EP 247: Discussing their New Book How to Leave the Law, with co-authors Liz Brown & Amy Impellizzeri
Liz Brown, a lawyer turned business professor, and Amy Impellizzeri, litigator turned novelist, are the co-authors of How to Leave the Law, a guidebook for lawyers considering a career change, that was released September 6, 2022. Listen in as we speak with Liz and Amy about their individual career paths, their new book and the many examples of career pivots it features, plus strategies for career transition that are relevant for non-lawyers too.
Carol Fishman Cohen: Welcome to 3, 2, 1 iRelaunch, the podcast where we discuss return to work strategies, advice, and success stories. I'm Carol Fishman Cohen, CEO and co-founder of iRelaunch and your host. Before we get started, I want to remind our listeners who are actively relaunching to make sure to register and upload your resume to our iRelaunch Job Board. Employers looking to hire relaunchers regularly peruse our Job Board for candidates for their career reentry jobs and programs. Right, now for our podcast conversation. Today, we welcome Liz Brown and Amy Impellizzeri. Liz, a lawyer turned business professor, and Amy, litigator turned novelists are the co-authors of How to Leave the Law, a guidebook for lawyers considering a career change that is being released today. And in this episode, we speak with Liz and Amy about their individual career paths, their new book, and the support it provides for people interested in career pivots. Liz and Amy, welcome to 3,2,1 iRelaunch.
Liz Brown: Thank you. It's so great to be here.
Amy Impellizzeri: Thank you so much, Carol. It's a total honor, thank you.
Carol Fishman Cohen: Well, it's so wonderful to be speaking to both of you together, having known each of you separately for a long time and also through your career relaunches, through the publishing of Liz, your book and Amy, a number of your books. It's really exciting to all come together and have this conversation.
So I'm wondering if we can start, Amy, maybe with you about, I'd like each of you to share your individual career journey.
Amy Impellizzeri: So I was a lawyer for, practicing lawyer for about 15 years. I started my career in Washington, DC. I was a clerk for the Court of Federal Claims, working on vaccine injury claims. And then I moved to the New York area and I worked as a litigator for another 13 years, including a decade at Skadden Arps and survived barely. I took what was supposed to be a one year sabbatical in 2009 and I am still on it, but not really. I'm not on the sabbatical anymore, but I used to always say that for a long time.
But one of the first things I did on my sabbatical, I was doing freelance writing and I was working for a startup company, and I was doing a variety of things to make my sabbatical productive. And one of the first things I did was cover an iRelaunch conference. And that's where I met you, Carol. And it was a pivotal moment in my journey because I was there as an observer.
But I quickly realized what an important, what an important intentional thing it would be to make sure that my time away from the law was productive and important and intentional, like I said. So, that was, that really informed a lot of what happened afterwards. I eventually went to work for a startup company full time.
And while I was working on a book on the side, as a very secret project, and then I started saying it out loud. And I got two book contracts within a few months of each other, one for what became my first novel Lemongrass Hope, and one from the American Bar Association for a non-fiction book called Lawyer Interrupted.
And, that was all she wrote. I switched to becoming a full-time writer, and I cannot believe this is a little bit of a pinch me moment here, because I can't believe I'm here with two of my favorite people talking about my second non-fiction book, How to Leave the Law.
Carol Fishman Cohen: Very exciting.
Thanks Amy. Liz, what about you?
Liz Brown: Well, I am like Amy. I was in private practice for a long time. I was a litigator for 13 years first in London, and then for 10 years in the Bay area. And as a litigator, I was representing big companies doing mostly patent litigation, which was really fun until it wasn't. And after several years of enjoying fighting with people, when I started to not like fighting with people anymore, as a litigator, I didn't see very many options.
So I just kept going up and I thought if I make partner it'll, everything will be better. And it really wasn't. So after I made partner, I got increasingly desperate and started looking around for ways out. And it was very difficult to think about what alternatives there might be that I could pursue without looking to the people around me like a failure. And that really worried me back then. This is around 2008 . And so I eventually just on on a whim, the whim was, my daughter was born. I left my partnership and had no real plan for what I was gonna do next. I took some time off. I went to through an amazing program at Bentley University for mothers who had taken time off.
