TTLS 12 Julian | Toxicity In Legal Industry


Going to work every day can be tiring and lead to stress and burnout. Anxiety and depression are very serious health issues that we must address and become aware of. Much like our guest, Julian Sarafian, who already had panic attacks in college and didn’t even know he had social anxiety. Then he worked at a big law firm that earned him a lot, which used to be his goal. However, he realized that although you can make more money in the legal industry, pressure and stress are present. In this episode, he shares the importance of prioritizing mental health over money. He emphasizes that focusing on our well-being is essential. Now he is advocating for mental health on different platforms where his content focuses on the importance of mental health in the workplace and academic world.

Listen to the podcast here


From Harvard Law To Suicidal Ideation, Toxicity In The Legal Industry With Julian Sarafian

We have Julian Sarafian here to talk about toxicity in the legal industry. This is our first episode of three series. How are you?

I’m great. Thank you for having me.

I’m excited to talk to you about this topic because one of the things that I have learned through my research as well as work in many industries is that there are industry-specific things we need to look at as it relates to burnout, what goes wrong and retention. I want to hear your story, your background and your experiences in the legal industry. Let’s start off with that. Tell me about yourself and let’s hear how you got into it.

My story is the representative quintessential success story in academia. I worked hard from a very young age to do all of the goals that were laid out for me by not my parents but mainly myself, but also by what the world said success is. It is getting good grades, going to the best college, and getting to the best law school. I graduated high school as valedictorian. I went on to Berkeley and graduated in three years.

I did internships at the White House and other firms when I was there. I was accepted at NYU Law when I was twenty years old. I attended NYU and did my one year, and then I applied to transfer to Harvard and Stanford. I was accepted into both. I graduated from Harvard at 24 and I got my number one job in big law. Making the big bucks back in the Bay Area in California.

A couple of years go by and I’m not super energized or excited by the work necessarily. I feel like to some extent, I have hit the end of the formulaic road on which I was placed like, “Do this to get this.” Now there was no next natural step. The pandemic hits and things get dark for a lot of attorneys. There was a lack of boundaries and demanding clients, and the collective trauma from the pandemic was a lot of stress on a lot of people, combined with the isolation that we had from each other because everybody was working remotely.

This will get into the other side of my story because it is easy to see on paper, but there was a lot of cost to that over the years. In high school, I had stomach aches from ACT prep. I had panic attacks and bad social anxiety in college. I didn’t even know it was social anxiety. I thought everybody had these thoughts in their head and was suffering the whole time. It turns out that’s not how it goes.

As a younger Millennial born in ‘94, we were not taught about mental health ever. It was never something that was on our radar. I can tell you that because I’m a star student. I would have gotten 110% on an exam if you tested me on what are the signs of anxiety, and yet we did it. Fast forward a couple of years, I have uncontrollable gagging of my anxiety. I feel like I’m going to throw up. Nothing comes out. I got tests done to no avail.

Fast forward through law school. Finally, after law school, when this gagging gets inflamed again from stressors, I decided that this might be a mental health thing. Let me explore this avenue and see what happens. Thankfully, once I did and I learned to manage my stressors, it went away but I certainly did not have the anxiety under control.

Success is easy to see on paper, but there were a lot of costs to that over the years. Click To Tweet

When the pandemic hit, that is when things got dark. The anxiety turned into depression. I felt incredibly cornered. I had tried everything in my life to be fulfilled or to problem-solve my misery, and I was left at a dead end. I had checked myself in the mental health services and handed down the diagnosis of severe anxiety and mild depression. This was in December of 2020.

I knew it was going to be a lot of work. I started working on my mental. I went part-time at my big law firm gig for a while before quitting in July 2021 to primarily focus on mental health and explore other things, which now I’m up to my neck in. The most important of which is this mental health advocacy work and raising awareness of this real thing that is destroying people out there, not just in law but everywhere but especially in law. Frankly, no one is talking about it, in my opinion. When there are conversations, they are not enough. The action that is being taken is not enough. That is the longer version of my story but I’m happy to unpack any specific and dive into it.

