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Should I Quit Practice As A Lawyer?

Dear forum users, I need your candid professional advise. I have come at a crossroads and I am in a deep fix right now. I have come at this point in my life where I do not know which way to go anymore. I am a lawyer but practice in the Eastern Nigeria has been nothing to write home about. We toil for no pay at all. I really do not know if I should look for other kinds of corporate jobs or should I stay put? Pressures are really much from my family, especially from my dad who wants me to remain. But I sincerely do not wish to further with practise as a lawyer. Please somebody should advise me. I do not know what to do next. I really am not getting any younger. i need money to settle and start a family of my own. What's your opinion?

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6 answers

Fantastik,

You are most welcome.

We are all here to help each other as Nairalanders.  Just take your time to decide and you would be fine.

kiwi992.

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Hi Kiwi,

To be honest, this is what I call counselling. I really I cannot thank you enough on this. I have to go over this time and again before, God help me, I can make a decision. Thanks again. I will get back to you.

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Mate,

Firstly, I'm most sorry to hear about your plight, especially after investing so much of your time, energy and money in your career.  Still, I don't think the future is as bleak as it seems.  There's always a way out - just be strong.

As it stands, you said you aren't happy being a Solicitor because of the pittance you get paid.  Right?  So, I take it that you really enjoy your job and look forward to going to work everyday, but for the low pay, yeah?

The questions that I would like to ask you are these:

a)  what motivates you at this stage of your life - money, job satisfaction or participation?

b)  what is it about your job as a Solicitor that you could honestly say that you like most?

c)  what would you say that you dislike the most about your job?

d)  if the pay were good, would you be happy to remain in the legal profession?

Please answer these questions as honestly as you can because they are very important in determining the real source of your unhappiness.

Assuming that you have honestly answered those four questions, my next question is:

e)  what else can you do, other than practising as a Solicitor?

I mean which other skills have you got?  In this day and age, it's always good to have two professions, using one as a backup, just in case the other doesn't work out right.  Indeed, that's my advice to all and sundry in Nairaland.

 

My advice to you is as follows:

1.  Never, ever, jack in your legal profession until you've found a suitable employment.  This is so important to remember because the last thing that you wish to do is to find yourself out of a job.  That would be a suicidal move, if you see what I mean.

2.  Think most carefully about the other options that are open to you as a Solicitor.  The idea is to capitalise on your existing skills so that re-training doesn't become a painful experience for you.  Things like Conveyancing - is that any use to you?  Re-training into other branches of the law such as Personal Injury Law, Environmental Law, Company Law or Land Law - are they any use to you?  You could always study part-time, if you wanted.  You ought to think about all these options before jumping ship. 

As an Environmental Lawyer, you could always be called upon to take the oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to court, or indeed, defend them (defend the oil companies?  - may God help you - because you would be in my black book!).  Indeed, you could go to the Niger Delta and canvass the different towns for that type of work, especially for the environmental pollution.  One advice from me about this - never be greedy because you'll shoot yourself in the foot.  Having said that, Personal Injury Law is big out here in the UK and USA.   

3.  How about privately coaching students for the various UK law degrees?  They'll surely pay you if they need to be taught well to pass their LLB Laws exams.  I'm sure they would, wouldn't they?  This could be an extra source of income for you.

4.  If you really want to abandon the legal profession, try and network in this Forum and other places.  Tell your friends in industry about your plight.  Never be shy because if you don't say it, nobody would know about your situation.  Ask them to please put you in touch with friends of their friends and to be on the look-out for you.  Tell them that you are desperate to change jobs and that you would be most grateful if they could help you.  Talk to your mates from school, college or uni.  Friends of your father's, uncles, cousins, ex-girlfriends and so on.  Never be shy about it because anybody could find themselves in similar situation.  This is called social networking.  It's not what you know but who you know, so, you MUST network at all times and never ever isolate yourself from others.  If you see what I mean.  It happens even over here in the UK.     

5.  Lastly, do remember that if you go into a different profession, you'll be starting afresh - from the bottom of the ladder, so to speak.  Are you prepared for that?  You'll be the general dog's body, purely and simply because you are a newbie.  That could be really hard for you to swallow, I'm sure that you know it.

Just to say that personally, I wouldn't let anybody put me under pressure because afterall, it's my life and not anybody's.  Please think carefully before you make that life-changing career move.

All the best.

kiwi992.

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What are your options? Are you quiting to stay at home?( i won't advice that). I believe the reason for people studying what they did in school is to get their daily bread while enjoying what they do. If you've found a way of earning good income minus being a lawyer and you enjoy it, i'll say you go for it. Afterall i don't think your parents took an oat before you were conceived saying you must be a lawyer( u must confirm though).

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look if u say u wana get out this place and get other one doing to do u wth u are going to face there u are going to

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i will love u not to live there because when u start doing ur job no one will ask u what u pass ok

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