Careers outside law

For those who left legal, what jobs/careers/roles did you go into next?

I love the smell of desperation in the afternoon.....

sorry I can’t help - am still in law despite wanting out for the last 20 years. just do it is the only advice I can give. 

10 years ago, an American litigator friend of mine was watching me eat cottage cheese. I was telling him about its low calorie benefits. I told him about Icelandic Skyr, and how I could make super low calorie protein ice cream using simple ingredients at home. Better than that high calorie stuff. Anyhow, a few years later he starts up a low calorie ice cream company and he becomes a millionaire. I wanted to sue him for stealing my idea, but a lawyer I hired for an initial consultation said I had no evidence for any of it and it smelt of desperation. Whatever.

Biggie /Matty what do you think of being a 5 year PQE sol then transferring to become a Bazza

I decided I wanted to leave at around 4-5pqe. I’m currently studying towards another professional qualification in my spare time whilst working a pretty low stress legal job. I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision ditching big law as what I do now looks like a big demotion but it was the only way I could dedicate enough time to retraining so in the long term I don’t really care. I also haven’t told anyone colleagues or lawyer friends. I felt it was very taboo to discuss sacking off law and had strange reactions when I floated it once. I’m really enjoying it though and have picked up tons of new skills including digital skills. I was also shocked at how innumerate I was - lawyers can get away with being paid enormous sums of money but not even understand basic algebra. It’s been really fun to learn again. Good luck! 

Biggie, how much do you reckon a 5 year qualified ice cream van vendor makes?

Is there more profit in Soleros or 99’s?

Working at home , it seems to me lawyers are often very desperate to lateral to another career, particularly if it in a sector where they were advising .

however very, very few are prepared to start at the bottom or near bottom again.

compare and contrast Big 4 directors/ Assistant directors who are prepared to join a growth PE fund in or near the bottom . Ditto VPs /senior VPs  are prepared to go to a mega fund , even though they will be taking a massive drop in basic pay and title . I don’t get it , if you want to lateral into another profession, you will have to take a haircut in many ways .

My old friend is probably worth a billion quid. It worked for him in the long run. We obviously don't talk anymore. His lawyer wrote to mine saying any necessary and speculative application regarding the conception of the ice-cream would be robustly contended. My lawyer said I didn't have a shot. I was badly advised.

My hair is lovely and if a new employer wants me to change my do they can feck off frankly 

Biggie /Matty your former mate is a billionaire? How so ? Aren’t you a partner now and have been for a while now ?

I did a few years in a career very different to law.

Part of me regrets swapping roles very occasionally but law does let you meet and advise some very interesting clients on stuff that would take you decades in an industry to get involved with otherwise. We get parachuted in to some things that most people would never see or do in their life.

It's very flattering and does give one a slightly false expectation of what a "normal" job would be like.

"Part of me regrets swapping roles very occasionally but law does let you meet and advise some very interesting clients on stuff that would take you decades in an industry to get involved with otherwise. We get parachuted in to some things that most people would never see or do in their life.

It's very flattering and does give one a slightly false expectation of what a "normal" job would be like."

This is a bit grand.

Apologies. It wasn't intended to be.

Just that lawyers only tend to get brought into deals that have gone wrong or where the client can justify the expense so we kind of avoid so much of the mundane stuff which can give one a slightly odd experience.

Not B&Js, but it's sold at Tescos and Sainsbury's. My ex-girlfriend used to get irritated with me because I would repeat the story to her every time we passed with fridges in supermarkets. I won't eat ice-cream anymore, I have an actual aversion to it thinking about what he did to me.

But biggie you’re saying he stole your idea, he didn’t really he just realised the ingredients would make good ice cream and went forward with it. You could have done that had you thought of it. Had you told him of your great ice cream idea by virtue of this powder etc it may be different but you didn’t. Unless I’m missing something. 

I wanted to sue him for stealing my idea, but a lawyer I hired for an initial consultation said I had no evidence for any of it and it smelt of desperation. 

Heh @ "smelt of desperation".

That lawyer is neither the first nor the last person to think this about the things you say.

Ice-cream would melt in fridges Biggie. Needs to be in the freezer.

Probably why you didn’t make it big in that game. 

Biggie is on great form here. 

Red, I moved into a related area and came back.  It was easy enough given my specialism.  I know plenty of people who've done similar.

I think a lot of lawyers get hung up on formal qualifications and forget about skills, which we have in spades.

I moved out of law into a general management role (managing a business unit). It was great because it was a really hidden and interesting industry.

 

I moved back to in-house law with some other (non-law) responsibilities and then got promoted to run the company.

 

I was well paid (more than law) to do both jobs however the pressure in each was more – law is actually quite easy compared to a lot of jobs and much better paid than all but the senior positions in companies.

 

Lawyers underestimate their ability to swap into other jobs.

 

But it does take a certain mindset i.e. a private practice lawyer who thinks their role is to provide legal advice will struggle to make the swap (FAOD a lawyer’s role in private practice is not to provide legal advice – it is to transfer as much money as possible from the client’s bank account into the firm’s bank account. Legal advice is merely the rationale for the transfer (if the client would pay the lawyer $10,000 an hour for mowing the client’s lawn the partnership would be just fine with that).

Lawyers moving en masse into a particular area tends to be a top of the market indicator.

No start up ice cream company  has made anyone a billionaire.

I'm in PRECISELY the same hard-done-by zone as Biggie. 

  • 14 years ago. 
  • Ski holiday with the gang to Soll in the Tyrol
  • One chair lift was appreciably better than other. 
  • We had a song for it. 
  • We, drunkenly, believed if we could find a way to monetize that lift, maybe using the internet, we'd be billionaires. 

