Living With ADHD As A Lawyer with Annie Little [TFLP141]

Today I’m sharing a bit from my conversation with Annie Little, a former lawyer turned coach for lawyers. I had spoken to her before for the podcast. But, I wanted to talk to her again as she reflects o living with ADHD as a lawyer after recently being diagnosed.

This is something that I wanted to talk about but didn’t have my own experience with it. So, I’m happy to share it with you because this is the experience of lawyers having ADHD. After all, so many lawyers have ADHD and feel like it’s something they can’t talk about.

So, let’s get into my conversation with Annie Little about ADHD and lawyers, so we can all gain some knowledge and compassion surrounding neurodiversity in the legal progression.

A Bit About Annie

Annie is a former lawyer, who now owns her own coaching business called JD Nation, where she helps lawyers find their ideal jobs. I’ve had Annie on the Former Lawyer Podcast before to talk about her journey out of the law, and our shared experience of having generalized anxiety disorder. 

Annie said that it’s not surprising that she left legal practice now that she knows about her ADHD. But she didn’t. She got the diagnosis relatively late, at 40. But she said that when she got her diagnosis, her whole life made sense. There was an explanation and a path to treatment, which brought relief. 

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is very misunderstood because it’s very complex. There are three types of ADHD and within those types, there is a variety of symptoms that appear on a spectrum of differing severities. Nobody’s experience with ADHD is going to be exactly the same as somebody else’s.

Let’s talk about the three different types of ADHD. 

  1. Hyperactive ADHD is the type that people are most familiar with. That can manifest in physical hyperactivity like the inability to sit still, fidgeting, or having to get up to learn better. 
  2. Inattentive ADHD is where people may seem like they’re daydreaming or might seem flighty. What’s really going on is ADHD.  
  3. Combined ADHD exhibits both inattentive and hyperactive traits. If you have enough of both hyperactive and inattentive, they give you the diagnosis of combined. 

ADHD As A Lawyer

In an ABA study done about lawyers and mental health, 12.5% of lawyers reported having ADHD. But since the rate of lawyers having ADHD is 3x as high as the general population, it’s very likely to be a much higher number.

ADHD is extremely misunderstood, and many people living with ADHD don’t share it. Then, there are others like Annie, who don’t get diagnosed until later in life. 

The people who are getting diagnosed later in their 40s tend to be women because the way women with ADHD exhibit symptoms is different from the way men and boys do. But, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have it.

This school of thought is why many lawyers with ADHD either don’t realize they have it because they don’t present in that “stereotypical” way or have ADHD and don’t want to disclose it because there is a stigma attached.

Interest-Based Nervous Systems 

People with ADHD have what’s called an interest-based nervous system, which means they get the necessary neurotransmitters and neuro-adrenaline differently. People living with ADHD get those neurotransmitters when they see something that they’re interested in or if something is urgent. 

So, Annie says that if you have ADHD, do the cool stuff first. Pick one thing that you actually want to do, and get your dopamine flowing. Then, you can build on that momentum to do everything else. 

Internal Self Loathing

Many people living with ADHD have a lot of internalized shame and self-loathing. Sometimes, an ADHD diagnosis can explain and free you of this, as was the case with Annie. 

Lawyers are already really hard on themselves, and you can multiply it by 10 for lawyers with ADHD because other people misunderstand you, and you have probably misunderstood yourself.

If you don’t understand why you exhibit the behaviors and how it’s out of your control, then there is self-shame. Then, on top of that, there’s what people project onto you. And you may even agree with it. 

But, it’s not a behavioral flaw. People with ADHD aren’t lazy. They generate the right balance of brain chemicals way differently than neurotypical brains. 

It’s very much like the stress response. Stress initiates the production of adrenaline and cortisol, which causes different things. For some, this creates a flight response. For others, this can trigger focus, motivation, and even dopamine.

ADHD Hyperfocus 

Hyperfocus is an extreme focus, where even if there are external distractions, someone living with ADHD can focus on one task, excluding some obvious things like going to the bathroom, eating, phones ringing, and alarms going off.

In many cases, in that state, people with ADHD can start and complete complex tasks, do them well, and on a compressed timeline that a neurotypical person wouldn’t be able to. 

Not everybody has the experience, but many lawyers with ADHD do. That being said, as your life and career become more complicated, you may not be able to get those same results from hyperfocus.

This hyperfocus is a weird phenomenon that Annie has seen and experienced. Supervisors are baffled because lawyers with ADHD can do great work and be busy all the time, but their billables are low. 

Myths Of ADHD

There is this myth of if you really had this neurodevelopmental issue, then would you really have been able to do good work so efficiently? Or, someone might be telling themselves, “I relate to some things I hear about ADHD, but I’ve become a lawyer, and I have this career, and I’m objectively successful, so this couldn’t be true about me.” 

But again, ADHD is very complex. Yes, lawyers with ADHD can be really efficient and do good work, but they can only do this under certain conditions. And, they’re also likely to make some mistakes because of this tunnel vision. 

People with ADHD are big-picture people for the most part. They can grasp huge, complex concepts. But, the details are a little trickier to process because of hyperfocus and an interest-based nervous system. So, neurotypicals may label this as sloppy. But it really isn’t. 

Saying that is hurtful and in fact, quite ableist. And another negative comment could be, “everyone’s a little ADHD” or “I have trouble focusing too.” This diminishes the truth about ADHD, which is that people living with ADHD have different brains. 

Another misconception about living with ADHD is that it can be some sort of superpower. Some people with ADHD believe it’s a superpower because they can stay calm under pressure. But again, not everyone’s experience with ADHD is the same. For someone like Annie, who has anxiety and ADHD, calm under pressure isn’t even possible.  

Getting An Evaluation & Treating ADHD

It’s harder to get an evaluation than you might think. When you get referred by a doctor, there can be a waitlist depending on your area and availability. Annie got her evaluation online through, which she highly recommends. 

The treatment plan for ADHD can look different to everyone based on your symptoms and their severity. Some take medication, which can be a blessing for some, and a curse to others. It’s key to create a treatment plan with your doctor or psychiatrist to find your best options.

And although it may not be what you want to hear, a good sleep schedule and a healthy exercise regime are also vital to managing ADHD, even with medication. Annie also recommends seeing a psychiatrist help with any comorbidities.

Annie’s Advice For Those Living With ADHD As A Lawyer

The biggest thing that anyone with ADHD should know is that you can be a high achiever like a lawyer with ADHD. It’s not a moral failing. If you feel lazy despite high achievement, remember that it’s very complicated. 

