The Former Lawyer Collaborative

For Lawyers Who Want To Ditch Their Soul-Sucking Jobs, Discover What They Really Want To Do, And Do It! 

What if you knew exactly what steps to take to figure out a career that aligns with your unique priorities and values?

Do you find yourself…

  • Sick from the stress of dealing with difficult clients, toxic partners, and all of the minutiae of legal practice?
  • Scrolling through jobs on LinkedIn, hoping you’ll stumble upon something that actually seems exciting to you?
  • Frustrated that you managed to graduate from law school and pass the bar, yet can’t figure out what you should be doing with your career?
You know that you don’t want to be a lawyer anymore… but you have no idea what you want to do instead.

Imagine instead …

  • Feeling confident and excited to figure out what’s next for you in your career
  • Knowing exactly what to do now and next because you have a clear plan for figuring out what you want
  • Feeling focused and relaxed instead of scattered and anxious when you think about your next career step
  • Jumping into a new career you LOVE, that allows you to bring your whole self to work and where your unique strengths and skills are valued

The roadmap is waiting for you. Let’s do this together.

Join the Former Lawyer Collaborative

A confidential support program that gives you the tools and support that you need to say goodbye to your soul-sucking legal job and hello to a career that aligns with your unique priorities and values

How does it work?

Our 5-part framework will guide you through the process of identifying the best career path for you.

Part 1. Initial Self-Assessment

Deep dive into where you are, why you’re there, and what that means for your next step. (And build the skills you need to move forward!)

Part 2. Fundamentals

Make sure your foundation is solid, jump start your progress, and start having some real breakthroughs—fast!

Part 3. Identify & Clarify

Get crystal clear on exactly what your career needs to look like. Uncover your unique strategy.

Part 4. Explore

No more frantic Googling or doom-scrolling job boards. Dig into real data and information about everything that interests you with laser-focus based on the work you’ve done thus far.

Part 5. Chart, Strategize, & Execute

Identifying a path forward is just one part of the picture. You also need to handle all the nuts and bolts of making the jump. Finances, resumes, networking, etc.—we’ve got you covered.

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 Litigation Associate

Quit job and found ideal remote in-house job several months after enrolling in the Former Lawyer Collaborative™

What’s Inside?

The Collaborative platform

After you enroll, you get access to the Collaborative platform. The platform has all the materials, resources, and tools you’ll need.

Training Library

The 5-part framework that you’ll follow is clearly laid out with a library of 30+ video trainings and workshops. You can get started on your self-assessment right away.

Group Coaching

Every month, we have a group call where you can check in, talk through your progress that month, ask questions about things that are tripping you up, and get help busting through any obstacles that have presented themselves.

Support & Guidance

Between calls, you’ll get feedback, support, and guidance directly from me and fellow members on the Collaborative platform. Wins, setbacks, questions, networking requests—the works.


Each month, we have 2+ additional live workshops/panels exploring various career paths, supporting you in your process of finding the right path for you, and making sure that you have the tools you need along the way. 



Every member of the Collaborative commits to strict confidentiality.

Here's what real lawyers (and former lawyers) like you have to say about the Former Lawyer Collaborative.

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, Litigation

Thank YOU for creating this community!

Midlevel Biglaw Associate

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, Litigation

Thanks for all your work so far on the Collaborative! It has been motivating and helpful!

State Government Staff 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

The Collaborative has helped me focus my efforts and to engage in critical internal work. I love the confidentiality, the framework, and the tools that allow folks to embark on a guided path. I also love having the feeling that I am not alone on wanting to embark on a new path. It is a fantastic resource for anyone that is unhappy or looking to find a more fulfilling life. The Collaborative is perfect for anyone at any stage of their career who is unhappy with practicing law and does not know where to start.

25-Year Lawyer and Law Firm Partner

Resigned From Firm After One Month's Work In The Collaborative

Who the Former Lawyer Collaborative is Perfect 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.

Law Firm 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.

Federal Government Attorney

What Sets the Former Lawyer 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 Litigation 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.

Federal Government Attorney

Join the Former Lawyer Collaborative

A confidential support program that gives you the tools and support that you need to say goodbye to your soul-sucking legal job and hello to a career that aligns with your unique priorities and values.


8 payments

$195/month for 8 months
  • 5 modules that walk you step-by-step through the framework for identifying the alternative career for you
  • Monthly live workshops & panels
  • Monthly group call
  • Confidential community

Hi there! I’m Sarah.

I practiced law for 10 years, first as a Biglaw litigator, and later at a state court of appeals (with a brief interlude in legal publishing).

In 2018, my husband and I paid off our (double!) law school loans and I left the law for good.

I created Former Lawyer to help other lawyers, like me, who discover that they don’t want to practice law, but don’t know what to do next.


Sarah Cottrell, the founder of Former Lawyer, helps unhappy lawyers ditch their soul-sucking jobs and figure out how to trade lawyering for a better life.

Questions lawyers have asked before saying, "Yes!" to joining the Collaborative

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.

Is the Collaborative only for lawyers in a particular stage of their career?

The Collaborative framework is helpful for lawyers at any stage.

Who isn't a good fit for the 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.

Are workshops recorded?

Yes, all workshops are recorded and the replays are available inside the Collaborative platform. The only thing that is not recorded is the monthly group call.

What's your refund policy?

Because the Former Lawyer Collaborative™ is a digital program to which you get instant full access upon enrolling, and to protect and ensure the confidentiality of program participants, I do not offer refunds. I fully believe in the value of this program and the participants agree!

Your level of success in this program depends upon your personal commitment and willingness to invest in your own career and in all of the resources that the Collaborative™ offers. The no-refund policy is designed to make sure that every participant in this program has thoughtfully decided that they are ready to invest in themselves and their careers.

I'm a lawyer and I want to read the Terms of Use for the Collaborative.
I have other questions that you didn't answer—what do I do?

No problem! Email us at

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.

Janelle Christian

Founder of Hey J. Nicole, Former Biglaw Associate

8 payments

$195/month for 8 months
  • 5 modules that walk you step-by-step through the framework for identifying the alternative career for you
  • Monthly live workshops & panels
  • Monthly group call
  • Confidential community

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