My response: â€œYou know there’s this activity called skydiving – does the trick too with a lot more fun.â€
Namby claims he won’t â€œjump out of a perfectly good airplane,â€ but I think he’s denying a parachute its destiny.
The closest things I’ve done to litigation is trial advocacy classes where the final was a mini fake trial, so I can’t say whether litigation prep or skydiving is a better adrenaline rush. But here’s the breakdown of the experiences from my perspective and based The Namby Pamby’s and The Mrs. Namby Pamby’s tweets.
I’m doing whatever I want
Amazing view from the plane and on the way down
I hope your office has a window
Handpicking my group, including inviting the awesome Peter Shankman if he’s in town
Dealing with potentially annoying coworkers, opposing counsel, and clients
The Significant Other
Can come too
Has trouble remembering what you look like
Paying for the experience
Getting paid – but how much do you really make per hour?
I could die – but it will be fast
You could be dying a slow death – due to stress, substance abuse, poor diet, etc.
I asked my legal eagle friends whether skydiving or litigation had a better rush and they agree that skydiving is better than litigation.
Mike: â€œSkydiving. I’ve done both, and there’s no comparison.â€
Chad: â€œI am going to say skydiving. After several years I began to dread litigation.Â I can’t imagine skydiving losing its appeal because the otherÂ skydivers are unprofessionalÂ poorly trained ass hats.â€
A criminal defense attorney recently told me that hearing the phrase â€œNot guiltyâ€ was better than orgasm and I get that given that that might be a live-or-death situation. However, I remain unconvinced that doing litigation prep all weekend has a better adrenaline rush than skydiving.
I got an interesting email from a friend over the weekend. He just graduated from law school and is studying for the bar. He’s also training for an ironman race. He’s been in fabulous shape for as long as I’ve known him and his preferred running outfit is teeny tiny running shorts and sneakers. He doesn’t put a shirt over his tattooed chest. When he was in school he lived near campus but now he lives downtown near the courthouses and a lot of the big law firms. He was concerned that his running attire could have a negative impact on his career if judges and lawyers saw him. He wrote to me asking for my thoughts.
I told him the same thing I tell everyone: â€œDon’t do anything in public that you wouldn’t put on the front page of the paper.â€ If you’re ok with being seen shirtless and in little shorts in the newspaper, why would you have a problem with judges and lawyers seeing you? They’re just people. And who’s to say they haven’t already seen you? Most people are so oblivious that they wouldn’t figure out that you were the shirtless guy if they met you at a professional event.
My friend’s question made me reflect on my early days as a law student. I was told that I should change my clothes, my hair, and even my sunglasses before I started law school. I took out my excess piercings and kept the tattoos on my feet covered with shoes, dark socks, and tattoo concealer. I gave all that up and was back to being 100% myself by the end of my 2L year. I was happier for it and got more professional opportunities as a result of being me instead of trying to fit the law student mold.
Why are lawyers seemingly held to a different social standard than other people? When we graduate from law school, we don’t suddenly all become interested in golf, going to tea, or smoking cigars. Lawyers should never give up their personality or interests because they’re lawyers. I see nothing wrong with a lawyer being a shirtless runner in their free time, or even something more daring like a burlesque dancer or a nudist. It’s no more shocking than any other fringe activity like having extreme religious beliefs or seeing your favorite band live in concert 33 times. As long as you’re not hurting anyone or breaking the law, let your freak flag fly!
I can see where my friend might be concerned because he doesn’t have a job lined up after the bar. Bug here’s something else to think about â€“ if you have to hide who you are to get a job, is it a job you really want? I’m not saying that you should flaunt your eccentricities, but you shouldn’t have to hide them either.
The only other advice I can offer of this topic is the wisdom that was bestowed upon me by my friend Evo Terra. He said to figure out whose opinions truly matter to you and then don’t give a shit about what anyone else thinks. It’s easier said than done, but those are definitely words to live by.
Why are you calling this new endeavor Freedom Is The New Rich?
Because freedom IS the new rich! When I talk to fellow lawyers that are unhappy in their work, it’s usually because they want more freedom in their lives, not more money. I used to think that in order to live the way I wanted to live and do work that was exciting and meaningful, I would have to get rich first. I thought that living the way I truly wanted had to wait until retirement. Living richly doesn’t require being a millionaire. It just requires making a conscious choice and strategic decisions about how you want to live your life instead of just accepting the way society says you should live.
Tell us more about the 21st Century Lawyer Teleclass.
It’s a 4-week teleclass that will consist of 4 one-hour class sessions, followed by Q & A. The classes will take place Wednesday evenings from October 5th-26th and participants can attend class via the web or phone. All of the classes will be recorded and made available on the course website immediately so those who aren’t available at the specified time will still be able to participate. All participants will also receive the 21st Century Lawyer Virtual Law Office Guide, which is chock full of resources that will help participants create their own VLO. The introductory price is $147 and from now until September 26 at midnight, I’m offering early enrollment for just $97.
What is the purpose of this teleclass?
Each class will begin with a practical, informative lecture on that week’s topic. After each lecture there will be a class survey where participants answer a few relevant questions and then a class discussion with audience participation will take place where we will sort through the relevant questions and deal with participant fears. By the end of the class, participants will have a complete action plan for creating their own VLO that allows them to practice the type of law they want for the kind of clients they want, and that is designed to fit the way they want to live as well.
Who should take this teleclass?Â
Any lawyer or soon-to-be lawyer who is not content with the status quo, who understands that the legal marketplace has changed and knows there is a way to have their ideal lifestyle while practicing law the way they always wanted.
What types of resources will participants receive as a result of participating in this class?
Participants will learn how to quiet their fears about living their ideal lifestyle, how to identify what their ideal lifestyle truly is, how to create a financial plan to start a VLO and support their ideal life, how to create a profitable VLO in a desired niche area and how to obtain a steady flow of desired clients. They will also receive resources needed to start a profitable VLO including information on different types of technology, how to create a VLO website, complying with ethics requirements, creating sources of passive income and much more!
What are the benefits of having a VLO compared to a traditional law firm?
A VLO can be operated for far less than the cost of running a traditional law office. The technology allows lawyers to serve their clients securely from anywhere. Additionally, an online-based practice has a presence throughout the states in which the attorney is barred, rather than in just their local community. That means they have a greater potential client pool than most traditional law offices. Other benefits include offering convenience and affordability to clients. Offering unbundled legal services allows clients to purchase only the services that they need from you instead of mandatory full representation, which allows clients who can’t afford high hourly rates to obtain legal services.
What’s your response to lawyers who claim that no one has enough expertise to be a solo attorney right out of law school?
There is a quote that says, “Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.â€ Furthermore, going solo right out of law school is not a new concept. Jay Foonberg, an award-winning lawyer and author of the classic, â€˜How to Start & Build a Law Practice,’ not only believes it’s possible to go solo out of law school but also recommends it! Abraham Lincoln also advised young lawyers to go solo. He said, â€œAlways bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.â€ A lawyer who studies, has mentors and gives each case his or her all, is not likely to fail.Â In fact, any young lawyer who doubts their expertise should spend a day at the courthouse. You’ll be shocked at how obviously terrible some very experienced attorneys really are. Experience alone does not determine your ability to practice law.
Participants can register for 21st Century Lawyer: Lifestyle Design with a Virtual Law Office starting on Tuesday, September 20, 2011. Early registration is $97 until September 26th and then the price goes up to $147.
This sounds like a great opportunity for any law graduate or attorney who is ready to go solo and have the freedom to have the career they’ve always wanted.