And for those that are not living with ADHD, compassion is key. People do not have to tell you that they have ADHD. But if somebody does tell you, if you read this article, you now know better than to say something hurtful.

So much of what is wrong with how the legal profession operates is due to a lack of compassion. Whether you ultimately are someone who wants out or wants to continue in the law, it’s crucial.

If you are someone who wants to leave the law for good, I’ve created a free guide, First Steps to Leaving the Law, for anyone out there who is just like, “I need out. Where do I start?” Which is where I was when I realized that I didn’t want to be a lawyer. Head on over and sign up today!

Connect With Annie Little 




Mentioned In This Article

JD Nation

Lawyers And Mental Health Study

ADHD Online

First Steps To Leaving The Law

Sarah Cottrell: Hi, and welcome to The Former Lawyer Podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Cottrell. I practiced law for 10 years and now I help unhappy lawyers ditch their soul-sucking jobs. On this show, I share advice and strategies for aspiring former lawyers, and interviews with former lawyers who have left the law behind to find careers and lives that they love.

Today I'm sharing my conversation with Annie Little. Annie has been on the podcast before. We have talked about several things. One was when we talked about career coaching for lawyers, what to look for, and what to expect. Then also she was on the podcast sharing her own story. One of the things we talked about in her two-part series was her and my shared experience with generalized anxiety disorder.

I asked Annie to come back on the podcast because she was recently diagnosed with ADHD. As the awareness in general of neurodiversity and how it impacts people has grown, there has also been this uncovering of the reality that there are so many lawyers who suffer from ADHD, and many more who probably have ADHD and aren't aware that is what they're experiencing.

I wanted to have Annie on to talk about having ADHD as a lawyer, what the experience can look like, and some of the things that we think both neurodivergent and neurotypical lawyers should know about the experience so that we can create a more compassionate profession and help support lawyers in becoming more compassionate with themselves regardless of whether they are neurodivergent or neurotypical.

Before we get to my conversation with Annie, I want to remind you that I am now working with a limited number of people one-on-one. If you're someone who is interested in working with me individually to figure out what it is that you want to do and how to get there going through that whole process, you can learn more about that, go to the website and in the menu, one of the options is one-on-one. You'll see there all of the information and the button to book a consult with me. I would love to talk with you if you think that experience might be the right one for you as you're trying to figure out what it is that you want to do that is not practicing law. Let's get to my conversation with Annie Little about ADHD and neurodiversity and lawyers.

Hey, Annie. Welcome back to The Former Lawyer Podcast.

Annie Little: Ah. Thanks for having me. I always love to be here.

Sarah Cottrell: I am really excited. Way back in your initial visit to the podcast, one of the things that we talked about was our shared experience of having generalized anxiety disorder. Those episodes I hear from people all the time because many, many lawyers suffer from whether it's an anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or some other mental health issue. So many people have reached out to say that they appreciate the conversations that we have on the podcast where we're really talking about the reality of these things.

You and I were talking recently, I don't know, time has lost all meaning, and one of the things that I really wanted to talk about on the podcast, but that isn't within my own experience, is the experience of lawyers having ADHD because so many lawyers have ADHD and yet feel like it's something they can't talk about. There are also, I think, a lot of lawyers who have ADHD who don't recognize that they're having that experience because of some of the myths that exist out there about it. You were recently diagnosed with ADHD. Introduce yourself for anyone who hasn't listened to your previous episodes and then just talk a little bit about your experience and where the conversation is going to go today.

Annie Little: Yeah. I'm Annie Little for anyone who doesn't know me and I am a former lawyer. I have a coaching business called JD Nation where I help lawyers find their ideal job. It's not surprising that I left legal practice now that I know I have ADHD, but I did not know. I got diagnosed at 40, which was last year, almost a decade after I left the practice of law. In that moment where I got my diagnosis, my whole life made sense. Not to say I was elated but it was when I had my generalized anxiety diagnosis where it was like, “Oh, there's an explanation and there's a path toward treatment, “ it was relief in that way but then a lot of grief about, “Oh, I've been going through my whole life with this and it didn't have to be so hard? Sh*t.”

I think that's why I'm really excited about talking about lawyers with ADHD. Just to be clear, it hasn't even been a year since I've been diagnosed, so I'm learning a lot. But one of the things I've learned is that lawyers have ADHD at three times the rate of the general adult population. It's not that lawyering causes ADHD, it's a genetic neurodevelopmental brain disorder but we are attracted to it because we thrive under pressure.

Unlike 12 1/2% of lawyers report having ADHD, so that's people reporting it that they know that they have it and this was in an ABA study, it wasn't about ADHD specifically, it was about mental health, and pretty much everyone looked at everything but the ADHD stats in it and everyone who cares about it is like, “Oh, my god, what? Three times the rate? Nobody's talking about this.” Then in a different study, survey, or whatever, they asked how many people have told their employer that they have ADHD, lawyers, and it was like four or five percent. There's an awareness that it's misunderstood and a lot of people have it and know it and don't share it for obvious reasons that I now know of, and then there are people like me.

I would say that anecdotally, people who are getting diagnosed later in their 40s tend to be women because the way we exhibit symptoms is different from the way men and boys do but it doesn't mean that we don't have it. You'll see statistics about men and boys having it at a much higher rate than women and girls, but what's more likely to be happening is that women and girls are underdiagnosed and some boys are over-diagnosed for sure. But once I saw that statistic, I was like, “Well, one of my ADHD symptoms is impulsivity and oversharing. I think this is a great lane for me to be in to give people just an idea.”

I think it's really important. I get a lot of DMs and feedback from people, lawyers who have ADHD who really appreciate what I'm saying and they'll say, “Hey, I saw a post and it said you've got a good treatment plan worked out. What are you doing? Do you mind?” I'm like, “Here's a treatise on what I'm doing.” That's really great, but I think because there are so many of us in the legal profession, even if you don't have ADHD if you're neurotypical, statistically speaking, you probably work with a lawyer with ADHD, if not more than one, and I think it's really, really important that everybody has an understanding of how ADHD works because millennials like me, we grew up in the 90s, and ADHD was something that was talked about in the context of hyperactive boys who got bad grades and couldn't sit still and their parents did something wrong and now you have to give them medication and they turn into zombies.

My mom was an educator and that was some of the dialogue. She was all for the meds because we're a meds family for mental health, but that was the prevailing thing. It was stigma on the kids and a stigma on the parents, and wow, that is not what ADHD actually is. Let's talk about this.