The song went like this: 

the Uber Lift (the Uber Lift)

The Uber Lift (the Uber Lift)

it's very UBER and lifty

it has a cushioned seat for your arsey!

 

ROBBED. 

 

 

Chr1st, jelly, we all think biggie’s a bit of a cock and relish the opportunity to watch him having the pyss ripped out of him, but can’t you at least try to make it funny?!

OP - I went from law to mgt consulting on the basis that I wanted to “retrain” into business without doing an MBA/starting back on a grad scheme. Did 4 years there and then moved into operational/exec roles. Was def the right thing to get out of law early otherwise the initial pay cut would have definitely stung (although have more than made up for it now, it’s a J curve for sure). 

I was in house in a legal department, I now do a commercial role in the same business which was designed to leverage my legal skills.

Basically I deal with commercial issues on major contracts and ensure we're optimised those (quite complex) contracts.  

It works well and suits my "results focused" nature as i can do pro-active things as well as being response, and the legal part doesn't become the tail wagging the dog.

There is an ongoing tension with the legal department, not least because as the role and department was set up around a need the business thought I resolved, it didn't exist before and was basically designed around my skills.

 

I once read a book by an academic from my old college, a popular book on his special subject, and was outraged to find in the introduction a funny anecdote that I had once told in the lunch queue in the college canteen was in his intro, passed off as his own!! It was distinctive enough that it was definitely my story.  He must have been earwigging.  I was so outraged. So I do know how biggie feels on this one.

I am so far too cowardly to leave law but when I do it will be to write a novel.

my story is a bit similar to Dogwarden's and Iamlong's.  Common thread:  perhaps easier from in-house than PP.

Torontochick - interested to know what level you went into mgt consulting after law. They are very much pyramid structures and would have thought it is closed off as an option to new entrants after 28/29. And also was it one of the big ones as they tend to require MBAs.

I did this but had the misfortune to work for a team where they kept giving things that would suit my lawyerly skills to other people and then giving me tasks to do where I didn't have any relevant skills so I left after 18 months or so.  I remember a colleague reading the Land Registry web site and asking me questions while I struggled with a financial model.  I could have done the task he was doing in five minutes and vice-versa.  What's the point of recruiting someone with a legal background if you don't then give them the quasi-legal tasks to deal with?

Making your own home-made ice cream doesn't sound very #balla to be honest. Dollatrain well and truly derailed

LOL at the suggestion that having an idea you put forward taken by someone else and turned into a successful business enterprise would entitle you to any money.

About 99.9999% of the success of such business enterprises are down to execution. Anyone can come up with a decent idea.

 

Probably 51% of the final recipe was an exact replica of mine; the 49% being junk to make it last longer. He is a billionaire. He could have thrown me a million, a million two, just as a sympathy payment. I of course would have used this in court against him as evidence that I came up with the whole thing, but that's not the point.

Workingathome - I left at 3pqe and went in at associate level (ie the post MBA track) as an experienced hire. I had some extra training before I started on the core MBA stuff to close that gap. It was one of the big 3. There were quite a few laterals coming in that way, the older ones still had to start at associate but got promoted through extremely rapidly. 

95.4% of people who leave law for consulting return to law according to Linkedin Platinum.

Torontochick - wow. That’s impressive without an MBA. What age would you say is too late to go into consulting with a legal background and say, a quant based masters?

Consulting = less money, worse hours, don’t do it. 
If you want to get involved on the business side just become a GC.

I had to leave law before I even got going. I am now in a role that comes with the "prestige" of lawyering but I feel quite empty most days. Not sure I can hack another 25yrs of this nonsense tbf.

What happened Legal Alien?  Why did you have to leave?  I've watched this forum since around 2012 and understood it's because you were a constant paralegal? 

He could have been partner by now. 
what people need to do is stop complaining.

get on with their careers.

be happy.

move to a US firm - anyone who doesn’t is either a bit dim or not good enough 

why wouldn’t you pocket three times as much. Better quality work and people. The hours aren’t that bad. They have marginally longer hours than Travers. Bill 8 hours a day, that is all you need to do. Not hard. Consistency. Now with this working from home revolution you have maximum flexibility.

There are no good exits from law except in-house. One dude left to start his own real estate business in Abu Dhabi and he had already got the cash by working in PP over there for several years. One guy left for financial PR - doesn’t make much and his hours suck as hard as mine. Have a few friends in legal at senior director level in funds who do well, they went in at partner level or couldn’t make partner.

doing consulting is stupid. You would come in at 40-60k, even an engagement manager can make only about 80-90k even you managed to skip some junior ranks. 80k isn’t going to pay the mortgage. Exits out to business are overrated.

 

"Better quality work and people."

That bit made me snort outloud.  Can you imagine working with people like Biggie all day?

Financial PRs do not work that hard, though no idea why you'd leave law to do that, it is certainly no more interesting.

My old friend is probably worth a billion quid. It worked for him in the long run. We obviously don't talk anymore. His lawyer wrote to mine saying any necessary and speculative application regarding the conception of the ice-cream would be robustly contended. My lawyer said I didn't have a shot. I was badly advised.

 

If only you were not a mega fund blozzing doc jockey, but a more interesting IP lawyer sort working on peanuts, you could be set for life on royalties mate. 

Without reading other comments here, here is my two pence worth:

If you want same level status and pay ect - dont leave. 

If you are okay with starting at zero and knowing it could take a decade to climb up (and you will climb up faster than others due to your existing skills) do something that interests you. 

If you have a real hard stomach and don't care the initial uncertainty and being around less efficient bullshitters, go into sales. Having an professional qualification adds credibility in a customer's mind. 

  • I dabble.
  • Today, I think I'll be a fireman.
  • Truck go vroom.

I have always wondered if there is a market for a lawyer turned pornstar.