I Told the Truth, and It Turned out Okay


Marina ModlinToday, we’re excited to welcome back to the blog Marina Modlin, former freelance attorney, founder of Modlin Legal Services, and author of The Independence Track. Marina wrote a moving post about hitting rock bottom as a young lawyer a few weeks ago. She is back today with a follow-up to that post.

You can hear more from Marina at the Catapult Conference this Saturday where she’ll be a keynote speaker!

Welcome, Marina.

A few weeks ago, Trebuchet published my blog, “When I Hit Rock Bottom as a Young Lawyer.” For those of you who didn’t read it, this blog was a brief description of possibly the darkest time in my life — when I was admitted to practice law, and could not find a job. A time when I was so ashamed of my (seemingly) failed career that I moved out and avoided my family.

It took me 40 minutes to write that blog post, once I was ready. But, it was over five years in the making.

It took me over five years to become brave enough, and secure enough, to go back to 2007 and face the feelings I experienced when I was sitting in the “well.” A lot of self-growth and experience and analysis had to happen before I was ready to share the darkness and shame that were inside me. And even after that much time, it was still terrifying.

How People Reacted

However, once I did become brave enough to share, this one “Rock Bottom” post has received unprecedented positive response — people in my community as well as on the internet read it, loved it, praised it. I ran into an acquaintance of mine who read it on Facebook, and he said to me, “I MUST KNOW MORE!!!”

We live in a society superficial and numb to the point that the question “How are you?’ is used as a greeting.

If one actually replies with something other than “OK,” and maybe even something negative, people are taken back.

However, despite the superficiality and the social inappropriateness of publicly discussing one’s negative feelings, the feedback I received to my blog post overwhelmingly told me that my community is desperately hungry for something authentic, for something that perhaps resonates with their own internal darkness, and maybe gives them license or bravery to address it.

My Big Announcement

Inspired by this positive feedback, by the encouragement to share more, I am moving forward with a project that has been on my mind for four years. The project is teaching an in-person course based on my book, The Independence Track: How To Succeed As A Freelance Attorney. As a teacher and mentor I will be able to assist a few of the currently unemployed attorneys to finally launch their dream legal careers.

I wrote the “how-to” book, but in the class, I will be able to add my stories. The stories that I had not previously been brave enough to share.

If you’d like to know more about the course (scheduled to launch on March 11, 2014, in the San Francisco Bay Area), please contact me.

But even if you are not interested in my course, I encourage you to give authenticity a try. If you are currently looking for work, invite a practicing lawyer to coffee, and share something personal, something intimate, and something vulnerable with that person, and observe the magic that follows.

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Thanks, Marina! Good luck with the course, which is sure to be great.

Marina Modlin emigrated from Saint Petersburg, Russia. She received her B.A. from UC Davis and her J.D. from USF School of Law. Immediately after passing the bar, Ms. Modlin founded Modlin Legal Services, a freelance practice, and grew it through referrals. By January 2010 she felt she had learned enough through her freelance law practice, and converted Modlin Legal to a full services wills and trusts firm. She authored a book titled, “The Independence Track: How To Succeed as a Freelance Attorney” and has lectured frequently on the topic. 

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You can meet Marina in person in San Francisco at the Catapult Conference on March 1st. Have you gotten your ticket yet? Now’s your chance!

Published In: Professional Practice Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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