And that's where I met you, Carol. And you gave this really inspiring speech that I remember to this day. I remember what room we were in and what you said, and it made a huge difference in my life. At that same program, somebody took me aside and said, have you ever thought about teaching law?
And I thought that was the worst idea I had ever heard, cause I had just spent so long trying to get myself away from lawyers. But she was talking about teaching law to business students. She gave me an opportunity to teach as an adjunct. I loved it immediately, but couldn't figure out how to make that into a full-time gig.
And it took me about two years to turn that into a full-time gig. And that's what I do now. I am a business law professor at Bentley University, and I love my job. I am also now on sabbatical this year and I'm about to go leave to teach in Paris for a year. So it's really not that bad. But it's, and in the process of figuring out how to do my career pivot, I learned so much from talking to former lawyers that I wrote a book about it in 2013, called Life after Law: Finding Work You Love with the JD You Have.
And that's how I met Amy. And I'm really excited that we've been able to work together on how to leave the law.
Carol Fishman Cohen: Wow. Well, you know, as you both are speaking, all of this past is flashing before me and Amy, I remember Skadden had that program called Sidebar, right? And that's where you could leave, I think from one to five years and then come back.
And, that was, I don't think that program exists anymore, but I remember when you took that first step and pretty much we were in touch and followed your career steps all the way through. And Liz I'm vividly remembering you in the Bentley program. when I know I was speaking, and I know you were a participant and I remember being particularly struck by your career path, and just have followed your journey. And you're tenured at Bentley now, which is pretty amazing. So both of you have such vivid and compelling lived experiences in terms of pursuing alternate pathways in the law in addition to each have written a book about it, and now you've come together to write the most fabulous, amazing book on it, How to Leave the Law. And, it's really exciting to be talking about it.
And the fact that both of you are together as the authors, is making this book extremely powerful in terms of advice and examples. So, really excited for the public to be able to benefit from it. All right. Let me skip forward to, how did the two of you connect? Liz, can you walk us through that? And then how did you decide to write the book together after you each had already written books on the topic?
Liz Brown: Well, we first met back in, I think 2013-14, somewhere around there. It was just after my book came out and it was just before Amy's book came out. And, I had the great honor of being asked to write the forward for Lawyer Interrupted.
Amy Impellizzeri: I was gonna say, I had the great audacity to ask reach out and ask her to do that.
Liz Brown: It was so exciting that the American Bar Association had had this amazing writer who was creating this guide for lawyers who wanted to take a break or make a change or do something different. So it was just a joy to be able to write that introduction. I think it was a couple more years before Amy and I ever actually met in person.
I think I should actually count on one hand the times Amy and I have met in person to this day, which is my great sadness, but it's also a joy that we get to still have such a great working relationship, miracles of technology that exists.
Carol Fishman Cohen: Wow. I do think it's, it is, really saying something that the legal professional association was the one that was behind a book talking about career paths in the law, really acknowledging that there, there are lots of different ways to use a legal degree.
So that in itself is an interesting side fact. Also I'm thinking about, Vivian Steir Rabin and I, and the book we wrote together, which was long time ago, came out in 2007 and we had not met each other when we decided to write the book together. We had never met in person and we didn't have zoom. We didn't have the same kinds of ways to connect. It was back, I think in 2004, we got our book contract and a couple years before that we were talking about it. So had a very similar experience in terms of co-authorship.
So, take us, Amy, take us through this process of how did you and Liz work together and figure out what you wanted to write and who was gonna do what, and, just how did it happen?
Amy Impellizzeri: Yeah, it was so organic from the beginning, because after Lawyer Interrupted came out, and I did, I did have some audacity, there's a lesson to be learned here about reaching out to Liz Brown and asking her to read my book and write the forward.
