We just need to carve out a few minutes
each week to leave the law.

36. Volunteer. Anywhere.

37. Even with your busy schedule, take a class. Acting. Speaking. Writing.
Art. Skeet shooting, yoga, mindfulness, basketball. Nothing big, 30 minutes
a week. This event takes our mind off of things, like checking our phone
email and work. It refreshes us. It lets our mind work to prepare us to leave.

38. Be inspired daily by the Notes from the Universe.

39. Read some of my favorite blogs, about life, business, leaving law,
lifestyles, thinking differently and slowing down: Seth Godin, The Art of
Nonconformity, I Will Teach You to be Rich, and Zen Habits.

40. Keep a notebook, Word doc or voice notes or use Evernote to track
business ideas, story ideas, or other ideas. Get them down on paper. Even
the silly ones. It will help us sort out our thoughts, and be great to read
later and reflect on.
41. Create a group on Facebook, become a thought leader on Twitter or
Medium. Make your voice heard about something you're passionate about
and enjoy . . . and guess what? Others will listen. And don't worry about
making money. Just focus on publishing about what you enjoy and what
helps others.

42. Go to a Meetup. Some will be a waste of time, but others will be


43. Start a blog about anything make it public, make it private, whatever.
Give away free information and help people.

44. Contact me to write a guest post about your experiences for Leave Law

45. Write a guest post on other blogs that appeal to you with large

46. Yes, that's right, you write a book.

47. Begin to feel good about ourselves.

48. Start doing something that we really, really enjoy and are good at for

49. Help people. How do you define helping"? Okay, do more of that.

50. Write.

51. Put our running shoes at the foot of the bed before we go to sleep so we
can't ignore them in the morning when we wake up. Or get a dog.
Whatever it is, create a forcing factor that drives you to exercise.

52. If we need nutrition advice, subscribe to my Registered Dietitian sister's


53. Read Seth Godin.

54. Read ZenHabits.

55. Drink water and fluids. I like soda water.

56. If the nightly news is getting you down and making you scared, stop
listening to it. The world is actually a nice, great place.

57. Watch Ted talks.

58. Drop our kids off at their school in the morning. Or pick them up in the
afternoon. Get there early or linger a bit and watch them in their class or at
recess. Think of when we were younger.

59. Meditate for 12 seconds and focus on your breath. Clear our mind.
That's it, 12 seconds, we can do it, we can clear our mind for 12 seconds.
We don't need to be a Zen Master to do so. Then say thank you. For all we
have and will soon have.

60. Take a sick day and do nothing. Doing nothing is actually something
something we all need.

61. Start doing something that we enjoyed doing before we got too
stressed and busy to do it any longer.

62. Begin answering questions on Quora become an expert on something.

Want to leave the law? Check out the Leave Law Behind self-paced online
course at www.leavelawbehind.com.
How to Gain a Much Better
Relationship With Money

63. Plan our finances. One of the few anxieties worse than hating our job as
an attorney is to be anxious and worried about money. Take out an excel
sheet (do not just do this in our head or on the back of an envelope) and
plan what we can and cannot do financially for the next 12 to 18 months.
This exercise will enable us to have a solid idea what our money situation is
like (and how this will impact our potential leaving of the law).

64. Realize we get paid a certain amount of money for the amount of value
we are perceived to provide. If we want to make more money, then we need
to provide more value, or move to another role that values our abilities at a
higher level.

65. If we really, really need to leave our current law job, let's do some
contract work in order to segue out of the law and still make money.

66. Let's build a better relationship with money, a positive relationship.

Understand that money is not evil. The love of money to the exclusion of
everything else can be not-so-good. But money in and of itself is not evil.
Money is just a generally accepted way to exchange things of value. And
when someone values what we do, they will give us money for what we
produce or for our time. That's it.

67. Having a lot of money doesn't make us evil or bad. In fact, having a lot
of money can make us a force for good. As Abraham Lincoln said, you can't
help the poor by being one of them.

68. Realize there are many ways to make money other than by the billable

Want to leave the law? Check out the Leave Law Behind self-paced online
course at www.leavelawbehind.com.
Our Unique Genius: How to
Better Understand What
We Are Good At, What We
Enjoy and Where We Can
Provide the Most Value

69. Begin to visualize ourselves interviewing for a non-law job. Start

practicing how we'll respond to non-law hiring managers.

70. Don't think you need to find your passion to leave the law.

71. Do a catalogue, a true audit, of the skills we have. We'll see that many
of the legal" skills we attorneys have are also required in non-law jobs.

72. Gather our traits and skills: Begin to find our Unique Genius by asking
our friends and family and network the following questions: What am I
good at? What have I always excelled at? What am I known for? What do I
enjoy doing? Have our network email us all of these traits that make up our
Unique Genius strengths and skills, and just get them down on paper.

