Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

New here...don't know if I can continue

Hi Guys, I have been a family law attorney over the past lostattorney04/26/17
Wow. This is probably one of the biggest cry outs for help I cocolawyer04/26/17
Please seek professional help immediately. Bar associations jd4hire04/26/17
Hey brother, it sounds like family law is doing you in. isthisit04/26/17
There is help available through a few different organization guyingorillasuit04/26/17
Family law. The only area of law to ever cause my agita lolwutjobs04/26/17
I am trying not to scare my family. I have a wife and small lostattorney04/26/17
You say you're not trying to scare your family. I am assumi qport04/26/17
I think we all agonize too much about lost hearings, especia guyingorillasuit04/26/17
Until you can figure out your next career move, you need pro uknownvalue04/26/17
At the risk of being an echo chamber seek professional help thirdtierlaw04/26/17
Dude, I cannot stand family law. I really don't know how trijocker04/26/17
1) Get professional help (psychiatrist or psychologist) now. anothernjlawyer04/26/17
Gym! adamb04/26/17
Prozac got me out of my darkest place. 'Getting help' doesn' finklebots04/26/17
OK. Step 1: Stop drinking anything with sugar in it. It acerimmer04/26/17
OP, hang in there and step back from your clients' perspecti jeffm04/26/17
I practiced family law for 5 years (after a relatively happy carlito04/26/17
Being hot helps too. Gym = hot. Hot = sex. adamb04/26/17
2nd this. Before you beat yourself up for being depressed an hmmmm04/27/17
You can't take wins/losses personally, nor take your clients porochi04/26/17
Some really good advice here. I was in a tough spot like notiers04/27/17
Step back, brother. I, for one, have been - and to some degr ejs201704/27/17
OP, please, please, please listen to some of the advice here banana04/27/17
Best wishes. Some really good advice in here. tcpaul04/27/17
Please go get help immediately via counselling and medicatio alphadog1504/27/17
On the topic of exercise, if you can swing it financially in ejs201704/27/17
Take care of yourself first. You are no good to anyone if yo redemptionsong04/27/17
I don't even know whew to begin. I read the post and could n prodigy04/28/17
Family law is awful for your sanity. I echo everyone else... elle30104/28/17
I saw this and felt the need to comment because I know how y mcacollector05/01/17
Thanks for this post. I too am consigned to collections. vohod05/01/17
I hope we didn't lose the OP. anonattempt05/01/17
Meant with good will... Seriously hope he's OK and finding anonattempt05/01/17
Every section of this board is behind you and we can help. lucapacioli05/01/17
OP, I'm behind you too. Many of us understand the stress and cranky05/01/17
Congratulations, OP, you're doing better than a lot of law s trickydick05/02/17
Update: on tuesday I sat in the parking lot of my work for 4 lostattorney05/04/17
Dude, seriously leave that damn job right now! If you lose h prodigy05/04/17
Can you take a few days off work for health reasons? wolfman05/04/17
Seconded. Since you're resolved to leave, stop worrying abou mrtor05/04/17
I don't know. Sometimes you have to say "f*** it" in the in ejs201705/04/17
I agree. Mrtor you can tell this guy is breaking down. I don cocolawyer05/04/17
^ This. ejs201705/04/17
I'm not saying he shouldn't seek immediate assistance. Howev mrtor05/04/17
OP: Glad you posted again, even under these circumstances. anothernjlawyer05/04/17
I left my first job as an attorney. Dude was a crazy Iranian fettywap05/04/17
" I sat in the parking lot of my work for 4 hours ....I puke inho2solo05/04/17
Everyone telling you to see the doctor is right. BTW, you co acerimmer05/04/17
OP you need to talk to whatever organization your state bar vohod05/05/17
Your wife does have a point. If you just up and quit it may bittersweet05/05/17
Just checking are you ok? Please post to let us know how yo prodigy05/10/17
OP you still around? Things gotten better? vohod05/19/17
Family Law is a dark place where everyone involved loses. Th nazlaw06/06/17

lostattorney (Apr 26, 2017 - 1:52 pm)

Hi Guys,

I have been a family law attorney over the past 4 years. I have so much sadness and sorrow I can barely do my work. I have gained 45 pounds in the past 6 months. I have a stack of work to do and I just sit there looking at the wall. Sometimes I contemplate ending it. I don't because I am the sole provider for my family.

