I was thrilled to receive this email from a WILL member, Tara (shared with her permission).

She lives in LA and wants to leave big law.  She’s tapped into what she really wants to do…break into broadcast journalism! And she’s going for it!

She wrote this after a coffee date with my cousin David.

How coffee can help you leave (big) law

See, some lawyers, when thinking about make a career change tell themselves either: “I’ll never… or “I’m smart and hard-working. I should be able to figure it out on my own.”

Of course, you are smart and hard working. You can figure it out.

Doing it alone can be harder and take longer. You go in fits and starts. Work demands take priority. A year goes by. And then another.

When you get help you…

  • No longer let fear and doubt drive your bus.
  • Have a proven process that comes with someone cheering you on and holding you accountable.
  • Receive tips and guidance. Think about it, how could you be good at something you’ve never done before?
Here’s a tip I shared with the Sunday Sprint group… 50 coffee dates.

Be willing to have 50 coffee dates or informational conversations, virtual or in person.

A WILL member who is now the health policy director for a US senator, credits 30 coffee dates with leading to her break.

Your break could come at number 11 or 47.

But it’s not going to happen by scrolling LinkedIn or perfecting your resume.

The trick is this… you don’t start with 50 coffee dates, you start with 3!

If you want to leave big law, your opportunity this week:

  • Write a list of 3 people you’d like to have coffee or talk with.
  • Start with anyone who comes to mind – that you feel a nudge to reach out to:
    • friends from law school or college
    • neighbors
    • your friend’s dad who’s you’ve been meaning to reach out
  • Tell them what you are interested in, curious about or looking for.
    • Don’t tell them what you think you “should” want.
    • Be honest with yourself and them about what you truly desire.
  • At the end of the coffee date, ask who else you should speak with. Go from there. Your coffee dates will grow from 3, to 6, 9 and so on.
When can you find the time to have coffee dates to help you leave big law?

WILL members often say mornings tend to be sleepy at their firms. Most people outside law firm life are up and going by 8 – 9 am. They’re happy to meet for a cup of coffee. Also, most people on the planet don’t bill their time in 6-minute increments! Ask for 15 minutes. They may be happy to chat for longer.

Tara was willing to reach out to David. Now she’s got a game plan. She’s using her smarts and work ethic to move the ball down the field. I’m cheering her on!

Where there’s a WILL, there’s a way!  If you want to leave big law, schedule a conversation here.  

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