What I’m hearing is even in your upbringing, before you even got into the career, there were signs or signals that were related to mental health and body signals talking to you, but yet there were no supports for that. There was no grounding for you to even manage that proactively.

To some extent, I do think I was stuck in my own line of thinking of pushing through. We have this narrative of working hard. That is what it takes.

Everything will pay off if you do so.

Some of those costs are real. You are going to have to stay on a Saturday night and grind it out instead of going to a party with your friends. That is a cost, but gagging on yourself, no. Let’s stop it right there. That is not something you should be doing. I don’t care about Harvard, Yale or whatever. That is separate. That is mental health management. That is something we need to be teaching kids when they are five years old. If you see this, this is something that you should look into. At least for my timeline, that was very much not a thing. I would spend hours googling on every other sad person out there, trying to figure out what was wrong with them.

Once you graduate and start getting into a law firm, you are making money. You are in the field. Especially in a capitalistic structure, a lot of us feel like once we get to the paycheck, all the problems will go away. That is the gagging right there. Once I get the paycheck and the American dream or what have you, all these mental health problems will go away because that is the problem. I had worked hard for that. Tell me about that transition. When did you come to realize that money doesn’t solve the mental health issues that you talked about?

If I had to acknowledge that I had mental health issues earlier, I don’t think I would have debated that money wouldn’t solve it because money is a powerful tool. It gets me access to a therapist and gets me the best healthcare. I do not underestimate the power of money. The existential emptiness is not something that any number of dollars is going to give any human being ever. That is something that is intrinsically based on how you are spending your time and a reflection of how you are managing your mental.

For me, the pandemic accelerated my thought process and my development by way of taking mental more seriously and also questioning, “Is this how I want to be spending my time?” A lot of people see my story and they think, “He burnt out and he quit because of mental health.” I get it because, to some extent, that is the narrative I tell.

TTLS 12 Julian | Toxicity In Legal Industry

Toxicity In Legal Industry: Work hard to achieve your goals and attain success.


There is another side here in which I truly felt that my time was being wasted. I get it that to each their own. If you want to go and make money, God bless. Make your millions and grind. That is fine. For me, I didn’t feel drawn to the work. I didn’t feel drawn to the big picture of what I was doing. The output that I was gaining from all of this was the cash. At a certain point, it doesn’t give you the energy that you need. Certainly not in a pandemic when I think everybody began questioning to some extent how they were spending their time.

There is research that talks about a figure of about $75,000, where there are diminishing returns related to happiness and how more money doesn’t necessarily create an extra buffer related to, “That is going to make me happier or that is going to make my mental health problems diminish,” or anything like that.

One of the things that tend to happen with individuals, if you look at the research on it, is that extra money becomes hazard pay, meaning all that extra money goes towards, “I’m going to go Amazon and do extra purchases to make me less depressed. I’m going to do things like medications and therapies.” All the extra money is going to support systems and not necessarily that financial security that we want. What do you think about that?

Basic needs are 80% to 90% of what we are all working towards and after our basic needs are met, food, shelter, some semblance of retirement, inflation, costs are rising, you have college expenses, and all of those things for your children too. Intrinsically, why would anything materialistic provide long-term emotional value?

I understand hobbies and people with niche interests. Those can be expensive. At a certain point, we need to remember that we are not built to acquire materialistic things. That is not how human beings are designed. We don’t grow up doing that with our friends at the park. We play games in our imagination. We are creative and social creatures but I fully agree with you. It’s a long way of saying that we have swung way too far on the other side. It is never enough for these people, for the culture in general, it is never enough.