I need a change asap. I need a job that will provide for my family but not leave me crippled as a person. I am really lost. I don't know what to do next. Any advice would be helpful.

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cocolawyer (Apr 26, 2017 - 1:56 pm)

Wow. This is probably one of the biggest cry outs for help I have seen in a while.

You need to get professional help immediately. Your family deserves a Husband/Wife/Father/Mother more then they deserve your paycheck. If its that bad resign immediately. I first hand know the toils of family law, and see this occur in a lot of individuals (well except the heartless).

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jd4hire (Apr 26, 2017 - 2:03 pm)

Please seek professional help immediately. Bar associations often have lawyers helping lawyers groups. Reach out to them, or any other organization, such as Good Samaritans. If you aren't solo, you might need to take some FMLA time and work on yourself. Then start addressing the job situation.

Go get help ASAP though.

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isthisit (Apr 26, 2017 - 2:07 pm)

Hey brother, it sounds like family law is doing you in.

Immediate advice: Start working out and fixing up your diet (this will ease your depression). Talk to your wife about how you're feeling, she can soothe your mind. Start spending more time with your family.

Long-term: You need to change practice areas and/or firms. I don't do family law but from what I've heard it really is a lot to stomach. I want to suggest opening up shop but that might bring a whole bunch of other issues.

If your wife works, consider leaving sooner rather than later.

Also consider getting professional help through your bar association.

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guyingorillasuit (Apr 26, 2017 - 2:08 pm)

There is help available through a few different organizations, such as the various Lawyer Assistance Programs. I think it's important to develop a network of mentors in the family law community, who can share how they deal with their stresses.

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lolwutjobs (Apr 26, 2017 - 2:10 pm)

Family law. The only area of law to ever cause my agita

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lostattorney (Apr 26, 2017 - 2:19 pm)

I am trying not to scare my family. I have a wife and small kid at home. If I quit it could mean divorce which I know my mental state would be used against me in custody proceedings.

I went in front of the court today and for the first time just went off at the court: "what else is this guy supposed to do to get more custodial time? He did the parenting course. He has had three months of clean alcohol tests. All supervised visitation reports have been great. Your ruling today is simply segregating the father from the child destroying their relationship even after he did everything this court ordered." That went over swimmingly.

I think finding a new non-legal career would be help. I am so jaded from the process and can't stand the process any longer.

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qport (Apr 26, 2017 - 3:08 pm)

You say you're not trying to scare your family. I am assuming you are "not scaring them" by hiding what you are going through. However, I can tell you from personal experience its virtually impossible to have job stress like that and not have it leak into your family life. Your family has almost certainly noted your change in behavior but has no idea why.

Though obviously we don't know your wife, you'd be surprised how understanding your loved ones can be if you tell them the truth about your situation and how it is affecting you. Most (all?) state bars have a hotline where they can (discretely) assist you with getting some professional help. The first step is getting help though, because it doesn't sound like the status quo is a long term solution.

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guyingorillasuit (Apr 26, 2017 - 3:25 pm)

I think we all agonize too much about lost hearings, especially in family law. Judges are people, too. Family law judges rule whichever way they like, because they have wide discretion. Sometimes we sympathize so much with a client that we inject ourselves personally into proceedings. I got my rear end kicked last week, because I didn't have the presence of mind to sit down and shut up once I realized my case was lost. I beat myself up for two days over both losing the argument (which was, admittedly, a long shot, but reasonable), and my own behavior when I saw that I was losing. It's pointless.

You don't have to change careers. It's just a matter of not taking things too close to heart. It sounds easy when I tell it to other people, but when I am the one on the losing end, emotions still affect my own behavior. I think we all need to learn to distance ourselves from the cases we argue, and this is a very hard pill to swallow in family law. In this field, our clients rely on us to be a pillar of personal strength, and we do our best to be their champion. When we do not achieve the desired results, the outcome is always difficult to process.

