This is a logical question to ask, but the answer is much more complicated.
In this essay I will argue that second careers can be both fulfilling and rewarding for lawyers—but also challenging, as they involve reinvention in an unpredictable environment. In addition to opportunities for succeeding as a lawyer or as an entrepreneur, there are numerous drawbacks of reinventing oneself after one’s career has been well established: irrelevance versus success; risks versus rewards; lost networks and contacts from prior successes versus new ones from reinventing oneself; personal change compared with professional change. The choice between these pros and cons should not be taken lightly by any attorney who wants a successful second career—or wants to avoid being stuck in mediocrity at mid-life.
Second Careers Are Not Forever
Many attorneys have told me that they love their legal profession so much that they intend to “live forever” practicing law just like James Stewart did in Rear Window (1954). But many others have been forced into early retirement because of poor health or other issues beyond their control, such as losing clients due to mergers and acquisitions involving large companies where the work was outsourced offshore. Even those who remain active often find themselves working harder than before due to reduced hours and less income along with other costs associated with aging (such as medical care) resulting from spending time away from work on vacation or sick leave during retirement years instead of actively engaged full-time at work every day like earlier