Monday, March 20, 2017

Pulling a Geographic

There’s a term that people in AA use called “pulling a geographic,” which describes the process of moving to a new place looking to escape one’s problems. It’s criticized by some because, as the saying goes, “wherever you go, there you are.”

But sometimes, pulling a geographic can be just the ticket.

Take Daniel Bailey, a 2010 law school graduate who knew early on
in his career (like, the sixth week of his 1L year) that he didn’t want to be a lawyer; he wanted to be a businessman. He didn’t drop out, though. He graduated and set up his own practice for a year and a half before pulling up stakes and moving from Texas to Colorado to start his own business. He credits the move with helping him transition from lawyer to entrepreneur.

It got me thinking about my own transition out of the law. It wasn’t intentional, but a few months after quitting my firm job, my husband got a job offer that required us to move across the country and it couldn’t have come at a better time. There’s something about being in a new place surrounded by new people and a different cultural climate that opens up possibilities. Or maybe escaping the expectations of friends and loved ones is the key. At any rate, I’m not sure I could have stayed out as long as I have if we hadn’t moved to California.

Any other former lawyers or aspiring former lawyers who moved to make it happen? I’d love to hear your stories!

By the way, if you read my blog and you’d like me to keep posting, please leave a comment (even a quick “keep posting” will suffice). It’s hard to tell if anyone still reads my blog because the spambots have taken over my stats.

As always, thank you for reading!


  1. Keep posting. Also, I understand that "pulling a geographic" was helpful for Vietnam veterans who were addicted to opium; returning to the States broke it.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for your comment! I will keep posting. :)

      I'd never heard of the Vietnam thing. It makes sense. A friend of mine is an alcoholic, but he managed to stay sober while hiking the Appalachian Trail. I'm sure there's a connection between a new environment and breaking bad habits (like practicing law). I'm going to keep my eye on Daniel Bailey to see if his bacon idea takes off or what...

      Thank you again for reading!

  2. As an attorney who has practiced (both at a law firm and in-house) for the past 15 years and is now finally accepting the fact that I have no drive or passion for this line of work, please keep posting. I want to make an exit out of the practice, but really have no idea what to do. Lots to think about and figure out.

  3. Please keep posting. I'm actually a California lawyer who is seriously considering leaving the profession and moving, so your blog and this post in particular is helpful to me.

  4. I really enjoy your blog and identify with your story. Keep posting!