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uknownvalue (Apr 26, 2017 - 3:41 pm)

Until you can figure out your next career move, you need professional help and maybe a prescription. Until you see the therapist / doctor, read self help books. I read "The subtle art of not giving a f***", maybe you would find it helpful, may not, either way it's an easy read and won't take much time.

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thirdtierlaw (Apr 26, 2017 - 3:42 pm)

At the risk of being an echo chamber seek professional help immediately.

As for professionally, switch out of family law. As gigs just pointed out above, family law is different than other areas of law because of the emotion involved. Unless you're completely heartless it is difficult to not get sucked into the emotional aspects of the case. You're spending a lot of time involved in the most personal parts of the client's life. So the losses sting worse than other areas of law. I know I beat myself up due to lost hearings. I'm still working on not letting it get to me. In family court, you're at the complete mercy of the judge. There will be cases where the facts, law, and public policy all appear on your side and the judge will still rule the other way because your client just rubs them the wrong way. Other than the Juvenile court, the family court is the only place you see this as a somewhat common occurrence.

I understand your concerns about your wife. She may surprise you. That is one of the great things about being married. Frankly, even if she would divorce you, you being alive for your children is far more important than anything else.

So even if you have to go flip burgers for awhile to escape the spiral your in, in the long run, it'll be worth it both to yourself and your family.

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trijocker (Apr 26, 2017 - 3:47 pm)

Dude, I cannot stand family law.

I really don't know how you handle it. Working in the corporate realm we just pass redlined docs back and forth. When I went through a divorce people screamed and cried, they lied, and it seemed like they played dirty tricks on another. Funny how when Valentines day comes around everybody is happy and in love, then forward a few years and each party is calling the other a coke ho or an abuser in front of a crowded courtroom. Another time we spent two hours listening and fighting about who would drive lil Jimmy to his birthday party. I also once heard somebody throw something in Family court services.
Seriously I think it would be easy to go insane practicing family law.

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anothernjlawyer (Apr 26, 2017 - 3:58 pm)

1) Get professional help (psychiatrist or psychologist) now. Your douchebag client's whining over who gets his movie posters in the divorce can wait. You are so much more important. If you have thoughts of self-harm, call 911 or go to the emergency room. Since you're just "staring at the wall" now anyway, it's not like it's going to hurt your productivity.

2) You need to stop internalizing your work. It is not your job to "win." It is not your job to care about the fact the legal system is unfair, that clients have serious problems, or that sometimes the legal system makes your clients' problems worse. It is your job to competently and ethically represent your clients, to avoid malpractice, to cash your check and go home at the end of the day. If you can solve some problems, fantastic. If not, so be it. It can take years to learn that.

3) If "quitting can cause divorce," it sounds like you might have problems at home. It this is the case, after you see your individual psychiatrist / psychologist, schedule a session with a marital therapist.

4) If quitting is necessary to your health and safety, quit. You'd quit a job that involved putting your hand in a grain thresher; why stay at one that is ripping up your sanity?

5) If you aren't ready to quit and are eligible, after you see your new psychiatrist, go out of FMLA / state medical leave. You have all the same rights your lunatic clients have, don't forget it.

6) If you aren't eligible for medical leave, schedule take a real vacation, ASAP.

7) Work out. Even a brisk 30 minute walk every day can help.

8) Improve your diet, at minimum, by cutting out 3-5 unhealthy foods. For example, say, "no sugary sodas, no potato chips, no desserts on weeknights, and no more than 2 slices of pizza in one sitting."

9) Remember that, at the end of the day, it's just a stack of f!cking sh!tpaper. The sun is shining, and you've got a kid who'd love to play with you and who thinks you're Superman.

Good luck man. Take care of yourself.

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adamb (Apr 26, 2017 - 4:20 pm)

Gym!

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finklebots (Apr 26, 2017 - 4:27 pm)

Prozac got me out of my darkest place. 'Getting help' doesn't need to be a big production. Be open about suicidal ideation with your doctor and take the meds.

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acerimmer (Apr 26, 2017 - 4:50 pm)

OK.

