Trading Big Law challenges for entrepreneurial ones

This post first appeared on Hire an Esquire.

A year or so ago, I wrote a post for Hire an Esquire about leaving Big Law after having my first child. I observed that the billable-hour model is unworkable for many parents, and I resolved to redesign the Big Law business model in my new role as a legal designer.

What I’ve come to realize, however, is that the challenges I spoke of are more widespread than Big Law, and have many different causes—not just the billable hour. Solo and small-firm attorneys often struggle financially because they were never taught the business side of running a practice in law school. And many attorneys at mid- and large-size firms want to start their own practice—not to escape the billable hour, but to have a sense of purpose and autonomy—yet they have no idea how to leave.

Stuck at a Crossroads? Use ‘Design Thinking’ to Navigate Uncertainty

I was interviewed by Jeena Cho earlier this month for her Forbes article on using design thinking to navigate career changes. Cho asked me to explain the five stages of the design-thinking process and give examples of how the process could be used by someone who is considering making a career transition. With New Year’s resolutions on everyone’s mind, the timing of our conversation felt perfect. You can read the full article here.

Developing Leadership Skills in Today’s Legal Profession

I was quoted recently by Monique Tallon, the women’s leadership and inclusion expert, in her article How ‘Legal Tech’ Is Leveling the Field, which discusses how technology is reshaping the delivery of legal services and the legal profession as a whole.

One of the topics we touched on was the difficulty women and minorities face in navigating the path to partnership in large firms. The timing of our discussion was serendipitous, as Shape the Law is currently gearing up for a two-day event in San Francisco focused on leadership in the law. I’m sure the “leaky pipeline” will be of the topics we discuss! 

If you're interested in engaging with these issues and having honest, authentic conversations about the challenges we’re facing as rising leaders in the legal profession, I encourage you to join us for our event on January 27 & 28.