Making a Good Life in the Law
by NANCY LEVIT and DOUGLAS O. LINDER (Oxford University Press, 2010)


Are Lawyers Happy?

Happiness: A Primer

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



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?  Except you aren’t.  Not really.  Oh, it beats laying asphalt on roofs, but after all your hard work, you expected more from your job.  What gives?

The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law examines the causes of dissatisfaction among lawyers, and then charts possible paths to happier and more fulfilling careers in law.  This book does not offer a one-size-fits-all approach to a more satisfying career.  It shows how understanding our own personality types, values, strengths, and interests is critical to making career choices that maximize chances of achieving happiness.

The Happy Lawyer takes you from the chemistry of the brain to interactions within the modern law firm.  Nancy Levit and Doug Linder tell you what the science of happiness and surveys of lawyer career satisfaction mean for you.  For future law students, they offer surprising suggestions for selecting a law school that maximizes your prospects for long-term happiness.  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 give a career a happiness boost.  Finally, for law firm managers, the authors 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 prospects are better in a large or small firms.  Along the way, Levit and Linder will share the stories of both unhappy lawyers and happy lawyers, drawing lessons from the insights they’ve garnered along their varied professional trails.

No book can guarantee a happier career, but for lawyers of all ages and stripes, The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law may give you your best shot.