In the latest “Life After Law,” we sat down with Benjamin Gold to discuss his transition from landlord/tenant lawyer to the founder of his own podcast, “Lawyer Stories.”
AALM: What motivated you to launch your podcast?
BG: I have always been a sociologist at heart and really enjoyed the legal studies program at UMass-Amherst which was more “about the law” than a training “in the law.” After law school, I moved around a few times before I found my first legal position. I felt I had a story. Many lawyers are motivated to attend law school to obtain a legal education based on past personal experiences and I wanted to read the motivations, inspirations and challenges, and share them in a narrative form, written directly from the law student or attorney.
AALM: Why do so many attorneys share their stories with you?
BG: I think it’s because “Lawyer Stories” is a platform dedicated to humanizing the profession and it is an opportunity to be heard and not just share their accolades and resume from the law firm website. Sharing personal journeys to the practice of law has helped lawyers to connect with each other.
AALM: After sharing thousands of lawyer stories of the years, what are three common traits you see in successful attorneys?
BG: Successful attorneys are open to new ideas and have the ability to evolve as time goes on by changing with the times. Successful attorneys enjoy being recognized for the positive work they have accomplished. Successful attorneys can network, network, network.
AALM: What was the most inspirational story you remember?
BG: We have shared many, many inspirational stories. There is not one in particular that I will identify, but some have to do with being the child of an immigrant family moving to the United States and then becoming a lawyer, or a teacher, family member or friend telling a young person they were not cut out to be a lawyer and then that young person becoming a lawyer.
AALM: What do you see as one of the most common obstacles attorneys say they had to overcome?
BG: Some attorneys have to overcome their own negative demons that dissuade them from succeeding and much has to be do with imposter syndrome; the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.
AALM: What is next for your podcast?
BG: We are approaching the 100th podcast episode and plan to continue to share Lawyer Stories and advice. We hope to launch a membership community in the coming year to truly connect members of our profession. We already have a growing listserve (email group), newsletter and social media platforms. More to come on that.