Lawyers Become Entrepreneurs

Considering leaving the legal profession?


Four Profiles…Excerpt from Running from the Law: Why good lawyers are getting out of the legal profession.

According to business journals, the niche bank is often used to describe the successful City National Bank.  A CEO with a law degree heads the firm.  Music mogul Clive Davis and the founder of Southwest Airlines and The Sharper Image (Arron) are companies with founders who were lawyers before turning to the business world.

The Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation says specific innate abilities found in many successful lawyers include Ideaphoria and Inductive thinking, which can detect patterns in facts and ideas. These talents fit into the entrepreneurial arena excellently.

Career changes highlighted include career counseling for lawyers, surfboard champion and instructor, and commercial airline pilot.

The late Deborah Arron was a top attorney and pioneer. She wrote the first book that exposed the professional turmoil a segment of the attorney population experiences.

Before the late 1980s, it was not a topic that lawyers dared to speak openly about, according to the Seattle Times. Arron later closed her practice and became a lawyer and counselor who wanted to change their profession.

Arron’s work is as relevant today as ever. Several years ago, I found a copy of Running from the Law on the shelf of a law library. I later bought a copy. Free of legalese, it’s a great read, and an insightful and valuable resource, despite the 2004 copyright.

Research shows that many of the issues addressed by Arron are still current. Ten Lawyer Types are featured. Examples include the Lawyer-Entrepreneur, the Lawyer-Superwoman, and the Lawyer-Peacemaker.  Entrepreneurial,  Corporate, and Academic paths are addressed.

A section on how former lawyers have capitalized on hobbies through creative and unusual ways, such as jewelry pin design and channeler/psychic, is included along with a resource appendix.

Examples Found Online

Allworth Press Starving artists often lack financial knowledge. They know little about protecting their rights in the business world, which spurred a teacher with a law degree to develop a way to educate and empower the artistic community. Allworth Press was the solution. Founder Tad Crawford might be classified Attorney-Crusader or Attorney-Altruist. He has been called an artist rights’ advocate.

With a background in economics, Crawford started his company with one book of legal forms and checklists for photographers. Today, Allworth Press specializes in titles for artists in many areas, such as theater, Webb design, photography, and crafts. 
And check out the account of the criminal defense attorney who left law to make chocolate.
For legal professionals thinking about the entrepreneurial path.
“Consider whether you would be happy with the choices
and responsibilities that would be yours as an entrepreneur,” says Crawford. Book Tip: The Secret Life of Money is a good choice because money is often more about emotions, psychology, and spirituality than quantity.”

Alex Steuart Williams
101 Ways to Leave the Law
From barrister to animator and cartoonist extraordinaire.

Amazon Page 

Warren Brown
From trial lawyer to baker with a chain of locations, classes, and award-winning books. Entrepreneur, educator, youth mentor, small business champion, speaker.

The Cakelove Story
An insightful, humorous, touching, and remarkable account of discovery from a lawyer turned baker who conquered his “fear of flour.”
An essential tip for legal professionals thinking about the entrepreneurial pathDon’t be afraid to leave your law career… there is a world of opportunities outside of the legal arena, says Brown.

Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation


Deborah Arron helped lawyers solve career crises
Bobbi Nodell
Archive.Seattle Times.com

Alex Williams’ website

The Cakelove Story

Cookbook cover illustrations from Abrahms: The Art of Beautiful Books http://www.abramsbooks.com/Books/Pie_Love-9781584798958.html