07 April 2007 by Published in: General musings 16 comments

Yesterday, I finalized a deal for office space. It’s not going to be a permanent thing, but it will do for now. It gives me a place to work and resources–conference room facilities, copier, fax, etc. The space is nice, and it will certainly do for now.

In August, I will have been in the practice of law for twenty years. The truth is that I have never particularly enjoyed it. When I was younger, it was a reasonably good outlet for my competitiveness, but I find that as I age, I am much less competitive than in my younger days. I simply don’t need that outlet any more. This whole situation has prompted me to reassess where I see myself headed, and I have come to the conclusion that I’m about done with being a lawyer. I just don’t have it in me any more, and I don’t find it rewarding any more.

So, I’m now in the process of figuring out what to do with the rest of my life. For six or seven years now, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting an MBA, and perhaps now is the time to do so. One way or the other, it’s time for me to develop a plan for making my escape from lawyering. I hope to be wrapping things up completely no more than 24 months from today.

Stay tuned. It’s going to be an interesting ride.

Scridb filter


  1. Don
    Sat 07th Apr 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Recognizing the problem and making a plan is over half the battle. Best of luck with your decision.

  2. Rudy Rau
    Sat 07th Apr 2007 at 9:08 pm

    I remember being fascinated with books on corporate law when I was a teenager. Sort of gave me a sense of order in a tumultuous period in my life.

    I would think that one area you might consider since you are young with a great deal to offer others, is teaching. At some time in your life. You have acquired a great deal of history and interesting information which you share through your writing and talks. You do not seem to want to keep it all to yourself. The MBA and a role in teaching could be rewarding.

    My son is turning 44 next week. I wonder what thoughts are going through his head as he steams along towards middle age. He’s a great guy. I took he and my wife to Gettysburg in 1980 and for the three of us, the Civil War came alive. When he lived in Nashville 1993 to 1998, our visits were consumed by trips to the battlefields. And then, we had the double joy of knowing Lawton had been there, and what his positions were so we re-lived a part of the family history.

    Good luck as you work through your decisions.

  3. Sat 07th Apr 2007 at 10:14 pm


    I agree. And thanks.


  4. Sat 07th Apr 2007 at 10:16 pm


    That’s one of my options. I’m 46, so I’m probably too old to be thinking about a Ph.D. program, but the thought of getting a teaching certificate has crossed my mind. In a perfect world, I would be in the publishing business, but we will see where things go.

    The advantage is that I have all the time in the world to make this decision.


  5. Rob Wick
    Sat 07th Apr 2007 at 10:57 pm


    With all the stories that you’ve told (and I’m sure still have to tell) is writing full-time a possibility?


  6. Stephen Graham
    Sun 08th Apr 2007 at 12:52 am


    46 is definitely not too old to start a doctoral program, if that’s what you’re interested in. Your past comments were that you aren’t necessarily. But as an advisor in an academic department, I’ve dealt with students much older than you at all levels.

    Community college might be a teaching option, although there is a discouraging trend towards only hiring part-timers at far too many cc’s.

  7. Phil L.
    Sun 08th Apr 2007 at 3:27 am


    Just today I noticed an article on MSN.com entitled “Is Getting an Executive MBA Past the Age of 50 Worth It?”
    While it deals specifically with Executive MBA’s (i.e. an MBA for someone already in a senior executive position) and you haven’t hit 50 yet, you’re close enough. And if running your own practice doesn’t make you a “senior executive”, I don’t know what does. You can read the article yourself, but it does mention that an MBA can be a useful tool for someone contemplating a career change – and it mentions teaching as one of those potential changes.

    I hope you find some useful elements in the article.

    Best wishes from a slightly older business owner trying to figure out his own exit strategy.

  8. Paul Taylor
    Sun 08th Apr 2007 at 9:41 am


    Reading your post this morning was like looking in the mirror. Substitute the phrase “insurance and financial services” for “law” and your rant could easily have been written by me. I too have pondered the higher degrees. Unfortunately for me, I’m two years older than you though I don’t know if that really matters.

    Just a few years ago, I spoke with the dean of history at a local well-known university about my desire for a career change and my love of history. What he told me then was not encouraging. According to him, given my need to work full time, thus going to school part-time, it would be at least 6 – 9 years before I could get my masters and doctorate. He then stated that though no one would ever admit it, I would probably become the victim of age discrimination at that point. He also mentioned that after English professors, history professors, as a group, are the oldest instructors in the land. They simply never retire, so there’s just not a lot of demand. Because of that, you now have history teachers with Ph. D’s teaching at all levels and not just the university level. As a final shot, he told me that white male, American history is very passé right now and that all up and coming wannabe’s must focus on some other area, i.e., women’s, ethnic, or Islamic studies.

    So what to do? It’s all quite confusing, yet we both know that something’s gotta give.

    Thankfully, my wife is extremely supportive. In a lighter moment, she’ll come up with her obvious answer. Just set aside the non-fiction and write the next “Killer Angels” or “Cold Mountain!” 🙂 Now why didn’t I think of that?


  9. Steve Ward
    Sun 08th Apr 2007 at 10:44 am

    Eric: Will you be at Mansfield this year? If so, Saturday or Sunday? Steve Ward.

  10. Christ Liebegott
    Sun 08th Apr 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Some advice from a guy who should have listened to himself 45++ years ago. Do what you damn well want to do! If that means getting advance degrees, go for it. Who knows, with your great interest in and knowledge of the CW, and your obvious enthusiasm and energy, you could be the next generation’s Ed Bearss!!!

  11. Sun 08th Apr 2007 at 3:32 pm


    I feel your pain, brother. 🙂


  12. Sun 08th Apr 2007 at 3:32 pm


    God willing and the creek don’t rise, I should be there Saturday.


  13. Mike Nugent
    Sun 08th Apr 2007 at 7:17 pm

    I’ve some other friends who are “recovering attorneys” too so you’re in good company! As far as being to old for a Ph.D. program. BULL! When Di went to Med School there was a guy in her class who was in his mid-sixties when they graduated! Now obviously at that point it’s more of a personal thing than a career move, but I’m a firm believer in the “life long learning” school of thought.

    In any event, best of luck.

    (Halfway through career # 2 and wondering what to do next.)

  14. ptrostle
    Mon 09th Apr 2007 at 9:48 am


    Too coincidental. I’ve been doing this for abot the same amount of time you’ve been lawyering. In three weeks, I’m starting my MBA – and with a bit of luck, five years or so from now I’ll be more “Professor Trostle” and a lot less what I am now.



  15. Mon 09th Apr 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Phil T,

    We shall have to have a chat sooner than later. I really would like to have your input. I’m attending an open house for an executive MBA program tomorrow afternoon.


  16. ptrostle
    Tue 10th Apr 2007 at 8:28 am


    Please, please, please not this week. 🙂

    I’m thinking you understand……

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