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Departure Memo: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

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By Robyn Hagan Cain on May 03, 2013 7:01 AM

I knew before I finished law school that I didn't want to practice law. Actually, I knew that before I started law school. But I was really good at mock trial in high school, and my parents thought I was throwing away all that talent if I didn't go to law school. So I went.

It was a bad choice, but it is what it is.

The summer before my 3L year, I interned in the policy department for a trade association in D.C. As my internship came to an end, an attorney-turned-policy-guru on my team gave me some great advice: If you don't want to practice law, don't go to a law firm. Don't even apply. Non-traditional legal careers won't pay you the big bucks that you could earn at a law firm, he said, but you'll have a life. You'll have hobbies. You'll read books. You'll see your friends (as long as they aren't lawyers).

I knew he was right. Still, I ended up taking a job at a firm when I graduated. It didn't last long. I love learning about the law, but I wasn't cut out for a traditional legal career.

I should have listened to my co-worker.

The bright side to this story is that I eventually found this job at FindLaw. And I actually learned that I could enjoy a law job.

For the last two years, I have been paid to make snarky comments about federal case law. I've used my legal background without practicing law. Unlike most lawyers, I've loved my job.

I say "loved" because this is my final post for FindLaw. After writing more than 2,400 posts (and about 1 million words), I've decided to branch out on my own.

During my time at FindLaw, I've been name-checked on SCOTUSblog (take that, ConLaw prof!), cited in a Supreme Court brief (no idea why), and mentioned on Above the Law for my love of SoulCycle and a bad Mean Girls comparison. (According to a law school classmate, an ATL shout-out is a greater accomplishment than the Supreme Court brief. Thanks, guys!)

All in all, it's been a helluva ride.

For years, I have dreamed of leaving a job with a boombox on my shoulder playing "Take this job and shove it." (Clearly, based on the mere mention of a boombox, I am child of the 80s.) That dream will have to wait for another gig, because I'm actually going to miss my co-workers at FindLaw. When I leave today, it's with more of a Breakfast Club/Don't You Forget About Me vibe.

I'm lucky. I survived law school and a law firm and found a way to be happy while using my law degree. I honestly hope that all of you are equally lucky.

So that's it. I'm off for now, but I'll be back on the Interwebs soon. Until we meet again, keep it real, folks.

RHC out.

Editor's Note: Robyn will be missed by all of us here at FindLaw. Sniff.

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