Lawyer Turned Labor Relations Manager David Leon Takes Five

“The best thing about being an ex-lawyer is having other people do your legal work.”

For a change of pace, we thought we’d hit up David Leon, an ex-lawyer who has made a more conservative (ahem, smarter and more lucrative) career change than the one’s we’ve covered as of late, because obviously you don’t have to go from lawyer to cow hoof trimmer to qualify as an ex-lawyer.

After four years as a muni labor, employment, and environmental attorney, David is now a Labor Relations Manager at the Port of Seattle.  While David admits that his current work “has some legal overtones” his focus has shifted from legal minutia to the “day-to-day leadership and longer-term vision” of the Port of Seattle.  David enjoys his new career “most of the time, or at least more often than I was enjoying my legal work.”

Here’s his response to our five:

1.  Life for a lawyer who leaves the law is…like a dark cloud lifting from over your head.

2.  The hardest thing about being an ex-lawyer is…not feeling like you are working on a really important, intellectual, difficult yet structured project, against a really self-important, intellectual, difficult yet structured opponent.

3.  The best thing about being an ex-lawyer is…making the business decisions you wished your clients were smart enough to make; using your creativity; having other people do your legal work.

4.  The primary misconception about ex-lawyers is…that we are still lawyers.

5.  The main difference between my life now and my life as a lawyer is…less suffocation from rules & neckties.

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