We are trying to use extrinsic things to solve intrinsic problems. The grand scheme of things is the fact that intrinsic solutions need to focus on the intrinsic. The intrinsic solutions solve the intrinsic problems. With that being said, you are pivoting into big law. I want to hear about that environment because many things that tend to correlate with our mental well-being are the environment that we are in. Describe that environment for me. I’m sure you got internships and stuff. Describe that to me.

Big law, in many ways, is the legal equivalent of investment banking. It is high pressure. It is getting paid a lot of money. You work long hours, on average, 60 to 80 hours a week, but that is not the part of big law. The thing that is most dangerous is that you are on call all the time. You can get an email at 9:00 PM on Wednesday, “Julian, can you run with this?” You are expected not only to receive a phone call. You are expected to check your email and do it.

The lack of boundaries that that system creates is terrible for mental health. It is terrible for interpersonal development, time management, professionalism, productivity, and efficiency in the job because you never truly unplug. Without that break from work, a lot of attorneys get stuck in the same thought patterns and misery with nowhere to run because the work never ends at the same time. That is at a high level of how it feels.

There is also the fact that I do think there is a self-selection bias happening in the legal industry, especially in big law, where the people who decide to stay are the ones who don’t mind trading a lot of their personal time, free time, sleep time and health time to their jobs and careers to earn the paycheck or to build the client roster. It only perpetuates that culture further and further.

Don't underestimate the power of money. Click To Tweet

They say that 90% of people who enter big law are gone after the 4th or 5th year because usually, people do it to pay off debt, and then they move on. That is fine. I saw in my class how the younger generations who are entering big law and the elder generations who are in charge remain in that same culture. You see a larger fraction dichotomy in the expectations that both people look at and want from each other.

Many of my classmates quit before I did. My closest friends held on as long as they could, but they ended up doing the same thing as me, or they left and did another job. The point is the folks that have stayed are these folks that don’t mind sacrificing their mental to some extent to do the job. It does not help the system improve, as you can probably imagine.

What I’m hearing is the system itself is bred with a culture of overwork and that culture of hyper availability. You don’t dare think about work-life balance because work is life. In environments and industries where work is life, you tend to see a higher rate of depression and anxiety, and it is not causal. It is correlated.

To your point of self-selection, people may end up there because the anxiety of perfectionism that you already had might have helped you in school. It might have helped you get to that position, but the industry itself is doing nothing to help fix that. It is not created like that. You see increased work-family conflict, increased utilization of antidepressants, and stuff like that. In my opinion, there is an onus on the industry and organizations within that industry to keep that in mind and set up systems. Why would I want 90% of the people to quit?

First of all, it is tragic to me. When we have this narrative, we think that the leadership is doing one thing and making all the money, but the people are suffering. Maybe it is the associates or maybe it is the staff or the folks underneath, but the reality here is the partners are suffering just as much, if not more. We have partners who are making millions a year at these firms who lose their lives to suicide every single year because they are in the system as well. They are overworked. They are under the gun and under all this pressure. You think about, “What are we doing?” This isn’t about this. This is everybody. The people who are in charge are suffering just as much, and nothing is changing. In large part, I think that’s because lawyers are not the most innovative group.

Big law, this is what you were mentioning, the onus is on them to improve. Ninety percent of people think they shouldn’t quit. They would be more efficient if they kept and retained those employees. They would, but leadership in these firms is shortsighted. They look at, “Am I making my $1 million paychecks this year?” It is a partnership structure. The whole premise is, “This year we’re paid out. I’m making $3 million. Do what we did last year.” That is the name of the game. If you don’t innovate, then nothing is going to change. If you don’t push toward improvement, then things are not going to improve. It is honestly tragic to me.

What you get psychologically is this thing called confirmation bias. With these negative behaviors and traits that we exhibit to get us from point A to point B, our brains are like, “That is how you do it.” You are perfectionistic. You stay up late. You worked 80 hours a week. That is what success is. You go to point A to point B. What that does is we fail to see we can go from point A to point C, but we will never see that higher return because we don’t believe anything could be different. We think that the only way to be successful is to overwork. We will never see innovation.

