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I've been working as an attorney on competitive telecom issues for nearly 10 years. I don't adore it but the pay is reasonable for the work required. Fighting Bell back in the glory days ('96 - 96 or so) was a lot of fun but it's been a tense time, not too much fun ever since.

I've gone from a large company to a state job to a small law firm - doing the same sort of work all along.

Working at the firm what I have long suspected is abundantly clear - there is little work left in the telecom regulatory field. Oh there is SOME. Working for a cable company or a wireless provider, maybe - but there are few such positions and most are not where I want to be (Austin, Texas). Most competitive local exchange carriers are either out of business or nearly so and there is an ever-shrinking pool of work to do in the field.

There is similar work in the electric and even gas areas but not a ton and, given the glut of telecom lawyers, it's not very promising.

I think I need to find something new to do.

I don't really care for law, though the pay (mostly) has been acceptable. I've enjoyed this telecom gig but mainly because there is so little law to it (and so much public policy advocacy). I do like public policy advocacy but who else will pay me to do it the way telecom has and where else can I advocate for something I truly believe in (like telecom competition)?

These past few months, I have given serious thought to becoming a real estate salesperson. I love houses, helping friends find places to live(which I already do for free on occasion) and follow the market here very closely. I need only 60 classroom hours to get a certificate. I'm having lunch tomorrow with a blast-from-the-past real estate broker friend and will try to talk to a few others in the near term.

Most disheartening, though, is salary info I can find on line. Median attorneys in this area make around $100k a year and median real estate agents make like $30K. I support my family and can't afford that sort of dip for very long.

How much attention should I pay to that median pay stuff? Plenty of real estate people have a license and don't really even work. Do they factor into that median? Should I just try to find something else to do in law? If I tried real estate and it didn't work out, how hard would it be to get back into some sort of legal position somewhere? Making enough for us to live on is my #1 priority, though I wouldn't mind enjoying what I have to do every day.

Thanks for any ideas anyone may have on this.

Regards,
MitsouR (confused)

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