And then, afterwards I would do, I'd go to Bar conferences and CLE meetings, and I would meet lawyers and would-be lawyers interrupted and transitional lawyers. And Liz and I kept in touch over the years and talked about our respective meeting of those people out in the world, because Liz was obviously doing the conference circuit and was, and we weren't, we were circling around each other, but we weren't doing the same conferences. So we'd come back to each other and compare notes, and this is going on and this has changed. And one of the biggest changes over the last couple of years has been the growth of the coaching industry, lawyers turned coaches, which was something that didn't exist at the time either one of us wrote our books. And so we just started talking more and more about how much more research there is, how much more, how many more fingers there were in this field, but nobody was bringing it together, and it was still very scattered. There was more information, but it was scattered all over the place.
And we, it became really interesting and important to both of us to try to harness it together, to do a new book. And we just started talking about what if we did it together? And I've never co-authored a book before. I didn't know what that would look like, but was immediately enthusiastic to do it with Liz.
And so after we, we pitched it, and Wyatt Mackenzie, who is actually my fiction publisher, signed on to, to take on this project. And then it was after that, that Liz and I actually sat down in person. I still remember the first time I met Liz in person. It was at a coffee shop in Boston, and we sat down and talked about how this was gonna work.
And we started mapping out, we had pitched a table of contents, but we started revamping that and we started just looking at, okay, what will, what would this look like? And by the way, we signed the contract two months before, we signed the contract in January or February of 2020. So we all know what happened a few months later.
So then the scope of the book changed, and actually increased dramatically. And so we, we talked a lot about. And then we literally sat, took, wrote our initials next to chapters. You take this one, you take this one. And then at the end of all that, then we also, we just worked on synthesizing it so that it really, I don't, I would challenge anybody to there's some chapters that you probably will be able to navigate, which academic wrote more of those chapters. But I think really you'll see the book is really a synthesis of the two of us, and the research and the interviews that, that both of us did.
It was a lot, it was a long time coming, a lot of work. I can't believe it's finally out today. I'm excited about it, but yeah, it was a completely organic process from beginning to end, from my point of view.
Carol Fishman Cohen: I can't think of two better people to write this book and I wanna get into some of the contents of the book now and the advice.
So Liz, can you start us out and maybe talk about when someone's at the beginning of the process, they're in their legal career, they're thinking about a career change. Even if they're not a lawyer, I'm betting there's advice here for people that applies to people outside the law too. But what should the first steps be?
Liz Brown: You're absolutely right. That there's advice here for everybody. The first step is to be proud of yourself for even thinking about it, because that is the hardest thing, is to contemplate a major change, especially when there is no one size fits all blueprint for everybody. There's some general advice that you and iRelaunch are amazing at distilling, but for everybody the journey's gonna look a little different and that is okay.
And that is a great and wonderful thing, because what that means is everybody who is thinking about making a change can focus on what brings them the most joy. And we would say that the first thing to identify is not so much what you hate about your job, but what you like about your life and what skills you like using and what makes you happy?
Because the overall goal is to, and this is truly realistic, enjoy what you get paid to do. And for a lot of people, that's not how they grow up, that they grew up thinking about work. That's certainly not how I grew up thinking about work. I grew up thinking about work as something you're supposed to do so that you can then go have fun.
But actually, it is entirely possible to make a career pivot that uses more of where you can use more of the skills that you enjoy using that you're naturally good at. Because we all have talents, we all have God given talents. Just some of us aren't in the place professionally where we get to make the most of them.
Carol Fishman Cohen:
Yeah. There's a lot there and I'm thinking it flows into the next question I have, and Amy, if I can ask you to answer this, I guess the next step would be, is it realistic? How do I know if making a career change is really right and how do I begin to chart that new course forward?
Amy Impellizzeri: So I always tell would-be transitioning lawyers to do two things at the outset. One is to say it out loud, which is something that I learned, I told you I was working on a secret book, and it wasn't until I started saying that out loud that I, that I really, one people held me accountable, cause some people are like, oh, what's going on with that book you're working on? But also I started realizing that there were opportunities that I would've missed if I didn't say it out loud. So I met future editors and I met people, started networking informally long before the book was even a real thing.
And so I think, and I tell would-be transitioning lawyers the same thing, say it out loud, say it out loud at a cocktail party, say it out loud on the sidelines of the kids' soccer games, because you just never know when you are talking with someone who knows somebody who transitioned from the law, who is a transitioning lawyer.
