I have realized that the eternal pursuit of money and status, which was what got me into big law in the first place, is not the way to happiness or satisfaction.

I’m feeling extremely empty, depressed and disappointed at myself for living life and making life choices based on this.

What do I do now?

likesmart
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at

Take a couple of pro bono matters.

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This. Asylum cases. You have the power to change and save a person’s life. Literally.

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Pick an exit date and exit strategy, think of this is a tool to get to something else and it helps - basically where I'm at

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Another option to look into is a reduced schedule. Less hours requirement, less pay. Might take you off partnership track, but so would leaving. And, at least where I live, less big law pay is still more than no biglaw pay.

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Most lawyers are highly competitive people (especially those who can make it to big law.) Their entire life has been a competition and they’ve always “won.” Valedictorians in high school; graduating undergrad with honors; entry to a top law school; securing post-bar employment at the biggest most prestigious (and highest paying) firms. But now what? There’s not any milestones to tackle.

The danger is setting the definition of “winning” to something that cannot be won. There will ALWAYS be someone with more money and status. Money doesn’t bring happiness in and of itself. It’s just a token used to get the things you want and need and to let you live the life you desire.

likesmart

Do you think we’d do it if we could math or science?

Quit? This job satisfies my intellectual and professional needs while providing enough income to allow my spouse to stay at home and take care of our kids while he pursues what makes him happy. Two of my kids have needs that require special therapies that are expensive and this job pays for this as well. I also have the goal of helping my kids go to college debt free.

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Can you change practice areas? I do ECVC and live it. Clients are fun/interesting. Weekends mostly free.

But do you live it...up?

funny

You’re free now! Do whatever you want!

Go on meds.

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