Bloomberg Law

Do you know the difference between a delicatessen and an appetizing shop?

No? Well, today’s stealth lawyer can tell you all about it. He’s a Georgetown Law grad who walked away from litigating to take over the family business, founded by his grandfather, and in the process kept a Lower East Side mainstay successfully rolling into the next generation….

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The stereotypical lawyer is risk-averse. But every stereotype has exceptions. Some lawyers — perhaps you? — have ideas for innovations that they leave the law to pursue.

Are you interested in leaving the practice of law to pursue an entrepreneurial venture? Maybe you can learn some lessons from the experiences of today’s lawyer turned businessperson….

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The subject of reparations for slavery has spawned lawsuits, critical inquiry, (affiliate link), and threw a wrench in the Bartlet administration’s plans.

So far, the idea has gained little traction, probably because companies like Aetna really like all that compound interest earned on the backs of treating human beings like chattel, thank you very much.

The subject also sets the stage for a new novel in this week’s look at career alternatives for attorneys, from our friends at Bloomberg Law

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In today’s increasingly interconnected world, economic opportunities present themselves at every turn. For example, you could leave the practice of law to start an import/export business. There’s money to be made, and satisfaction to be had, in taking great goods from one country and bringing them over to a new market. Free trade is a beautiful thing (unless you’re unskilled labor).

But how do you figure out what products to import or export? Today’s lawyer turned importer entered the business after buying the product for herself while on vacation. She checked it out with a friend and was blown away by the quality.

What kind of product are we talking about? Well, she started her legal career working for the U.S. Department of Justice, and now she’s a pot dealer….

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Mickey Mouse, Esquire?

“I’m leaving the legal profession.”

“Where are you going?”

“I’m going to Disney World!”

This is, in a nutshell, the story of the latest lawyer featured in our series on career alternatives for attorneys. But there is a lesson here of broader applicability.

Are you looking to leave the law? Your treasure trove of “useless” knowledge could be a valuable asset….

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Ryan Steinman

The handsome fellow at right is named Ryan Steinman. He used to be an associate at a leading law firm, but now he’s a professional BikeDude™.

Steinman traded securities law for cycling. He’s an instructor at SoulCycle, which is one of the hottest fitness crazes in the entire country.

Let’s learn more about Ryan’s professional journey — and, while we’re at it, check out a shirtless photo showcasing his ridiculously good body….

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Do you have an eye for design? Do you know how to make a room really pop? Did you hate it when the people on TLC’s Trading Spaces upholstered the walls with tacky-looking fabric? If you’re still practicing law, then maybe you’re in the wrong field. Perhaps you should consider taking a cue from the subject of our latest foray into career alternatives for attorneys and become an interior designer.

Because helping people make their houses feel like homes is just as heartwarming as it sounds….

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Lawyers are supposed to read. The best lawyers are usually the most voracious readers. One of the tragic consequences of life as an associate is the loss of time for leisure reading. Except for that hard-earned four-day vacation around Thanksgiving time. Or that quick beach jaunt in late August when you realize that not only are all the partners gone for their yearly family vacations, they are not even bothering to answer emails or calls. So you may as well take a long weekend yourself. Pretend you have a life. Endure your friends talking about how their corporate “Summer Fridays” are already tired out, and how they long to get back to a regular schedule after Labor Day. Admit it — you are not doing any serious reading on the beach, or in the airport, or sitting on someone’s pool deck with a homemade margarita. More likely, your brain is fried, and the appropriate level of reading material for you at that stage is a “men’s periodical” or some celebrity rag.

Partners have it a little better. The intellectual ones rekindle their loves for serious fiction, or Ulysses Grant biographies, or even high-priced gardening books so they can converse semi-intelligently with their illiterate (but highly skilled and inexpensive) landscaper. Other partners read junk, or choose not to read at all, only buying glossy magazines for the pictures of high-priced items they are thrilled they can now afford. Or for the cocktail recipes, now that the liquor on their “drink rack” is of better quality, all while their need for a nightly drink or two or three goes up. Leisure reading, or not, however you like.

But there is another kind of Biglaw reading. The type that all partners really should engage in. Daily if possible. It is accessible. Via browser. That’s right — legal blogs. Biglaw partners (and ambitious associates) need to be on top of what is going on in our industry. You know, the one that is changing rapidly. Where there is a battle for survival going on, even between firms that would normally be considered extremely successful, and that in and of themselves are many times larger and more successful than at any point in their own histories. Information is power on this battlefield. Get reading. Some suggestions….

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Our latest career alternative for attorneys is probably one that makes most people wish they had not only the funds, but also the creativity to be able to tackle. We’ve covered television screenwriters and novelists in the past, but creating a script for a visual masterpiece on the silver screen is another thing entirely.

It takes time, talent, and most perhaps importantly of all, money. The stealth lawyer profiled in today’s video had all three, and she used them to create a film that touches on social issues that public defenders face each day of their lives. Let’s find out who she is, and what she did prior to becoming a filmmaker….

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Raise a glass to this emerging trend: lawyers entering the alcoholic beverage industry. Some have gone into brewing beer, like Bailey Spaulding of Jackalope Brewing in Nashville and the three guys behind Black Acre Brewing in Indianapolis (whom we recently mentioned). Some have gone into wine, like Elizabeth Banker, proprietor of Slate Wine Bar in D.C. (previously profiled here).

But some might scoff: “Beer? Wine? That stuff’s for lightweights.”

Real lawyers turn to liquor — which brings us to today’s profile in career alternatives for attorneys….

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