Ed. note: This post is by Will Meyerhofer, a former Sullivan & Cromwell attorney turned psychotherapist. He holds degrees from Harvard, NYU Law, and The Hunter College School of Social Work, and he blogs at The People’s Therapist. His books — Still Way Worse Than Being A Dentist, Bad Therapist: A Romance, Way Worse Than Being A Dentist, and Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy (affiliate links) — are available on Amazon.
You are really, really sick of law. In fact, you want out. At a minimum, you need to get out of your current job, or you might die. That much is not in dispute.
But you still have the loans. Therefore, common sense says you should “give law one more try.”
As H. L. Mencken once observed: “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”
You sense this quotation might apply to your current situation, because it seems clear and simple you should go find another job in Biglaw, at least for a year. Here are some screamingly clear and simple reasons why:
- You need money to pay off loans — one more shot at Biglaw money.
- It’s not life or death — you can always quit the new job if it doesn’t work out.
- According to the headhunters who call you twice a day, there are loads of “lifestyle” shops that would love to snap you up from your hotshot firm, despite the fact that you loath that place with every cell in your body.
The list of “cons” includes:
- imagining starting a law job at another firm makes you physically ill;
- the thought of interviewing at a law firm makes you physically ill; and
- the thought of walking into another law firm makes you physically ill.
A lot of lawyers find themselves in this situation, stuck (in the metaphorical sense) between a rock (school loans) and a hard place (the thought of continuing to practice law).
However, the final decision tends to be along the lines of — well, no harm in going for an interview. Which is why you’ll probably wind up going in for that interview.
“So, should I go on this interview?” One client asked me recently. I knew he was talking about that interview.