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

About The Happy Lawyer


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



Graduates of "fourth-tier" law schools are happier with practice, on average, than are graduates of "first-tier" law schools.
Exercise modifies pathways in the brain to make them better equipped to handle stress.
Older lawyers are generally happier than younger lawyers with their career.
Residents of Denmark are happier than residents of any other nation on the planet.
With very few exceptions, things that happen to us today will have no effect on our happiness level three months from now.
Roughly half of happiness is determined by genetics.
Over half of lawyers are "very satisfied" with their careers, making lawyers happier than most workers in 198 surveyed jobs, in between slightly happier physicians and slightly less happy accountants.
Work spaces with high ceilings promote expansive thinking while work places with lower ceilings are better for detail work.

Lawyers are more likely to be "big picture" thinkers, pessimistic,
and introverted than are most non-lawyers.

Beyond about $75,000 or so, additional income contributes very little to overall happiness.

Female lawyers and male lawyers are about equally happy with their careers, but women complain more about lack of "work-life balance."
The intellectual challenge of law best matches lawyers expectations as they entered practice; "ability to contribute to the public good" falls most short of expectations.
Our happiness is strongly influenced by the happiness of those around us.

Meditation increases well-being and boosts immune systems.

Losing $1000 hurts more than gaining $1000 makes us happy.
Lawyers in smaller firms are generally happier than lawyers in large firms.
Lawyers in public sector jobs are generally happier with their career than lawyers in private practice.
People do a
remarkably poor job of predicting their future levels of happiness.