The After Series: Life After Biglaw [TFLP164]

In this episode, Sarah talks about kicking off a new podcast series centered around life after Biglaw, The After Series

The new series will help unhappy lawyers who are hesitant to quit their soul-sucking jobs for fear of what comes next or because of uncertainty see that quitting to follow their passion makes things better than before. 

Why Talking about Life After Biglaw is Important

Sarah notes that a common trait among her clients, especially those in Biglaw, is disbelief that things could get better than they currently are in their job. Those working in Biglaw firms can attest that a lot of emotional and mental manipulation happens in these firms. 

The incredibly toxic environment makes it hard to believe that doing something outside the law will help these lawyers feel better or enjoy a better life. These lawyers constantly wonder if things are better on the other side of the law. 

How The After Series Works

More lawyers must see that the grass is definitely greener on the other side. Transitioning out of the law is better for everyone who thinks they need to. There is no shame in leaving the law, and many case studies prove this. 

For the After Series, Sarah has selected four of her favorite episodes with former podcast guests who have shared about life after Biglaw and are now doing something else that is a better fit for them. The episodes are some of the podcast’s most popular and listener favorites.

Sarah chose these episodes because they show how both good and bad it can be to work in a Biglaw firm, and how great it can be to leave that environment behind. It is important because it can be easy to believe that leaving won’t be better, but with these examples, more lawyers can see that they should not endure a toxic environment and that leaving the law is okay. 

Why Leaving the Law is Important

When you are working in these law firms with many people who are sociopaths and cowards, it can be hard to see the damage it does to your psyche and the impact on your ability to experience daily life in an uplifting manner. 

These After Series episodes will encourage you to take the bold step and, based on what you hear, start planning your next steps in life after Biglaw. 

If you are at the point where you know that leaving the law is the best thing for you, Sarah has a free resource to help you figure out the first steps to leaving the law

You can also sign up for more hands-on support, where Sarah works with you one-on-one. Here, Sarah will look at cover letters, resumes, cold outreach emails, and other things you may be putting together. 

Using the Former Lawyer Framework, she will help with figuring out more information about your skills, values, personality, and who you might want to reach out to. If this sounds like what you want, you can secure your 1:1 session by booking a time slot with Sarah.

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.

I'm really excited to be kicking off a new series here on the podcast. We're calling it The After Series (It really is better than before). I wanted to give you this week just a little bit of insight into why I have decided to do this series. I have noticed, particularly with my clients who are in biglaw, that there tends to be almost like a level of disbelief that things could be so much better than they currently are for them in their current job.

There's something about the particular emotional and mental manipulation, gaslighting, whatever you want to call it, that you experience, particularly in these large law firms that have incredibly toxic environments that make it really hard to believe that moving on and doing something else is actually going to be better, is going to feel better.

The phrase that often comes up—and this is for all of my clients, not just those in biglaw—is this question of, “Well, maybe I just think the grass is always greener on the other side,” I'm here to tell you that when it comes to biglaw, and leaving the law in general, in my opinion, the grass is greener on the other side. It actually is better. It is definitely better.

I was reflecting on how we might go about this, and what I have decided to do is I have selected four of my favorite episodes with former podcast guests who left biglaw and are now doing something else and it's such a better fit for them. These are some of the most popular episodes of the podcast. They're also just four of the stories that I really appreciate because I feel like they really exemplify both what can be so awful about the experience of working in biglaw and what can be so wonderful about no longer confining yourself to that type of environment. Because again, it is so easy, so easy to believe that actually if you left, it wouldn't be better. In fact, many lawyers really struggle, as I said, with that belief.

Hey, it's Sarah. I want to remind you that I am now working with a very limited number of lawyers one-on-one who are trying to figure out what it is that they want to do that isn't practicing law. What we'll do when we work together one-on-one is we will meet for 12 weeks and you and I will walk through the framework that I've created to help lawyers do exactly that. On top of personalizing that and making individualized choices about which pieces of that you need to focus on, spend more time on, spend less time on, I also have the capacity to lend my brain to your situation.

When we're working together one-on-one, I'm able to look at cover letters, resumes, and other things that you may be putting together, cold outreach emails, figuring out who you might want to reach out to, figuring out, “Okay, I have all this information about who I am, values, personality, strengths, etc., from these various assessments, but how do I put that together into a picture of what it is that I actually want to be doing? How do I figure out what I actually want my life and career to look like?” all of those things.

If that sounds like something that would be helpful to you, I would love to talk with you about whether or not working with me one-on-one is the right fit for you. Go to the website, the Work With Me drop-down, there's a link to information about working with me one-on-one. You can see more details and the price as well as the button to book a free consult with me so that we can talk through whether working with me in this capacity would be the right fit for you. I onboard one new one-on-one client per month so if this is something that you're interested in, definitely schedule that call as soon as you can because I fill the spots on a first-come-first-served basis. I look forward to talking with you about whether working together one-on-one could be a good fit.

What I'm trying to do with this series is one, I want to highlight a couple of episodes that released quite a while ago now that we're almost three and a half years into the podcast that you may have missed if you have started listening more recently, or you just haven't listened to in a while because they released quite a while ago.

Either way, these are episodes that I don't think you should miss, and even if you've listened to them once, I think they will be really encouraging and helpful on a second listen. The thing that I love about these particular episodes, the former lawyers who are highlighted in these episodes, is that they really illustrate this point that I am making, which is that the after-picture of leaving biglaw, it really is better. It can be hard to fully realize when you are in the environment what working with people, many of whom are sociopaths and/or cowards, does to your psyche, to your ability to experience the day-to-day in a way that isn't just spirit crushing.

I hope that as you listen to these episodes in the coming weeks, you will be encouraged, you will hear what's possible, and you can really start to formulate an idea about what might be the best thing for you. Especially for those of you who have been hanging on waiting for those biglaw bonuses, which as we talked about last year, they come up towards the end of the year. Some of you are going to get those bonuses in the next couple of weeks. Some of you will find out what you're going to get in the next couple of weeks and get paid sometime in the New Year.

The bonus cycle is so real. You feel misery but you're like, “I'm going to push through. I'm going to get there. I'm going to get the bonus.” You get there, you get the bonus, and then things have kind of gone on and then you're like, “Well, now I'm into the next year, maybe I should stay for the next round. Maybe it isn't that bad. Maybe I'm not that miserable. Maybe it wouldn't be that much better anywhere else,” all of those things are completely normal.

Literally, at this point, I've literally had the conversation with hundreds of lawyers between clients and podcast listeners and guests on the podcast. For those of you who are listening as you roll into that season in that cycle and you think about whether or not now is the time for you to think about making a move, I wanted to provide you with this reminder that you don't have to settle for the misery of biglaw. You have so many options. It truly is better on the other side. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you enjoy this series, and I will talk to you next week.

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.