I already know I want in—take me straight to the enrollment form!
Do you want to leave the law?
Figure Out What You ACTUALLY Want To Do, And How To Do It, Alongside Other Lawyers Who Are Doing The Same.
You went to law school with this vision in your head of what being a lawyer would be like, but the reality is far different.
You thought that as a lawyer, you would be helping people, but you don’t really feel like you’re helping anyone—and you’re miserable.
You cry on the way to work because of the stress of dealing with difficult clients, toxic partners, and all of the minutiae of legal practice.
The distinction between weekdays and weekends has basically lost all meaning, because your life and schedule can be blown up at any time by an errant email from a partner, opposing counsel, or court pinging into your inbox.
Sunday evening rolls around and you feel literally sick with dread about your week full of obnoxious opposing counsel, thankless doc review or diligence, awful depositions, or stressful hearings and trials.
You are so over hunching over your computer at some unholy hour of the night blearily completing work that half the time is the result of a manufactured “emergency.”
You’re sick of billing your life in six-minute increments and feeling constantly stressed because you’re billing like mad on the one hand with no time to be anything other than a lawyer, or worried about making your hours and whether you’re going to keep your job on the other.
Your family and friends think you’re crazy for wanting to leave the law—or maybe you’re too afraid to even tell them that you don’t want to be a lawyer anymore because you’re afraid of how they will react.
You feel guilty when you’re not working because you feel like you should be billing more, and you feel guilty when you’re working because you feel like you’re neglecting the important relationships in your life, whether that’s your friends, family, spouse, or significant other.
You regularly think, “I went to law school for THIS?!”
And you’re thinking—am I the only one who hates being an attorney?
What will people think if I stop being a lawyer?
What am I qualified to do other than be a lawyer?
Isn’t it normal for your job to make you miserable?
What skills do I have and what jobs fit those skills?
How do I identify the perfect next job so this doesn’t happen again?
When is the “right” time for me to change careers?
Is there something wrong with me because I don’t like being a lawyer?
Is leaving the law even a possibility for me?
Is leaving the law just throwing away all the time and money I spent getting my J.D. and becoming a lawyer?
If I’m not a lawyer, what would I even do?
You know you don’t want to be a lawyer, but you have no idea what you want to do instead. Or maybe you have some idea, but you’re not sure how to realistically explore your options.
You don’t just want to be moving away from something—you want to be moving towards something. But you’re not sure what you would like. Or what other careers you’re qualified for. Or how to get those jobs. Or who to ask for help without blowing your cover before you’re ready to make a move.
How do I know this? I’ve been there.
Hey, I’m Sarah! I’m the founder of Former Lawyer and the creator of The Former Lawyer Podcast and the Former Lawyer Collaborative.
Twelve years ago, I graduated from law school expecting to embark on my dream career.
Instead, I found myself absolutely hating my job as a Biglaw litigator, and desperate for a way to get out.
Before I went to law school, I had heard that “you can do anything with a law degree!”
But when I went looking for some actual concrete information about what those other jobs were, it felt like there were very few specifics.
And frankly, I didn’t feel very qualified for other jobs. I had spent so long becoming a lawyer, that I didn’t really know how to identify what else I was good at—or even what I liked!
If you’ve ever felt this way, the Former Lawyer Collaborative is for you.
The Former Lawyer Collaborative is a confidential support community for lawyers who want to explore the possibility of transitioning out of legal practice.
In the Collaborative, we help you figure out:
- What you want your career and life to look like.
- What specific careers align with what you truly want.
- How to pursue and land jobs in those fields.
- How to make a plan, financial and otherwise, to put you on a path towards a new career.
There are three forms of support that you need as you’re doing this work:
- A framework to follow.
- Confidential community.
- Real-time advice and support.
You’ll find all three of these inside the Former Lawyer Collaborative.
The Former Lawyer Framework
The Former Lawyer Framework is a simple 5-part framework which provides you with the structure that you need to know where to start, and where to go next, as you’re figuring out how to leave the law. It includes mini-courses, workshops, panels, suggested reading, and other guidance to help you figure out what you actually want to do, how to make it work ($, etc.), and how to know that you’re not making a mistake.
(I don’t know about you, but many people I work with have the, “But what if I leave and it’s WORSE??” fear. 🙃 So that definitely needs to be addressed in order to move forward confidently.)
Everything is self-paced, so you can move as quickly or as slowly as you need to.
We also have 2-4 new virtual workshops every month on all sorts of topics (resumes, panel discussions about different career options, budgeting, career mindset stuff, etc.). All the workshops are recorded.
When you join the Collaborative, you join a community of likeminded lawyers who are committed to strict confidentiality. All of these lawyers are going through the same process that you are, or have gone through the process and are now former lawyers.
It’s been my experience that having those connections with other lawyers who are headed in the same direction is HUGELY helpful and can make all the difference.
I’m constantly hearing from our members how helpful it is to connect with others in a similar situation, and how it keeps them moving forward in a way that wasn’t possible when they were trying to figure everything out alone.
Real-time advice and support
I’m also in the Collaborative daily to answer any questions that people have.
We have a monthly group call where you can check in, talk through issues that are coming up for you and where you’re getting stuck, and get direct feedback. People tell me this is one of their favorite parts of the program!
Most importantly, you learn how to ask yourself the right questions.
Here’s the secret that a lot of career coaching and other programs out there miss: It’s not enough to just figure out what skills you have and find a job that fits those skills.
In fact, if you follow that approach, there’s a real danger that you’ll just end up in another job that isn’t a good fit for you.
A lot of career coaching (especially by non-lawyers) hurries lawyers along to the “apply for new jobs” phase, and is therefore doomed to fail.
If you don’t ask the right questions on the front end, you spin your wheels and, when you do make the move to a new job, essentially end up where you began.
