What’s the one thing almost all lawyers have in common? It’s that they don’t want to be lawyers. Lawyers who hate being lawyers is the legal profession’s dirty little secret. But it’s not really a secret. More and more these days, when you ask attorneys what they do for a living, you will hear about their desire to do something else. You will also hear lawyers talk with great envy about those who have left the profession. Our heroes include people like Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Kelleher, television producer David Kelley, TV talk show host Marcia Clark and the guys who founded the California Pizza chain.
Well, OK, perhaps “hero” is not the word we would use to describe all of the aforementioned individuals. Nonetheless, we do tend to envy their escape from the profession and wish we could follow their lead. One of the most common things you hear out of the mouths of attorneys is: “I’d like to stop practicing law . . . (a) “but I don’t know what else I can do,” (b) “but I don’t have any other marketable skills,” or (c) “if only being a [fill in the blank] paid as much as being a lawyer.” The question is, what do we put into that blank? Here are a few possibilities:
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