An Attorney Seeking The Next Step

How would I describe myself? I am an only child who grew up on a small farm and went to a private school and then a private college. I did public interest work and then decided to go to law school. I thought I wanted to do environmental law and did two internships with environmental organizations during my summers at law school. I found myself bored. I graduated from law school and clerked for an appellate judge. Then, after about 10 months of doing contract work and reviewing documents, I got a job with a mid-sized private firm for a great salary doing corporate work. I liked the 'lawyer' aspect of it - research, drafting, high level thinking, but I didn't feel fulfilled and I definitely felt overworked. It was not a good fit for me. About 5 months ago, I lost my job. And now I feel I am at a crossroads - people ask me what I 'want' to do - what makes me happy? I don't know. I know I like reading, writing and research, but in what field? I don't want to give up on being an attorney, but my life feels stalled as if somehow, I have missed my calling (if there is even such a thing) or am not succeeding in finding it for whatever reason. I spend a lot of time at home and attempting to motivate to network with people at job fairs or volunteer events/trainings. I have a lot to offer and the educational background and skill set to do a lot as an attorney. I just don't know what I want to do. I do know I don't want to be in a job that owns me and takes over my life. I think of being a public interest lawyer of some sort, but I worry that such a job would own me and take over my life and pay very little. Is that petty? Should I not care about the salary? I do have debt and I do have a degree that I think entitles me to make more than someone just out of college could. I am unsure how to figure out the proper direction for the next stage in my life. I'm wondering if any of you have advice, thoughts or maybe even feel similarly. I'd appreciate some stories of how other attorneys figured out their path or have decided to leave the law for something else. Thanks.
tornadowatch tornadowatch
31-35, F
Sep 21, 2012