Sarah Cottrell: Yeah. I was going to say, we are close in age so I came up in school in the 90s as well and it was very much my entire perception of ADHD when I was elementary, middle school age was like what you were saying which is hyperactive young boys basically. That's I think even now today is still, even though there is so much more awareness that it is so much more complex, there is still this pervasive misunderstanding of the full range of ADHD.

That's why I think you have, for example, so many lawyers who either don't even realize they have it because maybe they don't present in that “stereotypical” way, or you have people who have ADHD and don't want to disclose it because they perceive, in many cases, I think rightly that there is a stigma attached. I have a million different directions that we could go.

Annie Little: Welcome to my brain, Sarah.

Sarah Cottrell: For people who are listening, some people are listening and they have ADHD. They're like, “I understand what the experience of ADHD is like.” Some people are listening and they're neurotypical, they don't have ADHD. Some people are listening and they have ADHD and they don't know they have ADHD; someone who is potentially in a position similar to where you were a couple years ago. Can we just talk a little bit about what it means when someone has ADHD and the types and what they might experience?

Annie Little: Yeah, totally. ADHD, I think, part of the reason why it's very misunderstood is because it's very complex. There are three types of ADHD and within those types, everybody's symptoms appear on a spectrum of differing severities and there are like 50 symptoms. Nobody's experience with ADHD is going to be exactly the same as somebody else's. I will talk to somebody, another lawyer, another woman who has ADHD and will totally connect on it and be like, “Oh my gosh, me too. Oh my gosh, me too.” “Oh really? Oh that's not my experience.”

It doesn't mean one of us doesn't have ADHD or has the wrong kind or misunderstands, it's really idiosyncratic in a lot of ways. I just want to put that out there, for neurotypical people especially listening to this podcast. My experience is my experience. Other people may have things that are more severe, less severe, not at all, and completely opposite, and their diagnosis is just as valid as mine. I just want to put that out there because I think that's probably the number one thing that underlies ADHD that makes it so misunderstood because it is very, very idiosyncratic.

Again, I'm not an expert so this is just me telling you what I've learned through my hyper focus obsession, which is an ADHD thing. There are three types: the hyperactive type, which is what we're most familiar with. That can manifest in physical hyperactivity like the classic, I'm unable to sit still and needs to move around and fidget to learn better. That tends to be more common in boys, but my daughter exhibits that hyperactivity as well.

Then for high achieving people with ADHD, the hyperactivity is either exclusively or also in the brain. That's where my hyperactivity is. I can sit a lump all day, no problema. But when I'm not taking medication, I've got at least three songs running at the same time, which I thought everybody did. That's a minimum, three soundtracks running at the same time and multiple thoughts firing as well.

When I'm on medication, I'm down to one song running through my head and maybe two thoughts on a good day and I'm well rested. That's the hyperactivity there. A lot of lawyers have that because high achievers, lawyers, we tend to be able to sit at a computer for a while.

The other type is called inattentive ADHD. That's the kind where people may seem like they're daydreaming, might seem flighty. What's really going on is the ADHD, it’s used to be called ADD, but the proper term is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and it's a misnomer because we don't have a deficit of attention. We actually have more attention. We have the capacity for a lot of attention that our brains take in, and process a lot of stimuli at once. We're unable to prioritize. We don't know what to pay attention to in our attention if that makes sense. We have a lot of attention and it's trying to sift through.

Someone may look they're spacing out but they're probably actually thinking about three things at once and the thing that they should be paying attention to is boring, like the lecture in class and so they're not. There's that. Women tend to have that more but I think that might change once people understand the hyperactivity that can happen internally.

Then the third type is combined ADHD, which is where you exhibit both. It's basically check boxes that doctors will fill, will complete. If you have enough of both hyperactive and inattentive, they give you the diagnosis of combined. That's what I have, I have both. Then for children, which I'm finding is the reason why girls don't get diagnosed, is there's also an academic or academic performance component. You still need to be suffering in at least one or two of areas of academic performance in order to get a diagnosis, which is garbage, because I think most women, lawyers in particular, would never have passed that evaluation in childhood.

My daughter is one of those people so I'm advocating really hard for her because I'm like, “But she's me. She's me.” Our pediatrician's like, “I know. I know. But we have to figure this out.” Those are the three. I have no idea what the prevalence is for people within the legal profession, but that's just an overview. Then you're going to need to tell me what's next because I've lost all train of thought, which is an ADHD thing.

Sarah Cottrell: I was going to say on the prioritization piece, I heard someone with ADHD describe it as if you had a table and you laid out on it a bunch of cards of all the things that the person needed to do in a day, they said you might as well flip the cards over so you couldn't see what was on them and have them pick them up to do, “Okay, I'm going to do this thing next. I'm going to do this thing.”

Their ability to look at all the different things laid out and know “This should happen first, this should happen second,” is just not there. I thought that was a really helpful way for people who are neurotypical to understand what is happening because it's like if you think of looking at a table with a bunch of cards but they're blank and you're just picking them up, that illustration I thought was really helpful. Does that sound that does match with your experience?

Annie Little: Yes. I think that is probably the one thing that everyone with ADHD does have. I saw this explained really great just in a blog post or an article online that I was looking, doing some research with the other day. It's a neurodevelopmental thing. Our brains physiologically look different. If I could get a brain scan, I could just go around be like, “See, my brain looks different than yours.”

But also they talk about it's our entire nervous system and so people with ADHD have what's called an interest-based nervous system, which means we get the necessary neurotransmitters, primarily dopamine and neuroadrenaline I think, anyway, those are the neurotransmitters that regulate focus, impulsiveness, and some other thing. I can’t remember of course.

But we don't have either enough of that chemical or we don't have the right receptors to take up that chemical, and executive function, that's the main thing, and prioritization is an executive function. We have an interest-based nervous system which means we will get those neurons firing and we will get those neurotransmitters when we see something that we're interested in, if something is urgent, and just basically things like that.

If there's some other event that will cause that chemical cascade for us, then we can direct our attention to it. But what neurotypical nervous systems are described as, this is something I just learned the other day, is they are importance-based nervous systems. Neurotypicals, y'all are able to do what's most important first. I'm like, “What? They're all important. It has to be done so it is important, correct?” Then people with ADHD were like, the advice to do the most difficult, like eat the frog first, you do the worst task first, that is the worst advice for somebody with ADHD because they call it a wall of awful.