I don’t disagree with you. I think that is why big law is an industry by other players, be it smaller law firms, in-house companies, in-house positions, and even folks starting their own law firms. It is already happening. Every single small firm that I have seen that has a competent manager has grown tremendously. It outpaced the growth of big law firms in the past several years. Big law firms love to brag about, “We had 8% growth.” If you had listened to anything that associates were saying for the last several years, your growth would be 30% or 40%. It is about that. It is about the paycheck and the short-term thinking.

When we are in those positions, we fall prey to incrementalism. We will look at 8%. We were like, “That is awesome.” We are missing 20% or 30% because we don’t want to listen to other opinions, especially on Millennials. We don’t want to listen to them. One of the things that remind me is what happened to Blockbuster and Netflix. Blockbuster was the big law firm. Blockbuster didn’t listen to the Netflix of the world and look where they are now and look where Netflix is now. That is a tale as old as time-related to the stagnation of a lot of businesses. What do you think about solutions? As you think about your departure and you are leaving the industry, what would have kept you there?

TTLS 12 Julian | Toxicity In Legal Industry

Toxicity In Legal Industry: The pandemic really accelerated people’s thought process and development by way of taking mental health more seriously and also just questioning how they want to spend their time.


I tried my best to give my firm, Wilson, which I still like as a firm. They are awesome. They are one of the best firms that exist now. I tried to push the firm as much as I could to innovate more, push itself harder, and take things more seriously. They were open-minded to it. They approved my ability to work remotely prior to the pandemic. It is a big step for second-year associates to allow them to work remotely. Now it doesn’t matter.

The point being is they are an innovative firm when push comes to shove, but you are fighting against so many institutionalized old ways of thinking and styles of leadership and management that one voice is not going to carry over into actual policy at the law firm. Even if it does, I pushed us internally to get on Ginger, the emotional coaching app, during the pandemic. I was like, “We need to get on this because everyone here is suffering. Get us on this app.” They were open to it. They got us on the app.

That is one thing that helps. It is a Band-Aid but it is not going to fix the structural and institutional problems of the cultural fabric of the law firm not existing. No boundaries are set at 8:00 or 9:00 every night. Attorneys are overworking themselves. It certainly won’t change the self-selection bias that we talked about, which is this whole other thing. The solutions are less complicated than we think. The problem is that it needs to come from the top down in law because it is a hierarchical power structure.

You mentioned Netflix and Blockbuster. The thing that gives me pause, and as much as I would love to say that these other firms are going to Netflix, big law so to speak. The legal field has insulated itself from the free market. The legal field is a deal profession. Go to law school and pass the bar, then you are a lawyer.

Because of that, you have another layer of institutionalized stagnation that you have to fight and battle. They are much tied to the big businesses. The reputation that these big law firms have amongst the general public always shocks me. My old firm is one of them. It’s like, “Wilson Sonsini, that is the premier law firm.” I’m sitting here and thinking about the things that we are doing in my old firm and the industry in general that are completely ludicrous and laughable. That’s what it’s about because the outsider’s perspective is one of awe. That is the way that they have branded it. That is a problem because the way that firms are successful is by getting clients.

One of the things I’m thinking about if we think about what else could be different, how beneficial could it have been that when you were being recruited, they would also talk to you about the mental health side, what we do to take care of our employees, and all that stuff. How different could that have been for you?

I did my digging. One of the reasons I chose Wilson was because I wanted a firm that was more of West Coast culture, was more laid back, and more human. The irony is that no matter what any of these firms are going to say, everyone and every law student knows the reality, which is that you can have better culture if you go to a West Coast firm versus an East Coast firm.

It is still going to be big law. It still has no boundaries. It’s still going to be hard work, not social and not connected to your base and company. I do think it is important and folks are considering it a little bit more now. I hope the questions come up more often and put partners on their toes. The reality is big law firms are going to give lip service and say, “We do. We try. We have efforts here. We have this app,” but that infrastructure will not change.

