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


"The part I took in the defense of Captain Preston and the soldiers, procured me anxiety and obloquy enough.  It was, however, one of the most gallant, generous, manly, and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country."
(President John Adams, reflecting year later about his defense, as a young lawyer, of British soldiers accused in connection with the Boston Massacre)
"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through LSATS at dawn looking for job security, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night and to partner-track slots at Skadden Arps, whose poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating the idea of billing clients in 15-minute increments for the rest of their lives."
(Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic)
"Bliss--a second-by-second joy and gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious--lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom.  Pay close attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you've never known will wash over you and just about kill you.  Ride these out, and it's like stepping back from black and white into color.  Like water after days in the desert.  Instant bliss in every atom."
(David Foster Wallace, The Pale King)

"It is practically a 'given' that great success--top grades, high salary, or a prestigious job represent the fast track to happiness.  This pervasive belief is false."
(Lawrence Krieger, The Hidden Sources of Law School Stress)
"The vast majority of lawyering is drudgery work--it's sitting in a library, it's banging out a brief, it's talking to clients for endless hours."
(Justice Sonya Sotomayor)
"Enjoy little things, for one day you may look back and realize that they were the big things."
(Sonya Lyubomirsky, The How of Happiness)
"The law is a jealous mistress and requires a long and constant courtship."
(Justice Joseph Story)
"The real danger is not that you will fail to find a job, but that you will find the wrong one."
(Gary Munneke, Nonlegal Careers for Lawyers)
Happiness can be thought of "as a skill, not fundamentally different than learning to play the violin or learning to play golf."
(Neuroscientist Richard Davdison)
"Happiness should be approached sideways, like a crab."
(John Stuart Mill)
"It is harder to maintain a sense of esteem now that your contract work is being farmed out to low-cost lawyers in Bangalore, and your client who is splitting up with her spouse can handle it herself with a $31.99 do-it-yourself divorce kit from Office Depot."
(David Lat, Above the Law blog)
"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
(Author Annie Dillard, The Writing Life)