There is that moment of clarity: Displaced lawyers realize they may never practice law again. That ah-ha experience could come to them on their own. Or it could dawn on them through working with a career coach.
Then comes The Next.
What they decide to try is no longer a radical experiment.
More unemployed lawyers (and even some newbie law school graduates who can't land jobs after 10 months) are taking this step. That is: Leaving the JD degree off the resume. And, not mentioning it in the cover letter and interview.
That makes practical sense in the search for a way to make a living outside the practicing-law box.
Here are 4 of the reasons why.
Employers fear lawyers. Since lawyers have the legalities down cold, there's no telling what problems they might spot in the workplace. That could trigger anything from whistleblowing to litigation.
It has been known for a long time that some landlords refuse to rent to lawyers.
Fear the lawyer is on short time. Hiring is an expensive, time-consuming process. Employers have to rule out applicants who might be looking for a port in a storm. Since many employers are unaware how glutted the legal market is they assume lawyers will only stay with the job or assignment until they can get back into law.
Advanced degrees of all kinds can increase the expectations about compensation. Employers spot a degree beyond the BA/BS and grow concerned that the salary they are offering will be resented. When I was between careers, my own career coach recommended I cut back my education on my resume to the bachelor's degree. After I took that step, the next job I applied for I got.
Concern about difficulty in retraining. Three years of law school shapes a mind a certain way. That way might not align with what employers need. Retraining can be costly and it might not be effective. Incidentally, more employers prefer to train new employees in how they do things.
In my coaching of lawyers over-50, I have found out from them that this tactic of eliminating the JD from the resume has been effective. More doors immediately opened up. That has even been true in fields such as loss prevention which seem related to law.
The ethics? That wasn't their concern. They had bills to pay.
Mature JDs who are struggling in career transition may find these 2 free books useful:
Coaching on all aspects of aging, from careers to retirement. Complimentary consultation. Sliding scale fees. Please contact aging expert Jane Genova email@example.com. Read her syndicated site https://over-50.typepad.com.