That is what I mean. If they were able to show you that proof, the system change and the policy change. Imagine who would be attracted to that type of environment too.

The existential emptiness, that's not something that any number of dollars is going to give any human being ever. Click To Tweet

The brightest minds would stay. The whole system would benefit from it but instead, you are pushing out the best talent. I have one of my friends who quit one of the top law firms. Another example is quit culture, mental health and pivoting their career. They were telling me that their firm is hiring non-US attorneys at a rate that is unprecedented because they cannot retain US JDs, and they need bodies. It is not to knock foreign law students or JDs at all, but it is a high level that we have not seen before in the industry. The non-US candidates are being selected at such a high rate simply because they need people.

Is that creating a situation where the candidates who are non-US retained longer? Are they staying longer in that environment?

We have folks who maybe are grateful to be in the position. There are jobs that maybe they struggled to get in the past and now they are super grateful for. Maybe that will give them a six-month window of energy. They were like, “I will add six months.” It will not make a difference in the long term at all. Not in my opinion.

One of the things I wanted to ask you about was I saw your TED Talk and heard about your story there before you decided to leave. Talk to me about that.

It was a weird process for me. I’m the most risk-averse person I know. Being on this track is compounded by the risk aversion that lawyers generally feel, especially we look around at each other. We all trap ourselves and risk-averse careers because we are all like, “Who is going to judge me? What is going to happen? There is so much uncertainty.”

It was a six-month process of fleeting with the idea of maybe I would leave and go in-house. Maybe I have to leave the firm, to then let me apply for other jobs and see what happens. I was getting rejected from other jobs because the market was competitive at the time that I was applying because everybody was trying to leave big law. I didn’t get the opportunity that I was excited about.

Finally, I realized nothing was stopping me from going out on my own. It feels like that’s the only option that makes sense with how I want to spend my time and what I want to focus on. I’m privileged and grateful that financially I could afford to do that. It was clear to me that the energy and time that I needed to focus on my mental health and what I was gaining from that time, developmentally, personally, professionally and emotionally. All of those things were much more important than the time that I was spending at the job and moving the things around to make the paycheck.

What was going to happen next? I had no idea. I told my firm that. I said, “I’m quitting to focus on mental health and explore my interests.” It was the phrase that I used. That is very much what I have been doing since. It was certainly a weird feeling but it felt right. It took a long time. It was not a singular moment where I decided, “This is it. I’m quitting.” It was a process and a long one.

I asked because I went through a related experience, leaving a role that had prestige and an executive over six figures type roles and stuff like that. I remember going through the mental gymnastics of like, “What are people going to think? How do I feel about myself?” You go to school, and you achieve all these things, but you leave the path that is already curated for you in a way, that traditional path. That had to be a little scary for you.

TTLS 12 Julian | Toxicity In Legal Industry

Toxicity In Legal Industry: No matter what any of these firms are going to say, everyone, and every law student knows the reality, which is that you can have a better culture.


It was but at the same time, I do look into the shoes of the folks that inspire me in the legal field. This is something that Harvard specifically ingrains in their law students. We are not here to be lawyers. We are not here to do any set of career paths or anything specific. We are here to change the world. You have alumni from our school that do everything under the sun that you can possibly imagine, Journalism, Arts and Business. I think about that in the grand scheme of things. It is funny when you are on campus. You have partners who come and give lunch talks. This is how steep the culture is in this grandiose way of thinking. No one cares about big law partners.

That was cool. You are coming on campus, the Supreme Court justice or whatever, a nonprofit founder that went and created a bunch of stuff in developing countries and whatnot. That is what folks think is cool. I thought about that a lot as I watched the entire world crumble emotionally from the weight of the pandemic and a real lack of leadership across the board that I felt and that I saw existed. It was scary. It was uncertain. I also know that I’m in good company in making that leap. That certainly helped push me over the edge.