When you're up against a task that you don't want to do because it's boring or it's not interesting or whatever, we literally cannot generate the brain chemicals to start it. If it gets boring midway, same thing, we won't be able to finish it. Instead, if you have ADHD, do the interesting stuff first. Not all of it, but pick one thing that you actually want to do and that will get your dopamine flowing and then you can build on it. You get some momentum going that way.

But when it gets out of control and we just do what we want to do first, I've heard people call it procrestivity because it's like, “Well, it needs to get done so at least I'm doing something.” For us that makes sense. We're like, “I could literally just be sitting here physically paralyzed trying to do this thing I'm supposed to be doing, or I could at least get some other stuff done in the meantime because I'm not going to do that thing no matter what.”

Sarah Cottrell: Yeah. I think this is such an important part of the conversation that I want people who are listening to hear, whether they're a lawyer with ADHD, someone who suspects they have ADHD, or someone who's neurotypical. I do think there is this really unfortunate idea of, “Oh, well, just don't be the way you are.” Like you said, “Just eat the frog first.” There are people whose brains can do that but when you're telling someone who has ADHD to do that, you're basically saying, “I need you to function in a way that is not how your brain functions.”

Maybe we can talk about this a little bit now, there are these myths around ADHD and I think one of them is this idea that you can basically decide not to have the brain that you have. You had mentioned earlier when you were talking about someone might be thinking about three different things and one of them is not the lecture because it's boring, and when you said that, I just had this thought of, “So many people would hear that and be like, ‘Well, who cares if it's boring? You need to be listening.’” A moralizing thing, like, “Oh, you're not paying attention because it's boring, because all you want to do is do things that you enjoy.”

It's not some internal moral, it's your brain literally does not have the necessary chemical cascade happening to allow you to do the thing that people are then basically judging you for and thinking it's some sort of moral failing.

Annie Little: 100%. It's demoralizing, it's like the willpower where people are like, “Well, yeah, it's boring, but I paid attention to it.” I'm like, “Yeah, and you have a neurotypical brain. That's how the world operates.” Because you've got the neurotypical people moralizing it, judging it, being like, “Well, it's easy for me. I just do it even though I don't want to.”

What's different is like people with ADHD, we want to pay attention to the stuff we're supposed to. We really, really do. It's involuntary. Our nervous systems, take it in the same way when you have a panic attack, you don't get to control that. It just happens and you don't realize it's happening until it's happening. You can't prevent it. For people with ADHD, we have a lot of internalized shame and self-loathing.

That was the number one realization I had. I'm probably going to say number one for everything. That was the number one emotional realization I had when I got my diagnosis. For the first time, I understood why I was incapable of absorbing self-compassion because that was something my therapist had always said. People are like, “You just need to give yourself some grace and you need to cut yourself some slack.” I'm like, “I know. I know, and I am, but I really want to do this and I can't. It's b*llsh*t.”

Once I got the diagnosis and I started reading into it a little more, the 40 years of self self-loathing started to melt away. That was the part of my diagnosis that was such a relief. It was like being able to forgive myself immediately for being so hard on myself. I was like, “You just didn't know. Oh, honey, you just didn't know that that's why you couldn't do those things, why it was so hard, or why you've done your best, you do what people tell you to do, you follow directions and sometimes it just doesn't work.”

Reading more about the internalized self-loathing that people with ADHD have, you think about lawyers, we're already really hard on ourselves, multiply it by 10 at least if you have ADHD because other people misunderstand you and you probably misunderstand yourself. I even have some clients who were diagnosed with ADHD many years ago and they did not get the information that I have about my diagnosis. I'm like, “Oh my gosh.”

Even some people who would send me DMs are like, “I got diagnosed but that's it. Nobody told me anything about it even recently.” If you don't have that understanding of why you exhibit the behaviors you do and how it's completely out of your control, you have the self-shame and then you have what people say it's projected on to you and you agree with it. You're like, “I know. I should be able to pay attention.” But it's like, “No, you honestly can't.”

Just a quick caveat here, this is for everybody. People with ADHD, without ADHD, medication is great if you want to go that route and you find one that works, but it doesn't eliminate your symptoms. It makes them a little more manageable.

Sarah Cottrell: Okay, so many things. First, I wanted to say on the shame piece, I think a big part of that too—and I am guessing that you would agree with this—is if you have ADHD, it's very likely that as you were growing up, you are being told things like, “Pay attention. You're not paying attention.” All of these things were being treated as essentially that you were making conscious choices to make bad decisions.

The thing is, not to, yet again on this podcast, be like, “Hey, you should go to therapy,” but by the way, this is your weekly plug to go to therapy, as someone with ADHD, those things that you hear over and over and over, you do eventually internalize them. That becomes the way you talk to yourself.

The shaming piece is not just a question of, “Oh, is someone outside of me going to say something about how I'm not dropping this or that ball, or not starting something when I should, or whatever?” At a certain point, you internalize that voice and they're telling yourself like, “I'm bad and I'm wrong because I'm not doing this the way that I ‘should.’” This is why I think it's so important for lawyers to hear this because 12%, more than 1 in 10 lawyers minimum, and let's be real, probably much higher than that--

Annie Little: It's like one and eight, they're guessing.

Sarah Cottrell: Oh yeah, math is good. Good job on the math. But really, it's a huge population. Like you said, lawyers of all types of people are some who are the most likely to have this tendency towards self-criticism, perfectionism, all of these things. In particular, I have heard from lawyers who have ADHD a lot of shame around the fact that they can't make themselves “do” something until it's the last minute, and so then they're having to work in this extremely stressful situation like “Why am I doing this to myself?” environment.

But like you said, it's not because they're just lazy and don't want to work, it's because that's how they generate sufficient of the right balance of brain chemicals to actually initiate and do the task.

Annie Little: Oh, yeah. It's like the stress response. You get the adrenaline and cortisol going and a couple of different things can happen depending on what your brain chemistry is, but that will motivate you. When you stress response kicks in, you get tunnel vision, tunnel focus. You're able to block out the stuff that's not essential because your brain is like, “Emergency. This assignment is due in three hours,” and you haven't started it, do it. For some people, that can also generate dopamine because you're like, “I'm very interested in getting this done now.”

