Set Yourself Free

We’ve been engaged in an internal conversation about counseling dislocated lawyers. For better or worse, we’ve focused on the obvious: jobs are scarce, you need to work your networks, it’s time to perfect the resume, you have to do your due diligence – you know the drill. As hard as it is to write, things are getting worse and there are no indications that we will see improvements in the legal labor market any time soon – but who’s guessing these days? The advice we’ve been giving is sound. What else are we going to say to unemployed Partners and Associates?

A new message is starting to take form and it goes something like this:

Now may be the perfect time to reinvent yourself.

What? You roll your eyes.  But think about it. Prospects for getting a new job doing what you’ve been doing are dimming by the hour. You are a person of many talents. And if you’re like many attorneys, you came to a career in the law out of default. Yes, default. I’ve had ivy-educated lawyers admit to as much. You probably fantasize about any number of vocations. Maybe you’re a writer, or a teacher, or maybe an urban farmer? You know better than anyone, but I suspect that when many of you get honest with yourselves and look in the mirror, you don’t see a lawyer looking back. You wish to high heaven you could find your path but you’ve been so busy at the office that you just haven’t found the time. Well, if you’re like the now thousands of displaced attorneys in the U.S. you have some time on your hands. Do something with it. Need suggestions? How about this:


Yup, that’s right. LaidOffCamp is coming to a major metro area near you. The event’s organizers are kicking off in San Francisco on Tuesday, March 3rd and the occasion promises to bring together a diverse and eclectic mix of independent spirits. This is more than a pink slip party. Its organizers describe it this way:

At LaidOffCamp, attendees will discuss topics in sessions that may include: living on an extreme budget, building your personal brand, how to be a freelance consultant and more.

Others will likely mimic the concept. The point, of course, is to get you to stop treading water and to start doing something for yourself. So start now. It’s time to clear the cobwebs and dust off your dreams. You’re more than the J.D. at the end of your electronic signature. If you can’t do what you’ve always wanted, who can?


1 Comment

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One response to “Set Yourself Free

  1. Barb Killey

    Hi Steve,
    Great advice. Sounds like you could teach a class on Parenting Lawyers – hey maybe that is LaidOff Camp! Hope to see you soon. (but hopefully not at laid off camp)

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