Do You Still Want to Be a Lawyer?Jan 04, 2024
What do I want my life to look like?
As a young attorney, once you have settled in your new job, you eventually should be asking yourself, What do I want my life to look like? Now compare your current situation with that vision.
When I graduated from law school, I assumed that I would go through the traditional legal path: start working at a law firm as an associate, work my way up, and become partner. This is the career path that is presented in law school and reinforced in every traditional law firm out there. Put in the hours now, they say, but it will pay off in the future. As a young associate, it is easy to be convinced this is the right path.
The traditional legal path
Some people find success in the traditional legal career at a law firm. But for many lawyers, this traditional path is not what it seemed to be, and law firms will rarely give you the full picture of how difficult this path might be. Depending on how a firm is structured, a junior partner’s compensation may not be much more advantageous than an associate. And in many cases, becoming a partner comes with more responsibilities for bringing in business. So for some people, it gets worse before it gets better. I am speaking of the legal field from experience, but the same could be said of many other professional disciplines.
Am I on the right path for me?
So how do you know if the career right path that your firm is selling is right for you? Here’s a practical thing you can do: make time each week to do nothing but think about what you want your life to look like. Even if it’s only half an hour, be sure to take time to do this in your busy schedule to just reflect and envision. It may not seem like you are being productive, but it really is the most important thing you do all week. If you don’t take this time to think for yourself, others will do it for you. Your employer will only be too happy to supply the path that is most useful to him. You can’t afford not to take this time.
So what do you want your life to look like?
So what do you want your life to look like? Financial planning is a tool that can help you realize those goals, but you need to begin at the beginning with the envisioning. When we meet with a client, this question is front and center to the financial planning process. It’s never too early to begin thinking about this process and to prepare financially to have the freedom to implement your vision.
Best to all,
--Christian M. Cameron, JD
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