As an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Eli Albrecht said on this week’s Drinks With The Deal podcast, he had a powerful conversation with a partner at the firm. The lawyer, Albrecht said, was going through a difficult divorce, and he told Albrecht: “Big Law partnership is a mirage. You think you’re going to get there; you think you’re going to be happy once you arrive. It’s not there.”
Albrecht, now a partner at SMB Law Group LLP, has openly discussed “the challenges that I faced as someone who wanted to be a successful Big Law lawyer while being a dedicated father, husband and person of faith” on social media, as he said on the podcast. “Being a great lawyer cannot be at the cost of the life we have outside of work and the people who love us and want to be with us.”
Earlier this year, he moved to SMB, a “remote-first” law firm that focuses on corporate work for small and midsize businesses. There, Albrecht specializes in deals of less than $100 million, which in other respects are similar to the ones he worked on at Gibson Dunn.
The ability to work from home has been “absolutely transformative” for me, Albrecht said, because it’s allowed him to deepen his relationships with his wife and three children. “When I’m fully engaged with the parts of me that need nurturing,” he said, “I’m a much better lawyer and a much better human.”
Listen to the podcast with Eli Albrecht below: