Many posts about legal employment deal with getting a job. Or in this bleak legal job market, trying to get a job.
This post deals with leaving a job. It deals with colleagues who have made me part of their families.
Every day that I’ve been licensed as a lawyer, I’ve worked at Leone, Throwe, Teller & Nagle in East Hartford, Connecticut. I was admitted on October 31, 2005 and started work there on November 1, 2005.
July 23, 2012 will be my last day at Leone, Throwe, Teller and Nagle.
I’ve decided to leave. I’m opening my own firm. There are many reasons that this is the right decision for me at this point in my career.
The decision to leave was not an easy one. In large part because I liked my job. I liked my co-workers. In many respects, I wished I hated my job. That would have made my decision to leave much easier. Storming out like Jerry Maguire would have been easier than dealing with the range of emotions that I’ve experienced over the past few weeks.
But I worked for and with good people whom I hold in high esteem. Further, I have no use for goldfish.
Telling my bosses that I was leaving was the most difficult conversation that I’ve had in a long while. One that I agonized about for weeks.
The reason that I’m leaving is that I want the challenge of building a firm from the ground up. I could have left for established positions and I opted not to. I could have stayed and that would have presented a different set of challenges.
I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened had I not picked up Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography – probably the best book that I’ve ever read. And I’m not an apple fanboy. In particular, this paragraph about getting fired from Apple spoke to me:
I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life. – Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech
I need the lightness of being a beginner again. I need to be less sure about everything. I’m freed to enter what is already the most creative period of my life. I’d imagine the discussion of “what are we going to call this thing” happens in most every company ever formed. Aside from the name of my new venture being both alphabetical and gentlemanly - Freed McKeen is accurate. The freedom will foster creativity.
Much of the conversation on this blog in the coming weeks is going to be about what’s new. In fact, this blog is about to be re-born. It will be redesigned. For the first time in the history of this site – this blog will be a joint venture between me and my partner, Meghan Freed. I think you’re going to love what we have in store for this site.
But I’m not there yet. I have three more days at Leone, Throwe, Teller & Nagle. I’m grateful for all that the Leone and Teller families have done for me, my career, and my family. They are first rate people, excellent lawyers, and professionals in every sense of the word. Every young lawyer should be so grateful to have learned from Frank, Bill, and Adam.
I was very fortunate to begin my career with Valerie Leone as a colleague and end it working with Mario Borelli.
In the course of my employment I’ve learned a lot about law and life from the firm’s seasoned support staff. Many thanks to Ruth, Maria, Diane, Sue, Paula and Jeanine.
I’ll miss my colleagues. Seven years went by very quickly. In that time, everyone in my office supported me in so many ways as I became a lawyer and a father. I’m forever grateful.
For now, it’s time to pack up my office, close out some files, and say good bye before heading off to be a beginner.