Step 1: Stop drinking anything with sugar in it. It puts you on a high-low blood sugar cycle and it's making you a fat SOB.

Step 2: Eat more "Japanese." Fish, green vegetables, a little rice but not too much. It's harder to control your diet when you're part of a family, admittedly this could be a problem.

Step 3: Walking. Go for walks, these used to be called "constitutionals" and were done by everyone for exactly this reason. And, talk to some people while out walking. I got fat when I was out of work, and a crash diet and long walks knocked the weight off quickly.

Step 4: Family law is a giant, syphilitic d*ck of a practice area. My latent Catholicism made me shy away from it, but I did one Volunteer case, and that is all the family BS I could stand. Lasting 4 years makes you something of a minor demigod. Congratulations!

Step 5: Tell your husband/wife that you're developing philosophical objections to being a lawyer in the middle of disintegrating families. It would help if it were true, but it might work as a plausible lie.

Step 6: Seek help. Psych and lawyer crisis line. Don't panic if they don't seem helpful.

Step 7: The Dave Ramsey financial thing. Pay off debts, cut spending to the bone, save up a cash reserve. Beyond the practical benefits of having money, it is a HUGE sense of accomplishment.

Step 8: GOOD LUCK, AND DON'T THE LET B*ST*RDS GRIND YOU DOWN!

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jeffm (Apr 26, 2017 - 6:43 pm)

OP, hang in there and step back from your clients' perspective. I agree with GIGS and others; you ought to avoid allowing the client's bad situation to become your own. The fact is that clients dig their own holes. You are just there as a good samaritan to try to earn a living and help them where you can.

By the sound of your experience today, for example, your client screwed up. He's paying the price for that. Maybe he's getting an unfair treatment, but it sure isn't you who is doing the treating. Maybe he deserves it; maybe not. He dug his own hole.

There are many attorneys who also want to successfully reform their clients. It's too stressful trying to reform them. Not even the best trained psychiatrists and psychologists can do that. Billions and billions are spent in the Rx industry to try to treat behavior with medicine as well. That's how prevalent and pervasive these problems are.

Don't undertake a sense of responsibility beyond your professional service in your chosen profession. Just provide good advice and do your best. If the clients can't do their own part, it's not your fault. It is a drag, and it's okay to feel that way, but don't let it start to cripple you. You have to ultimately relinquish control to your client, and the client must bear responsibility for his/her behavior. Your job is to advocate and paper the deal properly - nothing more.

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carlito (Apr 26, 2017 - 9:50 pm)

I practiced family law for 5 years (after a relatively happy 3 years in law prior to that). I'm not exaggerating - it almost broke me entirely. I have been where you have been. I gained a bunch of weight and felt like I couldn't escape. After working insane hours, working for a psycho boss, and having my hours cut by a b*tchy paralegal - I just quit on a whim. I literally couldn't take it anymore. I didn't have another job and I didn't care. I found a job relatively easy as a contract specialist for a major company and am now working for the federal government. My quality of life has done a 180. My only regret is that I didn't do this sooner. Please don't listen to the people who are telling you that this can be managed by 1) not taking your clients too seriously 2) therapy 3) psychiatric drugs or 4) going to the gym. There is only one way to cure what ails you and that is to leave family law and maybe law altogether. Start looking for other jobs. It's hard to do when you are always working, but make it your number 1 priority. It will be easier than you think to find another job. Even if you have to take a paycut, it is worth it. Trust me on this one. It's easy to think that it's your fault or that you are somehow defective. You are not. This is a crap line of work and the people who do it long term are sociopaths or jaded and beaten down beyond belief.

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adamb (Apr 26, 2017 - 9:52 pm)

Being hot helps too. Gym = hot. Hot = sex.

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hmmmm (Apr 27, 2017 - 10:13 am)

2nd this. Before you beat yourself up for being depressed and anxious look around to make sure you aren't in a toxic environment. Family law is toxic. Being depressed, angry and anxious are normal responses in that environment.

I had friends who really didn't internalize the process and outcomes. They would laugh and clown on the clients and process. That wasn't me and I got out. Very happy now. Good luck and hang in there.

