The Accidental Attorney Turned Writer – Mark Shaiken

“There are many things you can do and it is your job to identify what they are, and how you would pursue them.”  Mark Shaiken

Regardless of the profession, people have their own unique stories to put out into the world. When embraced and done rightly, writing can be a powerful tool that any person can use to tell their story. Mark Shaiken shifted his career to become an author and it all started with identifying the things that he could do that brought meaning to his life, and pursuing them.  

Mark Shaiken is the author of the legal thriller (print and audio book), “Fresh Start.” He’s also written “And . . . Just Like That – Essays on a Life Before, During and After the Law” and “Automatic Stay (3J Mystery),” a legal thriller as well. He’s an Indie Author learning the ways of publishing and self-marketing and regularly shares tips and mistakes to avoid as an author.

In today’s episode, Mark talks about his journey being an attorney and how he transitioned into being an author. He also gives a sneak peek into his book series and what is to come.

Listen in!


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  • While in law school I worked as a clerk for a local bankruptcy judge, and 38 years later, I’m still working in that field.
  • I had always wanted to write, and I always figured that I’d circle back to that dream.
  • I struggled with the question of who I was for some time, but ultimately, I put together a plan that I would exit the practice of law and move into other things that I had passion for.
  • Considering what I am doing now, I like that I can get to measure a little bit better for the next phase of my life when I’m giving.
  • When I left the practice of law in 2019, I learnt a lot about myself and I am getting better at writing, which is a good thing.
  • I’ve been doing book clubs and I really am enjoying the discussions with these different groups.
  • The first book after retiring from practice was titled A Memoir of a Not Famous Lawyer, and it detailed my path into, during and then out of the law practice.
  • The book traces my journey in a whole bunch of essays about different aspects of my background, getting into law school, practicing bankruptcy, and then what the exit was like.
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  • The book series is a bankruptcy, legal thriller and all three of the titles come from bankruptcy code; Fresh Start, Automatic Stay and Unfair Discrimination.
  • I wanted to make it approachable and not too legal where the only people who would read it would be lawyers.  
  • I like to have some historical aspect in the books as well.
  • It was important to have as much diversity as I could in the books and capture the trials and tribulations of making it through a large law firm as a black woman.
  • Don’t let anyone convince you that there’s only one thing you can do, because there’s many things you can do and it is your job to identify what they are, and how you would pursue them.


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