Jun 27, 2023
When lawyers approach me to speak about their careers, one question they often ask is “what else can I do with my law degree”.
The answer to that question is of course complex. As lawyers, we are trained to spot legal issues, evaluate risk, document deals, and litigate disputes. Most employers are not actively recruiting lawyers to do anything other than practice law.
But that is not to say that lawyers are destined to be lawyers for eternity. As a lawyer, you do develop transferable skills that can make you valuable in other ways.
The challenge, of course, is to figure out what that transition should look like and how you can best execute a job search when your resume speaks largely to the legal work you have done.
One approach to find a bridge. Look for opportunities in an industry that you are already familiar with. Another approach is to take the experience you have in doing certain types of work and find something that leverages that experience.
That is what my guest, David Lesser, did after a long and successful career as a corporate and finance attorney.
David spent 17 years practicing in several large firms; but for the last several decades, he has run his own business consulting firm. He and I discuss how he made that transition, what were some of the challenges, what lessons he took from the practice of law, and what advice he has for anyone thinking of moving out of private practice.
David Lesser is the founder and managing partner of the Klarian Capital Group in Chicago. He provides an array of management consulting services to small and middle market companies. He helps his clients with operational, financial, and strategic planning issues.
I recently met Dave at a meeting of our ProVisors networking group and we soon discovered that we both grew up in the same town on Long Island. We also figured out that he was the water polo coach of one of the kids in my grade. More importantly, I was intrigued by the fact that he actually enjoyed being a lawyer when he left the practice. He didn’t run from the law.