Attorneys Face Unique Challenges
WWM understands how to address them
Attorneys' Unique Challenges
From personal experience, becoming an attorney is a significant investment of time and money. Successful attorneys often spend 60-80 hours a week perfecting their craft and helping their clients. After the required three (or more) years of law school, building a practice takes time, hard work, and dedication. Even those attorneys who enjoy working with taxes and spreadsheets often have little time or energy to research the best way to structure their finances. WWM helps those attorneys who find value in delegating complex financial tasks to others so their time can be spent elsewhere.
WWM founder Kurt Winiecki leverages his decade-long experience as a lawyer to efficiently discover how attorneys want their money put to work for them. The WWM Wealth Blueprint planning process relieves stress by answering each client's unique financial questions. The resulting plan provides a framework for making decisions about their money, always focusing on lowering the lifetime tax bill.
Why I'm writing a book about attorneys and happiness by Kurt Winiecki
I was an unhappy attorney for much of my legal career. Lack of insight into a legal career or area of practice led to unfulfilling, stressful jobs. When I realized that pay was the primary reason I remained a lawyer, I came to a reckoning. I embarked on a search for a career that combined several personal needs: to help people on a very personal level, to solve unique and complex problems, to work with numbers, and to avoid daily technical writing.
My legal career experience is not unique. Many attorneys are working jobs they dislike for reasons they don't understand. Others feel obligated (financially and otherwise) to the practice of law.
Attorneys can learn from others to help improve their lives. Suppose attorneys share their stories, lessons, warnings, and best practices with others. In that case, it will help others make better decisions and lead more intentional lives focusing on what is important to them while reducing sacrifice.
My book is a work in progress. I welcome attorney input, stories, introductions, and feedback to this collaborative process.
Where I am in the Process
After interviewing over a dozen attorneys and about a half dozen legal professionals (recruiters, psychiatrists, etc.), I am transcribing and organizing the interviews into narratives, stories and lessons.
What I’ve learned
I learned from interviews that almost all attorneys cannot “turn it off.” They feel compelled to look at their emails before bed and right after waking up. They also find billing hours, as necessary as it is, a constant, burdensome task. And while they make a good living, many are disappointed with the financial rewards.
Defining happiness is difficult, and talking about it may be more so. Some studies use Self Determination Theory (SDT) to try to measure it. Tenets of SDT include that all human beings have particular basic psychological needs—to feel competent/effective, autonomous/authentic, and related/connected with others. Those attorneys who act for “intrinsic” reasons (such as personal growth, love, helping others, and building community) are generally happier than those whose motivations are based on external factors like affluence, beauty, status, and power. Autonomy (supportive vs. controlling supervisors) is also a significant factor. Unfortunately, the competitive nature of law school may change law students from focusing on internal to external factors and motivations. Lawrence S. Krieger and Kennon M. Sheldon, What Makes Lawyers Happy? A Data-Driven Prescription to Redefine Professional Success, 83 GEO. WASH. L. REV. 554 (2015).
(As a former attorney, how nice are recommended citations? I can cut and paste!)
I am always seeking stories that can teach attorneys at all stages of their careers how to enjoy their practice more. If you or someone you know has a teaching story (excellent or horrible), please reach out.