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25 Reasons Most Attorneys Hate the Practice of Law and Go Crazy (and What to Do about It)

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The stress of being an attorney
The stress of being an attorney

Several years ago, I hired a manager for a legal recruiting firm that I run, BCG Attorney Search. The manager had been trained in his previous job (not involving attorneys) to give people an online personality test. The test was quite amazing. Someone would sit down and spend 30 minutes or so taking the test, and the software would email the manager a 10+ page single-spaced essay about what the person was like psychologically, how they would get along with their peers, how they saw the world, and other insights.

I took the test, read the report, and found it to be spot on. I could not believe how accurate it was. When the manager asked me to spend $5000 to fly him to Miami to attend a conference on the test, I agreed to do it without hesitation. It was a great test.
 
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

The recruiting firm I was using the test for, BCG Attorney Search, was growing quite rapidly at the time, and we needed to hire people all over the country. Each day, we would interview several potential recruiters for the firm. All of the people we were interviewing were attorneys. If the person did well in the interview, they would be tested. Each week I would have a meeting with the manager and hear the same thing:

"I am not sure what is going on, but all of the attorneys we are interviewing are turning out to have serious emotional problems. I would not recommend hiring any of them."

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About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About LawCrossing
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

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LawCrossing Fact #186: LawCrossing has virtually the largest collection of job listings in the world.

 

Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives


Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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