IamA burned out international lawyer just returned from Qatar making almost $400k per year, feeling jet lagged and slightly insane at having just quit it all to get my life back, get back in shape, actually see my 2 young boys, and start a toy com...
My short bio: for the past 9 years I have been a Partner-track associate at a Biglaw firm. They sent me to Doha for the past 2.5 years. While there, I worked on some amazing projects and was in the most elite of practice groups. I had my second son. I witnessed a society that had the most extreme rich:poor divide you could imagine. I met people who considered other people to be of less human worth. I helped a poor mother get deported after she spent 3 years in jail for having a baby out of wedlock, arrested at the hospital and put in jail with her baby. I became disgusted by luxury lifestyle and lawyers who would give anything and everything to make millions. I encountered blatant gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and a very clear glass ceiling. Having a baby apparently makes you worth less as a lawyer. While overseas, I became inspired to start a company making boy dolls after I couldn't find any cool ones for my own sons. So I hired my sister to start a company that I would direct. Complete divergence from my line of work, I know, but I was convinced this would be a great niche business. As a lawyer, I was working sometimes 300 hours in a month and missing my kids all the time. I felt guilty for spending any time not firm related. I never had a vacation where I did not work. I missed my dear grandmother's funeral in December. In March I made the final decision that this could not last. There must be a better way. So I resigned. And now I am sitting in my mother's living room, having moved the whole family in temporarily - I have not lived with my mother since I was 17. I have moved out of Qatar. I have given up my very nice salary. I have no real plans except I am joining my sister to build my company. And I'm feeling a bit surreal and possibly insane for having given it up. Ask me anything!
I'm answering questions as fast as I can! Wow! But my 18 month old just work up jet lagged too and is trying to eat my computer.....slowing me down a bit!
This is crazy - I can't type as fast as the questions come in, but I'll answer them. This is fascinating. AM I SUPPOSED TO RESPOND TO EVERYONE??!
10:25 AM EST: Taking a short break. Kids are now awake and want to actually spend time with them :)
11:15 AM EST: Back online. Will answer as many questions as I can. Kids are with husband and grandma playing!
PS: I was thinking about this during my break: A lot of people have asked why I am doing this now. I have wanted to say some public things about my experience for quite some time but really did not dare to do so until I was outside of Qatar, and I also wanted to wait until the law firm chapter of my life was officially closed. I have always been conservative in expressing my opinion about my experience in Qatar while living there because of the known incidents of arrests for saying things in public that are contrary to the social welfare and moral good. This Reddit avenue appealed to me because now I feel free to actually say what I think about things and have an open discussion. It is so refreshing - thank you everyone for the comments and questions. Forums like this are such a testament to the value of freedom of expression.
Because several people have asked, here's a link to the Kickstarter campaign for my toy company. I am deeply grateful for any support. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1632532946/boy-story-finally-cool-boy-action-dolls