And then coupled with that, I also tell lawyers who are our favorite risk averse people, to try to do it on the side, to try something out on the side. And you can join a board. You can volunteer. People are always looking for free time from lawyers. I'm not suggesting that you practice law for free or you practice law on the side, but I am an advocate for trying things out on the side, and dipping your foot in the dipping, your toe in the water of different fields, talking with people about different career paths that are interesting to you because the point of our research and the book is that the JD is one of the most versatile degrees.
And the idea that you have to use it in the way you have always used it is just false. But you won't realize that, you won't know that until you try to spread your wings a little bit. And how best to spread your wings without really falling on your face is to try it out on the side in small increments.
Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah, that's a great point.
Liz Brown: Can I add to that?
Carol Fishman Cohen: Yes, please. Liz.
Liz Brown: So, I absolutely agree with everything that Amy just said, and I will add that one of the things lawyers are trained to do after they leave law school is they're trained to do research. And especially if they're litigators, they're trained to ask questions.
So using your research skills and your question asking skills, which may be up until now, you've only used in depositions, is really important in doing what Amy just said, exploring other opportunities, listening to people, talking to people about their experiences. It's something we already know how to do.
And it's extremely rewarding. Now, something lawyers are really bad at is asking for help, because in a lot of law firms you're trained to be self-sufficient even when you're really not ready to be. But that's where you do need to change I think a little bit, when you're thinking about career alternatives. Ask other people for ideas, not in the form of, I hate practicing law. What else should I do? But in the form of, I'm thinking about making a change, what do you think I'm good at? Not what job should I have, but what do you think my strengths are? Or do you know anybody else who's left the who's left the law?
That was really helpful for me because I had no idea what I wanted to do. And it was by having those exploratory conversations by saying it out loud, as Amy says, that led me toward what was in the end, a really productive career change.
Carol Fishman Cohen: Yes, you're both touching on a few points. I just want to both highlight and perhaps get your reactions to. Financial concerns, the idea that you're saying, do this as a side gig, we will sometimes say more broadly, don't quit your J job while you're doing this investigating. It sounds like you're suggesting something along those lines. And then the other piece is that, it's something you mentioned in your introduction, Liz, and I'm, and I hear it a lot really across fields, but I can see it especially in certain professions, like the law, where you went to law school and you made that investment.
It's, what is everyone gonna think? People being worried about what other people are gonna think if they have been progressing along in a more traditional legal career and then walking away from it. And you have to have a pretty strong sense of self at a time when you may be feeling very vulnerable.
Liz Brown: Yeah, I think that's true. And it's helpful to think about, for me, it was helpful to think about, what are they really concerned about? 'Cause different groups of people are gonna have different concerns. For my parents, I was a little worried that they were gonna think that I was a failure. I was disappointing them. They were so excited about the whole law school thing. They were still waiting for the Supreme Court to happen. And what I realized now is they just wanted me to be happy. . And once I could explain to them that I had truly invested a lot of time and effort into this one particular career path that was making me miserable, they were supportive of the career path. And then there's the people around you who are also unhappy and feel challenged by your decision to consider something else.
And, for those people, I would say, you can be a role model to them. You just have to have faith in what you know about yourself. And if you know, or you think that you might wanna make a change, you owe it to yourself to investigate that, to explore it, you will be a much happier person, a better parent, a better partner, a better friend, if you can find professional ground to stand on, that feels better to you. That feels more solid.
Carol Fishman Cohen: When you were talking to, both of you are such great examples of what's possible, but when you're doing the research for your book and you're talking to so many different lawyers who went on all these different paths, did you find that some of, that they tended to gravitate even thematically toward different type, particular types of alternate careers or was it all over the map, Amy?
Amy Impellizzeri: So, you know, what's interesting? They are all over the map. What they do have in common is that they stopped telling themselves the same story that we are always telling ourselves.
And this goes along with what Liz was saying, we, I tell this story, my last day before I took my sabbatical from Skadden, all of the sabbatical goers were gathered in a conference room for lunch, and one of the partners stood up and said, go be well, enjoy your year, and come back at the end of the year, rejuvenated and refreshed and bring back all your experiences.