Then that can trigger what's called hyper focus, which I think is important to also explain a little bit because it goes along with the whole willpower thing and the whole, “Well, you can focus on things that you want to so just focus on the things you don't want to.” This is not the case for everyone, but hyper focus can be a good thing and a bad thing. It basically is an extreme focus where even if there are external distractions like what neurotypical people would call distractions, I think that's just what ADHD people hold in their brains all the time and we just we have it all and it's all accepted in there, but when hyper focus, we are able to focus on one task to the exclusion of anything like going to the bathroom, eating, phones ringing, alarms going off.

In many cases, in that state, people with ADHD are able to start and complete extremely complex tasks, do them well, and on a compressed timeline that a neurotypical person wouldn't be able to. Now, not everybody has the experience of going into hyper focus at the last minute to get something done and having a good work product come out, but a lot of lawyers do. That's how you became a lawyer. You wouldn't be a lawyer if you didn't have that experience at least at some point in your academic career because if you were going into hyper focus because of your stress response and turning in crap, you probably wouldn't have gotten to where you are.

But, that being said, as your life and career become more complicated, you may not be able to get those same results from hyper focus. People with ADHD or people who think you might have it, did you cram for exams and it worked? You might have ADHD. Did you cram for exams because no matter what, that's the only way you could study? That's ADHD. I could start outlining in October in law school, it didn't matter. I wouldn't look at my outline until two days before and then bam, absorb it. Ace it.

This is a weird phenomenon that I see with some of my clients and that I experienced as well is that our supervisors are just baffled because they're like, “You do really great work, you look busy, but your billables are low.” It's like, “I know, but I get it done.” I'm getting it done very efficiently and I'm hating myself the whole time, not anymore, but before I knew I had ADHD, I'm like, “god damn it. Why couldn't I just start this earlier?” We know now why, but you're shaming yourself the whole time. I do this to myself all the time. How come I can only do it at the last minute when I'm totally stressed? I don't have billables but I'm doing all my work. That can be a really strange phenomenon, not for everyone, but for other lawyers I know and for myself, it was like I always had lower billables, but clients loved me, I had great work product, and I had lots of matters.

Sarah Cottrell: Yeah. I think this touches on another really important myth that can keep people from either seeing that they have ADHD or can create this idea of, “Oh, well, you couldn't have ADHD.” It's around like, “Well, if you really have ADHD, would you really be able to achieve all the things that a lawyer has achieved?” There is this myth of if you really had this neurodevelopmental issue, then would you really have been able to achieve this? Or someone might be telling themselves, “I relate to some things I hear about ADHD but I've become a lawyer and I have this career and I'm objectively successful, so this couldn't be true about me.”

I think just from what you were just talking about, that exemplifies why that myth can keep a lot of people from realizing that this is something that is going on for them and can create a situation where people who are neurotypical have a really hard time actually acknowledging and extending compassion to people with ADHD.

Annie Little: Absolutely. I get it. It's very idiosyncratic. It's like, “Oh, look at me. I can do extremely complex things faster than anyone else can. But only under certain conditions.” I'll make little mistakes because I can't filter out all of the things. For example, I was really great at math, really good. I was almost a math major, really great at the advanced concepts in calculus and trig and all that stuff, but I might get the wrong final answer because I added 5 plus 4 to be 20. That's the stuff. For lawyers, one of the most hurtful comments that I would get from my supervisors, one in particular, was that I was sloppy.

I was a transactional lawyer. I was like, “I'm not sloppy. I made a human mistake.” The broad concepts are always handled. My experience with ADHD and what I hear from a lot of others is that we're big picture people. I can get these really big complicated concepts. The details for me, unless I'm super interested, it's not as easy for me to get there and they feel very boring. I'm like, “Yeah, yeah. Details.” That'll happen.

The overall concept of a deal that I was working on or the lease that I was drafting, the broad strokes were there. If you were going to interpret the whole lease, it was probably going to come out okay, but obviously, we don't want to go into litigation at all, let's be clear up front. But to say that I was sloppy and careless as though I just whipped it together, and especially because I could whip it together faster than more experienced people because once I was in that zone, I could, that was really upsetting.

Just to flag this for people, when you're saying these things to people like, “Oh, that's really careless or just try to focus harder or you're being disrespectful when you're being late, you should just try to be early instead,” that's ableist. I didn't realize that that's ableism and I have so much internalized ableism because it's like, “You should be able to do this.” ADHD, it's idiosyncratic, it's complicated, and it's invisible. I can't go around and open up my skull and be like, “Look at my brain, it's different. Do you believe me now? Okay.”

This is a very crude analogy but if you saw someone sitting in a wheelchair who's like, “I'm paralyzed from the neck down, I can't stand up,” would you say to them, “If you try hard, you used to be able to walk, I think if you just focus hard enough and try hard enough, you can stand up.” That's not the same but it's a similar deal. You can't see my disability. There's no physical representation of it. It's not like, “I have ADHD,” and you're like, “Ah, yes. So all of these things are more complicated for you.” It's like, “Just focus. I have trouble focusing too.” I think that's the next myth we should talk about.

Sarah Cottrell: Yes.

Annie Little: That everybody's a little ADHD. Oh.

Sarah Cottrell: You're like, “Sorry, does your brain not produce dopamine at the appropriate times?” You are incorrect.

Annie Little: Yeah. Does your frontal lobe look different than mine? Okay, because that's frontal lobe, yeah. Just heads up, frontal lobes, for people with ADHD, develop at a slower rate than other people. For some children especially, their biggest symptom is emotional dysregulation. I did not have that thankfully based on what my childhood was like, that was fortunate that I could stifle the feelings but I know children that emotional dysregulation is their number one symptom of ADHD. It's literally out of their control and it's so overwhelming for them.

Some adults, it's the same thing. If you hear about deeply feeling kids or highly sensitive people, some of them have ADHD. It's that kind of deal. Again, ADHD is very idiosyncratic, very complicated, and the symptoms that we're talking about here, every human will experience at some point. Even somewhat regularly like the inability to focus on something, that happens. That can happen because of stress, lack of sleep, something really awful going on in your life that's a distraction. But that's not because your brain is physiologically different, which is what ADHD is.

You're bored, you don't want to do something, or you're late often, or you lost your train of thought. You've got competing thoughts going on. Oh my gosh, you might have two competing thoughts? I wish. Anything I'm talking about on here, again, this is not the whole spectrum of the symptoms I experience or the whole spectrum of symptoms that someone else might experience and all that kind of good stuff, but when someone's like, “Oh, my gosh. I'm so ADHD today,” I'm like, “Oh, my god. If I could have it for just a day, I would.” Or they'd be like, “Well, at least, you can hyper focus. At least you live in a world that's designed for you.”

