Liz Brown knows a thing or two about transitions, the ones you plan for and the ones imposed upon you by circumstances. Having experienced serious loss, she understands the power of reflection and creating a life worth living. If you don’t like where your life is heading, it’s time to start planning. Liz believes it’s never too late to make changes. Do you want to be in the same place, doing the same thing or do you want to be somewhere else? Only you can really know and while we can’t predict the future, one thing is for sure: in 10 years (with any luck), we will all be 10 years older. Figure out what you enjoy being good at and plan your journey from there.
Liz was a litigation partner at an international law firm when she realized that her career path was not bringing her joy, and the end destination looked a lot like the road she was currently traveling. It’s hard to imagine now, but at that time there were no “law blogs,” and it would have been almost impossible to find a career coach specifically focused on attorneys looking for alternative careers. There was simply no community for lawyers who decided to pursue a different career path.
So Liz had to figure things out on her own.
Liz recognized that her experience making this transition, as well as the lessons she learned along the way, could be helpful to others. She decided to share her story, her process, and the stories of dozens of attorneys who found alternative careers, in her book Leaving the Law. Because so much has changed in the legal industry over the past few years– and particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic– Liz and co-author, Amy Impellizzeri, decided it was a good time to publish a follow up to her first book. The two recently released their guidebook How to Leave the Law.
We also get personal as Liz shares with us other times in her life when community was her lifeline. After the sudden loss of her mother in 2020, at the suggestion of a friend, Liz turned to grief support groups. Grief is something that we all go through, but nobody talks about. “We gain so much by talking about it. I’m grateful for people who have shared their wisdom with me.”
Sharing your experiences openly and honestly can transform another person’s life. Liz has benefitted from the wisdom of others and is generous in sharing her own. We talk with Liz about the courage it takes to leave a career that is all-consuming, financially rewarding and has taken years of training to realize. We talk about how our work often defines how we identify ourselves and how others see us. Embracing the opportunity to define a new career identity can feel risky, but the rewards of joy and career fulfillment are well worth the journey.
Episode Links and Resources:
How to Leave the Law, Liz Brown and Amy Impellizzeri
Life After Law, Liz Brown
Liz Brown speaks about Career Choices at Bentley Convocation 2015
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