When you hear the term “mid-life,” what images or thoughts come to mind? Perhaps it’s the clichéd “mid-life crisis” with visions of a middle-aged man who has just started balding – but he’s growing a ponytail anyway – sporting a “beer-belly” sitting at a table with a lackluster look on his face, scrolling through an online car website searching for a convertible. Something fast and racy. Something flashy – so, probably red. Something to make him feel young again. Or perhaps it’s something else?

Mid-life might be better understood as a phase marked by escalating stress levels, heightened demands on your time, increased responsibilities that include caring for ageing parents and young children, managing debt, confronting the realities of ageing and dealing with more aches and pains while feeling increasingly fatigued. In essence, mid-life is a stage where you’re inundated from all directions, and self-care seems like a distant memory, with your weekly “cheat meal” becoming the week’s highlight. 

Now add being a lawyer into the mix which comes with its own set of stresses and strains: managing a team, developing your practice, adapting to changes in the legal climate, jostling partners and executives, meeting billing targets and getting to grips with legal tech in order to stay up to date and relevant! And there you have it: the “Mid-Life Lawyer”.

It’s no wonder that there are days when you want to skip town, hop on a plane and head for blue oceans where you can drink Pina Coladas and pretend you’re on Spring break.

All in an effort to feel like you still matter.

As if that was ever in question. 

As if, in some way, mid-life has erased our fun times. 

As if, somehow, we have given away our youth.

It’s not surprising that you find yourself experiencing a somewhat Barbie-like existential crisis, asking yourself:

  • Is this it? 
  • Who am I? 
  • What have I done with my life? 
  • Do I even like my job?
  • Where am I going? 
  • What is life all about? 
  • I need to change. Everything. 
  • I need help. And quickly!

Sound familiar?

At this point, you might have contemplated hitting life’s reset button, if one existed. 

But pause for a moment and take a deep breath. 

Surprisingly, there isn’t much that differentiates “mid-life” from the stereotypical “mid-life crisis.” Psychologists worldwide acknowledge that we all experience “crises” at various stages in our lives. These crises serve as catalysts for essential changes when aspects of our lives no longer align with our internal compass.

Is mid-life really that bad?


Hey Doc, am I gonna live? 

As a mid-life lawyer you will understand that you just have more going on in your life – you have reached a stage in both life and in your career where you have moved through the ranks, you are most likely quite established by now and will – again most likely – have a family, be in a long-term relationship or confidently single. You have more work, more responsibilities both at the office and at home. So much so that you feel like you should be cloned. 

It’s no wonder you ask yourself “is this it?”. 

It makes perfect sense that at some point in your life and in your legal career, you are going to get to a point where you are challenged. Where you start to have questions rattling around in your brain – do I still want to be a lawyer? Or do I just want to change my focus area? And those are good things because it means you are engaging, you are thinking, you are assessing the things that work for you and those that don’t. 

It doesn’t mean that you are going to kick in your legal career bucket. 

Instead, at this juncture at least, it’s perfectly acceptable if you need to take a moment to look around yourself.  If you need to ask yourself some pertinent questions like do I want to carry on with my legal career? Or Do I just need to learn a new thing or two? It sometimes takes putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations so that we can address what’s going on around us.  And sometimes all we need to do is acknowledge our nagging feelings of “lost youth” and address them head on. 

Dealing with your mid-life means recognising that you have a very full life, understanding what your priorities are and acknowledging that mid-life comes with many challenges. 

Mid-life isn’t about falling prey to overwhelm, but about making the changes necessary for you to live a happy, fulfilled life. It is about taking our mid-life by the reigns and riding off into the sunset.

The mid-life lawyer event

The “The Mid-life Lawyer” event is for all the lawyers out there who find themselves questioning their relevance, their direction, their priorities, and their goals. It’s for all the lawyers who are looking for more balance in the second half of their careers without feeling like they are giving up their careers. It’s for all those lawyers who have questions but no answers – yet. 

The events will be held in Cape Town on Thursday 21st September and in Johannesburg on Thursday 28th September

Hosted by Frieda Levyky of Braving Boundaries and Rob Green, the CEO of GRM, it’s sure to be interesting, invoking thought and reflection whilst also being fun. 

The event it all about – 

  • reassessing how you are living your life and where you are focusing the majority of your time;
  • understanding why work has such a tight grip over you;
  • growing and developing your practice and adapting to the new legal world in which we find ourselves;
  • reassessing your relationship with work;
  • helping you remember why you became a lawyer in the first place, and
  • acknowledging what is important in your life and whether or not that is being truly honoured. 

It’s a lot to take in but Frieda and Rob promise you will leave the event with a lot to think about – in only the best kind of way.

If this article has resonated with you and your legal career or perhaps you’re a little at odds with your mid-life, then this event is for you! 

To book tickets to the event, click here for Cape Town and here for Joburg.