The layoffs in the legal sector took the jobs of 6,000 lawyers. That was after the Crash of 2007. Each was experienced as unique private pain.
On Abovethelaw, former BigLaw lawyer, now journalist, Kathryn Rubino, recounts that unexpected reversal of fortune. She was among that 6,000. Here you can read it. And if you were part of it, you might finally start to sort all that out.
Probably at the time, you were in no shape to be analytical, find an executive coach to help you embark on career change, and emotionally cope with your entire life falling apart.
Some of you engaged in magical thinking: Those old jobs were coming back and "they" would remember you. The reality was and is, as search firms tell us, "they" don't hire you back. They hire fresh comers just out of law school or as laterals who still had jobs.
Some of you were in disbelief. How could this happen to the men and women who had made all the right moves academically and even passed the bar the first time.
Some embraced self-blame. I ran into you when I gave a speech at the New York State Bar Association on career change. You explicitly told me what you have done which you shouldn't have done on the job and which you were convinced resulted in your termination.
Some seriously considered checking out. A former eight-year associate contacted me about his suicide ideation. With all the laid-off journalists competing with me for ghostwriting/speechwriting assignments I had my own s___t. But I listened. I did not encourage his moving his family closer to Manhattan "to get a better shot at assignments." Clearly, he was finished.
As for Rubino, after a brief time of magical thinking, she went on to doc review. She developed a sixth sense about how to get, keep, and get more assignments. She wrote about that experience, under pen name "Alex Rich," for Abovethelaw. Now, she is a full-time journalist there.
That catastrophe was so bad and bloody that it was even featured on episodes of "The Good Wife." The script duly noted that even Harvard Law JDs got the boot.
Catastrophe changes you. None of the 6,000 will be the kind of human beings and professionals they were pre-layoff. Hell, post-financial meltdown I am all-business, demanding a down payment via PayPal before I start any assignment. I can smell a potential stiffer on another planet.
But, here we all are. With the possible exception of the former eight-year associate (never heard from him again) we picked up the pieces. I toyed with the idea of going to Tibet to a temple and studying to become a Buddhist nun. Pema Chodron was my role model.
Instead, I went to Tucson, Arizona. and did intense "outpatient" treatment at a meditation center. After 27 months I felt whole, something I hadn't ever been.
On September 1st of this year I resumed my professional life back east, but not in New York Metro. A spiritual guide here in western Ohio notes that the "darkness" is gone from my soul. She predicts that, if I am open to it, I could even be happy.
What is your story? If you think it would useful to share it with readers, please contact me (Jane Genova) at firstname.lastname@example.org.