In Episode 028 of The Former Lawyer Podcast, Sarah talks with Matt Wheat, a single dad who left the law to become a firefighter. Matt spent most of his legal career in various public interest law jobs. While he was still practicing law, Matt started serving as a volunteer firefighter, fell in love with firefighting, and ultimately left legal practice to make it his full-time career.
In this conversation, Matt shares about:
- Being “consumed” by injustice growing up, which led him to law school;
- The impact that the recession in the aughts had on his rural legal job market;
- Becoming somewhat disenchanted with the legal system as a result of his public interest work;
- Feeling like something was missing from his life, which led him to become a volunteer firefighter;
- Falling in love with firefighting, and what he loves most about it;
- Dealing with his parents’ reaction to his decision to leave the law after they supported him to get there;
- The misconceptions non-lawyers have about lawyers’ finances;
- Why it was worth it to take a paycut to leave, even though he’s a single parent;
- Why he thinks you should only go to law school if you’re motivated by more than just money;
- and much more!