QI’m a mid-ranked grad from a T14 school who found a job with a small firm in 2008 before the profession started to tank. I stuck it out, missed the layoffs and was somewhat thankful I did. But, to be honest, I also would have been pretty relieved if the firm I worked for—a low-grade firm that basically pays me on what I bring in—had started to go under and asked me to move on.
Instead, things just got worse and I now hate practice. It’s skull-numbingly boring, economically stupid, and incredibly stressful. On top of that, I have to threaten to sue about 20 percent of my clients to make them pay, need to take on the absolute worst dog cases in order to eke out a living, and typically end up with a pissed off client who owes me money and blames me for making life so shitty—as if losing an absolute no-win custody dispute was the worst thing going for the client. I’d rather be flipping beef and serving up McFlurries from the drive-thru than doing this. We’d all be better off.
AFirst, you’re right. We’d all be better off. Second, I’m not quite sure what the question is, unless you’re just blowing off steam and thinking about me late at night after downing half a bottle of Black Velvet. Are you looking for a reason to quit? Quit. Who’s stopping you?
Honestly, if you hate practicing, get out. Make a clean cut. I don’t get the endless hand-wringing of new lawyers over decisions like this. Life sucks? Change it. Hate practicing? Don’t. It’s not as if you were born into a salt-harvesting family in Sudan—or even that your only option is assembling Big Macs. Unless you’re so highly leveraged with debt and a home and car you cannot afford, just do it. Move on. Hustle and see what happens. I’m not sure what other feel-good advice you want me to give, even if I had some.
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