In Episode 035 of The Former Lawyer Podcast, I’m sharing my conversation with Tai Dixon. Tai left legal practice for the the world of non-profit leadership, and last year, opened her own consulting practice where she specializes in workplace culture and liberatory leadership. 

In this conversation, Tai shares about:

  • How growing up with a parent who was a lawyer affected her decision to go to law school;
  • Believing that becoming a doctor or a lawyer was the best way to contribute to society;
  • Detouring from her path to law school to teach with Teach For America because she wanted to make a difference;
  • Loving teaching, but being afraid to love it because she thought she would regret not going to law school;
  • Climbing the rungs of the ladder to a legal career without asking herself whether she actually wanted to be there;
  • Well-meaning family and friends reacting much more positively to her decision to be a lawyer than her choice to teach for two years with TFA;
  • Going to law school and getting a biglaw job because she thought that’s what she should do to achieve her goals;
  • Quickly realizing that firm life was not for her, but not being willing to make a move right away;
  • How the downturn in 2008 made her feel like she should just be happy to have a legal job;
  • Knowing that legal practice wasn’t for her because her firm job was about as good as it could be, and she still wasn’t happy;
  • Realizing that it took a lot of work to get to a place where she felt stuck;
  • Getting a great review, being asked at the end if she was happy, and bursting into tears;
  • Realizing that no amount of good work and checking the boxes was going to make her happy doing what she was doing;
  • Taking a huge pay cut to move into a field she was more passionate about;
  • The three types of reactions from lawyers at her firm when she announced she was leaving;
  • Why her fears about money came from the narrative of law practice;
  • How she measures success now;
  • and much more! 

Show Notes: