Doctors Have Better Personal Finance Blogs Than Lawyers

There are plenty of lawyer blogs out there. There are plenty of personal finance blogs too. But what’s up with the lack of personal finance blogs for lawyers a more than only a few years into their careers?

Doctors have it good.

Lucky guy.

First, they get to help people. Second, in an emergency, their skills are useful. I thought about going to Haiti after the earthquake to volunteer to take some depositions, but then I realized I’m a transaction cost, and more transaction costs don’t help injured people.

But, most frustrating to me right now, there are some really good doctor personal finance blogs.

There’s White Coat Investor, which has been rocking the category for a long time. But also the incredibly impressive Physician on FIRE, Passive Income MD, Buck Joffrey’s Wealth Formula, and The Happy Philosopher. Physician on FIRE, in particular, appears to be burning up the internet with posts.

If you’re a doctor and you’re trying to figure out how to deal with money and the business of medicine you’ll have great places to start on the internet.

For lawyers, not so much.

Here are the two kinds of lawyer blogs out there that I’ve found.

First, there’s the millennial or associate at big firm blog.

The best example is The Big Law Investor. It’s a great blog. I like reading it. It’s got some fun stuff. I wish, when I was in BigLaw, that it existed and I’d read it. It’s gorgeous and slick.

But it’s audience appears to be the legions of folks at big firms who are miserable and want to no longer be at big firms. I don’t blame them, but that’s a relatively small part of the world of lawyers.

There are also a decent number of millennial finance blogs that are written by, or for, lawyers. I, Vigilante, or, back in the day, Thoughts of an Anonymous Lawyer.

There’s no real discussion in these of mid-career lawyer money issues. They could as easily be written by a file clerk who makes a ton of bank and has student loans.

Second, there are law firm management blogs. There’s Lee Rosen’s Divorce Discourse, Lawyerist, and Carolyn Elephant’s My Shingle, and a ton of others.

Those will tell you how to run your law firm and get more clients, but not really how to run your money in light of your law firm.

But there are some big questions out there for mid-career lawyers that matter. Like:

  • How should you think about buying into a law partnership? There’s no real meaningful conversation on the internet.
  • What partnership compensation structure should you lobby for? Beyond some dull technical stuff written by consultants, the internet has basically no guidance. (And, if your view is you should lobby for the one that makes you the most money this year, you’re either at the wrong firm or being very short-sighted. To be discussed later . . .)
  • How do you think about your future in your career as you reach partnership?
  • How much does looking like a successful fancy lawyer matter to landing clients?
  • How do you monetize your career if you want to step back later? What does retirement look like if your professional life has been spent building a stream of business that dies within a few years of your retirement? (or, why lawyers work until they turn 80)

I like being a lawyer. I’m not looking to get my F You Money so I can pull the rip cord and parachute to the Dominican Republic and live on a beach the rest of my life.

Maybe I’ll work less later, maybe not.

But, between now and then, there’s a bunch of stuff that I’ve got to figure out.

9 thoughts on “Doctors Have Better Personal Finance Blogs Than Lawyers”

    1. You’re right – Financial Panther is definitely in the club! Thanks for reminding me!

      And thanks for commenting! How many folks were backed up in your waiting room while you posted that? 😉

  1. Thanks for putting me in the same paragraph with such an awesome group of bloggers 🙂

    My guess is there are hundreds of great lawyer blogs out there discussing personal finance, but they are obscured by the internet noise. It takes a while to get noticed unless you are great at marketing yourself (which I am not).

    1. That’s fair. But I’ve really been looking for a while and come up empty. All the lawyer blogs dealing with money seem to be focused on the millennials. Which is cool – I like millennials because they cause good coffee shops – it’s just a different time of life.

  2. Loved this. For years, I’ve been jealous of all the great doctor personal finance blogs as well (not to mention podcasts). This is half the reason why I started The Biglaw Investor. Why should they have all the fun? And don’t lawyers need a personal finance resources as well?What I eventually realized is that I couldn’t expect Jim over at WCI to write about topics relevant to a lawyer when – surprise, surprise – he’s not a lawyer. Someone else needed to do it.

    So glad to see your voice out here too. I’ve been looking for lawyers talking about personal finance for years and other than Financial Panther and Living Rich Cheaply (http://livingrichcheaply.com/), you’ve covered the list.

    I’ve subscribed to your blog and am following along. Let’s change this together!

    Just one minor quibble. The audience so far over at The Biglaw Investor is quite mixed. It’s definitely not the legion of folks at biglaw that are miserable and want to quit. I’m curious how I’ve given off that impression? I’m one of those weirdos that like what I’m doing in Biglaw, but perhaps that’s not showing through in my writing. I’ve also been practing for 7 years, so a lot of the questions you raised are actually the ones I’m thinking about right now. Unfortunately, even at 3 posts a week, I’m finding it hard to cover everything immediately but if you stay tuned we’ll get there.

    But going back to the readership, so far I’ve spoken to many, many readers (by far, the BEST part of the blog) and most of them aren’t in Biglaw. If I had to peg percentages, I’d say 35% in Biglaw and 65% outside. Those that are outside are in medium sized firms in the Midwest or South typically. Obviously that’s just based on who is emailing me, but if I look at the stats I can also tell that a significant amount of traffic is coming from not-NY or CA.

    And this crowd of non-Biglaw lawyers is a critical part of who I’m hoping to reach. By interacting with the readers, I’m generating ideas for future blog posts that will (I hope) be more relevant than just saying “you’re making $200K, don’t be an idiot and skip maxing out your 401(k)”. But of course that needs to be said too.

    Again, really excited that you’ve decided to take up the pen and looking forward to hearing more from you.

    1. Thanks for the comment! Really, I appreciate it. I love what you’re doing over there. And, perhaps unfairly, I’ve been reading your email series which looks a little focused on getting the F You Money then getting out of dodge. Though, again, that’s slightly different than the stuff in your posts.

      Also, the blog name is a little BigLaw focused. Not that it’s a bad thing. Your stuff is clearly relevant to a much wider audience.

      I was really interested to see that Above the Law had the small firms category as one of it’s most frequently visited pages in 2016. I think you’re right that there’s a presumption among lawyers who went to T15 schools that everyone is at BigLaw (or they got C’s in law school). And it’s refreshing to hear about my corner of the world.

      On the move from being an associate to what’s next – yeah, I’m planning to do a few things on that next week. It’s a big period. And the money part of it is fascinating.

      Thank you!

      1. Yeah, the email series is more playful. I find that financial independence in general is a new topic to most people (not just lawyers) and so can be an eye opener that gets the gears turning. For me financial independence and “getting out of dodge” are two very separate and different things. I’m way more focused talking about the former because it opens up so many opportunities. But then if someone wants to get out of dodge, more power to them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *