Why Does it Feel So Painful to Be a Lawyer Sometimes?


There are certain parts of being a lawyer that are particularly hard… Especially, if you’re a lawyer who cares.

The traditional business model is broken.

If you are trying to make it work, you know it. You’re too busy. Not serving your clients in the way you want. Probably not commanding fees you know you could (or should).

Even if you are making money, you’re struggling… To keep up… Constant worry… Anxiety and fear.

You know it’s not supposed to be this way.

It’s true. It’s not.

And, you can do something about it. Here’s how:

1.  Take 100% responsibility for your experience.

Yes, the law business model you’ve been taught and had modeled for you from all the lawyers in town (who are also in their own form of struggle and strife, even if they are “successful”) is broken. And, it’s not your fault.

But, you can take 100% responsibility for making a shift.

It will not be the easiest thing you’ve ever done, but it also won’t be the hardest. And it won’t be any harder than what you are doing now. Plus, it will be sustainable and ensure you have both a great income and life while feeling fulfilled with your law degree for the rest of your life.

That’s worth the investment, isn’t it?

2.  Stop blaming.

I see a lot of lawyers do this. Instead of taking 100% responsibility for their own experiences, many lawyers will blame the economy, their fear, the lack of money, their prospects, their staff, or their family for why they aren’t successful in their practices.

If you are struggling in your practice, you can turn it around no matter what your circumstances are right now. To do it, you have to stop blaming.

It’s possible that we lawyers blame so much because success always came too easily, in a way. So when struggle shows up, rather than feeling resourced, you collapse into blame and avoidance. That was definitely me for a while in my practice and it resulted in me being perpetually angry at my staff, confused why it wasn’t getting any easier no matter how hard I worked, and very nearly at my breaking point.

Instead, what you can do now is recognize that each obstacle to your success is not something to look for blame around (you don’t need to blame yourself or anyone else), but instead an opportunity to learn, grow and expand. It’s really a gift. Find that and you win the game, no matter what happens.

3. Recognize there is always a breakdown before a breakthrough.

Most people don’t succeed. Why? Because they don’t make it through the breakdown that always precedes a breakthrough. They get challenged, it gets hard and they quit.

Don’t quit.

When you’ve hit the breakdown say, “hallelujah” because your breakthrough is right around the corner. Instead, look at the resources you DO have available to you. Watch for your next teacher to appear. And keep moving forward. A whole new level awaits.