Sarah Cottrell: Yeah. I was going to say, I think when it comes to people saying things like that, it is largely borne out of just, like you were saying, not understanding the degree to which ADHD, while it may bring with it certain traits or symptoms that in certain contexts may be beneficial or perceived as beneficial--

Annie Little: Because they're survival mechanisms for sure.

Sarah Cottrell: But it's like, “Oh, it's not seeing this is a disability.” That isn't to say if you have ADHD, you can't do X, Y, or whatever, it is to recognize that there is struggle and pain that comes with it. I think that when people use it as an equivalent to “I'm just not focusing today or whatever,” it really minimizes the harm that can be done to people who are neurodiverse in a world that is built for people who are neurotypical. I feel like it's lacking in empathy.

Annie Little: Yeah. To your point about people saying that kind of stuff, it absolutely comes from a place of not knowing. I didn't say that stuff before but I probably wouldn't have thought twice about someone saying, “Oh, I'm so ADHD today,” because I just didn't know. When I'm saying this stuff and I'm being snarky, I'm definitely not attacking people or targeting people. I truly believe that when people have information, when they know better, they do better. Because I had no idea and I freaking have this disorder, that people, whether they have it or not, they just don't have an understanding, especially if you grew up in the 90s. We don't have a true understanding of what it is and therefore we don't know when we're inflicting harm.

I truly believe that most people, minus the narcissists out there, we don't want to inflict harm on people. It's like, “Oh, my gosh. That's hurtful. That's harmful? Okay.” A lot of people will say things out as a way to be like, “It's an okay thing, right?” They'll be like, “Oh, but isn't ADHD your superpower? Isn't hyperfocus your superpower? Are you saying you don't want someone to tell you that ADHD is your superpower?” Listen, some people who have ADHD say that. They're like, “It is my superpower. It's what makes me a great litigator, for example, because I can stay calm under pressure.” I'm like, “That's great, but as somebody who also has anxiety, I wouldn't call it calm under pressure.”

I appreciate people trying to see the bright side but it's toxic positivity in a way, it's ableism, and it's dismissive without the intent component. But it's dismissive where it's like, “Yeah, I can hyper focus and I'm capable of understanding really complicated subjects like astrophysics.” I accidentally signed up for an astrophysics class in college and I got an A. Okay, but that doesn't compensate for my day-to-day struggles of not being able to put away the dishes that have been piling up in the sink and me sitting on the couch being like, “Why are you such a piece of sh*t? Why are you so lazy? You can do all of this stuff but you can't just get up and put the effing dishes in the dishwasher.” That's what people with ADHD are struggling with.

It's like, “No, it's not a superpower. It's not.” Again, it's a spectrum. It's a disability. I think when I research it and it's called that because it's a variation from the typical, the neurotypical, but it also impairs day-to-day function, there are treatment options. I was a psych major as one of my majors because ADHD, could I just have one major? Absolutely not. This all makes so much sense. I had to double major and I actually studied attention, believe it or not. I focused on cognitive psych, neuroscience, attention, and I was just like, “Man, why can't I make my working memory do that?” Plus there wasn't as much of an understanding in the early 2000s about that.

Sarah Cottrell: Hey, it's Sarah. I'm popping in here to remind you that I have created a free guide, First Steps to Leaving the Law for anyone out there who is just like, “Ugh! This job is the worst. I need out. Where do I start?” Which is exactly where I was when I realized that I didn't want to be a lawyer. You can go to, sign up, and get the guide in your inbox today. When you grab that guide, you get on my email list, which is the way I keep everyone the most up to date about everything that's happening with Former Lawyer. It's also the best way to get in contact with me because I read and respond to every email. If you are ready to figure out what's next for you, go to, download the free guide, First Steps to Leaving the Law, and get started today.

Sarah Cottrell: One of the things that I wanted to return back to you and then also talk a bit more about this, you talked about the anxiety piece of things, so I want to talk about that, the comorbidity between ADHD and anxiety. But to enter into that conversation, one of the things that I wanted to return to is when you mentioned that you can take medication to help manage your ADHD but that doesn't mean you no longer have symptoms.

You and I have talked on the podcast before about our experiences with generalized anxiety disorder. I've talked about the fact that I take medication for my anxiety disorder. It sounds, in many ways, similar. You can take medication that can support your nervous system if you have an anxiety disorder to help it remain more stable, that doesn't mean you will never experience any symptoms of having an anxiety disorder or panic disorder. It sounds like with ADHD, it's similar. You can take something that will support you and help you to not feel some of the symptoms as severely at times, but it doesn't mean, “Oh, I take a pill and therefore, I have a different brain.”

Annie Little: I am neurotypical. It's really important to talk about this because there are the two most common responses that people have to their ADHD diagnosis. For some it's like, “Oh my god. I have ADHD. Great. I can take medicine and I'm fixed. Great,” which is awesome because I love when people are open to taking meds because I was like, “I will take the meds. Let's get this.” I went into it with my eyes open because I already have so many friends and colleagues with ADHD that I talked to first but they were like, “I set myself up for disappointment because I thought that medication was going to fix me.” Their expectations were just too high.

Again, remember, everybody's symptoms are different. There are different levels of severity and there are comorbidities with other mental health issues, our thing that we'll talk about. But what I've learned about the ADHD meds is that most of them are stimulants. You can't be on stimulants 24/7, you just can't. I take Zola for anxiety and it's a long extended thing. It builds up in your system and then you achieve an even flow. You take it every day but there's no highs and lows like if I would take Xanax for panic attacks where it's like three or four hours, there's a burst, and then it wears off. That's more the experience with ADHD meds. There are extended release ones where people can take one pill in the morning and it'll last them eight hours or something. But that's it.

There's always this thing where people talk about the first time they take medication and they're like, “Oh my god, is this how people operate?” I said that to my husband the first time I tried one and he was like, “So it's like that movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper?” I'm like, “Kind of. Don't get ahead of yourself here, bro.” But it kind of is because the way it felt for me is like those horse blinders that you put on horses so they focus forward, it felt like I could feel those coming around my brain and it was just starting to allow me to sift out to be able to be like, “Oh, these are five distinct thoughts. Okay, I don't need that one. I don't need that one. Okay, we're down to three. That feels manageable.”

Then what can be frustrating is finding the right meds. I got really lucky with my anxiety. Every drug I've tried, the first time was like, “Yep, this works. Awesome, thank you.” With ADHD meds, because I'm already on a super high dose of Zoloft, there's a dopamine situation, there's a serotonin situation, and so they had to be careful with me because you can get the serotonin syndrome, it's really rare, but whatever. They started me on one class of what I was taking, Ritalin and something that's called Focalin.

