Hate Being a Lawyer? Why I Quit

hate being a lawyer
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27 Responses

  1. Always enjoy hearing about your story. I’m very happy for you! More good things are ahead for you!

  2. This post really resonated with me and I bet it resonates with a lot of lawyers as well. I quit my job in March, around the same time as you, and the one thing I lot of people keep saying to me is that I look a lot happier.

    We lawyers are a funny bunch – so many of us complain about our jobs, and then do nothing about it. Or we convince ourselves that it’s not so bad. I’m glad to see you actually made a move. Looking forward to what the next chapter of your life brings.

    • Lisa says:

      Wow, everyone seemed to quit their jobs in March! I guess March of 2019 was when none of us could take it anymore. =D Looking forward to your next chapter as well!

  3. RootofGood says:

    Sounds horrible. I decided to switch careers after clerking at a firm in Virginia my summer after 2L year. Best decision of my life honestly. I went ahead and finished 3L year and eventually took (and passed) the bar just for kicks and in case I needed it (during Great Recession). But I fell back on my engineering degree and did that for my whole 10 year career. 40 hrs/wk, great work life balance, minimal overnight travel. Respectful coworkers and bosses in general. Some stressful projects, clients, and adversarial meetings (most of which involved attorneys lol).

  4. You made the only sensible choice.

    When your mental and physical health are compromised by the work, no amount of money will make the job worth keeping.

    I worked crazy hours in med school in residency, but there was always a light at the end of the tunnel. That doesn’t seem to be the case with big law. I quit my job this year, too, but I had this move planned for years, and was able to slowly cut back, working part-time the last couple of years.

    Cheers to freedom!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks for the encouragement. It feels like the right choice now but was terrifying when making it! I figured big law was comparable to medicine – you guys seem to work a lot!

  5. Xin says:

    Oh my, seven years in a law firm is no joke. I’m having my first truly busy year and will probably (because of the nature of my current workplace, it’s a bit more feast or famine than larger places seem to be) only end up billing around 2100 max this year. To be blunt, I feel like I’m already close to hitting my physical limits for work, so I really can’t imagine how other people handle more in the long, long term.

    It’s pretty common for my friends who are leaving their firms to find that the firm loads them up with a large quantity of busy work after they give notice. (I’m always slightly baffled because, in theory, it seems like a better move to leave the work with someone who will still be there 3-4 weeks from now?) It seems like I was really lucky not to experience this with my first firm: they seemed to not want to staff me on anything once they knew I’d be leaving to clerk soon. (I told them I wanted to come back after, but they still didn’t want to staff me on anything…)

    • Lisa says:

      HA, I never thought I would be able to last seven years in a law firm. But it’s easier to put up with misery than you can imagine, trust me. =D It creeps up on you. Good luck!

  6. I really liked reading this. In today’s world, the insane hours and 24/7 availability enabled by technology has reached an unhealthy point. As I see it, work stress is probably worse that it’s ever been.


    • Lisa says:

      I agree that these days, employers are expecting more from employees, and work has bled over into all parts of our lives. A lot of people can relate to my story. Thanks for the comment!

  7. Gary @ DebtFreeClimb.com says:

    Thanks for sharing! I had similar feelings (especially not eating due to stress) that caused me to leave my previous job but definitely not to the extreme situation you had.

    Enjoy your time off!

  8. Congratulations we’re leaving! And thanks for sharing. It reminded me of my days in New York City getting into work at 5:30 AM and leaving after 7:30 PM practically every day.

    It’s too bad some law firms don’t treat their people better. Having to replace you and others must be a really big pain.

    Glad you are enjoying your new chapter!


    • Lisa says:

      Thanks, Sam. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people can relate to this story. But at least it has a happy ending!

  9. Mr Fate says:

    Boop. Right call. Keep looking straight

  10. Fretful Finance says:

    I absolutely see why you quit. Just reading about your lifestyle before quitting makes me feel anxious! I quit a shittily-paid job to follow a more lucrative career in the law and I don’t regret it – earning no money really sucks. But my hours and working culture are fairly decent. Here in London it’s well-known that you can earn double the salary by moving to the UK-branch of a US firm. But you’ll do double the hours in exchange. My friends that work for US firms have a pretty non-existent work/life balance. The culture is completely insane.

    I’m glad things are working out for you.

    • Lisa says:

      You know, you don’t realize how anxious you are until you’re outside looking in. And then you get used to the money and are trapped. Sorry, this comment got really dark. =P

  11. Ugh, this all feels so familiar. I can’t wait to plagiarize this post in a few years!

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