A Biglaw Rant (And Why I Created Former Lawyer) (TFLP 080)

Today I’m sharing about something that happened to one of my guests after they were on the show, which turns into a bit of a Biglaw rant. I also talk about why I created Former Lawyer.

“Not representative of my experience”

A few episodes ago, I shared two episodes containing my interview with Janelle Christian (first one is here, second one is here).

A week ago, Janelle shared on IGTV that a former colleague, a “well-meaning” white man, had texted her after listening to one of the episodes, to tell her that he didn’t feel that her content was representative of the breadth of experiences that people have in Biglaw.

So to clarify, he felt the need to proactively reach out to her to express that her content, based on her experience, did not accurately reflect his experience.

this doesn’t reflect his experience, and it’s not supposed to

I can’t accurately do justice to all of the MANY problems with what this dude did, including the obvious racialized aspects, but Janelle broke it all the way down here, and you should watch the entire thing.

What I wanted to address here was the fact that … it’s true!

What Janelle shared, which is consistent with most of the content here at Former Lawyer and on the podcast, is not representative of the experience of someone who loves and feels comfortable in Biglaw.

And that’s intentional.

who former lawyer is for … and who it isn’t for

Let’s talk about who Former Lawyer is for… and who it isn’t for.

I created Former Lawyer to speak to those lawyers, in Biglaw or otherwise, who don’t feel comfortable in their firm or in the legal profession.

Who don’t love it.

Who feel like they are crazy for thinking about leaving a job that pays them 6-figures.

Who are being constantly bombarded with messages that this is the only job that is worthy of them, that everything else is beneath them, and at the same time, that if they do choose to move on, it’s because they couldn’t hack it.

Whose coworkers are so invested in their own individual choices and experiences that they can’t allow other people to make choices and have experiences that are different from their own. Who feel that other people owe it to them to validate their choices and experiences.

if biglaw (or legal practice) isn’t for you, you’re not alone

I am not here to try to change someone’s mind if they love practicing law, or they don’t mind working in Biglaw and feel comfortable there.

I am truly happy that it works for some people. I have literally zero interest in trying to convince someone who is happy with how their career in the law works for them to ditch that career.

But it doesn’t work for everyone.

And people who don’t feel comfortable in Biglaw often feel like they are the only ones.

Similarly, lawyers, in general, often think they’re the only ones when they start considering leaving the law.

Former Lawyer exists because you need to know: you are not the only one

It exists because many, many, many people need to hear, “You’re not crazy, or a weak, bad person if Biglaw or the legal profession is not the environment for you.”

That’s why I created Former Lawyer, and that’s who we’re here for.

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