It’s one of the most common questions that I hear from unhappy lawyers: what if I regret leaving the law?

And I totally get it. I asked that question myself. To step from something known (even if you’re miserable) to something completely unknown is legitimately scary.

That’s why I’m so excited for you to hear the second half of my conversation with Lauren Bernadett in today’s podcast episode. (The first half of our conversation is right here!)

She shares so many important lessons that she learned in making her own decision to leave the law, and how she overcame a bunch of the mindset issues that plague lawyers considering leaving, including the big one:

What if I regret leaving the law?

Lauren shares that even after she made the decision to leave her job in private practice and take a non-lawyer job at a conservation non-profit, she couldn’t completely shake the fear that she might be making a mistake.

As many other guests on the podcast have shared, she was putting a ton of pressure on herself to have picked the “perfect” next job that would be a guaranteed good fit.

It was around the time that she gave notice that Lauren found and started listening to this podcast!

You don’t have to fear that you will regret leaving the law.

Lauren shared that listening to the podcast made her realize that she didn’t have to have picked the perfect next job.

Instead, she could trust that “[t]he road keeps going after you leave law.” Her confidence in her decision increased, and her experience since then has proved her right.

Since our conversation, she made the jump to another non-profit that specializes in water, her particular area of interest. Making her first move out of legal practice opened the door for her next move.

Instead of regret, leaving the law has been even better than Lauren expected.

Lauren shares that, while she gave up a higher salary for a lower one in order to move into the non-profit world, her life has changed for the better.

She has more time for the people and things that she loves, and she also doesn’t spend as much money as she did previously when her life was wrapped up in her work. (She calls this “apology spending”!)

As Lauren shares, what she has gained completely overshadows what she gave up when she left legal practice.

In this episode, Lauren shares about:

  • Getting hassled about not making her hours, even though she was the second most productive associate at the firm in revenue collected;
  • Realizing that she had a fundamental issue with the way law firms were structured;
  • The importance of knowing your numbers when you want to leave your law firm job, especially as a single person without the safety net of a partner;
  • Why lawyers who said, “Nothing will challenge you like private practice,” were wrong;
  • How the amount of joy she’s experienced after leaving the law was has been even more than she expected;
  • Why she laughs now at how hesitant she was to leave;
  • Getting to spend quality time with her friends, and not just “leftover time;”
  • Why she has no regrets about leaving the law; and
  • much more!

Connect with Lauren:

Mentioned in this episode:

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