Fundamentally, the questions that you need to answer if you want to leave the law are less about the nuts and bolts of how to change careers (because trust me, you can do it easily, and you will have plenty of options), and more about why you chose to become a lawyer in the first place, and what you want your career and your life to look like.
This was true in my own experience, and for the many former lawyers I’ve interviewed for the podcast, and has been true for the lawyers that I’ve worked with since founding Former Lawyer.
It might sound incredibly obvious, but in my experience, 99% of unhappy lawyers are NOT starting with these questions.
One advantage of the Collaborative and the Former Lawyer Framework is that we make sure that you start with the right questions.
(Of course, we also help you with the nuts and bolts of a career change as well—rewriting your resume, researching career options, connecting you with people in fields of interest. It’s not that those things aren’t important—they’re just one piece of the puzzle.)
How the Former Lawyer Collaborative works:
When you join, you get access to the Collaborative platform. The platform has all the materials, resources, and tools you’ll need to work through the process.
All of the Collaborative content and our community are located on the Collaborative platform, so you don’t have to keep up with multiple pieces of tech. It’s accessible on your desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone. You can access it through your browser or through the app.
When you join the Collaborative, you get access to the monthly group calls and workshops, as well as the program content and the community, for as long as the program is offered.
The total cost is $1,000 (or 6x $175, or 12x $95).
I offer a 14-day money-back guarantee because I want to make sure everyone is truly happy with their decision to join.
Here’s what real lawyers like you have to say about the Collaborative:
I’m so grateful for this program! Before I joined, I felt like I was going through this process and figuring everything out on my own. I spoke to lawyer friends, but didn’t know anyone personally going through a similar transition. And, I just didn’t feel like I was able to find the information I needed to see what else was out there. I didn’t know what the possibilities were or what the path to getting there looked like. This is what the program has given me. Possibilities and real life stories of people who have made changes and come out the other side! And, that not only opened my mind to my own possibilities, but gave me courage to move forward through making these HUGE changes. The changes are still terrifying and it has still been a lot of WORK, but the Collaborative has been invaluable. Senior Associate
Thank YOU for creating this community! Midlevel Biglaw Associate
Thanks for constantly creating great content and fostering a wonderful community, Sarah! Midlevel Associate
There have been so many “aha” moments for me because I joined the Collaborative! The biggest, I think, has been realizing that I have been surrounded by a culture that tells me being miserable is just normal for this job (private firm litigation), and therefore not something to complain about or even to seek to change. I have a vivid memory of actually telling my mother-in-law, when she was visiting and kept asking me every day whether I had had a “good” day, that my job is very stressful and “not terrible” is really the best it gets. How did I not realize then that I needed a change?! … I [am] no longer willing to completely sacrifice my mental and physical health. Senior Associate
Thanks for all your work so far on the Collaborative! It has been motivating and helpful! Government Attorney
The Collaborative is such a great idea. I am glad I stumbled upon it and kudos to you for seeing it through. Senior In-House Counsel
When you consider that the Collaborative could literally change your entire life, it is invaluable. There is so much helpful content, it is absolutely worth the cost. Senior Associate
Who is the Collaborative a perfect fit for?
This program is a great fit for someone who knows they want to move on from what they are doing, but really doesn’t know where to go or what do to next. The information and connections I found in the Collaborative were just not easy to find elsewhere. Senior Associate
The Collaborative is for the burnt out lawyer who is ready to make a change, but doesn’t know how to go about that. … Someone who is looking for a community of folks who can empathize with them and support them. Government Attorney
What do you think sets the Collaborative apart from other programs?
Other programs I’ve seen consist of taped videos that are supposed to teach you why you chose law, why you were wrong, and how to “fix” yourself to make a better choice in your next step. That, to me, seemed 1. not like a good value for my money, and 2. insulting. Sarah is anything but insulting. She provides tons of unbiased information, connections, interviews, etc., that allow each individual to go at their own pace and learn about what could be next for them. And, Sarah is always willing to help with a connection if she hasn’t done a panel on a particular career sector and is open to suggestions for future panels. Senior Associate
The focus of the Collaborative sets it apart from other programs. I don’t just want a career beyond the law that I’m good at because of my skill set, I want to enjoy it and feel fulfilled by it. What Sarah does is centralize the person and their goals, instead of just focusing on what they are good at. Because, let’s be honest, we’re all good at certain things we just don’t want to do for a living. Government Attorney
FAQS About The Collaborative
Q1 – You talk a lot about Biglaw. Is the Collaborative only for Biglaw lawyers?
No. We have members of all types in the Collaborative—Biglaw, Midlaw, super small firms, partners and associates, in-house, public interest, government/prosecutors/public defenders.
Q2 – Is the Collaborative only for lawyers in a particular stage of their career?
The Collaborative is probably best suited for lawyers in their first 15ish years of practice, although the material is helpful for lawyers at any stage.
Q3 – Who isn’t a good fit for the Former Lawyer Collaborative?
The Collaborative is structured for lawyers who are actively trying to figure out what they want to do next in their career, actively exploring the possibility of leaving the law, or anticipating leaving the law eventually, even if that may be several years down the road. If you’re a lawyer who wants to market your legal services or a former lawyer who has found your new niche and wants to market those services, this is not a great fit. We have a strict “no promotions, selling, or spam” policy.
Q4 – When are the workshops and calls, and are there replays?
Currently, most workshops and calls are held on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
All workshops are recorded and the replays are available inside the Collaborative platform.
Q5 – What’s your refund policy?
We offer a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Q7 – I have other questions that you didn’t answer—what should I do?
No problem! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah, I would NEVER have imagined quitting my job and exploring other options without you, the podcast, and all the resources you share with the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do. You changed my life. Former Biglaw Associate