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porochi (Apr 26, 2017 - 11:54 pm)

You can't take wins/losses personally, nor take your clients' issues as your own. It's a job, not a life. I was a prosecutor for years then did defense work. I saw many a defense atty. become unglued at the process - me, the judge, their client, witnesses, whatever. I'd tell them, chill the f^^^ out. As a prosecutor, then a defense atty., I lost cases, lost rulings I should have won, had horrible clients, had many who didn't deserve what the system threw at them and I was powerless to help them. But at the end of the day, their a*** went to jail, not mine. It was a job. Period. Being heartless can help. If you can't swing that, get the h --- out and sell insurance. Your soul isn't worth losing. If you can't bring yourself to get out, then shut up. Your continued misery is no one's fault but your own. The door is staring at you. Use it, or don't.

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notiers (Apr 27, 2017 - 1:41 pm)

Some really good advice here.

I was in a tough spot like this early in my career. I resigned myself to getting out (took about 6 months) but I jumped and made a change and was much happier for it.

Good luck to you and please don't let the job force you into doing something drastic.

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ejs2017 (Apr 27, 2017 - 2:01 pm)

Step back, brother. I, for one, have been - and to some degree still am - in your shoes.

Being a lawyer has brought me to contemplating suicide multiple times. I still struggle daily with what I view to be a very poor life decision that I made when I was too young to know better. I had ideals and things I thought I could do with a law degree. It didn't turn out that way. Sadly, it doesn't for the vast majority of us.

I have a wife and kids who need me and I know that it would destroy them for the rest of their lives if I did something stupid like offing myself. My dad tried to commit suicide when I was a kid and it still haunts me. I realize that it's a just a job, it's not my identity. It's not your identity, either.

As others have said, Family Law sucks. It's a fact. It's petty and vindictive. You spend more time being a therapist than you do an attorney. Try another practice area. Try another profession. However,be true to those who need you, i.e., your family. Talk to a cognitive therapist. Consult with a functional medicine doctor to change your diet. It will get better.

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banana (Apr 27, 2017 - 2:19 pm)

OP, please, please, please listen to some of the advice here. You've gotten a lot of great suggestions.

For one, good job on coming here and reaching out for advice. That's a good step. A brave one. Hopefully the advice you've received here will help you gain the courage to seek professional help immediately. I also truly think you should open up to your wife. Assuming your relationship with your wife is mostly healthy, she will for sure understand and will want to help you rather than hurt your situation any worse. My immediate advice is, if you can, take some time off immediately (or for good) to at least get your ducks in a row. Talk to your wife. Get professional help. Spend some time outside. I am fairly new to the practice, but, from what I know from colleagues, it can leave you pigeonholed into thinking that there's no other reality out there. There definitely is, and you deserve to see it.

I agree with others that exercise and eating right can also help, even if its just something light like a walk around your neighborhood.

Good luck, OP. Remember that no job is worth your own life. It's not. You DO deserve happiness and a life outside of the practice.

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tcpaul (Apr 27, 2017 - 2:39 pm)

Best wishes. Some really good advice in here.

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alphadog15 (Apr 27, 2017 - 2:57 pm)

Please go get help immediately via counselling and medication as well as exercise more and eat better. I've been (and to some extent still am) in the same position as you are in with the exact same feelings, and it sucks. I resisted taking any sort of medication or seek help for way too long until finally I almost had a nervous breakdown this year and finally sought treatment and medication, which improved things dramatically.

Ultimately, medication isn't the cure and shouldn't be permanent, I think in your situation (as well as mine) only a change in job or profession entirely will help. Do your best to look for something else, but in the meantime get help to ease the suffering you're dealing with on a daily basis.

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ejs2017 (Apr 27, 2017 - 4:26 pm)

On the topic of exercise, if you can swing it financially invest in a set of kettlebells. I'm working on my RKC 1 certification. You can work out at home with a spartan set-up. It's amazing what you can accomplish in about twenty minutes 4 times a week.

