I want to reproduce part of an email from one of my blog readers who's an attorney. I hope he doesn't mind, because his story made me feel better, even inspired, about my own legal future. Maybe it'll make you feel better too. (If he's troubled by my quoting, he can opt out by emailing me and I'll take it down. ::grin:: )
"I went to law school at _________ in the evening program (4 years - ugh), while I was working full time during the day negotiating contracts with the government at a company called ______. They paid my tuition, which was nice.
After law school I couldn't get any decent law firm to give me the time of day (which I guess was a good thing, in retrospect), so I did what any clueless lawyer would do - I opened my own practice. Someone once said that I specialized in "door law" - in other words, I took any case that came through the door. Some of the cases involved litigation, which seemed to take forever to get resolved, and that doesn't fit well with my personality. I guess I just like closure...but litigation was good when it came to billing.
Anyway, after four years of that, I decided to go "in-house" at a high-tech company here in _______ and I've been doing that (more or less) ever since. After one of my companies was acquired, I took a year and a half off to work at [a university], but that's another story (huge mistake!). Now I have a handful of clients that I work for as GC, either as an employee or as outside counsel. Definitely not your average career path."