Are you in control of your BigLaw job, or does it control you? Do you wake up in the morning excited for a BigLaw future marked by opportunity and possibility, or are you just hoping to make it through the day?
We are Mr. & Mrs. A | E, and we started this blog because, over the course of a decade in BigLaw, we discovered an empowering (although sometimes frustrating) truth: BigLaw attorneys have far more power than they realize to design a fulfilling BigLaw experience. Candidly, this is not your ordinary BigLaw advice. The upside-down strategies shared here challenge the industry-standard wisdom that most BigLaw attorneys take for granted. Uncommon results, however, require uncommon prescriptions.
Having started our BigLaw careers a decade ago in Boston, today we call home to the pristine wilderness of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where we spend most of our time hiking alpine lakes, skiing legendary powder, and photographing grizzly bears, wolves and moose. While we love exploring at home, we also spend half the year on the road, often chasing adventure in off-the-grid wildernesses both foreign and domestic. Using the strategies outlined in this blog, Mr. A | E recently retired from his litigation practice at age 36, while Mrs. A | E continues to practice corporate law on a flexible, part-time schedule.
Neither of us could have anticipated this life a decade ago when we emerged from law school saddled with debt. A couple of years into our highly coveted BigLaw jobs, we realized that even though we manifested all the indica of success, we felt far from fulfilled or happy. Like most BigLaw associates, we were chronically overworked and overwhelmed, finding short-term reprieve in mindless consumer spending that brought us little long-term joy. We looked around at our colleagues and realized that most of them, too, were dissatisfied with their life trajectories. Despite their massive salaries, they coupled high levels of debt with low levels of savings. Many were struggling with crippling anxiety, self-doubt and paralysis at the thought of taking a week-long vacation. This was no way to live.
That is when we paused, reflected deeply on our values and decided to take back control. For us, taking control of our life started with taking control of our finances. Having stumbled upon the financial independence movement online, we took the golden opportunity afforded by the BigLaw salary scale and supercharged our saving and investment rate to levels far beyond what is traditionally prescribed by financial advisors. This put us on a path to financial independence, and allowed us to dramatically transform our BigLaw jobs along the way.
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