Alternative Careers for Lawyers
Preliminary Decision Checklist
This checklist of questions will help you revitalize your career.
Your career revitalization may cause you to pursue an alternative career for a lawyer.
Or, the answers might lead you to conclude that your current career path is the best one for you. Even if you must transition into a new practice area, go to a different firm, go in-house, or become a lawyer for the government.
If you would like to discuss any issues raised by the questions in this checklist, please send me an e-mail or schedule a call for us to talk.
- How is your physical and emotional health?
- How are you managing stress?
- Is your job (or lack thereof) causing health problems?
- Why did you become a lawyer?
- What is your why now?
- Why do you get up in the morning and go to work?
- Why do you have your current job and career path?
Your Family, Close Friends & Colleagues
- What are their views on your job and possible career paths?
- Can you count on them to support you emotionally in a transition to an alternative career?
- Can you sustain your lifestyle on your present income?
- What income must you have to support your lifestyle?
- What income must you have to support your desired future lifestyle?
Your Strengths, Knowledge & Skills
- What are your strengths?
- What knowledge do you have? List areas where you are knowledgeable.
- In what areas do you have the most knowledge relating to your career?
- What industries or type clients do you know well?
- What specific knowledge did you gain during your formal education?
- What knowledge did you acquire outside your formal education or career related to your interests, hobbies, or life?
- What skills do you have? Categorize your skills.
- In what areas do you have the most skill relating to your career?
- What skills do you have that are related to your interests, hobbies, or life?
- What are the strongest areas of your personality?
Your Professional Interests
- What interests you about the jobs you’ve had?
- What did you like to do in your jobs?
- What were you doing when you had those periods when you were “in the flow” and lost track of time?
- What subjects interested you in school?
Your Hobbies & Other Interests
- What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
- What were your hobbies and interests when you were younger?
- Do the hobbies or interests suggest a purpose, passion, or interest you have forgotten?
Your General Career & Life Vision
- What is your vision of your future?
- What is your vision of a perfect job and an ideal career?
- Imagine your best job and life at three points; say 3 years, 10 years and 25 years from today. Now is the time to be open, creative and non-judgmental. Let the ideas and images flow without censoring whether you think they are realistic. What do you see? Be specific.
- What are you doing in your job and life?
- Why are you doing what you envision?
- Who are the people you are closest to in your family, local community, professional community, and life?
- How do you measure success?
Your Specific Vision
- What are you doing on a typical day?
- Where are you (home, office, traveling) during the day?
- Who is your employer and/or your clients?
- Who are your colleagues?
- What do you wear?
- What are your employer’s/client’s problems?
- What skills do you use to help solve your employer’s/client’s problems?
- What services do you offer to your employer/clients?
- How much money do you make?
- How are you compensated (salary, equity, commission, contract)?
- What does your family look like?
- Who are your friends?
- What do you do in the evenings?
- What do you do on the weekends?
- Where do you live?
- What are your hobbies?
- What recreational activities do you participate in?
- What are your other interests?
- How are your physical condition, nutrition, and sleep?
- What is most important to you?