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Archive for April, 2013

talking-headsThe People’s Therapist has joined the bloviating classes…I’ve now appeared as a talking head on a real live (sort of) television talk show – HuffPost Live.

Anyway – here’s the link.

The segment seemed to go well, although I had the unnerving if not atypical sensation of being the hot-headed radical spouting fire at a garden party.  Hélas, c’est mon destin.  At least my hair looked good.  At least, I think it did.

This time around, blessedly, the other panelists weren’t biglaw partners, law professors and authors of books with titles like “You can be super-duper happy as a lawyer if you just smile a lot!”  Been there, done that.

For a rather gloomier view of the current nightmare that is biglaw, click here.

It must be admitted, it is fun to be on tv and get to talk.

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My new book is a comic novel about a psychotherapist who falls in love with a blue alien from outer space. It’s called Bad Therapist: A Romance. I guarantee pure reading pleasure…

If you enjoy these columns, please check out The People’s Therapist’s book about the sad state of the legal profession, Way Worse Than Being a Dentist: The Lawyer’s Quest for Meaning

My first book is an unusual (and useful) introduction to the concepts underlying psychotherapy: Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy

(My books are also available on bn.com and the Apple iBookstore.)

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daffyIf you’re a lawyer appearing at my doorstep, and you work in biglaw, there’s a good chance you’re seeking a way out. You don’t know what you want to do next, but the status quo is insupportable. That’s the standard set-up.

If you’re a lawyer appearing at my doorstep and you work in biglaw, we’ll likely talk about the challenges ahead. Trapped in the bathysphere of biglaw, it’s hard to see out let alone get out. You’ve heard rumors about human beings who enjoy their jobs. In your experience, big firm attorneys loathe their chosen profession the way other people breathe air.

If you’re a lawyer appearing at my doorstep, and you work in biglaw, we’ll probably talk about a sideways shuffle I call the “crab-walk.” You can’t transfer from a big law firm directly to a tolerable work environment in one leap – the chasm between biglaw and anywhere anyone would want to be is too great. Crab-walking is the next best thing, based on the indisputable principle that a tiny step in the direction of somewhere else amounts to an improvement. Take a reduced schedule at your current firm (if such a thing exists in theory or practice.)  Give a “kinder, gentler” mid-law shop a shake. Go in-house at a bank. Dial for dollars as a headhunter. Switch to consulting and live in a hotel in Indianapolis all week writing reports recommending the firing of middle managers. Get a sales and support position at WestLaw teaching summers to concoct search terms. Small crab-walk-y steps remove you one centimeter at a time from where you are right now. That, by definition, is good.

If you’re a lawyer appearing at my doorstep and you work in biglaw, you probably want out, and have since your first taste of the Kool-Aid. You need to hear you’re not crazy or alone, and that there are others who long for a job without constant anxiety attacks, where Sunday nights aren’t a horror show, where a partner won’t tell you without a trace of irony to “go ahead and take the weekend off,” where it isn’t considered an easy night to get home at 11 pm.

These generalities hold true for about 96% of the lawyers appearing at my doorstep who work in biglaw. They do not, however, apply to everyone.

I don’t want to exaggerate the phenomenon, but there are folks who actually “fit in” in biglaw. They actually like it there. These are the “odd ducks,” and from time to time some of them also appear at my door.

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freeimage-871654 radioWhat a pleasant surprise to listen in to the second podcast of Legally Obligated and find myself a part of the show! The lovely host, June, closes her podcast by reading a section from the introduction to Way Worse Than Being a Dentist.

Thanks for the shout-out (or read-out), June. I’m proud to be a part of your excellent series.

You can listen to the podcast here.  Be sure to catch the entire show – very interesting stuff in there about former law students suing law schools and an interview with an attorney who left the profession.

For more information on June and her blogging activities, click here.

For more information on “Way Worse” and all my books, click here.

Happy listening.

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