Check this out: http://www.lifehack.org/573737/the-benefits-kettlebell-exercises-you-might-not-know?ref=mail&mtype=daily_newsletter&mid=20170427&uid=1360335&hash=717e756f767f797580744c6f7b796f6d7f803a7a7180&action=click

Also, the dietary recommendations are crucial. The Japanese suggestion is right on the money. A big part of my issues stemmed from my diet which was wreaking havoc with my brain functioning. Depression was a result. I went pure paleo with the help of a fantastic functional medicine doctor and the changes were noticeable within a few weeks.

Step back and look at the big picture. You and your family are all that matter.

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redemptionsong (Apr 27, 2017 - 11:08 pm)

Take care of yourself first. You are no good to anyone if you do not. And remember, there is nothing you will ever experience that someone else somewhere is not feeling right now. You are not alone. And you will recover if you give yourself what you need to make it.

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prodigy (Apr 28, 2017 - 10:09 am)

I don't even know whew to begin. I read the post and could not find words to describe your situation. Hang in there .

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elle301 (Apr 28, 2017 - 7:10 pm)

Family law is awful for your sanity. I echo everyone else... professional help will help you see the world in a clearer light. I think when people are in their darkest place, it's hard to see anything positive. I agree that a vacation or even just a break from work will do wonders for you.

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mcacollector (May 1, 2017 - 12:54 pm)

I saw this and felt the need to comment because I know how you feel.. I'm not in Family law, but I'm in debt collection, which is pretty soul-sucking as well and a few things that have helped me to cope with my career are:

1. Running -I was never a runner and always hated working out (and loved smoking cigarettes/ drinking). Inspired by a friend (my law school roommate actually) posting about running all of these 5ks in her 30's, I decided to download one of those couch to 5k apps (I use Runkeeper, but there's a bunch of free apps out there with similar features as well). I've been training with the app since Feb and IT HELPS. I have a bad day at work, I come home, lace up, and go out for a run. No matter how bad my day was, when I finish running, the sense of accomplishment is unbelievable. I am telling you, give it a try for a month, I was never a believer and now I am.

2. I use Talkspace (an app that hooks you up with a therapist where you can do txt therapy). I like this because I can txt my therapist in my office and no one knows I am seeing a therapist. This is perfect because you don't need to physically go to a session to talk to someone. It's helpful.

3. I Leave work at work as much as possible - Try to leave work at work and enjoy your family. You have a wife and kid who love you. You are lucky, most people would kill for that. This is JUST A JOB. I know it doesn't seem like it at times, but you need to let go of it when you leave (which is hard, I know).

4. Make use of "time off" - take sick days if you have them, call out sometimes (if you can). Go outside and enjoy a nice day. It does wonders for your emotional health. The work will still be there the next day, and unless there's some kind of deadline, no one will be harmed if you take a "mental health day".

5. Stop using alcohol or drugs - I used to be a semi-heavy drinker and I just sort of stopped because I was tired of feeling tired. Someone once told me that alcohol acts as a depressant for up to FOUR days after consumption - who has the time to feel low for four days? That same person also told me that you should never drink to feel better, you should only drink to feel EVEN better. Thus, limit drinking to celebrations ONLY. Trust me, it is another thing that has made a big difference in my mindset/ overall productivity and happiness. I also recently quit smoking (a 12 year habit) which I kicked and avoiding drinking also helps me to avoid smoking (I always crave a cig when I drink).

6. Change the diet - Generic, I know, but it is true fruits and veggies, lean meats are what keeps your body working at its optimal level. When your body is working well, you become more energized and happier. This is a fact.

I know these seem kind of generic, but they actually worked for me. Hang in there, it is never as bad as it seems! You need to treat yourself well. That's the bottom line and just keep repeating IT IS ONLY A JOB. I think we all tend to forget that...

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vohod (May 1, 2017 - 9:16 pm)

Thanks for this post. I too am consigned to collections.

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anonattempt (May 1, 2017 - 4:31 pm)

I hope we didn't lose the OP.

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anonattempt (May 1, 2017 - 5:54 pm)

Meant with good will... Seriously hope he's OK and finding help.

