Feeling ‘Trapped?’ A Common Pitfall of Our Profession and How to Overcome It

Young lawyers often feel overwhelmed in a profession known for strict deadlines and demanding bosses and clients. Often rewarded for always saying yes to additional work, young attorneys often have to question whether their workload is sustainable. 

The law career is known as a stressful career choice, but young attorneys should be honest with themselves on whether they dread going into work every day, or whether they feel trapped in their jobs. They should evaluate whether enforcing boundaries will result in unprofessional retaliation from superiors at the firm.  Certain habits throughout a young attorney’s career can help break them out of feeling trapped at an unhappy workplace environment:

Keep in touch with your classmates from law school. Fostering a good relationship with colleagues, mentors, mentees, can create a safety net of people throughout your career. 

Do not let the fear of leaving keep you in a job. If you know you want to leave, pursue other opportunities with discretion.

-Try to leave on good terms.  Once you’ve found a new job, or secured finances to take time off, provide notice to your employer and leave on good terms.

-Leaving a bad situation is worth the risk.  Some attorneys have switched fields or firms in pursuit of a better work-life balance, which is not always guaranteed, but the risk is worth it.

The Young Lawyer Editorial Board members are: Jeremy Abay, Adesola Adegbesan, Leigh Ann Benson, (chair); Raphael Castro, Desjenee Davis, Kiersty DeGroote, Chintan Desai, Sarah Dooley, Danielle Dwyer, Kyle Garabedian, Melissa Hazell Davis, Jamie Inferrera, Megan Kelleher, Anthony Knapp, Benjamin Lehman, Monica Matias, Leslie Minora, Shane Simon, David Singh, Leah Tedford and Zachary Torres-Fowler.

Are you interested in learning more from The Young Lawyer Editorial Board? Read more in this law.com article.

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