Female partner goes public with decision to quit ‘toxic’ law firm

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By Aishah Hussain on

‘I’ve been killing myself taking crazy assignments and working intense hours’, writes mystery lawyer in candid Reddit post

A 38-year-old female partner has gone public with her decision to quit the “toxic” law firm she worked at for 13 years.

“I’ve been killing myself taking crazy assignments and working intense hours in order to further my career,” writes the unnamed lawyer, who goes by the username ‘feeling-likealoser’, in a candid post on social news forum Reddit. “I sacrificed so much for this company,” adds the lawyer, who does not name the firm but appears to be based in the US.

Once she made partner she realised she was exerting effort to the point where the money wasn’t worth it. “While I made good money, I was not pulling in even 50% of the comp[ensation] compared to my male partners that managed a book of business about one third of my size.”

We learn in the short post shared in the ‘relationships’ subreddit, that the woman resigned after the partner in charge of her department (again, unknown) didn’t make any of the changes she requested. She now faces unemployment because she hasn’t lined up another job and seeks readers’ advice because everyone around her is questioning her decision to leave whilst at the pinnacle of her career.

“Ever since I resigned, everyone in my life other than my husband has been questioning my decision even when I have clearly set boundaries,” she continues. “I have three more weeks with the firm and have agreed to transition the clients. Every client, co-worker, family member, and friend has been in shock that I don’t have something lined up. They think it’s crazy to leave at the peak of my career in the middle of a pandemic.”

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But she says she’s “so burnt out” to the point that she’s not looking for another position. “I feel like a complete loser that I don’t have something lined up but I really don’t have the energy anymore to put even a tiny bit of effort to find the next job.”

The post, first spotted by our friends over at Above The Law, continues:

“I just want to be free of that toxic place and take the next six months or so to recover. Honestly after all of this, I just need some time to myself. I’m completely drained.”

She asks readers how best to respond to people that are “baffled” by her decision to resign and whom she says don’t understand why she no longer wants to work in her thirties. “I don’t know how to best respond to this without ruining relationships or being way to personal with people that I don’t feel comfortable sharing my innermost thoughts,” she says, adding: “What would you say to people when they ask why you are leaving and where you are going when 1) some are people you are not close with and 2) some are people you are very close with and care deeply about?”

In addition to her predicament the anonymous lawyer says she has known some of her colleagues for a long time and has gone through “the trenches” with them so she doesn’t want to risk saying anything that “makes them feel bad about staying”. She concludes: “I also feel like a complete failure when I say I’m taking time off.”

In the comments, the OP (original poster) says she has no immediate financial concerns. “When you work all the time and forgo taking a vacation, shopping, or even having kids for more than a decade, it’s a lot easier to save money.”

OP received lots of comments in support of her career decision. One user neatly put:

“Your time and your physical and mental health are important. This is a big wide open world, and our lives are very short, you are so brave to take the life you want. If anyone had a problem with it, they can go duck themselves.”

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