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You are really, really sick of law. In fact, you want out. At a minimum, you need to get out of your current job, or you might die. That much is not in dispute.  But you still have the loans. Therefore common sense says you should “give law one more try.” As H. L. Mencken once observed:“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” You sense this quotation might…
con salsa February 7, 2019 by thepeoplestherapist (it’s a secret) I had a ball a few weeks ago recording a podcast with the delightful Kimberly Rice, of KLA Marketing. You can hear the results here. We talked about my background, including my strange journey from biglaw to psychotherapy, then mulled over the experiences of lawyers nowadays in a variety of settings and pondered the future of the profession. It’s a far-ranging conversation, and a…
My client said her firm had, more or less, a checklist of what they wanted in a lawyer they made partner. And she had knocked herself out checking off every last damn item. Helped with firm marketing efforts (including hundreds of non-billable hours)? Check. Worked with a variety of partners in various areas, including powerful group leaders and major rainmakers? Check. Logged long hours – and billed those hours – including nights and weekends, producing…
Inhumane November 17, 2018 by thepeoplestherapist I rode the subway up to midtown Manhattan last week, to the sound studio at ALM Media, to record a podcast with the brilliant and wonderful Leigh Jones. We talked about lawyer suicide, in response to several recent suicides by BigLaw partners.  It was a serious conversation about a very serious topic, and you can listen to it here. Inevitably, we expanded the discussion to cover the broader issue…
The Lawyer Therapist July 23, 2018 by thepeoplestherapist By definition, anyone who asks me to be featured on her podcast is a lovely person…but Karima Gulick, even if she hadn’t asked me to be on her terrific podcast for lawyers, would still be a completely lovely person. She’s just great. The podcast, called Gen Why Lawyer, is focused on young lawyers who “who dare to live their lives on their own terms and who are building…
Hanging with my peeps June 12, 2018 by thepeoplestherapist It was my pleasure to sit down a couple weeks ago with Megan Hawksworth, of the Mastering Counseling podcast, and talk about being a therapist.  I always enjoy a chance to compare notes with another person in my field (Megan is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) and talk shop – and Megan was a terrific host.   Our topic was the whole notion of being a…
There’s a new place in biglaw – not always a comfortable place – called the middle. One of its defining characteristics is euphemism, particularly around job titles. Consider yourself lucky if you’re merely saddled with a legal anachronism like “Of Counsel” or “Senior Counsel” or the more workaday “Senior Attorney” (i.e., a lawyer who’s been here a while, which is apparently the best we can say for him), as opposed to that vague moniker creeping…
If you’re like me, the letters CLE, lined up, one next to the other, might not set your pulse racing.  Contemplating an hour devoted to continuing legal education, the terms that spring to mind – “somnolent,” “soporific,” “soul-crushing” – seldom correspond to the seat-of-your-pants thrill-seeking typically associated with the practice of law. Néamoins, as we say à Paris.  Il y a des exceptions. Imagine if CLE could be fun, gripping, in fact – an outlet for…
Before I was a psychotherapist, I was a patient, and at some point in my time as a patient, I participated in group therapy, and witnessed an unsettling interaction. (Unsettling-interaction-witnessing occurs in groups, where you spend time watching people “work their stuff out” and often “work your stuff out” at the same time.) A new group member, a twenty-something, showed up for his first session with us, and like new members sometimes do, he presented…
To talk about lawyer burnout in a meaningful way, we have to mention the finish line problem. It’s the common element in every lawyer burnout story I’ve heard. So imagine you’re running a marathon and arrive, gasping for air, at the final hundred yards. Onlookers cheer. Digging deep for that last ounce of energy, you can almost feel the relief of crossing the finish line. Then some guy emerges from the crowd with unsettling news.…