So you’ve decided that you really don’t want to be a lawyer anymore.

For a while, you thought maybe it was just the particular case or deal that you were working on. It’s the worst anyone has ever seen! Really, it’s never like this! Things will definitely calm down when it’s over!

Or that particularly demanding partner who causes your heart to sink into your feet when you see their name pop-up on caller ID, or in their inbox. But if you impress them, you can write your ticket!

Or that nickel-and-diming client, who makes seemingly incomprehensible decisions in the name of frugality. Yeah . . . there wasn’t really a silver lining with that one.

But eventually you realized—this is just not for you. Maybe it is for other people, and that’s okay, because that’s what makes the world go ’round. But you want out.

Where do you begin?

Figuring out your next step when you don’t want to be a lawyer

At Former Lawyer, we’ve found that decision paralysis can set in when you try to formulate your 20-step plan all at once (for leaving the law, and in life).

So, start small.

You don’t have to have your entire future figured out in one hour, one afternoon, or overnight. Simply making the decision that you actually want out is a huge step.

As Emily P. Freeman says, after that, just do the next right thing. After all, there is no perfect next step.

The next right thing is going to be different for everyone. Only you know what the next right thing for you is.

Maybe it’s:

  • Taking a vacation (with limited work, if you can swing it) to get a breather before you dive into this next phase.
  • Seeing a counselor or career coach to figure out where you want to go next.
  • Looking for a less-insane legal job that will make your time left in the law more sustainable.

There are a lot of options—just pick one that feels right for you.

Resources for lawyers who want to leave the law

Looking for ideas for alternative careers for lawyers? You can check out this list of 41+ alternative careers for lawyers with real-life examples.

Want more help developing an imagination for what’s possible? Listen to The Former Lawyer Podcast to hear interviews with former lawyers about how they left the law and what they’re doing now. You can listen on AppleSpotifyStitcherOvercast, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Need some help knowing where to even start? Download my free guide, First Steps To Leaving The Law.

Want some guidance identifying the best next step for you? The What’s Next Intensive helps lawyers identify what they should be focusing on next.

Ready to leave the law and need support? Want to work with me to identify what’s next for you in your career? The Former Lawyer Collaborative provides a simple 5-part framework for you to follow alongside a community of likeminded lawyers working towards the same goal.

Former Lawyer is here for you. The goal of Former Lawyer is to provide you with support and resources for your journey out of the law. Hang in there, friend. You won’t be a lawyer forever.