73. Organize these traits and skills. Just like a research memo, now let's
write the Unique Genius traits out and organize them on paper. Organize all
of these traits and sub-traits into a manageable 3-5 buckets, with main
strengths (Insightful", Interpersonal", Dependable" and so one) and sub-
traits for each (Creative problem solver" and Very good listener "and
Meets deadlines"). Create a manageable structure of our skills and
74. Read these Traits. Feel them. Digest them. Make these Unique Genius
traits ours. Speak them out loud into a mirror. Let's feel really, really good
about them. Sincere about them. Authentic about them. Confident about
them. And realize that these skills and strengths we thought we could use
only as a lawyer are actually transferable to other types of jobs. Really.

75. Turn these 3-5 Trait buckets into a narrative. What is our story? When
someone (hiring manager, informational interviewer, friend at a tech
startup) asks us So, tell me about yourself?" or So, tell me why you're
applying for this (non-law) job?" we can fall back on our Unique Genius
traits and say: I'm so happy you asked " and jump into our tight, solid,
authentic, sincere, confident narrative: When I think of my skill set, and
how I can contribute to this new job, I have bucketed my skills into the
following three traits, which I think are in fairly good alignment with the
requirements of this job description. Let me briefly explain "

76. Challenge the belief that we can only do attorney work".

Want to leave the law? Check out the Leave Law Behind self-paced online
course at www.leavelawbehind.com.
How to Network and
Create & Find (Non-Law)

77. Understand that the perfect job for us may not be the first non-law job
we get when we leave the law. And that is just fine. It's a step in the right

78. Match the skills of a non-law job we like to our skill set and see if there
is a fit.

79. Let's become familiar with the new jobs that are out there. A lot of new
jobs with cool titles and responsibilities are created each day. Let's research

80. Focus on what we want to do and not just on what we don't want to do.

81. Find non-law jobs that need a problem solved. Ask ourselves: Can my
skill set help solve this problem?

82. Do 3-5 informational interviews a month. A month. That's about 1 a

week. We can do that. Let's get connected to people in jobs we think we
might like, that we think might be a fit for our skills and strengths, and then
meet them for coffee and see what they say about their work. Begin telling
others what we'd like to do . . . and let the power of our connections create
great opportunities for us.

83. Redo our resume and position it for a non-law job.

84. If we need to, let's hire a resume writer to update our resume. Create a
few versions, that position our resume for something in Business
Development, In-House, Sales, Marketing, Operations, Teaching. You name
85. Redo our LinkedIn profile and make it up to date and attractive to
potential non-law employers and our network.

86. Try to socialize with non-attorneys. Soak up a different outlook on life.

87. If we don't work in our (non-law) dream industry yet, let's volunteer in it
for now.

88. Talk to a close friend who will keep your confidences and open up and
tell them you're unhappy and just have them listen to you.

89. Enjoy our friends, for coffee or drinks. Take some time off from the
office. Really. Have a good time where we don't think about work. It'll
refresh us.
How to Build Momentum
and Confidence

90. Realize it's so great that we are striving to be better.

91. Envision success. In the privacy of our home, in a dark room, when the
family is asleep, imagine the new job, the money, the security, the lack of
anxiety, the satisfaction, no longer being a lawyer, imagine it, really imagine
it and pump our fists and feel the butterflies in our stomachs and yell and
scream with the utmost joy and exuberance that we have made it.

92. There are no overnight successes. All people who make it have been
acting towards success for a while, step by step.

93. It's not a rush or a race to leave the law. It takes some time, it is done
authentically, organically, and sincerely. Just because we don't see it
happening, doesn't mean it isn't there or happening as we speak.

94. Understand that we have tons of support and a like minded community
out there to help us.

95. Think about how we feel. When we don't feel good, notice what we're
thinking about. Make a note, and then don't think about that anymore.

96. A belief is just a thought we continue to think, a habit we continue to

do. It may be true or it may not. Question our own beliefs. If we think we
can't leave the law, we won't do it. If think we can, we will.

97. Understand that if we want change in our life, we will have to act and
make that change. No one else, no one else, will do it for us.
98. The purpose of leaving the law is not simply to leave the law. The
purpose is to find alignment. The purpose is to find clarity. Alignment and
clarity means we are connected with what we do well and what we like to
do and from that, self-worth, confidence, satisfaction and happiness result.

99. Enjoy the trip. That's why we're here. We don't go on a trip just so we
can come back home. We go on a trip in order to enjoy the experience itself.
Realize that our life is a trip. With no real discernible end in sight.

Want to leave the law? Check out the Leave Law Behind self-paced online
course at www.leavelawbehind.com.
Thank You!
I want to sincerely say thank your for reading these tips, and
even having the courage to consider leaving the law and making
positive changes in your life.

If you have any questions, ideas or thoughts, please check out

the Leave Law Behind blog at www.leavelawbehind.com or email
me directly at casey@leavelawbehind.com - I read and respond
to every email.

Thank you!

Casey Berman

Learn How to Leave