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lucapacioli (May 1, 2017 - 10:05 pm)

Every section of this board is behind you and we can help.

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cranky (May 1, 2017 - 11:37 pm)

OP, I'm behind you too. Many of us understand the stress and frustration of practicing law, and family law is the area most full of antagonism, lies, backstabbing and crazy folks, in addition to aggravating opposing counsel. It's not worth it to keep stressing over. View it as a way to make money and try to turn it off after leaving the office. Focus on hobbies and your family and other things to make you happy. If you can't deal with it, seek another job. Other people and all their silly problems are not worth your sanity.

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trickydick (May 2, 2017 - 12:25 am)

Congratulations, OP, you're doing better than a lot of law school graduates out there.

That said, there's no shame in admitting that you've had enough of the "honorable profession" and are ready to move onto something else. If law really makes you that miserable, just get out. Don't worry about your reputation or financial security. If you can't deal with it anymore, just leave now and take anything bearable that comes your way. I haven't been practicing long but I've already seen more than a few attorneys burn out. Nothing worthwhile comes from white knuckling it.

I've met more than one happy former attorney with no regrets about getting out when they did. It sounds like you've hit your breaking point and it's time to move on.

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lostattorney (May 4, 2017 - 2:12 am)

Update: on tuesday I sat in the parking lot of my work for 4 hours ....I puked twice. That was my last straw. I told my wife and she doesn't want me to leave before I find something else.

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prodigy (May 4, 2017 - 7:27 am)

Dude, seriously leave that damn job right now! If you lose her she was not meant for you she is not your ride or die. I just ache hearing you suffer like this. I am in family law and it is not the easiest part of the legal field. Step back do something that makes you happy. Have you got enough money saved up for at least 6 months, to cover your expenses? You are not a loser if you leave, in fact you will be terrified at first but it will all work itself out. Do you have hobbies? I would hate to lose another fellow colleague over sh*t law.

Giving up on sh*t law is not losing, committing suicide, making yourself ill and having sleepless nights is. Request PTO immediately go to the doctor so that put you on sick leave. They can do the FLMA so you still get paid whilst you are off. Clear your mind. It is ok to say I am not cut out for this sh*t.

Keep us posted on how you progress, please keep your chin up.

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wolfman (May 4, 2017 - 9:30 am)

Can you take a few days off work for health reasons?

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mrtor (May 4, 2017 - 9:38 am)

Seconded. Since you're resolved to leave, stop worrying about hitting your billing numbers or overperforming. Take a couple of vacation or sick days to get your head right and allow yourself to search for a new job full time. When you return, simply punch the clock. You will be able to underperform for a few months before any pressure or repercussions set in. By that time, you should be on your way to a new job.

I do not recommend quitting outright unless you are concerned for your health and safety. It is an uphill battle trying to get work once you're unemployed. You are a more competitive candidate if the new employer thinks it is luring or stealing you away from your current employer.

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ejs2017 (May 4, 2017 - 9:57 am)

I don't know. Sometimes you have to say "f*** it" in the interest of self-preservation.

I don't know where OP is, his background, or the job market in his area. I can't comment on his domestic situation except to ask whether his wife truly appreciates the gravity of his situation and whether she is willing to take on a job - even part time - to help with the financial burden while OP pulls himself together. Is she willing to risk losing him for the security of his paycheck?

Does OP have family he can turn to, a close friend who can mediate the situation, a pastor, rabbi or priest he can talk to?

As a life-long depression sufferer I comprehend his plight. The world viewed through the prism of depression presents no options, only impediments. The reality is much different but it takes work and outside help to get you to that realization. I hope he reaches out to someone in addition to the JDU Forum for guidance.

Hang in there, brother.

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cocolawyer (May 4, 2017 - 11:23 am)

I agree. Mrtor you can tell this guy is breaking down. I don't know why you wouldn't just leave. Who cares if you can't get a job IMMEDIATELY after. It may actually be good for him to take some time to recharge.

OP the most important thing is your family. Not families from whiny clients, annoying opposing counsels, and judges that rarely make decisions based on the law. Leave. If your wife forsakes you then ...screw her.

