Tiffany Farber is a solo practitioner who has been practicing law since 2008. As someone who has been through transition in her career, she understands the challenges lawyers in this situation face.
It hit me the other day that it’s been nearly two years since I joined the ranks of the many Chicago area attorneys in transition. My transition began when I was let go from my full time job as a staff attorney and pro bono coordinator for a small nonprofit organization in Chicago. At the time, I didn’t know what I was going to do next. I can honestly say that, looking back, I have learned more in the last two years than I could have ever imagined.
When I first started out, I was scared. It’s common to be frightened of change. There were so many questions buzzing around in my head. Would I find another job? Did I want to try something new? How quickly would the market bounce back? Despite the buzzing, I took things slowly. I began to build my future one piece at a time. That’s all anyone can do, really. When the opportunity arose, I started my own small practice and I began to learn about new areas of law. I implemented techniques to save money. I joined new groups, like a support network for solo attorneys. I worked with attorneys on a contract basis, and I analyzed complex legal issues. I met some great attorneys, some great clients and I performed in the Chicago Bar Association’s Christmas Spirits Show two years in a row.
In addition to my law practice, I also began working as a coach to other attorneys in transition. I realized that it was important to share my own experiences, so I began writing this blog. I discovered that drawing from my own journey in the legal world would help others who were lost, so I started a networking group for job seekers. Helping others in this way has brought me so much joy.
I imagine that some of you are in the same boat. You’ve been out at sea for a while now, and you’re still searching for a place to dock. Really, that’s just a part of life. If you don’t feel it now, you will at some point. The best thing to do is grab a life preserver and float. Enjoy your journey as I have. It may not always be easy, but it’s definitely worth it.
Ask yourself where you were two years ago. I imagine you have learned a lot about yourself in those 730 days. You’ve learned about your strengths and your limitations and you’ve kept on putting one foot in front of the other like you’ll continue to do for the next 730 days. Enjoy it.