Have you read Bad Blood? Great book.  It details the demise of a highly touted Silicon Valley company Theranos and the deception of Elizabeth Holmes who by many accounts is a highly functioning sociopath.   Sociopaths often destroy those close to them. But Holmes was brilliant and captivating enough to potentially destroy the lives of millions.

Holmes created a company that claimed it could detect a multitude of diseases through a patented and simple blood test. She misled investors, employees, and, worst of all, customers about the efficacy of her company’s procedures.  There were false positives for healthy people who were deemed to have cancer and, worse, false negatives for unhealthy people who were not disease free.  By most every account, she is as close to a monster as we’ve seen in the corporate world in a long while.

Kevin Downey is her attorney.  He’s a partner at Williams & Connolly, perhaps the best white collar criminal defense firm in the country.  I met Kevin many moons ago.  A friend of a friend, my interactions were brief but because I was close with his friend I heard the following about him: “Kevin is an incredibly good person….” The compliments were not focused on his brilliance – and by all accounts he is brilliant – but on his good character.

If you are having some cognitive dissonance – how can this good guy defend that terrible person?! – you’ll understand one of the reasons I left the practice of law. 

If you are a top notch lawyer – at least in criminal defense – you have to take clients who will pay the bills. Sure, you can justify your work through whatever abstractions will get you through the night: Everyone is entitled to an attorney and so forth.  But at the end of the day, top defense lawyers get OJ off for murder and perhaps help Elizabeth Holmes escape justice.

If you are in a career that does not create tangible outcomes that serve your moral view of the world, you must leave.  

Career Counseling Connecticut can help.