What you are demonstrating is if you would have stopped and looked around your immediate surroundings in big law, the pressure would have been, “Stay in the job because it is secure. We are staying. Everybody else is staying.” You dug back a little deeper back into your new university days on the fact, “I could do anything.”

For our audience, think about what your true support system is because sometimes your support system is not necessarily the job you are at. That might not be your representation of what success is. We need to redefine that for our own mental well-being because if you would have rested and said, “Let me use my buffer as an example of what is around me,” you probably would have stayed, persisted and endured like everybody else.

That is one of the things that I had to fight against. I’m not in law school anymore. The people that I’m around and seeing are the folks who are all in this profession and this job, staying in and grinding themselves day after day. I agree with you. I do think we need to look outside of the profession or our job.

I would also say that, in general, we need to remind ourselves a job is a transaction like anything else. It’s creating off time for something. Maybe you are making money. I don’t care. It is an exchange. We take these crazy extremes of like, “You are your job.” That is this implicit narrative we are taught everywhere and I get it. It is easy to think that way because it is a huge part of your life. I get it but it is not you. I want to remind people that our sense of identity should not and cannot come from one transaction that we are doing every single day. That is all a job is at the end of the day.

I reminded somebody. I said, “Mentally, I want you to get into a standpoint of your job being a hobby.” It is something you do and not necessarily who you are. The moment it starts to become who you are, any mental anxieties or any mental conditions that you may fight will exacerbate that much more because where else do we spend eight hours-plus a day mentally other than work?

You have to be able to draw a hard line between what this job is to you. I tell people all the time, “If your job needs to make extra profit, then they start doing layoffs. They don’t care about you at that point.” Do you see it? I know it is just business, but if it is just business in the bad times, make it just business in the good times too. That is the only way to be able to survive it mentally. I’m not saying don’t be a disengaged employee. Do a great job and love what you do, but we have to be real about what it is. You describe that transactional relationship well.

It is tough because we want to feel we are part of something. In our world, we want that sense of purpose and belonging. We want that feeling of community. The way we are primarily going to get it naturally, at least in the US now, is going to be through your job, family and your professional world. I do think we give the benefit of the doubt, and we look at the bright side of, “My employer may not care about me but I like all the people. I want to feel like I belong, and I want them to want me in the way that I belonged and wanted.” That is not the reality. That is a harsh reality precisely because the next question for many people becomes, “If my employer doesn’t care about me and I don’t have that sense of community from there, where is it?”

If you don't innovate, then nothing's going to change. Click To Tweet

To that point, our employers care about us as employees. You are an employee and an agent of this organization. They are going to care about you there, hard stop. We do the pizza parties, which I’m like, “What the hell is that?” We do all the stuff to increase morale, but they care about you as long as you are in their best interest. Realize that it is not your family. A lot of people get engrossed in that cult-like behavior of a job and things like that. That is where you tend to go overload a little bit.

Intrinsically, we are social creatures and we want to be a part of something greater. Where do you get that to fill your cup? We are not a culture of sabbaticals to find out. We don’t have a lot of companies going, “I’m going to put you on a two-year sabbatical to find yourself.” It’s, “We are going to give you some PTO and still call you on vacation. That is what we offer.”

We need to be able to think about, “As employees in this movement of work, how can we live for ourselves and make decisions for ourselves?” You and I both quit the 9:00 to 5:00 grind and we’re off the hamster wheel a little bit. Not everybody has that privilege and I recognize that. One of the things I like to say is there are boards people can join. There are different social circles you can get into related to finding out what your needs are. The first question is, how do I want to contribute to the world?

After that, it becomes about action. I have noticed this a lot in the digital world that we are half living in now. It is the best way I want to put it. We are not in it. We are not out of it. It is weird. It is also dangerous because living in the digital world, there is some sense of community sometimes, and this is super strong. I felt it and you can see it. Every single platform like Reddit, TikTok and Instagram is building a community in general. It exists in all these digital platforms but at the same time, we need to ground ourselves and remember that these platforms are only a slice of the real world out there.

