The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law

Hardcover | August 5, 2010

byNancy Levit, Douglas O. Linder

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You get good grades in college, pay a small fortune to put yourself through law school, study hard to pass the bar exam, and finally land a high-paying job in a prestigious firm. You're happy, right? Not really. Oh, it beats laying asphalt, but after all your hard work, you expected more fromyour job. What gives?The Happy Lawyer examines the causes of dissatisfaction among lawyers, and then charts possible paths to happier and more fulfilling careers in law. Eschewing a one-size-fits-all approach, it shows how maximizing our chances for achieving happiness depends on understanding our own personality types,values, strengths, and interests.Covering everything from brain chemistry and the science of happiness to the workings of the modern law firm, Nancy Levit and Doug Linder provide invaluable insights for both aspiring and working lawyers. For law students, they offer surprising suggestions for selecting a law school that maximizesyour long-term happiness prospects. For those about to embark on a legal career, they tell you what happiness research says about which potential jobs hold the most promise. For working lawyers, they offer a handy toolbox--a set of easily understandable steps--that can boost career happiness.Finally, for firm managers, they offer a range of approaches for remaking a firm into a more satisfying workplace.Read this book and you will know whether you are more likely to be a happy lawyer at age 30 or age 60, why you can tell a lot about a firm from looking at its walls and windows, whether a 10 percent raise or a new office with a view does more for your happiness, and whether the happiness prospectsare better in large or small firms. No book can guarantee a happier career, but for lawyers of all ages and stripes, The Happy Lawyer may give you your best shot.

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From the Publisher

You get good grades in college, pay a small fortune to put yourself through law school, study hard to pass the bar exam, and finally land a high-paying job in a prestigious firm. You're happy, right? Not really. Oh, it beats laying asphalt, but after all your hard work, you expected more fromyour job. What gives?The Happy Lawyer examin...

Nancy Levit, the Curators' and Edward D. Ellison Professor of Law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, is the author of The Gender Line: Men, Women, and the Law. Douglas O. Linder is the Elmer N. Powell Peer Professor of Law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 5.79 × 8.31 × 1.18 inPublished:August 5, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195392329

ISBN - 13:9780195392326

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Table of Contents

1. Foreword2. How Happy Are You?I Can't Get No . . . . SatisfactionIt's a Wonderful Life (or a Pretty Good One)Law Is a Noble ProfessionReconciling the Studies: Survey Says . . . .Who's Happy and Who's NotDo Lawyers Become Unhappy People or Do Unhappy People Become Lawyers?Pro Bono BonusWhat Accounts for Attorney Unhappiness?High Billable Hours and Low Quality of LifeLaw Is Becoming More of a Business, Less of a ProfessionPit Bulls and the "Promotion to Partner Tournament"Keeping up With the Jones DaysSize MattersWhy People Hate Lawyers3. The Science of Happiness4. The Happiness ToolboxIntroductionMattering Matters: The Joy of Feeling in ControlThe Rat RaceThe Facets of ControlGetting ControlIt Could Be Worse: The Joy of Downward ComparisonReaping the Rewards of Relationships: It's the People, StupidCan Lawyers Connect?Everybody Needs Somebody SometimeFinding the FlowLearning from the Happiness (or Unhappiness) of OthersKnowing Yourself Can Make You Happier: Identifying Your Pleasures and Your StrengthsIdentifying PleasuresIdentifying StrengthsNot All Happiness Is Created EqualFinding a Job that Aligns With Your Values: Following Your Heart5. Building a Happy Law FirmThe Push to Transform the Practice of LawObstaclesWhy Law Firms Should ChangeHow Law Firms Can Change6. The Role of Law Schools7. Stories of Unhappy Lawyers(or Perhaps You Shouldn't Be a Lawyer)8. Stories of Happy Lawyers(or Why You Should Stay/Become a Lawyer)9. How Important is Happiness Anyway?