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What to do when your practice isn’t perfect

Business personThe legal profession is extremely rewarding—at least most of the time. According to Kathleen Allmon Stoneman, Esq., E. Jane Taylor, Esq. and William J. McGraw III, Esq., co-authors of the Ohio State Bar Association's exclusive online law office resource, OfficeKeeper, you may need to reassess your practice if your career satisfaction has hit a low point.

  • If certain types of cases continue to wake you up in the middle of the night, focus on taking your practice into other areas and eliminating the stressful cases.
  • When all else fails to provide you with professional and personal satisfaction, assess what you enjoy doing and try to match your practice areas and style with your interests and skills.
  • "An in-depth assessment of your skills is absolutely necessary before you can undertake an effective job change. ... Without an honest analysis of your abilities, you will probably fall into another unhappy work situation that meets neither your needs nor your wants. ... You will need to be aware of your well-developed skills because those are the ones that come naturally to you and are the most comfortable and pleasing to use. When you are using those skills, what you are doing at that moment doesn’t seem like work, and you don’t have to think about your actions. Everything just flows smoothly. These are the skills that you want to transfer to new work. Conversely, when you are required to use a skill that does not come naturally or that you haven’t developed, the task will produce stress and feel forced. You will have to concentrate much harder to get a successful result." Greenberg, Hindi, The Lawyer’s Career Change, pages 104 and 105.
  • For a complete discussion of skills analysis and application to the practice of law, refer to www.lawyersintransition.com, or refer to The Lawyer’s Career Change Handbook by Hindi Greenberg. Special attention should be given to Chapter Five (Assess Your Skills, Values, and Interests to Find the Best Job for You) and Chapter Six (Options Within the Law) which contain a complete skills analysis as well as a full discussion of types of law practices. Also included in this publication are extensive lists of resource materials for further consultation.
  • For more information on enhancing your quality of life, you can also check out the OSBA's Health and Wellness for Legal Professionals Web page.

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