Unhappy Lawyer

ISBN: 9781572487826

By: Monica Parker

Published: 07/01/2008

For lawyers who want to leave the law but don’t know how to find a career that is a good fit for them, The Unhappy Lawyer helps them uncover exciting alternative careers with a unique step-by-step program.

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"Parker has done an outstanding job of demystifying how any lawyer can make the transition into a new career that offers more potential for success and more importantly, personal satisfaction."
- Don E. Hutcheson, Author, Don't Waste Your Talent: The 8 Critical Steps to Discovering What You Do Best

The Unhappy Lawyer will help you uncover exciting alternative careers with a unique step-by-step program that will make you feel like you have your very own career coach. With chapters containing real letters from lawyers who are desperate to leave the practice of law, tales from lawyers who have shut the door on their legal careers, and powerful exercises, The Unhappy Lawyer provides a witty, no-nonsense roadmap for finding and pursuing engaging work outside of the law.

The Unhappy Lawyer will show you, step-by-step, how to:

  • Figure out what you really want from your work and life
  • Discover several career possibilities that excite you
  • Immerse yourself in career possibilities that allow you to use your natural talents
  • And much, much more.

The Unhappy Lawyer provides you with the escape route you are seeking. This book helps you ask and answer the hard questions about what you really want from your work and life and will help you successfully pursue your career goals.

About the Author

Monica Parker

Monica R. Parker is a career coach who helps lawyers find alternative careers that they enjoy doing. She earned her law degree from Harvard Law School and practiced law for five years before starting her own company. She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


Table of Contents

A Note from the Author
Introduction: Seven Reasons to Leave the Practice of Law - and What You Will Find on the Other Side

Chapter One: For Desperate Lawyers Who Don't Have a Clue What They Want to Do
What Do You Want?
What's Your Ideal Day, Other than Calling in Sick to Stay in Bed All Day?
What Interests You Other than Earning an Income?
What Talents Do You Have, Other than Researching, Doing Document Reviews, and Filing Briefs?
What Career Possibilities Excite You, Other than Taking a Sabbatical?
You Did It!
Appreciate Uncertainty
Case Study: Debbie Goldstein, Managing Director of Triad Consulting Group
What You Should Have Learned in this Chapter

Chapter Two: Ditch Your Friends Who Are Lawyers
Who Are You Spending Your Time With?
Make Some New Friends
Support Group
The Buddy System
Hire a Coach
Case Study: Voltaire Sterling, Stage and Screen Actor, Producer, Philanthropist
What You Should Have Learned in this Chapter

Chapter Three: How Can You Explore Possibilities, Other Than Daydreaming about Them?
Exploring the Possibilities
Career Exploration Tips
Have a List of Ideas, But Stuck in Daydreaming Mode?
Have a Career Possibility that Feels so Farfetched, You're Afraid to Dip Your
Toe in the Water?
Let Me Contradict Myself
What Type Are You?
Case Study: Cheryl Schneider, Pastry Chef and Owner of Penny Chocolates
What You Should Have Learned in this Chapter

Chapter Four: What Do You Think?
What Does Your Gut Say about the Career Possibilities?
Stop Waiting for the Lightbulb Moment
You're Doing More than Changing Jobs - You're Changing Your Working
What if it Turns Out You Really Want to Follow More than One Career Path?
Case Study: Amy Gutman, Serial Careerist
What You Should Have Learned in this Chapter

Chapter Five: Time to Let Your Left Brain Out of Its Cage: Planning How to Make Your Great Escape
Simple, But Not Easy
What's Stopping You?
What Are You Doing about It?
Yes, But How Do You Get the Job?
The Roadmap
What Do You Need to Do?
Who Do You Need to Be?
Case Study: Carolyn Pitt-Jones, Director of Business Development
What You Should Have Learned in this Chapter

Chapter Six: On Being Magically Transformed
Go with What You've Got
Skip the Minutiae
Wean Yourself Off Internet Surfing
Ride the Wave
Visualize What's in Your Way
Clear Out the Deadwood
Get Back on Balance
Case Study: Vivian Wexler, Assistant Director for JD Advising
What You Should Have Learned in this Chapter

Chapter Seven: When the Thought of Letting Go of that Six-Figure Salary Is too Daunting and How to Get Around Whatever Else Is Getting in the Way
Just Enough
How Much Debt Do You Have?
Should You Pay off Your Law School Debt?
How Are Those Savings Coming?
Shouldn't You Be Saving for Retirement?
The Nasty Six-Letter Word - Budget
Stay With Me
The What If? Game
The Secret of Courage: Six Ways to Bring Out Your Inner Superhero
Ready to Define Success for Yourself, Rather than Letting Everyone Else Tell
You What It Is?
What Will it Take for You to Give Yourself Permission?
Case Study: Victoria Sanders, Literary Agent and Managing Owner of
Victoria Sanders & Associates, LLC
What You Should Have Learned in this Chapter

Chapter Eight: Dipping Your Toe in the Icy, Shark-Infested Waters
Following the Roadmap
My Own Wild Ride
Be Flexible When the Roadmap Isn't Working
Now Let Me Contradict Myself - Again
Inquiry: What Can You Learn from Where You Are Right Now?
Case Study: Jennifer Alvey, Writer, Editor, Trainer, Entrepreneur
What You Should Have Learned in this Chapter

Chapter Nine: Leaping Off a Cliff - Onto a Tall Stack of Fluffy Pillows
Risk Aversion Proofing
Sometimes Leaving the Law Doesn't Mean Totally Leaving the Law
Realizing the Water is Warm
What Else Do You Need to Cushion Your Leap?
Case Study: Erica Hashimoto, Assistant Professor
What You Should Have Learned in this Chapter

Chapter Ten: What Are You Waiting For?!
A Few Words on Feeling Like You've Run Out of Steam
Give Yourself Permission to Explore
Give Yourself Permission to Screw Up
The Point
Give Yourself Permission to Change Your Mind
Give Yourself Permission to Change Careers
Give Yourself Permission to Do Work You Love
Case Study: Chuck Adams, Executive Editor
What You Should Have Learned in this Chapter

Further Reading.
About the Author


Excerpt from Chapter 1
For Desperate Lawyers Who Don’t Have a Clue What They Want to Do


Dear Monica,
Maybe I could get hit by a bus and end...

See More



Format: eBook PDF

Length: 9 in
Width: 6 in
Weight: 0.00 oz
Page Count: 240 pages


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