What can I do to get OUT of the legal field?

by Isabel
(Miami)

I'm not happy in the legal field. Everyone seems to think this is a great job, but I hate all the pressure and my boss's attitude. I want to know how I can get out of legal but still earn a decent income. Is it even possible?

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May 09, 2012
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Getting Out of The Legal Profession - Changing Careers
by: Anonymous

Wow! What a terrific question. This isn't one you read too often since it seems everyone is clamoring to get INTO the paralegal field and not out.

Don't dispair, however. You can get out of your career as a paralegal if you don't believe it suits or its just not what you thought it was going to be.

You may find the Career Change: How to Change Careers link to be useful in your search to find a better choice out there.

First off, not all bosses are great. There are some that down right stink (literally and figuratively!). That isn't a reason to abandon ship and get out of a career in my view. There are great people to work for and there are attorneys who want to mentor their paralegals. You may find this at a new position so I wouldn't throw in the towel on this point alone.

The legal field also is quite vast. You do not need to stay within one specialty. Although it may seem that once you perform in one area of law you may not feel you can cross over to a new area. You can parlay your skills from one area to another. Of course, pay will likely be affected since you're essentially starting over in a "new" profession although it is within the legal field.

Any kind of career change takes careful planning and preparation. You need to know your salary could be affected, you could be working in a better or worse environment, you may have good or worse co-workers, the benefits may be better or not so good and so on. There are many things to consider before making a move.

Definitely make a list of the pros and cons of moving to a new profession. What is the likelihood you can transition smoothly into a new profession? How long will it take? What's the learning curve going to be?

Talk with fellow paralegals and people who are in the field you want to become a part of and find out what they have to say. Certainly you'll need to do your due diligence to be sure you've left no rock unturned. It's a big decision to leave a profession (any profession!) and you want to be conscientious in how you do it so that the transition is as smooth as it can possibly be for you and your family.

Good luck!
Elaine

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