I know you'll be back. And the reason you will be back is because the brightest most interesting, most incredible people you're ever going to meet are right here in this building. And I remember thinking, dear God, please let that not be true. But my point is that we, and there were, and everybody was nodding, drinking the KoolAid. And the thing is, we are the ones telling ourselves that our whole identity is tied up with being lawyers and being, this idea that this is all there is. We're the ones telling ourselves that. And the successful transitioning lawyers are the ones that changed the story, who started looking outward, who started saying who, what other interesting people are out there?
Who are those people? And how do I be, how do I become a different, how do I use my skill set in a different world that is interesting and fulfills a passion for myself and creativity. I am shocked. I was shocked in the beginning of transitioning to learn how many lawyers transitioned to creative fields.
I was telling myself the story for a long time. Skadden was in the same building as the Vogue offices. And I can remember standing in the, I can remember standing in the lobby every morning, watching the beautiful people go one way and the lawyers go the other way and thinking those two do not merge. And I have learned since leaving the law that lots and lots of beautiful people were lawyers once. And and I mean that in all the ways, right? So I do find that lawyers, the law attracts creative people and doesn't always give them an outlet. And so I do think there is a lot of migration to creative fields, and I include entrepreneurs in that category.
But I mean it when I say there are, and when you read Liz's book Life after Law, and when you read How to Leave the Law, you will see a lot of different, I think really different inspirational people.
Carol Fishman Cohen: It brings me to my next question. Liz, you had talked about how it took you a couple of years to try to figure out which, what direction you're going to go in or is there a way to turn that adjunct teaching position into something else? And what would that be? Can you talk a little bit about the timeline that people follow when they're making these decisions?
Do you find, does it range from, what's the range? And is there a typical amount of time?
Liz Brown: I don't think there's a typical amount of time. I think it ranges tremendously and people's financial situations are sometimes harder to change than others. If you've got a mortgage, if you've got a commitment to some private school tuition, then the time that you have to turn the ship might be a little longer than for somebody who has fewer commitments. I had fewer commitments financially, but I had a tiny baby at the time, and I really didn't know how to go about it, how to go about figuring out what my next career was. So, it took me some time and I'm really glad that I took that time.
I think baby steps are so much better than no steps. Because even baby steps will take you in a different direction from the one that you're in and something I truly believe is that you do not need to see the entire path ahead of you to start taking the first step down it, because once you do something as simple as telling yourself you're gonna make a change, or saying it out loud, or telling your friends, I'm thinking about doing something different.
It is just amazing how resources appear. People will suggest somebody else for you to talk to somebody else for you to have coffee with another conversation to have. And those will eventually lead you toward more information. It's better to take longer and make the right decision.
Amy Impellizzeri: Don't hurry it along.
Carol Fishman Cohen: Exactly, and, I love this concept of baby steps. And Amy, I'm wondering if you could comment on that, maybe not only from your own experience, but what you found in the research, you mentioned saying out loud, that can feel sometimes very risky to people. And so maybe talking a little bit about how you get yourself over the hesitation and the nervousness about saying it out loud and then maybe some examples of baby steps.
Amy Impellizzeri: Yeah. And I think it's true, right? Because certainly, lawyers are afraid to let anybody in their immediate surroundings, their workplace surroundings know that they're even thinking about leaving the law. That's like such a, still such a taboo subject and you can't hold webinars that are not anonymous for transitioning lawyers. And I've run into this a lot with webinars that we've offered for CLE classes and things. We have to take a lot of precautions so that everyone can feel anonymous and feel that they can, if they need that safe space.
So I'm very empathetic to that, and I remember that very well. And so the kind of baby steps that I think work well when you're still in that infancy stage are things like, things that look lawyerly. So things like joining a board, volunteering for a nonprofit group, bringing pro maybe signing onto a pro bono for pro bono work that's with a nonprofit group or some other group that you are really trying to investigate, how does this even work?
Get to know the person who started the group and the entrepreneurial spirit behind it. So things that are sort of lawyer adjacent, but can lead to networking beyond that. And I also think it's really important to not wait. So the baby steps, there's always gonna be a reason.
