Making a Good Life in the Law

About The Happy Lawyer

Are Lawyers Happy?

What Makes Lawyers Happy and Unhappy?

A Happiness Toolbox for Lawyers

Preparing for a Happy Career:
The Law School Years

Making a Happier Law Firm

Lawyers' Stories

Seeking Happier Ground

Buy The Happy Lawyer

News & Notes


Random Facts




Authenticity is being who you really are. An authentic person makes choices based on his or her true values. Being “in the closet,” whether on the issue of sexual orientation or political affiliation or spiritual preference, can be hazardous to your emotional health. When your goals are consistent with your deepest values and not the values someone else chooses for you, your life has a clarity and sense of purpose that makes achieving happiness much more likely. What this means for you and your law career will be a topic for a later chapter, but it probably is obvious to you already that if you’re a social conservative, your prospects for career satisfaction aren’t enhanced by joining a pornography defense firm. Authenticity, however, isn’t just about the big choices, it is about the little ones too. Do you prefer a Budweiser to that Sonoma County pinot noir, but go with the wine because you think your friends will think less of you if you ask for a beer? Does your choice of furniture reflect your taste or that of an interior designer your mother recommended? Almost everyone hides some part of their true self, but the less you do it, the happier you’ll become. You can take a step in the direction of authenticity, and in the direction of greater happiness, by identifying the activities that truly make you (and not necessarily anyone else) happier—and then spending more time doing those activities. If your friends leave you because you suddenly start playing volleyball at nudist camps or going to pyramid conventions—well, they probably weren’t the best of friends anyway.

The Happy Lawyer