Biglaw has completely shredded my confidence as a lawyer; I lateraled into biglaw from a smaller firm feeling keen and confident with some independent wins under my belt. Worse, it’s not because I’m doing a complicated area of law; it’s because I don’t feel like I fit in socially or tire of expectations that seem frivolous or unrealistic. How do you find yourself again after big law? I don’t even know who I am anymore or what value I bring.

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I find that being in a specialized practice area helps you feel a lot more valuable when you lateral to big law. Are you just doing general lit or were you hired for specific skills you possess? If the latter, hone them and become more valuable. If the former, try to become REALLY good at something. There’s plenty of general lit folks. Unfortunately what will ultimately make you stand out is unique skills you can bring to the table

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Thanks for the advice! I’m glad you find fulfillment in your biglaw job.

But I have to ask, are the deeper underlying issues something to do with my mental health? Does being unfulfilled mean something is wrong with me mentally? Cuz the vibe I am getting from these posts is to put up and shut up despite getting likes on the original post. Why can’t the job just suck and not be the right fit, even though I’m in a specialized area, which is something that has worked for you in the past?

I do see a therapist regularly to discuss my issues with the job. I am obviously trying to process how to find myself again so that I can find a position that is more fulfilling. But I
was more wondering how people get their confidence BACK in order to change your outlook for the next move.

It's not you, it's biglaw. And, I find most people who say they are content with/have accepted their biglaw life can't relate to those who find it less than fulfilling and make it seem like there is something wrong with that person. Take what you can from that job and have an exit strategy. Try talking to lawyers who are successful outside of biglaw. They give a totally different, and in my opinion inspiring, perspective. Good luck.

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Lawyers who say they’re happy in big law are the type of people who think there’s nothing better to do than be a lawyer in big law. I think some people just get off on saying they’re in big law and have convinced themselves that they are happy even though they’re not. And this is coming from a 5th year in big law. I’m here for the money and because I’m too complacent/lazy to find another job.

And that’s totally fine! It can work as a stepping stone. I will say, it’s always best to look for new jobs/ opportunities while you still have your old one. I had a few friends jump ship over the years before having the next move secured and it was not ideal in the long run.

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