There's always, there's never a perfect time and there's always gonna be financial limitations, family limitations, personal limitations, but if you say to yourself, I'm gonna wait for everything to be perfect. I'm gonna wait for all those challenges to go away. And then I'm gonna start my baby steps.
It's a much more, it's just a much harder climb, right? So just instead, take those baby steps, however small they can be, even now just find out the small things that you can carve out. We talk about just taking Saturday mornings off. I realized taking Saturday, every Saturday off might be a really hard sell for lawyers, some lawyers, but you know, take a Saturday morning off now and then. Think, reflect, meditate, take a moment to really reflect on, on, on those things that you can do on the side that will move the needle in small ways now, so that by the time you're an empty nester or by the time you're a student loans are paid off or by the time your other challenges are lessened, not removed, you'll be in, you'll be that much further along in the journey. .
Liz Brown: And one thing that has changed that certainly since we wrote our first books about the legal profession, one thing that has dramatically changed among law firms is that more law firms are supportive of the idea of career transitions now than they were eight or 10 years ago. So if you are in a law firm, in a larger law firm, you might wanna look around and see if there are any programs that have been set up, because whereas leaving the law used to be a taboo subject in big law firms. There is a growing recognition that some many brilliant, talented lawyers would be happier doing something else.
And it's in the law firm's best interest to help them figure that out rather than shaming them or making them feel like they have to hide that interest in exploring alternatives.
Carol Fishman Cohen: That's huge. And that shame feature like a lot of hesitation about career transition in general, and also prolong job searches sometimes when people make the change, because they've already left their prior career, that piece can be really difficult. I'm actually thank you for mentioning that. We're gonna wrap up now. There's one question I wanted to ask, and maybe both of you could comment on this.
But I'm wondering when you did the research and you spoke to lawyers who are now doing something else, when they made the change and it became public, were they inundated with other people from their law firm or their prior legal career coming to them and saying, how did you do this? Did any of them comment on that?
Amy Impellizzeri: Yeah, it's true. I think two things, first of all, I think transitioning lawyers are among the most generous people I've ever met. So once they get to the other side, they can't wait to welcome more to the other side. So they're a great source of information and yeah, I think, a lot of people expressed that to us, that the exit has really brought people out of the woodwork, people that they didn't even understand were unhappy or looking, maybe everybody could have bonded together and helped each other, needed someone to forge the way.
Yeah, I've talked a lot about how the only demographic that I've ever talked to that expresses regret in transitioning is a very specific demographic. And we talk about this a lot in the book too. And the book is for this demographic as well, and it's people, largely women, who leave the law to become full-time caregivers, not caregivers alongside some other venture, but to become full-time caregivers because they have often been pushed out prematurely.
And we talk a lot about that in the book, and this book is for them as well. But, but other than that demographic, I've never talked to a transitioning lawyer who didn't say that they wished they had done it sooner or that they were, or even if they admit that they left on the exit ramp at the exact right time for them, that they have expressed no regrets.
Liz Brown: Yeah, I would agree with that. I also have never met a former lawyer other than one who went to full-time caregiving, maybe partly against their will. Other than that, I've never met a lawyer who regretted making that career transition. And when you think about that, that's huge.
And with regard to people coming forward and saying, oh, I wish I'd, known that, or I wish I'd done that sooner, when I teach business law classes, I always encourage my students, if you've got a question and you're thinking about asking it, you should ask it because think about the other people in the room who probably have the same question, you're asking it for them.
And I think that the same dynamic is very true in law firms where you have, the minute somebody raises their hand and says, okay, I'm leaving. You have five people who are waiting outside their office wanting to have a closed door conversation about how they made that happen. . So if you are thinking about making a transition, think about all the other people who are probably thinking the same thing, and that should encourage you to go forward. But even if you're just the only one, you still owe it to yourself to be happy.
Carol Fishman Cohen: You know, I also want to take a moment here to acknowledge lawyers who do stay in their profession and have an incredible career.
And we have plenty of relaunching lawyers who go on to do other things, but we also have plenty of relaunching lawyers who go back to the law, in one capacity or another. Or else, people who are not relauncher who stay in the profession. So I think I thought it might be appropriate to acknowledge that there are plenty of really, challenging, compelling, legal careers.
