The offices of law firms are filled with associates who say they are just there for the short term.
They say they will only be there until they pay of their loans or find the perfect pro bono job or (male or female) marry well and can begin the life of leisure they so richly deserve.
But it’s difficult to leave those huge salaries ($160,000 when you are 26 isn’t so bad) and many end up staying well longer than they thought they would.
But the reduction of firm payrolls has forced many young lawyers to leave their cushy positions and try something else. The ABA Journal profiles three such ex-lawyers — two who were on the receiving end of pink slips and one who took the option of “voluntary resignation” as the kick he needed.
Gordon Chin lost his job at Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell near the end of 2008 but now does interior design work through his company GC Design. (He’s also been making the media rounds – Above the Law caught up with him in June.)
Another former Locke associate, Nicolle Neulist, spends her time prank calling email scammers and creating music on an old Commodore 128 computer from the offices of “Chicago’s hackerspace” Pumping Station: One.
But the turning-recreation-into-a-job award goes to former Vedder Price associate Billy Gaines. Gaines and a few friends have been working to grow their beer pong-related business for years, but after leaving the firm he is devoted full time to running BPong.com and preparing for the company events, which include the beer pong world series. (Vegas in 2010!) Gaines is expecting revenue for BPong.com to be “in the millions” in 2009.
The moral of this story is that following your dreams can be really fun — especially if you have a couple of months of big firm salary to get you on your way.
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