Tyler Coulson's dog, Mabel.

Do you remember our Lawyer of the Month for March, Tyler Coulson? In case you don’t, he’s the former Sidley Austin Chicago associate who decided that he’d rather take his dog on a cross-country walk than do another day of lawyering. Before leaving, Coulson sent what was described by a fellow Sidley source as the “coolest ‘f**k you I quit’ email” ever:

Today is my last day at Sidley. You may keep in touch with me at gtcoulson@gmail.com, through Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tyler.coulson, or via Twitter, @ibuildnosystem.

Beginning next week, I am walking from Delaware to California with a tent and my dog, Mabel. I will have limited access to email, but will check messages frequently.

Geo. Tyler Coulson

On March 9, 2011, Coulson began his journey in Delaware with his pooch Mabel, in the hopes of making it to California by September. So, inquiring minds at Above the Law want to know: What the heck happened to Coulson and man’s best friend?

Did he have to pull any crazy Bear Grylls maneuvers, like creating his own “sheeping” bag for warmth? Did he have to hack off his own arm with a dull blade, like in 127 Hours? To find out if Coulson’s story turned out anything like Into the Wild, read on….

Three months into his trek, Coulson is still alive and, to our knowledge, he has not yet suffered from an illness borne of the Oregon Trail, like dysentery or cholera. His limbs are still intact, which is a good thing. Coulson had the following to say to us about his trip thus far:

We have walked more than 1,000 miles, crossed one time zone, and have made it all the way from Delaware to downstate Illinois. We are about a month behind schedule, due to the weather, but we aren’t dead. So that is a victory. I hope now to hit the west coast by late October. People can reach me at gtcoulson@gmail.com, twitter.com/ibuildnosystem, and facebook.com/tyler.coulson, if they are so inclined.

This trip has been absolutely grueling in a lot of ways, both expected and unexpected, but I think everyone who is able should do this or something like it. The scope of this adventure is likely out of reach for a lot of people — and maybe for me! — but even a smaller trip of a couple of weeks can change a life for the better.

I don’t have time or space to describe how dangerous this has been, or how physically and emotionally demanding this is, but let it suffice to say that law school was a cake walk in comparison.

Likewise, I cannot begin to describe the joy that has come out of this for me. I don’t know how far I will make it, because every day is a struggle and neither the weather nor time are on my side. But all the pain and danger aside, each moment of this trip has been the happiest of my life, and if I make it to the Pacific I may just keep walking forever.

We here at Above the Law are very happy for Tyler; it sounds like a long walk was just what he needed to escape from the doldrums of practicing law. We wish him the best of luck as he continues his travels. If he does make it to the Pacific (and we have faith that he will), we sincerely hope that he will consider writing a book about his journey, because an Above the Law shout-out in a potential best-seller would be pretty cool.

And for the rest of our readers, if you’re looking for a way out of law, maybe you really should just take a hike. Literally.

Earlier: Lawyer of the Month: We Like It When People Just Walk Away
Lawyer of the Month: March Reader Poll (Still Breathing Edition)
Want Out of Biglaw? Take a Hike!


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