Sometimes life has a way of making you stop and reflect.
Ms. Cole came from the London office of White & Case. What prompted the career change, according to the article, was her proximity to a tsunami:
Fleeing the island of Phuket, Thailand, as the Indian Ocean tsunami hit last December, she recalled that she was moved by the “complete randomness” of the disaster. “I asked myself, When are you going to do something useful?” she said in a interview.
The NYT can’t resist the obligatory comment that Ms. Cole’s new postion involved taking a pay cut of 80%; perhaps to control a potential stampede out of law firms and into regulatory agencies.
Ms. Cole had a very successful career as a corporate litigator, earning this distinctly British compliment from an adversary:
“When I litigated against Margaret, she was a formidable opponent, quite tenacious and she didn’t let go,” said David Gold, a partner with Herbert Smith in London. “She was a bit like a dog with a bone.”
Those sort of comments get you on double-secret probation at major US law firms.
Best wishes to Ms. Cole in her new position. Having different phases to a career is getting more common, but it takes courage to swim against the current.