Greedy Tip of the Week: Listen to Michelle Obama's Mom

By George Khoury, Esq. on November 15, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In a recent interview with Oprah promoting her new book Becoming, Michelle Obama dropped some knowledge, from an unlikely source, on unhappy lawyers everywhere.

Apparently, when finally confiding to her mother that she, Michelle Obama, who had graduated from Harvard Law, hated her job as a lawyer, was told: "Make the money, worry about being happy later." Obama's mama wasn't playing around.

"Make the Money"

Reading the full interview with Oprah, you might learn more about Michelle's life than you ever knew. Her humble background, established work ethic, and keen judgment are clearly on display in the interview. However, this tidbit about hating the lawyer life and it being merely a means to an end for her actually might make her more relatable to some lawyers out there.

In the legal profession, there are countless individuals who do it because the work is meaningful, and then there are just as many who are in it for the above-average paychecks. Michelle pretty much puts it out there that she was in that latter camp. She describes that she became a lawyer because she believed that was the right path, rather than out of her personal interest. It was simply another "box to check" as she put it. It wasn't until she was an adult that she stopped to consider what she actually wanted to do with her life.

Good Advice Mom

Michelle Obama's decision to confide in her mother the fact that she hated lawyering is simply another display of her good judgment as her mother gave her stellar advice, which bears repeating for any of the lawyers out there with good jobs who might not be entirely satisfied with their career:

"Make the money, worry about being happy later."

While life may be short, life is also expensive, and law school doubly so. Before you go making any drastic life changes, like leaving your good paying job, make sure your finances are in order.

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