They're very similar and it gave me tachycardia like you wouldn't believe. My heart rate was out of control. It made me feel anxious but it also made me feel so focused. I was like, “It's fine. It's fine. It's fine.” My doctor's like, “No. You don't understand. You can have the focus without the garbage. Plus, your heart is going to explode, so stop.” I was like, “Okay.” Then I got put on Adderall, which they tend to not want to do that, but my doctor's like, “You have very unique receptors. I think Adderall is going to be the thing for you.”

It's the thing for me. It's great, but it's like four hours. Four hours, and some days when I'm working, I'll take two doses but it takes 45 minutes to kick in. It peaks. There's a valley. Then when I come off of it, some days I just want to kill everybody. I'm tired, overstimulated, whatever. Some days I don't notice. That's because there's all these other factors that go in. Sleep is a big thing that's important for ADHD brains. Exercise, which is so unfair because initiating exercise? Come on, that's so hard. Come on, you piece of garbage. Get up and exercise. It's going to make you feel better. Yeah, but it's super boring. Get up and exercise. But it's boring to me anyway.

There are all these other things that can help, and then there are people for whom medication just doesn't work and so there are other ways you got to do it. Some people don't want to take the medication, and that's an okay choice too, but for anyone out there who is thinking about it, stimulants are the absolute best proven way to mitigate ADHD symptoms, especially the executive dysfunction.

Sarah Cottrell: That's all super helpful. We could have a whole separate conversation about the importance of sleep too, all nervous system stuff. For me with my anxiety and panic disorder, sleep probably is the number one thing where I have control over where I can see such a significant difference if I'm not getting adequate sleep. For me, adequate sleep is eight plus hours.

Annie Little: Oh yeah. Also, since we were going to talk about comorbidities, and because remember, the theme of ADHD is that it's super idiosyncratic and complicated, people with ADHD brains also have a circadian rhythm disorder. Again, maybe not everybody gets this. It's really hard for us to sleep, especially on the neurotypical schedule. A lot of ADHD people are night owls because our circadian rhythms are different.

It's really funny, I studied sleep a lot too. That was another psych thing, but the human circadian rhythm is not quite 24 hours already, it's more like 22 or 23. For humans, neurotypicals even, that can be why it's tough to stick to a sleep schedule for ADHD brains. No, no, no. It's not. For me, my rhythms are shifted about four hours. There was one year of college where my schedule was my senior year and I was able to go to bed at 2:00 AM and wake up at 10:00 AM, magic. I could fall asleep and I could wake up. That is the thing.

Sleep is super important. If only I could. Melatonin is huge. You can't take stimulants too late in the day because they'll keep you up as well. Exercise helps as well, but hard to start. It's great. That's a comorbidity. If you think you might have ADHD and you have trouble sleeping, go get an eval.

Sarah Cottrell: Let's talk a little bit more about the co-occurrence of anxiety and ADHD.

Annie Little: And all mental health issues.

Sarah Cottrell: Yes, because it is significant, which makes sense if you think about it. If you are being over stimulated and your brain does not have the typical cascade to be able to absorb the typical cascade, it makes sense that it would over stimulate your nervous system and dysregulate you and that thing. Why don't you talk a little bit more about that? Because I know before we started recording, you were talking about some statistics about the comorbidity.

Annie Little: Which I'll totally get wrong, but big picture, broad strokes. It was either in the big ABA study that was about mental health and lawyers. They threw in some stats about ADHD but no one paid attention to them and so I think it might have been a subsequent one where they drew on those and they showed the comorbidities, other mental health disorders if you will. These are things like bipolar disorders, anxiety, depression. Learning disabilities also, there's a high concurrence of dyslexia. I have auditory processing disorder. I have misophonia. Some sounds really just enrage me. There's a lot that can go on in your frontal lobe. There's a huge overlap.

But what was really striking to me when I was looking at statistics in these studies was that the comorbidity for all of the other things I described were between 8% and 12% generally speaking, but for lawyers who reported having ADHD and anxiety disorders, 61%. I was like, “Okay, first of all, mental health providers, can we please get on the same page? Because first of all, you told me that my anxiety was normal because I'm a lawyer and a law student, that's normal. Second of all, I got that diagnosis in my 20s and it took 13 more years for me to request an evaluation for ADHD.”

Lawyer, plus anxiety, let's evaluate you for ADHD as well. Or I have clients, lawyer, ADHD, and I'm like, “When's the last time you went to therapy? Okay. Why don't we go back to therapy?” They're like, “I just got diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.” I'm like, “Yeah, you did?” That was such a relief. That's why I've always hated people who are like, “You just need to relax. You just need to not be so hard on yourself.” I'm like, “I know.”

Sarah Cottrell: Thanks. Great advice.

Annie Little: Wildly helpful, equally condescending. Thanks so much. That's the other thing about ADHD where it's like, “Yeah, there are some aspects of it that are fine and tolerable. Thank goodness, I have hyper focus so I can get some things done but I've also got all of these other things on top of it,” not to mention over stimulation is something that is not talked about a lot. It's something that's talked about more with autism spectrum disorder. It's possible to have overlap with ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. It's not very common but it does happen.

Even just in the appropriate language you've used to reflect back what I've reported about ADHD and talking about having the nervous system overstimulated, and that kind of deal, that's a thing. One of my friends who has ADHD and is also an entrepreneur, she's like, “I didn't realize how much extra auditory stimulation I was taking in.” She got noise reducing earplugs, so you can still hear but it reduces the decibels. She suggested it to me and I was like, “Wow. I put in one and my anxiety stress level dropped.” I was like, “I hear a lot of things.”

It's amazing how many sounds I take in and process. ADHD brains are like, “Bring it on. Bring it on. We will take it all on.” But it does get over-stimulated and then we get frazzled, stressed, angry, and all these things. But at the same time, if we don't have enough stimulation, oh boy, we're under-stimulated, bored, angry, and frustrated.

Sarah Cottrell: Yeah. It makes the sensitivity of the system heightened. The other thing is I was going to say for people who are listening and they're like, “I relate to some of this but this isn't necessarily my experience exactly. It doesn't seem I really have ADHD,” there can be some overlap in different types of neurodiversity. Like you mentioned, autism spectrum disorder, and of course, there are others as well.

