Career Management Consulting for Attorneys
“Job dissatisfaction among lawyers is widespread, profound and growing worse.” Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (2004).
If you are dissatisfied with your career in law, you are hardly alone. Every study conducted in the last twenty years shows that attorney dissatisfaction is a growing, and disturbing, phenomenon.
The seminal 1990 American Bar Association survey of attorney satisfaction conservatively estimated that 23% of all lawyers were dissatisfied with their careers. A John Hopkins study that same year identified an alarmingly high rate of attorney depression. In a 1992 poll, 70% of surveyed California attorneys expressed their desire for a career change. Recent surveys by the ABA among young lawyers show that dissatisfaction is not attributable to longevity; at least 25% of young, not-yet-jaded lawyers are somewhat or very dissatisfied with law practice. It seems highly unlikely that they will feel more satisfied five, ten or fifteen years from now.
Lawyers’ complaints are myriad, and include brutal work schedules, the tedious nature of the work, job stress, fear of financial instability, public perception, a lack of balance between work and personal life, the “commoditization” of legal services, and compensation not commensurate with effort. Revealingly, however, the highest compensated attorneys, typically big-firm lawyers, are the most dissatisfied with their careers. Thus, while increased compensation may paper-over the root causes of dissatisfaction, money alone is unlikely to be the antidote.
It is time for you to reassess your career if you agree with any of the following statements:
- I spend more time with my Blackberry than with people I like.
- The last book I read for fun was “Prosser on Torts.”
- I schedule romantic interludes around motion practice.
- I have difficulty falling asleep in the bedroom, but not in the boardroom.
- I dream about doing something else and wish I had a life.
Like many attorneys, you may be unaware of your career options, or even that you have them. Fortunately, at The Barrett Group, we are very aware of the opportunities available to you. We offer comprehensive executive career management that will allow you to take control of your future and create options to make your legal career financially and personally rewarding. Submit your résumé to get started or call for a consultation regarding your career opportunities.