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Life After Law: Finding Work You Love with the J.D. You Have 1st Edition
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This wonderful book is the answer to the Thank-God-it’s-Friday’ syndrome that affects so many lawyers who dread Monday. Liz Brown shows that you can find work you love. You just have to know where to look. You can do good and do well. You just have to be creative about your job. Read Life After Law. It will change your life and the law.” Alan M. Dershowitz, author of Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law
’How do I get out of the law?’ is a question that lawyers constantly ask me. Liz Brown's Life After Law answers that vital question. She gives practical information and timely adviceplus, real-life examples of lawyers who've made it to the other side. A worthwhile read for any lawyer who's thinking of making a career change.” Vivia Chen, senior reporter at The American Lawyer and the creator of The Careerist blog
I’m a big believer in the power of serendipity, and Life After Law is an excellent guide for lawyers who are thinking about making a career change. The lawyers Liz Brown profiles are terrific examples of people who have taken their skills and education and applied them in new ways. Law and medicine are probably two of the most difficult professions to leave, and yet the skills and knowledge both require are broadly adaptable in other kinds of work. Life After Law is a must-read book for lawyers who dream of different careers.” Jim Koch, brewer and founder of Boston Beer Company
If you’ve ever wondered what else you could do with a law degree, you will love Life After Law. Drawing from her own experience and the stories of thirty other inspiring ex-lawyers, Liz Brown has created an amazing toolkit for leaving the law and succeeding in a different career that capitalizes on your talents and fits your values. It’s a fantastic read, and a resource you’ll come back to over and over again.” Gloria Feldt, co-founder and president of Take The Lead and author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power
Life After Law is not just a great book for lawyers, former lawyers, and law students considering non-traditional paths but also a great reminder for all of us to follow our North Star’ and carve our own patha creative and meaningful one. This is not merely a think outside of the box’ book, it is a leap outside of the box’ dare. Peter H. Reynolds, author of The Dot, Ish, and The North Star and founder of FableVision Studios
Unhappy lawyers, this book is for you! Liz Brown’s Life After Law is the definitive guide to alternate careers for lawyers, blending superb advice, strategy, and success stories in an authentic voice that could only come from someone who has been there herself.” Carol Fishman Cohen, co-founder of iRelaunch and co-author of Back on the Career Track
Life After Law is an essential resource for any lawyer who questions staying in traditional practice. By telling the stories of actual ex-lawyers' transitions, and focusing on what made them successful, it provides an inspiring, realistic set of new career options and shows how versatile legal skills can be. No matter what you love to do, in or out of law practice, this book will show you a better way forward.” Deborah Epstein Henry, Esq., founder & president, Flex-Time Lawyers LLC; author of Law and Reorder: Legal Industry Solutions for Restructure, Retention, Promotion & Work/Life Balance
This book is a powerful antidote for the tunnel vision often fostered by our legal culture and education. It thoughtfully reminds lawyers that they have acquired a wide range of knowledge and skills which they can use to improve both the world and their own lives.” Michael Astrue, former Commissioner of Social Security
If you are a lawyer hoping that there is life beyond the law but fearing the impossibility of your yearning, this book is a must-read. Although there are many helpful books that instruct you to analyze your transferable skills and interests, here Liz Brown has filled a gaping hole in print resources: the stories of 30 lawyers who have successfully transferred their own skills into satisfying career paths outside the law. Bravo to Liz for providing such a compassionate and hopeful window into the possible future for so many unhappy lawyers who otherwise might fear to dream!” Ellen Ostrow, Ph.D. PCC, Lawyers Life Coach LLC
"This is the how to book that women lawyers heck, most lawyers have been waiting for. Brown understands the bonds that tie so many attorneys to the profession that they and their families too often come to despise. She starts but doesn't stop with complaints that will be familiar to every J.D. in the land. Quickly covering the fools' gold of property, power, and prestige that has kept so many of us in platinum hand-cuffs, she lays out a step-by-step course of action that can take any lawyer from the courthouse or corporate conference room to a satisfying, productive and lucrative occupation. It takes courage, of course, but with Liz Brown by your side saying you can do it! you really can." Victoria Pynchon, J.D., LL.M, co-founder, She Negotiates Consulting and Training
Prepare to be uplifted! Liz Brown’s Life After Law proves that lawyers can use their training to find non-traditional careers that leave them happy and fulfilled. With a refreshing candor and conversational style, this great book shows how smart lawyers are finding work they love outside of the corner office. Hollee Schwartz Temple, author of Good Enough Is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood
About the Author
Liz Brown is an Assistant Professor of Business Law at Bentley University. She is also the former Executive Director in Boston of Golden Seeds, one of the largest angel investor networks in the United States. Prior to joining Golden Seeds, Liz was a partner in a leading international law firm, specializing in intellectual property. Liz has practiced law in London, San Francisco, and Boston, advising senior executives at Fortune 500 companies on legal strategies and managing multi-million dollar cases from inception to successful resolution. As President of the Harvard Law School Association of Northern California, she developed an innovative series of programs for members and created a new women s network for HLS alumnae in the Bay Area. She also has significant pro bono experience representing low-income clients on a wide range of issues. Liz is a Boston native and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
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http://www.amazon.com/review/R3CSGGOX9OUDZL/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1572486708&nodeID=283155&store=books), this book also fails to deliver any realistic, career alternatives outside of the law.
