Career alternatives for attorneys

The Biglaw grind is not unlike being in Shawshank prison. It involves years of lockdown, with the occasional rooftop beer or comfortable library, interspersed with terrifying conversations that end with a partner saying, “Or am I being obtuse?”, and then locking you in solitary confinement.

After such an experience, everybody deserves a redemption.

Today’s excellent departure memo comes from a former comedian who decided to leave comedy to go into a top Biglaw job. That’s not a joke.

Now, he’d rather be at the bottom of an ocean….

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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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Back in December, we told you about a football coach who had recently been fired from his position as a cornerbacks coach for West Virginia University. Back in 2010, we told you about this same football coach, because he’d recently been picked up to work for the Detroit Lions. There’s a reason we keep telling you about this football coach: it’s because he gave up what could have been a prosperous Biglaw career after graduating from Harvard Law School to work for free to pursue his dreams on the field.

Are you ready for some football?

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The first day I took up my place behind the counter was the last day I practiced law.

Mark Russ Federman, a Georgetown Law graduate, commenting on his experience at his family business, Russ & Daughters, one of the last Jewish appetizing shops in New York. Federman is the author of a new book, Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built (affiliate link).

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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If you’re an attorney who’s trying to escape the practice of law, sometimes the most obvious route is the best one. As we’ve noted previously, beneath the skin of many a suit-sporting lawyer beats the heart of a writer. And by now, writing must be hardwired into your soul, so why not try to take it to the next level?

Or better yet, perhaps you’re passionate about writing, but you’re an out-and-out trivia nerd. You’d think that jobs like that would be hard to come by, but today’s stealth lawyer didn’t exactly have a rough go of it when he first tried to make his foray into game show writing.

Who is he, and what shows has he produced and written for? Let’s find out….

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Justice never sleeps… except during Obama’s SOTU addresses.

* “You just sit there, looking stupid.” The justices of the Supreme Court aren’t required to show up and look like “potted plants” at the State of the Union address, but some of them do every year. [CNN]

* Well, thanks to the DOJ’s fraud lawsuit filed against ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, it’s starting to look a lot like a litigation gang bang up in here as far as the states are concerned. [Bloomberg]

* Dewey know whether D&L’s retirees are still kicking (legally speaking) or if they’ve decided to send their claims to hospice? We certainly do, and we’ll have more on this later. [Am Law Daily]

* That “death and taxes” thing may be true, but when you’re trying to navigate the U.S. tax code as a married same-sex couple and the government won’t even recognize your union, there’s an uncomfortable air of uncertainty. [New York Times]

* “Have we seceded already? The execution is faster than I thought.” Guess which state in the Deep South accidentally raised a Confederate battle flag over the building that houses its Supreme Court. [Clarion-Ledger]

* Mama said knock you out: if you’re trying to figure out how to get a job after graduating from New England Law School, moonlighting as a champion boxer will help you beat down the competition. [Boston Herald]

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