I was in the same situation as you recently (granted not puking in parking lot bad but yeah still). Family law is the most abhorrent diseased s*it law you can practice. You have to be a psychopath to enjoy it. If you can transition to Corporate Law. All you do there is pass around redlined contracts which is as non-stressful as law can be. They also usually get paid better.

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ejs2017 (May 4, 2017 - 11:28 am)

^ This.

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mrtor (May 4, 2017 - 11:33 am)

I'm not saying he shouldn't seek immediate assistance. However, I think its a rush to judgment to encourage he quit now if this period of feeling lost and overwhelmed, and its severity, is merely transient or episodic. He should take some time off, seek help, and then assess whether he is able to return and facilitate a smooth transition to a new job.

Coddling him may make you feel better, but he has a future ahead of himself. He needs to position himself to continue to lead a successful life if he is going to get past this and avoid feeling this way in dead end job after dead end job.

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anothernjlawyer (May 4, 2017 - 11:25 am)

OP: Glad you posted again, even under these circumstances.


Please go see a doctor, today. Just make an appointment and go. You can save the big decisions (do I quit, etc.?) for later. Talking to a medical professional, in person, is going to make you feel better, whatever else you decide to do.

We care about you and everybody here is pulling for you.

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fettywap (May 4, 2017 - 11:41 am)

I left my first job as an attorney. Dude was a crazy Iranian and would go through attorneys every few months, and never caught on that maybe he needed to change. I couldn't find another job after that, and started my own office. I don't know. Probably not a good idea to quit your job without another one lined up, but I did it when I couldn't deal anymore. I was really really broke for awhile though. Maybe get fired so at least you can collect unemployment.

Another assistant is leaving my crappy office after only being here a few weeks. All the women are talking trash about him. Duh. Wonder why he's leaving. Take me with you, dude.

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inho2solo (May 4, 2017 - 11:51 am)

" I sat in the parking lot of my work for 4 hours ....I puked twice. "

It's been over a week since your first post and 90% of the people here have been telling you to see a doc. Have you done so?

Go do it. Get some valium or whatever that type of medicine is called nowadays. There's a reason that class of drugs was nicknamed the "don't give a damn drug" - it can be a temporary measure to help reduce stress while you get stuff sorted out, and stop having the stress eat up more of your stomach lining.

Just go do it.

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acerimmer (May 4, 2017 - 5:54 pm)

Everyone telling you to see the doctor is right. BTW, you could have esophogeal ulcers.

See a doc. Do it now.

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vohod (May 5, 2017 - 11:05 am)

OP you need to talk to whatever organization your state bar has for lawyers facing a dark path.

In the mean time, spend 4-5 hours today at a park or the beach instead of puking in a commercial parking lot. Don't bring your phone with. If you must, turn of all cellular data and connectivity and only use it to jam out to music.

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bittersweet (May 5, 2017 - 12:17 pm)

Your wife does have a point. If you just up and quit it may be hard to find something else.

That said, you both should start making preparations to leave. You need to see a Dr about the condition immediately. Another immediate issue - The TWO of you need to start adjusting your finances to be able to deal with a serious drop in income.

But your wife probably doesn't realize how challenging attorney jobs are to get. It may take a while to get her understand. Get her to read JDU and some of the scamblogs to get an understanding.

Start devising a plan to get out now. No job is worth destroying your health.

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prodigy (May 10, 2017 - 2:29 pm)

Just checking are you ok? Please post to let us know how you are coping and what steps have you taken to alleviate the problem.

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vohod (May 19, 2017 - 4:23 pm)

OP you still around? Things gotten better?

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nazlaw (Jun 6, 2017 - 11:57 am)

Family Law is a dark place where everyone involved loses. There is no win, just a less painful loss.

You need to get into the not my monkey, not my circus mindset or you need to leave, now.

No wait, no anything just leave. 4 years of family court has prepped you for all that comes ahead in your personal life should you get a divorce, so use it.

If you are dead, then your family is worse off.

Getting help is a double edged sword and catch 22 rolled into one.

However getting help is better then getting dead.

Get Help Now.

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