Liz Brown: Oh, absolutely. And one of the things we talk about in the book is how to figure out whether what you really need is to stay in your law firm or stay in law practice, but just make some kind of a shift within that practice. For a lot of people, that's a great way to go. And we certainly encourage that, we've discussed that quite a lot in How to Leave the Law.
Carol Fishman Cohen: I like that. I think that's super interesting, because the different areas of law are so different from each other. And also we do know some lawyers who left the actual practice, but they moved into some sort of administrative role. They're doing learning and development, some sort of training or something involved in recruiting or something involved in managing the operations of the firm. So that's interesting too. I wanna ask both of you the question we ask all of our podcast guests at the end of the podcast, and that is what is your best piece of advice for our relauncher audience, even if it's something that we've already talked about today?
Amy Impellizzeri: I joke that when I do conferences, people always, would-be lawyers always come up to me and say, how do I quit my job and write a book? And so I always tell them, don't do that. That's my first piece of advice. Don't quit your job and write a book. But you could start it on the side like I did.
And that is my biggest piece of advice, is explore, cultivate. One thing we don't do as lawyers is cultivate our own personal interests and our own personal hobbies, reclaim your own voice. I spent a long time believing that to be a lawyer I had to give up my own voice and only write in adopt my client's voices.
And while professionally that's good advice, personally, it's not great advice. So make sure that you are on the side, cultivating your own voice, your own interest, your own hobbies. Pursue those on the side. Start there, figure out what makes you happy. Because as Liz said, the idea really is to figure out what you would do for free, what is what it is that makes you happy that you would do for free, and then figure out a way to not do it for free. But I think it's really important to find out what are those things that really make you happy? What are those things that you're passionate about? And how can you start pivoting to use your JD to pursue those passions and those things? Yeah.
Carol Fishman Cohen: Got it. Liz?
Liz Brown: All right, I'm gonna go a little dark here. I'm gonna say my best advice is to write your obituary the way you think, write two of them, write one the way you think your obituary would end up if you don't make any changes. And then write your good obituary, write what you want to have done with your life.
What do you want people to have said about you? What do you want to have done at the end of everything? That could be really inspiring. That is, I will tell you that's actually how I ended up writing my first book, because when I thought about my life overall, and I thought, what I want my life to stand for, I was reading a lot of Victor Frankel and just going like way too deep in my misery back then. I thought about, I'd really like to have written a book, all those lawyers come up to Amy and say that. So I did it and I am really glad that I did. And a lot of things in my life where I've been like, not sure if I should do this. I think about the obituary exercise, which is a really powerful thing to do.
Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah, for sure. Liz, before we sign off, can you tell us where our listeners can purchase or find How to Leave the Law?
Liz Brown: You can get How to Leave the Law by Liz Brown and Amy Impellizzeri on Amazon and at Barnes&Noble.com.
Carol Fishman Cohen: Wonderful. Thank you.
Amy Impellizzeri: I. Will just add that it's available on Kindle unlimited for free right now, I've just noticed. So if you're a Kindle unlimited subscriber, you can get how to leave the law. You can download it for free.
Carol Fishman Cohen: And just so you know, we're having this conversation right when the book is being launched, which is in September, September 6th, 2022.
So depending when you're listening to this, that might or might not be the case, but I'm glad you mentioned it now, Amy. Thank you to both of you. This was a real treat.
Liz Brown: Thank you so much. It's a joy to be with you.
Amy Impellizzeri: Thank you Carol.
Carol Fishman Cohen: And thanks for listening to 3,2,1 iRelaunch the podcast where we discuss return to work strategies, advice, and success stories.
I'm Carol Fishman Cohen, CEO, and co-founder of iRelaunch and your host. For those listeners who are actively relaunching, make sure to register and upload your resume to our iRelaunch Job Board, where employers are looking to hire relaunchers, and are regularly perusing the Job Board for candidates for their career reentry jobs and programs. And be sure to visit iRelaunch.Com to access our many return to work tools and resources, and to sign up for our mailing list so you can receive our weekly return to work report, featuring opportunities for relaunchers.
Thanks so much for joining us.