Finding the right niche can be hard for attorneys, who often feel “overworked and overwhelmed,” career coach Dena Lefkowitz writes in Winning in Your Own Court. Here, she shares ten laws that helped her find the right legal career path and could help other lawyers as well.
Leftkowitz experienced burnout when she worked as a civil litigator in private practice. Eventually, with help from a career coach, she quit private practice to take various government law jobs that satisfied her love for supporting kids in education. She also found other fulfilling jobs by exercising ten of her own “laws,” which she shares here.
The first two concern self-assessment: using tools such as the Hogan Personality Inventory to understand what types of jobs would be a good fit. She then encourages research through networking and online resources, such as Glassdoor, to discern what jobs might align with ones’ personal and professional goals.
The third law stresses not “doubling down on past decisions,” meaning reverting to the status quo instead of changing for fear of losing ground (salary, relationships, social status). Remaining laws focus on curating a powerful image for self-marketing, developing soft skills such as emotional intelligence, and more.
These laws sometimes overlap, making the latter chapters feel repetitive. Additionally, Lefkowitz’s suggestions will feel familiar to anyone who has consulted books to help them re-align their job situation. For example, she urges readers to create the right mindset for change—a tip found in countless self-help books.
Nonetheless, her voice is reassuring, and as she shares the anxieties and mindsets her clients bring to their coaching session, she comes from a “been there done that” stance that reflects her empathy and understanding of what lawyers face when considering a career change.
Lawyers struggling with career choices will appreciate Lefkowitz’s advice and her stories of others in similar situations. Indeed, anyone dissatisfied with their current job, regardless of the sector, will find solid, if well-worn, advice here.