BigLaw Attorney to Coach & Podcast Host: Sarah Cottrell & Paving Her Own Path

Jan 13, 2022

How many times have you had the drive to start something new, but let fear get in the way?

Whether that be fear of judgment, fear of the unknown, or fear of failure- realize you’re not alone. This week’s episode features Sarah Cottrell, AKA the “Former Lawyer”. Sarah worked in Biglaw for a decade and found herself in the same position so many of us see ourselves in: hating our job and desiring more. Sarah worked in many areas as a practiced lawyer such as litigator, legal publisher, and eventually appellate court staff attorney. However, none of those jobs brought her the joy she wanted.

Sarah was miserable. She quickly realized that what she thought she once wanted to do was just not it. She felt stuck, like so many corporate workers do, and knew she needed to find a solution. In 2011 on a routine walk with her husband, she recalls saying “there should be a podcast called the ‘Former Lawyer’ podcast where people who have left law to do other things share what they’re doing and how they got there.”

She then bought the former lawyer domain that same year.

Sarah calls her journey the “long game” because she came up with the idea in 2011, but didn’t officially leave law and pursue it for another 7 years. Proving that knowing you’re ready is different than being ready to do something. She will be the first one to tell you it was NOT easy- she was doing everything on her own. While she was not working full-time on the podcast to begin, the challenge and uncertainty of the future were frightening. She is a rarity in that she quit her job THEN began planning, and it was worth it in the end. She knew she wanted to provide a service that folks’ needed and then went for it.

The Former Lawyer podcast has surpassed over 100,000 downloads and is proud to be a collaborative and safe space for all former lawyers and corporate workers. Sarah also runs the Former Lawyer Collaborative, a coaching program to support lawyers as they transition out of their jobs and into their joy.

Sarah’s advice for entrepreneurs: start somewhere. Let go of the fear of failure and what “they” might think- whoever “they” is to you.

Want to listen to the whole episode? Catch up on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts!

The Former Lawyer podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Overcast.

How to connect with Sarah:








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