Leaving the Law

Leaving Law Bingo

I remain amazed at how well the Uh-Oh Bingo technique works to defuse anxiety, so I thought it was high time to share it. The holidays are filled with potential (likely?) landmines of unmet expectations, both yours and those foisted on you. Rather than get all worked up about Aunt Gertrude’s insensitive comments about your weight, your lack of children, your lackluster career or your lack of $1M in the bank, put her likely carping on the card. Then sit back and laugh.

Shedding Light on Lawyer Creativity

My own view is that often, creatives arrive in Lawyerland because pattern recognition is also an important part of analytic thinking. I can’t tell you the number of clients I’ve had who tell me they just can’t take a job that doesn’t require analytic skills. They say that they get huge satisfaction out of analyzing problems and finding solutions. Some of those clients really are meant to use those pattern recognition skills as a lawyer does, but most of them, not so much. What they crave, but don’t understand they crave, is using pattern recognition in creative ways.

What Flavor Is Your Fear, Miserable Lawyer?

Some fears are actually useful. The ones you have when a car is heading straight toward you at 40 mph, or when a gun is brandished. But the truth is, most lawyer fears are nearly always critic-created fears—that’s why they sound so convincing! Confronting those myths we’ve created for ourselves is indeed an integral part of creating a life and career that you love.

Unhappy Lawyers and the Myth of “I’m not creative”

When I say “use your creativity” to lawyers and non-lawyers alike, I get some highly revealing responses. Sadly, a common reaction is “I’m not creative.” I blame traditional schooling, Martha Stewart and Pinterest, and our consumerist society for this false belief. Every human being is born creative. At its most basic, creativity is solving a problem for which there is no known (to them) solution, or for which the current solution isn’t working.

Smart Lawyers, Dumb at Life, Part 2

lawyers quit when the going gets tough at anything they’re not already pretty good at. Things they tend to suck at, like relationships, compromise, and dreams, for starters. Because they’re so used to being smart and good at the smarty-pants stuff, they’ve set themselves up for motivation by external validation, and haven’t worked much at resilience. Resilience is, essentially, the ability to bounce back after a failure or set-back. To have hope in the face of disappointment. Looking back, I can count on my hands the number of lawyers I’ve known who are resilient at anything but work.

Magical Thinking and Your Legal Career

How do you distinguish between healthy optimism—the faith that good things will happen for you—and the crazy thinking of intermittent rewards? One way is to look at the payoff you’re pining for: Gamblers are in it for the adrenaline rush, and the money. Neither of these are long-term, sustainable values that fuel healthy personal growth. When you’re optimistic about something, for example focusing on creating a real change in your life connected with something you really value, the dynamic is totally different. Your thoughts circle around that vision, and create a positive energy that attracts things that help that vision become reality.