In writing Life After Law, I’ve met more ex-lawyers who have gone into the healing professions than I ever expected. Some are practicing Western medicine, and many have more holistic practices. No two of them found their new professions in the same way or for the same reasons – yet all of them draw on some aspect of their former law careers in their new and happier lives.
For one ex-lawyer, the most rewarding part of her legal work was serving as an advocate for her clients. Several years into her legal career, she decided to become a nurse instead. After taking the required science classes at a community college, and some nursing classes at night, she transferred to a full time program to complete her nursing degree. She now prides herself on being an advocate for her patients. Her ultimate goal is to advocate for health issues where she can make the most difference: on health policy nationwide.
Another ex-lawyer left a practice in the trusts and estates section of one of her cities’ most prestigious firms, but had no interest in becoming a partner. After some years at home, and some transformative personal experiences with the effects of nutritional counseling, she became a health coach and a Reiki practitioner. She gets more personal satisfaction out of helping her clients control their health than she ever did helping her firms’ clients reduce their tax liability.
And as I’ve mentioned before, one of my professional heroes left a brilliant career in legal academia to become an acupuncturist. After writing that post, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Clare Dalton at length about her transition, and I look forward to telling more of her story in the book. I suspect the only reason I haven’t yet met a former lawyer who left law to become a full-fledged medical doctor is because I haven’t looked hard enough.
So many of us gave thanks this holiday for our good health. I’m thankful too for these former lawyers, for following their passions, for healing others in these new and wonderful ways, and for sharing their stories with me.