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The Former Lawyer Podcast

Apr 27, 2020

In Episode 038, I’m sharing the first half of my conversation with Sarah Rutledge Fischer. (Look out for part 2 next week! We covered so many important themes, I’ve split our conversation into two episodes.)

Sarah is an artist and art teacher. She spent 3 1/2 years in biglaw before left and found her way to her current career as an artist. In today’s episode, we talk about lots of things, including her struggles with depression and the inhumane environment of many big law firms. This is an important conversation and I can’t wait for you to hear it.

In the first half of our conversation, Sarah shares about:

  • Loving art from a young age, but never allowing herself to consider it as a career possibility;
  • Her winding path to law school;
  • Why she took for granted the human element in her pre-law school jobs that ended up being missing from her work as a lawyer;
  • Why she found her law school to have less of a feeling of grim despair than most;
  • How she ended up in biglaw even though it did not align with her interests;
  • Why the law firm track is “intoxicating” and “disorienting”;
  • Knowing that the firm wasn’t a right fit for her from right off the bat, but feeling trapped;
  • Experiencing intense depression while in biglaw, and not even realizing that was what was happening at first;
  • Feeling trapped by the mindset in the legal profession and by maintaining the life she and her husband had established;
  • Navigating biglaw as a newly pregnant woman who didn’t want to get sidelined, but also was desperate to get out;
  • A story that will be familiar to anyone out there who knows the reputation of biglaw firms when it comes to quietly letting people go;
  • Important reminders for anyone struggling with depression;
  • and much more!

Show Notes: