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Help! Fed-up solicitor wants job with no human contact!

(96 Posts)
user1471456822 Thu 18-Aug-16 19:19:55

Hi all,

Firstly sorry for the crap username, my account won't let me change it atm.

I'm 33, single, no DC (no plans to change either). Currently on £28,500/year (have moved jobs frequently). Have a mortgage of £550/month. No savings (oops).

I've been a solicitor for 10yrs. And I hate it. I've worked in a court roles and in more "chambers-based" practices. And I hate both. It's the CLIENTS mainly. The volume of them and their constant phone calls, emails and demands. I feel like I'm being picked at and tortured all day. Then I get to do my "proper" work at night (reading and drafting documents,). I've been working 80+ hours a week and it's still not enough. I also hate the schmoozing, dishonesty, backhanders and poor ethics which goes with it all. Plus the feeing targets and timerecording and spreadsheet reporting, like we're on trial all the time from the big bosses.

My direct boss is lovely but also works all-nighters. One team member is leaving next week and another is in tears regularly. It's not as if the powers that be are unaware. They bung us a few extra quid occasionally to keep us quiet but nothing changes. People in other departments are also fed-up.

I'm not ambitious (anymore, if I ever was), I don't want to be a Partner or achieve world peace. I just want to do a 9-5 job and come home and watch TV with my cat. I did law because I was academic and it was expected.

According to that Myers-Brigg thing, I'm actually an introvert who has learned to be an extrovert. I'm quite loud and confident and love a good laugh. But I only like people in small doses.

I fantasise about night shifts stacking shelves. Or picking items for Amazon. I like organising things. I don't like the noise and chaos that is common in our department.

I can't discuss any of this with my parents - they are supportive in general but would likely just tell me to "tell your boss you're feeling stressed" (mum) or "tough shit, life's a bitch, you've got a mortgage to pay so get on with it" (dad).

I'd be grateful for any advice or ideas. Thank you in advance.

Chairmaker Thu 18-Aug-16 19:24:42

Burnt out nurse here and I am definitely watching with interest... Am struggling to find anything I'm qualified to do that pays close to my current salary because I can't afford to take a cut sad

JsOtherHalf Thu 18-Aug-16 19:25:09

Any chance of a job with a local authority legal department ? They generally work 9-5, and advise staff on child protection proceedings, etc.

ICanCountToOneHundred Thu 18-Aug-16 19:27:26

Could you look for jobs in the charity sector? Giving legal advice?

JsOtherHalf Thu 18-Aug-16 19:28:05

Move to New Zealand?

daisygirlmac Thu 18-Aug-16 19:29:58

Be the UK version of Mari Kondo? Set up your own firm? Work as an advisor as a PP said?

I don't know many well paid jobs which don't involve some client contact! The only one which sounds really awesome which I've heard of is a friend's brother who spends a large portion of the year on remote islands counting seabirds but I'm not sure you could take your cat

daisygirlmac Thu 18-Aug-16 19:31:05

Ooh I've thought of one, what about working for somewhere like the national trust on their legal team, they must have one

Unicornsarelovely Thu 18-Aug-16 19:32:32

In house lawyer.

ButteredToastAndStrawberryJam Thu 18-Aug-16 19:34:03

A remote island counting seabirds bliss.

EssentialHummus Thu 18-Aug-16 19:36:26

Ex-lawyer here (though I left when I was much more junior than you are). What practice area/s are you in? Could you move to a different type of legal role - does it exist in your practice area?

If you're anywhere near a major city, you could look at document review type roles, which have no client contact (but plenty of mundanity and repetitiveness).

I feel your pain. Law is an easy sell to students, but very few solicitors I know enjoy their work.

Iamdazedandconfused Thu 18-Aug-16 19:36:57

Could you try and move in-house? I know a few in-house solicitors who are well paid compared to many in private practice, have great benefits packages and work 9-5 (plus a few with flexible working hours/working from home).

Suppose it depends what kind of law you do but I'm sure in-house has advantages, if you were interested in that kind of thing.

Mishaps Thu 18-Aug-16 19:39:02

It's a bit like being a doctor - it would be great if it were not for the patients.

Corneliasedet Thu 18-Aug-16 19:39:35

National Trust definitely do have an in-house legal team. A friend worked for them and his job seemed to be mainly assisting with drafting legislation. It sounded bloody amazing.

RepentAtLeisure Thu 18-Aug-16 19:41:50

Be the UK version of Mari Kondo? Set up your own firm?

That isn't a bad idea you know. She trains people up in Japan, I think there's a crying need for her skillset to be franchised over here. I'd book you!

FinallyHere Thu 18-Aug-16 19:42:15

How about a 'clerk of the court' role, advising magistrates on the law, what sentence they can give and making sure they don't make any mistakes. You still have clients bit they can't contact you outside court hours. All the best

user1471456822 Thu 18-Aug-16 19:42:28

Hey, thanks for all the support and suggestions!

I live in a big city and currently work in Property.

Like the idea of being something akin to proof reading documents.

Whereisthesnow Thu 18-Aug-16 19:43:12

Not sure where you are based but you are not being paid much for that level of work as a solicitor at 10yrs pqe ... Any chance of negotiating a salary rise to ease the pain?
I'm a solicitor, same level of pqe as you. Tips for sanity saving are switching off emails for say 30 to 60 mins, put the phone on divert. Working from home is good too - I stick the radio on and sing along whilst I'm typing!

user1471456822 Thu 18-Aug-16 19:43:26

I could DEFINITELY be a professional declutterer! That would be my DREAM job! <happy sigh>

Unicornsarelovely Thu 18-Aug-16 19:44:08

There's a lot of demand for good property solicitors in-house. Universities, local authorities and hospital trusts are all worth a look.

Whereisthesnow Thu 18-Aug-16 19:44:59

Oh you are doing property. Is it domestic conveyancing? Can imagine that would be hard dealing with everyone's house buying stresses

Nyborg Thu 18-Aug-16 19:45:00

Have you considered a PSL role? It sounds like it would suit you.

I didn't much like private practice clients but went inhouse where your client is the business and you're working with the rest of the staff to further its interests, and I love it. I'm not a property lawyer but I remember from trainer seats that there's a high caseload and lots of very demanding clients.

user1471456822 Thu 18-Aug-16 19:46:17

I know, the money is a joke given the hours, responsibility and stress involved.

Sadly, can't turn emails or phone off. As soon as a new client comes in through the referral system, I have to phone them essentially immediately. I feel like I work in a call centre actually.

RedCrab Thu 18-Aug-16 19:48:56

I don't know how law works but do you have to stay in property? Public sector orgs and NGOs are very pleasant places to work and would definitely be 9-5. Well - the ones I worked for were pleasant. Can't vouch for them all smile

Whereisthesnow Thu 18-Aug-16 19:49:15

Job creation within your current firm? So do they need a psl type role to maybe create and look after precedents? Negotiate to do that one day a week and that will take pressure off a bit, plus good experience for new job as psl.
Can you talk to boss saying it is hard not getting respite and can you deviate from firm policy of putting emails off for certain time eachday

user1471456822 Thu 18-Aug-16 19:50:19

Yes, it's residential conveyancing. Volume conveyancing ie pile it high, sell it low - large volumes of clients and rock bottom fees. Yes the clients are still very demanding even though they're getting the service for a tiny, fixed fee.
A lot of young nervous first-time buyers using complicated shared equity government schemes.

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