Leaving the Law

Perfection, Depression and Lawyers

If you suspect you may have depression—even if you think it’s just because you work in a hellhole, and you will be FINE once you leave—go ahead and get help. Because unless you’ve got a job offer in hand, you’re going to be there for at least a couple more months. And take it from me, those “couple more months” often translate suddenly into 6 months or 9 months or a year, between workload and inertia. That’s a long time to be depressed, untreated, and miserable.

How Ignoring Feelings Makes Lawyers Look Like Idiots: The Donald Sterling Edition

This key difference between the commentators and Silver? From where I sit, Silver, with his Feeler talents, saw that he couldn’t just (publicly) lawyer through all the contracts and what-not that McCann and Shropshire were agonizing about. He saw clearly that the damage to the NBA was going to be severe if he didn’t act to make Dennis Sterling a pariah. Having deeply outraged players and fans, and having the NBA appear more concerned about its pocketbook than its morals, was in the long term going to cause a much deeper crisis for the league than whatever millions any lawsuit might cost. Feelings were in the driver’s seat, and in Silver, the NBA had a lawyer who understood that.

How Pessimistic Attorneys Are Like Whining Dogs

Pessimists don’t persevere at the same rate as optimists, which means pessimists often don’t achieve goals that are achievable. Like, say, finding an alternative legal career that gives you fulfillment and high satisfaction. The chief way that pessimism shows up is as learned helplessness. I’ve noticed that law firms are superb at teaching learned helplessness.