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From Lawyer To Social Media Influencer: Jazmen Jafar Redefines Success Through Content Creation

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Jan. 8 2023, Published 5:09 p.m. ET

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Less than 1% of the population in the United States are practicing attorneys. 27-year-old Jazmen Jafar is not only among them, but her unusual career shift makes her one of the rarest and unique voices in the profession.

Jazmen’s parents, immigrants from Iran, emphasized the importance of higher education from a young age and set strict academic expectations for her. Coming from a family full of lawyers, Jazmen decided to live up to her family name and become a lawyer herself.

Jazmen did everything right to set herself up for success. She graduated college summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA and scored so well on the LSAT that she received a full-tuition scholarship to a first-tier law school.

Following law school, she passed the bar exam on her first try and got hired by the first firm that interviewed her. Her quick wit and warm personality impressed everyone, from senior partners to her clients. A long and successful career in law was well within her reach.

Despite this promise, Jazmen did not stay at her firm for long.

The reason? She knew a traditional legal career just wasn’t for her.

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“School came easy, but I always knew things would be different once I started practicing. Coming from a family of attorneys, I knew what the lifestyle entailed. I would spend most of my days at an office trying to meet my billable requirements. The mundane reality of working a 9-5 and climbing the corporate ladder did not appeal to me. While everyone else couldn’t wait for law school to end, I wanted it to go on forever. I loved learning and challenging myself in an academic setting, but I knew I would be entering a whole new environment once I joined the workforce. It was odd, but I felt like I was working towards something I never really wanted,” says Jazmen.

“I think being a lawyer is heavily glamorized in society and pop culture. In reality, many lawyers are extremely stressed and unhappy with their jobs. Lawyers have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse issues than professionals. I knew it was not a lifestyle conducive to my happiness,” she added.

While lawyers may not top the list of unhappiest professions, the number of unhappy lawyers is fairly concerning. ALM’s 2020 study on Mental Health and Abuse shows that as many as 31% of legal professionals suffer from depression, anxiety, and even alcohol or drug problems.

Thankfully, a side hustle Jazmen started while studying for the bar exam opened the door to a new life she never saw coming.

“I was studying for the bar exam at the height of the pandemic and knew there would be some time before I would start work as an attorney. I decided to try and make a little bit of extra money online,” shared Jazmen. “While I studied for the exam and waited for my results, I started making good money as a content creator.”

Jazmen’s newfound online success made her uncertainty about her chosen career path grow. For the first time, she realized there were other ways to make a living that didn’t involve her being miserable. When the perfect job offer fell into her lap, she felt conflicted.

“I got an offer from, like, the perfect type of firm for me. It had a decent work-life balance, and I would not have to work crazy hours. Nevertheless, when I went to the interview, I was still hoping I wouldn’t get it,” admitted Jazmen. “I still got it. But I called my sister and said I wanted to turn the offer down.”

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Despite her reservations, Jazmen ultimately accepted the offer. However, she was not going to quit making online content. She decided to try and juggle both careers.

“I was living a double life. I was working at my law firm during the day and filming content at night and on weekends,” says Jazmen.

But, of course, Jazmen reached a tipping point in her life and could no longer keep up with her hectic lifestyle. Jazmen soon acknowledged that she needed to make a choice.

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Should she quit her job to focus on being a content creator?

In the end, Jazmen decided to leap into faith and trust herself.

“I realized that other people’s opinions and a false sense of security influenced me to stay at my job. I made a list of all the things I had accomplished in my life and went through it to determine which ones I had done for myself and which ones made me happy. After that, the decision was quite simple for me,” says Jazmen. “I left my law firm and focused on my online career.”

Jazmen is extremely happy with the choice she made. Her online success has continued to flourish, and she is excited about all the future content she plans on making. More importantly, she finally feels free to live on her terms.

“When I had a stable future ahead of me, I hated the thought of the future. It is only now that the future is full of uncertainty that I am excited for what’s to come. I know I am the only one in control of what I make of this life.”

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