On a cold Tuesday afternoon, just three years after I graduated from law school, I heard code red called in the ER. The code was for me. I was 30 seconds from death: veins collapsed, no blood pressure, 30 pounds under weight, metabolic acidosis prevailed, 32 ounces of blood lost daily, and no ability to sit upright or walk. I was 28 years old and knew nothing about how my reactions cause outcomes. Not knowing almost killed me. Years of stress and anger had taken their toll…..
Working from home can be an amazing experience if it is planned correctly; an unmitigated disaster if it’s not. More importantly, if handled incorrectly there can be a lot of friction in your home. Why? Because, while your spouse and kids go off to work and school to then come home to their ‘sanctuary’, you are carefully and thoughtfully converting your sanctuary into a work space for a finite number of hours each day. This is a major psychological challenge. How do you do it successfully?
Do you ever feel like an imposter? As successful as you are do you believe you are just fooling people because deep down you are incompetent, taking money for work you are ill-prepared to do? Do you think one day you will be found out for the fraud that you are? Well, so do most lawyers. Suzanne Meehle shares her story.
I’ve been practicing law now for over ten years. I started out working at Big Law, and that wasn’t for me. And then I started a firm with a partner, and that didn’t work out either. Then I went solo, and that’s where I’ve spent the majority of my career. From working out of my home by myself to a brick-and-mortar office with two employees, for more than six years, it’s been Just Me, Esq.
Until now, that is. Are you ready to take on a partner…again?
Law is not a profession which admits the function and value of feelings. Our training teaches us to expunge them from our minds and our work. But as human beings we ignore our feelings at risk to our overall well-being. What do you do?
Life is crazy and hectic for the solo practitioner and I’ve talked to many who feel they simply can’t leave their solo practice for any length of time because they wouldn’t really be able to relax or the business would fall apart without them. But if you must know the truth, not taking time away from work, meaningful, restorative time, is actually hurting your practice and your health in insidious ways. And this is supported through studies linked to below. Without taking a respite, our work becomes ineffective.
Isolation will literally kill you. Yet many lawyers don’t even realize they are isolated. They also don’t realize there are many forms of isolation that are insidious and destructive. There is professional, personal and social isolation and you may not even understand you are isolated. Isolation is a mental health risk. Today we dig in to raise awareness in the legal community. These are very real and serious issues that have long term impact on your physical and mental health. And if this resonates with you at all, please seek out help. There are ways to manage this risk in a healthy and productive way. Listen and learn.
Life is about perspective and everyday we have to remember to keep perspective. Oftentimes, we lose site of the bigger picture, our purpose in the grand scheme of things and we need to step back and take the 30,000 foot view. What should you be focusing on?
When you spend enough time around lawyers, you learn that lawyers love to complain. Maybe that’s why a lawsuit is called a Complaint.
What complaint do we hear most often among unhappy lawyers who want a career change? Compensation is almost never the biggest issue. Or even working long hours. Find out what the biggest complaint actually is.