In a perfect world, I wish that we could get better leadership in a lot of these companies because I don’t think it is impossible to have employees who feel like they have a purpose and feel like they belong, and feel like they understand where their leaders stand and how their leaders feel about them. Even if times get roughed, I don’t think that that narrative and conversation are impossible to have. I don’t think we have leadership that is adequate and up to the task now that is doing a good job, unfortunately. There are the ones that are good. There are few companies that are far and few in between.

Part of the systemic fix is redefining what leadership is because a lot of leadership when you think about it, is not people-focused. We are ready for something different. The workforce is ready for something different and it is going to thrive if we get there, whatever that looks like.

In some ways, I look at technology firms. The firms that are the most successful, the biggest of our day, and they have been for a while. It is the fastest-growing sector of the economy and the global leader in the economic pinnacle that we live in. They understand it more so than the industries that you and I have been talking about.

Google is one of the first companies that have dinner in the office precisely because they understood, “If we give folks dinner and we make our employees happy, they will stay longer. They will be more productive and efficient. We will reduce attrition which will help us in the long run.” I do think it is out there but it is only in specific and very niche industries, Elon Musk’s companies or something else. That’s only one example but we do have a lot of work to do.

As we look back at your past and talk about the industry a little bit now, what words of wisdom would you want to leave our audience related to those individuals who are going to be making their transition maybe into big law or maybe into other industries that are related, what words of wisdom would you want to leave them with?

TTLS 12 Julian | Toxicity In Legal Industry

Toxicity In Legal Industry: You are your job. That’s like this implicit narrative. We’re taught everywhere. It’s easy to think that way, because it’s a huge part of your life, but it’s not you.


Learn and exercise your boundaries, no matter what profession you are going into. Never forget that you always have a choice here whether or not you want to respond to that email, whether or not you want to respond to that on your vacation, and whether or not you want to take on that extra project. In industries, especially big law, consulting, accounting and banking, no one is going to say no for you. Saying no is your only survival mechanism in this world.

More important than that, if you want to talk about something we touched on earlier, to keep that sense of identity that you have outside of your role in this broader organization, you need to draw those lines. If you don’t, you not only risk burning yourself out and losing your mental, you risk reminding and keeping who you are as a person. What can come from that if you don’t protect it is scary. It is as scary as it sounds. I have seen it many times.

I want to thank you for our conversation. This has been enlightening related to your experience. I appreciate being able to cross paths with you and talk to you.

No problem. It’s my pleasure. It is good to be here.

Thank you all for tuning in. We are going to be back with our secondary series. See you then.


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About Julian Sarafian

TTLS 12 Julian | Toxicity In Legal IndustryJulian Sarafian is a lawyer, mental health advocate, writer, content creator, and entrepreneur. After graduating from Harvard Law School Sarafian worked at law firm Wilson Sonsini practicing corporate law before quitting to focus and advocate for mental health. He has advocated for mental health on digital platforms including Tiktok, Twitch, Instagram, and LinkedIn, where his content focuses on the importance of mental health in the workplace and academic world. His advocacy has been covered by the New York Times, NewsWeek, and Bloomberg.

As of February 2022 his cumulative following across digital media is nearly 250,000. In addition to his advocacy work Sarafian is a co-founder and CEO of Nest.Mode, a startup focused on revolutionizing shower storage. The Nest Wall – Nest.Mode’s first flagship product – has been designed to upgrade shower storage everywhere with a proprietary design that includes magnetic-based refillable bottles, two storage holsters, and hooks for all of one’s shower accessories. His written work has been published in Bloomberg Law and The American Lawyer.

Show notes: You can reach Julian directly at His Discord community is a safe space to talk about mental health and get career advice, and he also creates content related to the legal profession and mental health on Tiktok and Instagram. All of the various links can be found in