If you're listening to this and you're thinking, “I identify with some of these experiences but it doesn't feel like I have what would be considered ADHD,” first of all, I highly recommend you be assessed by a professional because it can be very hard to assess ourselves, but also there is the possibility that you don't have ADHD but you are neurodiverse in some other way.

I think that's a whole other conversation that can be had about neurodiversity in the law in general. The degree to which people feel as with ADHD with other neurodiverse conditions, the degree to which people feel like they can disclose and what kind of stigma there is around it, I just wanted to mention that as well because it is highly possible that if you relate to some of the experiences that we're talking about that you might be having some other experience of neurodiversity.

Annie Little: Yes, excellent point. Before I forget because I will forget, I keep saying get an eval, get an eval, it's harder to get an evaluation than you might think because my psychiatrist referred me to local people and it was a six month wait just to get an appointment, let alone go and do this intensive evaluation. This was during COVID stuff and I didn't want to do in-person stuff anyway, so I went online because my impulsivity was like, “Yeah, go sign up for an eval online. We'll see if it's a scam later.” Because it says my insurance will cover it so what's the risk?

I did mine through, which I highly recommend. Again, the world is not created for neurodivergent brains so you have to sit down and take this really long assessment, self-assessment, but if you feel like you might be having it, write down what your symptoms are, do a little research. You do need to advocate for yourself in this stuff, but it's a multiple choice assessment. You need to type out of your experience, all your symptoms, and everything. It can be hard, you might want to do it in shifts, but they say, “We'll get you your results in five to seven days.” I was like, “Okay.” I got mine back in less than 24 hours. It was a pretty open and shut textbook. They're like, “You have combined ADHD.”

I have a psychiatrist for my generalized anxiety disorder, but for stupid legal reasons, she can't prescribe stimulants to me through my practice so I have a separate now psychiatrist who does my ADHD. I do it through ADHD Online. I do medication management through them and then I also have separate therapy. I have a team but I have had a lot of people reach out to me, even just people from high school back home and stuff. I'll say things on Instagram in the past and they're like, “Oh my god. I feel like I might have it too.” I'm like, “Oh my gosh, ADHD Online, I love it. It's like $150 for an assessment.” They're like, “Oh my god. I got my results in 30 hours.” I'm like, “Haha, yes.”

With other people, it takes a little longer. It might be inconclusive and there's some follow-up, but I just want to put that out there, because I get that asked in my DMs a lot, if you can't find a local evaluation.

Sarah Cottrell: Which there's a decent chance that even if you have something local, like you said, there will be a wait list because pretty much everywhere, related to every type of neuropsych-alling, is utterly overwhelmed right now.

Annie Little: Just to put that timeline in perspective, by the time I would have been able to get an appointment, I had already gotten my diagnosis and tried three medications and found the right dosage. I was living my life.

Sarah Cottrell: Yeah, I like it. Annie, is there anything else that you think lawyers who are listening who have ADHD, or lawyers who are listening who are neurotypical, or lawyers who are listening who think they might have ADHD need to hear before we wrap up?

Annie Little: Oh, I don't think so. I think we've got it. The biggest thing I want, you know, big picture, what I would love for people to come away with is that you can be a high achiever with ADHD. It's not a moral failing. If you feel like you're lazy despite high achievement, that might be a thing. Just remember, it's very idiosyncratic, it's very complicated. You might see people who also have similar symptoms to you but they're neurotypical. You might be neurotypical and be like, “I relate to everything Annie said. I think ADHD is b*llsh*t.” Great, that's not true.

If you relate to everything I'm saying, go get an evaluation. It may not be ADHD. But I also don't want people to be saying, “Well, I think you can be ADHD a little bit.” That's absolutely not the case. It's harmful to people on both sides of the neurological spectrum. Both people who may have ADHD and people who do not have it, compassion is key. Compassion with yourself and compassion for people who you probably work with.

People do not have to tell you that they have ADHD. They don't. But if somebody does tell you, if you listen to this, you know better. You may still say some things that are hurtful and if it's hurtful and the person feels comfortable telling you that, I hope that you're able to just say, “Oh, I had no idea. Thank you. I didn't know and I don't want to hurt your feelings.” That's my hope from all of this. I know I'm very snarky.

P.S. People with ADHD tend to use humor as a coping mechanism because our behaviors are so annoying to people that that's often how many of us survived childhood. That's why I'm so snarky. That's why I fall back on humor so much. But this isn't meant to be attacking people or being angry with people, it's more just really bringing awareness and encouraging everyone in the legal profession to just be open to learning more about this condition because we have so much of it among our ranks. I just think it's going to be so helpful to neurotypical people and neurodivergent people.

This is just the beginning. I barely know what I'm talking about. I'm hoping this will encourage other people who feel comfortable or who have more knowledge from the psychiatric perspective to share more and to talk about it more.

Sarah Cottrell: I'm so glad that you touched on that because literally, the thing that I wanted to say to close out this conversation is that I know for you and for me, the most important thing for people to take away from this is the compassion piece because you and I both know, from personal experience and from the people who we work with, that lawyers really struggle to have compassion for themselves. It's very hard to have compassion for other people if you can't have compassion for yourself.

With all of the things that we've talked about, there's so much of what is wrong with the way that the legal profession operates that is undergirded by a lack of compassion. Whether you ultimately are someone who's like, “I gotta get out of here. I want to go do something else,” or you're a lawyer who wants to continue in the law, compassion, that's where it's at.

Annie Little: It is. Listen, if you have undiagnosed ADHD, it's almost impossible to have self-compassion. Like you said, it makes it harder to have compassion for other people because you feel you are struggling so hard and you're doing your damnedest to survive and so you have very low threshold for other people because you're like, “Can you try at least half as hard as I'm trying? Because I'm trying so hard and still failing.”

Sarah Cottrell: Yeah. What we're saying is compassion, also therapy.

Annie Little: Exactly.

Sarah Cottrell: Just to circle around that one more time. Thank you so much, Annie. I really appreciate you coming on and talking about this topic with me because I think it's really important.

Annie Little: Ah, likewise. Thank you so much for inviting me because everything I just said, this is such a newer topic to come up in the legal profession and there aren't a lot of platforms for discussing it and so I really appreciate you allowing me to come to your platform and talk to your audience about it.

Sarah Cottrell: Of course. All right, thanks so much.

Thanks so much for listening. I absolutely love getting to share this podcast with you. If you haven't yet, I invite you to download my free guide: First Steps to Leaving the Law at Until next time, have a great week.