The first two parts, which together comprise some 66 pages--a little more than one fourth of the overall text--,discuss undesirable traits of the profession and general advice on imagining what else one would like to. A full chapter of the first part devotes twelve pages to problems unique to women, a useless chapter to about one half of the readership.
The second part discusses tips such as reformatting one's resume in language suited outside the law profession, the nature of the informational review, among other topics. Some of the tips demonstrate just how fickle employers are. Among these tips are recommendations to craft each and every resume and cover letter to use verbatim phrases from any classified ads, so that resume screening software does not screen out your application. Another quite frustrating tip was the admonishment against actually asking for a job or help finding a job during any so-called informational interview. The lasting impression is that such a process of so much glad-handing is a fruitless exercise in futility. One can surely understand how broaching such requests can be awkward. The problem is the author never explains how such glad-handing ever goes beyond mere informational interviews to a process reasonably calculated to actually fulfill the objective of all this: actually getting a job.
The third part however, which consists of almost three fourths of the volume's 199 pages, is by far the most disappointing. Entitled "The Role Models: Eight Basic Paths to Career Happiness for Former Lawyers," it sets forth each "path" at its most basic, intrinsic essence, with case-studies on real -life people who have made the transition. The paths are: The Writers; The Enterpeneurs The Artisans The Analysts; The Professors; The Consultants; The Advocates; The Healers; The Independents.
The general trend is that the career paths are either high risk reward (such as starting a blog like Above the Law) which may or may not require a legal background, or starting a franchise of Canadian spas here in the States, or undertaking other high-risk ventures that rely heavily on having big law experience or other such inside connections. Indeed, the vast majority of case studies hail not just from Top 14 schools, but disproportionately from the very top schools like Yale, Harvard and Stanford.
This over reliance on such backgrounds is made all the more damming when schools like UVa , for example, have about a third of third years without jobs. One notable "case study" involved a former big law associate who decided to undertake the seemingly dubious enterprise of starting a chocolate touring company in a major American city, which has since branched out to other cities. Of particular note is that a sizeable portion of her clientele seemed to consist of cushy summer associate tours on the dime of big law firms that she has coozed with. Without that big law firm connection, it beggars belief that enough people would pay for such services of a "chocolate tour" to an extent sufficient for such a business model to work. All too often, it is about who you know, and if one misses the big law train first semester second year, it is a tough road to hoe all the way around.
Similarly, at least one chapter, "The Professors," was completely useless to all but the most fortunate.
After reading this book, I was once again left wanting for any realistic, pragmatic career change. The general feel from this book and its far more ridiculous predecessor, Unhappy Lawyer, is that one can do whatever one desires, but with a law degree. One can be an actor (a real example from Unhappy Lawyer), or for that matter a rock star, but with a law degree. Pay no heed to the astronomically high failure rate of such ventures.
Ultimately, books like these seem to suggest that there is no hope for those stuck with a law degree, and either have no job, or do not have a job commensurate with the sacrifice made in one's youth in college and law school.. Even those cited with big law credentials are left to embark on highly dubious ventures, such as the "chocolate tour" gimmick. Perhaps the problem lies with greater American society as a whole, which has created a perfect storm by on one hand telling everyone and his crackhead cousin to go to college, while at the same time fostering a retail economy that simply has little need for such higher education and that indeed is quickly destroying the middle class altogether. Consequently, while this volume pays lip service to some very general, basic pointers, it simply offers no real substantive insight on how one gets out of this mess with a realistic, pragmatic career alternative not involving starting one's own business or other such high risk ventures. Such failure of the author is signified by a mere two-star rating, a rather generous two stars at that.
Even so, I kept reading, and was very impressed with how Liz Brown has drawn a roadmap for the "other lawyers." She opens the book with observations about why the lawyers in the book's intended audience may "feel trapped by their work rather than energized by it," then delves into practical advice about how to examine and asssess those feelings, and ultimately about how to act on them. There is also a chapter devoted particularly to women lawyers. The book's final nine chapters -- about two-thirds of the book -- are devoted to 30 case studies of lawyers who have successfully transitioned to other careers using their legal background as a starting point. The book helpfully groups these career alternatives into categories: writer, entrepreneur, artisan, analyst, professor, consultant, advocate, healer, independent.
I came away from the book no less happy with my day job (indeed, feeling fortunate that I enjoy it as much as I do), but happily mindful that there are other options available, and that the doors to those other options aren't difficult to open.
It wasn't really relevant to my circumstances.
Re this book not being a handbook to transition - it's does not hold your hand and tell you how to rewrite your resume or contact recruiters once you have figured out the direction you want to take. There are good books on that topic. It's good for those who are unsure of the next step to begin with.