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Lawyers–Stare Decisis is a Bad Career Transition Strategy

Posted by on August 28th, 2012 with 0 Comments

As a law student, I learned that the American legal system values precedent.  There is a policy, called stare decisis, which indicates that courts should “abide by or adhere to principles established by decisions in in earlier decisions.” As a business litigator for almost ten years, I saw that judges applied stare decisis—unless they didn’t want to. As a career coach for lawyers, I know that many lawyers rely on precedent too heavily when they think  about making a career

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For Lawyers Who Want To Leave The Law To Start A New Business

Posted by on August 18th, 2012 with 0 Comments

I know a whole lot more about running a business than I did in 2004, when I left the law to start Successful Career Strategies, Inc. As a career coach for lawyers I have in the intervening years talked to hundreds of lawyers who expressed an interest in becoming business owners or the heads of a non-profit. Aspiring business owners often speak about a desire “to be my own boss.”  And that is certainly one aspect of starting a new

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Lawyer Job Transition Tip: Look For A Job Like It’s 1999

Posted by on August 9th, 2012 with 0 Comments

What’s the single easiest step most people take to look for a job?  Send a resume to a position that has been posted online. What’s one of the least effective ways to find a new job? Send resumes for positions that have been posted online. The Internet age has brought with it many tools that can make the process of changing careers more efficient.  I do not pine for the days before websites, when it was much harder to do

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Lawyer Career Transition Tip—Escape The Sunk Cost Fallacy

Posted by on July 30th, 2012 with 0 Comments

“But it didn’t take long for [him] to realize he wasn’t happy as a lawyer.” This sentence appears in the biography of someone who became famous.  As a career coach for lawyers,  I know that this is one of the happier sentiments that you can voice about someone.  And what makes the sentence happy has nothing to do with leaving the practice of law. The following sentences are equally happy: “But it didn’t take long for her to realize that

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Lawyer Career Transition Tip: What To Do When You Feel Stuck

Posted by on July 22nd, 2012 with 0 Comments

Being multi-talented can be a disadvantage when a lawyer tries to figure out what kind of career change they want to make.  As a career coach for lawyers, I have talked to many clients who have a multitude of talents and interests.  They almost have to many choices.  And that can cause lawyers to feel stuck.  They jump around from one potential career to another. Their inner dialogue sounds something like this: “I like writing, so maybe I should be

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New Career Or Hobby?

Posted by on July 15th, 2012 with 0 Comments

Lawyers who are considering making a career change face a recurring question:  How can I tell whether the alternate in which I am interested is a career or just a hobby? As a career coach for lawyers, I meet lots of lawyers who have a wide variety of interests, ranging from the intellectual to the social to the physical. So how can you tell whether, for example, your interest in the restaurant industry or oceanography rises to the level of

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Lawyer Career Transition Building Block: Geography

Posted by on July 6th, 2012 with 0 Comments

Are you in the right place on the planet?  In the context of career transitions for lawyers, that’s an important building block. In my experience as a career coach for lawyers, geography is a relatively minor issue for most, and a very important issue for perhaps 5%-10% of the attorneys with whom I have worked.  For example, a large-firm business litigator felt that her life wasn’t complete if she wasn’t near the ocean.  One of the issues that made her

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Lawyer Career Transition Building Block: Work Pattern

Posted by on June 30th, 2012 with 0 Comments

One of the underappreciated aspects of successfully changing careers as a lawyer is understanding what work pattern suits you best. As I’ve mentioned previously, attorneys who consider changing careers often think in terms of job titles.  That is a mistake.  The better approach is to evaluate potential positions in terms of their underlying building blocks.  One of those building blocks is the work pattern.  And with other building blocks, there is no single right answer. There is, however, an answer

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Are You Too Old To Change Careers As A Lawyer?

Posted by on June 23rd, 2012 with 0 Comments

There is a self-fulfilling aspect to answering this question.  Lawyers who believe that they are too old to make a career change don’t.  That doesn’t mean, of course, that making an effective career transition is simply a matter of mental attitude.  The physiological effects of aging are real, and many lawyers who believe that that they have been the victims of age discrimination are not hallucinating.  It too is often real. It therefore seems natural to ask whether you as

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To Find A Law Job, Lose Your Resume

Posted by on June 17th, 2012 with 0 Comments

Resumes are the most overrated job search tool, especially for lawyers. For too many attorneys, sending out resumes has become synonymous with looking for a job or changing careers.  This is unfortunate because, as a career coach for lawyers, I know that resumes have serious drawbacks, including: The most successful job changing techniques for lawyers are personal and specific.  Resumes tend to be anonymous and generic. You will increase your success rate by focusing on what you can do in

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