Summary: Attorneys are often seeking out lifestyle law firms. While these firms do exist, they are usually not around for long.
When an attorney gives up practicing law in a firm, they generally do so because they have decided to reject this way of life and want no part of it. They cannot commit to it and in the absence of full commitment they leave. There is no doubt about it: The practice of law requires dedication. Any law firm—regardless of whether it calls itself a lifestyle firm or not—requires full commitment.
Attorneys are warriors and soldiers hired to fight for and protect other people. As soldiers and warriors, they are faced with all sorts of hostile opponents they fight daily. They are not part of the normal world—just as a soldier being shot at is not part of the normal world either. A soldier tasked with defending someone's life cannot take his or her job in a lackadaisical and "lifestyle" manner; likewise, an attorney in a law firm can't either.
There is no such thing as a lifestyle law firm—at least not for long. Would you want to be represented by a “lifestyle” law firm?
Attorneys who stop practicing law have generally decided that they do not want to be warriors and participate in the fight. They look around them and—like Willard in Apocalypse Now—they realize they are surrounded by a world that demands they fight, where fighting and conflict are normal. They see that it makes many of their peers unhappy and that it fundamentally changes them. They may even see their peers go insane. Many attorneys do not accept this and realize their only solution is to get out of a law firm entirely.
When an attorney makes the decision to get off the track and step into something less demanding, something deeper is always going on. The attorney is rejecting a way of life and may actually be making a move to become psychologically healthy when the world around them appears to have gone insane.
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