Angie Robertson graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2010. She has experience with public interest law, family law, legal document review and sales. When she is not reading or writing about law, she enjoys live music, exploring Chicago, watching roller-derby, and spending time with her husband and her dog.
“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”- Steve Jobs (2005)
This week, we lost one of the greatest creative business leaders of our time with the death of Steve Jobs. Entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs truly inspire me. In this economy, most of us aren’t lucky enough to be in jobs that we enjoy. This could not be more true for the young attorneys who have sought document review work on a contract basis just to pay the bills. But are people like me who have spent the better part of the year in temp work settling, against the advice of visionaries like Jobs?
Those who do temporary doc review assignments right out of law school risk future employers turning their noses up at the doc review experience, potentially spending months unemployed between contracts waiting for an opportunity to match availability or eventually finding that document review is so different from the legal career they prepared themselves for in law school that they cannot continue. So why do so many of us persist in this line of work?
The primary justifications for temporary doc review work are relationships with significant others. Many of us don’t pursue the entry-level legal work available in the collar counties or other states because we have spouses with good jobs here. For us, being close to those people outweighs the opportunity to get litigation experience. Also, many of us are actively pursuing other interests that would not be possible in a traditional legal career. The range of other interests my co-workers have is incredible. Someone is working on getting her CPA license, another is in acting classes, someone is in a band, many have young children and a myriad of others have unique hobbies that would be impossible in the shackles of a law firm of any size.
Nonetheless, Steve Jobs’ point is poignant. If you find yourself bored with your current legal career, whether it be permanent or temporary, try to figure out if you can use this transitional time to find another love. If you can’t it may be time to explore other fields. We are up to the neck in student loan debt; if we will be paying our student loans essentially for the rest of our lives, is there any reason in the world to do something we don’t absolutely love?