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How to Use Your Law Degree to Make Ice Cream

1. Go to law school

When I made the decision to attend law school, I knew that I didn’t want to be a lawyer. But I also knew that a law degree didn’t close any doors—it only opened them. Did I think I would make ice cream? No. But entrepreneurship is a natural route for many J.D.s—I just happened to fall into the ice cream business.

2. Love ice cream, or do something you love

The second step is pretty simple—love ice cream. But seriously, if you’re quitting the legal profession and leaving behind job security and a steady income, make sure it’s to do something you love, whatever that may be. And who doesn’t love ice cream?

3. Have an idea worth pursuing

I wouldn’t have left my law firm job for any idea. Fortunately, my business partner created a product that filled an actual hole in the market. Halo Top Creamery is the first low-calorie ice cream that’s all-natural, using stevia as a sweetener. Before us, no other low-calorie brands could be sold in Whole Foods. At the very least, make sure your service or product has selling points that you actually believe in.

4. Take the leap

The hardest part is probably taking the leap. You can find a million and one reasons to keep grinding it out at the law firm. But don’t underestimate the value of being your own boss. There’s nothing like it. I work a lot harder for a lot less but, even on the worst days, I can’t imagine ever going back.

5. Stay the course

If taking the leap is the hardest step, staying the course is a close second. Just like finding a million and one reasons to stay at your law firm, you’ll probably find a million and two reasons to quit your new venture. Always remember why you started the venture, and never look back—just push forward. In the end, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy—it’ll work if you make it work.

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Doug Bouton (Law ’10) is the president and COO of Halo Top Creamery.