Many, many lawyers go straight through from college to law school, so they never get a sense of what work boundaries should look like or feel like. So what you think is normal—because it’s what you see in law firms—is actually highly dysfunctional. You might not understand that having boundaries between work and the rest of your life is important, because without them, you don’t have a zone of safety. You are subject to the whims of others, who usually don’t have your best interests at heart.
When your response to a problem is to solve it with an instant, money solution, your creative muscles atrophy. You start to think you aren’t creative, and aren’t a decent problem-solver. You start to believe that money has to have your back, because you yourself are not up to the task. That’s how you end up stuck in a high-paying, soul-sucking law job.
If Kevin Clash, creator of Elmo, had been trained to think like a lawyer, he would be hyper-focused on what he didn’t have (money), what he wasn’t (white and educated), and how he didn’t know what was coming next (when both his series got cancelled). He would be like most of my clients, in fact. He would be so concerned about security, safety and career path that he would hide in some soul-crushing job, worrying that he might not be able to afford something like a gym membership or cable, instead of worrying about how to learn more about what he loved.
I know, none of you reading here have a problem with materialism. Other jackass lawyers you work with? Yeah, absolutely. They’re the ones who are brazenly only in it for the money. But you are different. You don’t like those people, and you don’t want to be like them, either. That’s why you’re looking for an…