The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law

The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law

4.5 4
by Nancy 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 from your job. What gives?

The Happy Lawyer examines the causes of

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Overview

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 from your 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 maximizes your 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 prospects are 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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It's a book that anyone who is—or was—or wants to be—a lawyer (or anyone who knows a lawyer) should read...I'm recommending it to all of my students, and to my friends practicing law, and even to my husband, who prides himself on NOT being a lawyer. —ConcurringOpinions.com

"Well researched, positive, and clearly written, this is an important book for the bar. Essential for lawyers and law students." —Library Journal

"The citing of a poll of American attorneys, in which seven out of ten said that they would choose other careers if they were starting out, might suggest that the law is best avoided. But for those in the profession, solutions are to be found-and they're in The Happy Lawyer. Best to buy it for anyone you think may need it."—The Times

"Solid researchers, the authors provide countless statistics about the state of [lawyers'] happiness and prospects for finding it in the future...With a generation of younger lawyers changing jobs at high rates and the high cost of the turnover, law firms would do well to consider the clearly identifiable factors set forth in this book...How important is it to be happy? If you are curious about the answer or about how to increase the happiness in your life or that of your firm, The Happy Lawyer is a worthwhile read."—The Nebraska Lawyer

"Although law is one of the nation's best paid and most influential occupations, only about half of lawyers report being satisfied with their work. In this insightful and engaging book, Nancy Levit and Douglas Linder explain why. They comprehensively review the growing research on happiness to provide crucial insights about how lawyers can improve the quality of their professional lives. This book should be a required text for every law student, every law firm leader, and every practitioner who wants to find greater fulfillment in a legal career."—-Deborah Rhode, Director, Stanford Center on the Legal Profession and author of The Beauty Bias

"In this important, insightful book, Nancy Levit and Douglas Linder have successfully unpacked the mystery of why so many lawyers seem to be living lives of silent desperation. In doing so, they offer many and varied paths to lawyer happiness. The Happy Lawyer's thoughtful analysis and practical prescriptions are a must-read for every lawyer, as well as for anyone considering attending law school."—Greg Castanias, Partner, Jones Day

"This superb work in an invaluable guide for a profession that, sadly, suffers from chronic unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. Like Harold Kushner's Living a Life that Matters and the Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, this work offers clear, practical advice that can truly transform a person's life and career."—Robert Klonoff, Dean and Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School

"This new book will become essential reading for law professors advising their students on career paths in this new economy." —Paul M. Secunda, Associate Professor of Law,
Marquette Univ. Law School

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195392326
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/22/2010
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
493,845
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

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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Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
PreLawAdviser More than 1 year ago
If I was independently wealthy, I would buy "The Happy Lawyer" by Levit and Linder for every pre-law student that I've encountered in my career as a pre-law adviser. I love the fact that the authors spend a good portion in the beginning of the book talking about happiness and what makes people happy in life and in their careers. I think many people, whether they are planning on becoming lawyers or not, would find Chapter 2: Happiness: A Primer, and Chapter 4: The Happiness Toolbox, to be useful, helpful and enlightening. The first 4 chapters are a good primer for what's to come--tips and advice on how to be a happier and more successful law student and lawyer. It's been hard to find an interesting, practical, realistic book that is written in an engaging way that I can recommend to pre-law students. (So many books out there about lawyers and lawyering are dense, boring and/or terribly condescending.) After much searching, I think I've finally found the right book. Thank you, Professors Levit and Linder!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LawProf More than 1 year ago
This book is research-based so it is authorititive, and it is written in a clear writing style and is enjoyable to read. A must for students contemplating law school, law students, lawyers and law firms who care about the working conditions of lawyers.