Introducing Thrillable Hours: Proving that Even Lawyers Can Have Fun

Skydiving in Cape Town

Thrillable Hours - alternative careers for lawyers As promised in my post about temporarily moving back to Thailand, I am starting a Q&A series on alternative careers for lawyers, called Thrillable Hours. The series will highlight people who have taken their law degrees and followed an alternative career path. Yes, this is a play on the lawyerly ‘billable hours’. Yes, I find this funny.

When I was working in New York and in a social setting with new people, the first question thrown my way would almost always be ‘what do you do?’ Corporate law might not have been my passion, but I was proud of my work and happy to explain what I was up to in the city. However, when I started travelling and people would ask the same question some would visibly recoil when I mentioned that I was a lawyer. You see, we have this reputation and it’s not necessarily a great one. I could see the judgment, the question marks behind their eyes and then the inevitable statement that followed: “but you don’t seem like you’re a lawyer.” What does that even mean?

Climbing South Sister Mountain Oregon Lawyer (ok, me) climbing South Sister mountain in Oregon.

After many conversations that mirrored the one above, I decided to start Thrillable Hours. On my travels, I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with some fascinating and creative still-practicing lawyers. I’ve also met some innovative former attorneys who decided to leave their practice altogether and follow a more unusual path.

Skydiving in Cape Town Lawyer (ok, me) skydiving over Cape Town, South Africa.

Tomorrow I’ll kick off the series by interviewing Naomi Duguid, a former lawyer from Toronto who went on to become a cookbook author extraordinaire, garnering two James Beard awards with her former partner for their cookbooks Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China and Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia.

Thrillable Hours is a series to prove we can do something a little different and hopefully improve our collective reputation in the process.  Be it working as a lawyer in Kabul, becoming a stand-up comedian, a respected non-fiction author or the Assistant Dean at a top tier law school, I’m excited to feature these interesting people living bold lives.




43 thoughts on “Introducing Thrillable Hours: Proving that Even Lawyers Can Have Fun”

  1. I love the photos of you living your badass non-legal life! Can’t wait to read the series…(even though I must admit that always feel sheepish about saying I’m a lawyer).

    1. I think Canada’s lawyers don’t have as terrible a rep as those in the States -we have almost no jury trials in Canada so the same kind of frivolous, crazy jury awards don’t usually happen. I never feel sheepish in North America, but while travelling I certainly cringe as I’m telling people what I used to do.

  2. There’s something slightly Carrie Anne Moss in “The Matrix” about your first photo. (Do you know kung-fu?)

    Will read this series with great interest. And yes, I hear you. Lawyers, accountants, politicians, bankers…somehow it’s generally more acceptable to be rude about them, in a way doctors, firemen, architects, artists etc. seem to avoid. I’m sure jealousy plays its part, but even so…I hear your grrrr.

    1. Thanks Mike. I’m not sure jealousy plays a part, but the prevalence of some bottom-feeding litigation in the States likely has a role to play. Either way, deciding to do this series has enabled me to connect with some extremely inspiring people and for that I’m grateful! And I’m really looking forward to sharing their stories. No Kung-Fu :)

  3. fantastic idea for a series! i’m sure you’ll have an awesome time with it and i’m excited to hear these episodes. as someone who spent many years as an actor before i switched over to “permanent nomad,” i have a suspicion that there’s the potential for a similar series with that group! :-)

  4. What an inventive and personal idea! To shatter that derogatory reputation that lawyers have endured for years. Can’t wait to read the first one! And hi, I’m back! Been a while since I’ve commented here.

    1. Welcome back, lady! And get better soon. Glad the safety whistle has come in handy too, at least per your latest post. Any specific instances or misadventures to share? Our lawyerly reputation isn’t that terrible in Canadia, but overall we’re not the most well-loved out there. Hope you enjoy the series.

      1. I suppose that’s true (rep in Canada). Although, my friends still made lawyer jokes. Ha! Whistle hasn’t been used against assailants, but definitely with 42 unruly kids who refused to listen. :)

  5. Hey Jodi,

    One more beautiful post….you are keeping no stone unturned….good job and nice initiative…keep it up…like your sky diving pic.


    1. Thanks Akshaye. If you click through to the post there’s also a video. It was a fun dive, and more beautiful than any other I’ve done as it was a clear day with a perfect view of the ocean and Table Mountain in the distance.

  6. Very cool idea for a series! Look forward to learning about the other lawyers that have done as many cool things as you!

  7. Great idea! Are you single-handedly trying to repair the reputation of lawyers with this series? If lawyers ever needed a place to help build their reputation, you got it here! :)

    But come on – you didn’t realize lawyers had a bad reputation until you started traveling? I didn’t have the impression you were naive but now I am beginning to wonder! :)

    1. Oh no, my family’s lawyer jokes clued me into the rep pretty early. But there were never negative comments made about being a lawyer when I was working in NY. There are a lot of us there :) It was when I started travelling that the profession was almost always perceived as negative.

  8. Excellent! I love reading about people who are doing interesting things with their lives.

    Every time I meet lawyers on the road I’m mostly just surprised that they were able to unchain themselves from their desks for long enough to take a holiday. Looking forward to hearing the stories of those who have unchained themselves permanently.

    Also, great word play in the series title. hyuk hyuck *nerd laughter*

  9. Pingback: Alternative Careers for Lawyers: Interview with Naomi Duguid | Legal Nomads

  10. Jodi! I’m so excited to see that this series is finally rolling out. You know how I found out? My law school friend sent me a message about it… I was like “wait, I think I’m a part of that!” lol… So you should know that the word has gotten out at McGill. Very cool. :)

    Can’t wait to read the others too.

    1. Hi Albert, thanks for the comment. You can do this too, of course. Perhaps not in the same way (you might have a family and different obligations) but if it’s your dream, I hope you make it happen in some capacity as well. I hope you enjoy the series!

  11. Hello Jodi,

    I came across your site recently. I’m enjoying your travel stories and awesome photos! I especially like your series, Thrillable Hours. I am an attorney from California and hoping to take a break from billable hours and travel abroad. Looking forward to hearing more about your travels and other lawyers living unconventional lives.


    1. Hi Irene, welcome to Legal Nomads! I am glad you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far. Best of luck with the saving and planning and feel free to send me an email if you have any questions along the way (contact me form is above).

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