Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1268948
 


 



Lawyers at Mid-Career: A 20-Year Longitudinal Study of Job and Life Satisfaction


John Monahan


University of Virginia School of Law

Jeffrey W. Swanson


Duke University - Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

September 16, 2008

Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
This study is the first to our knowledge to simultaneously measure the predictors of lawyers' satisfaction with their careers and the predictors of lawyers' satisfaction with their lives more broadly. One class of the University of Virginia School of Law was studied between their matriculation in 1987 and their graduation in 1990. All 360 living graduates of this class were contacted in 2007, with a response rate of 72.2%. Descriptive information was obtained and empirically validated measures of both career satisfaction and life satisfaction were administered. Respondents were found to have taken many diverse career paths, with most (85%) having changed jobs at least once, and half having changed jobs at least twice. Gender differences in the personal and professional lives of respondents were pervasive. Women graduates were far more likely than men to interrupt or forego full-time employment (39% v 1%), mainly in order to care for children, and were also more likely to have a spouse or partner employed full-time outside the home (77% v 24%). Working conditions at large private law firms emerged as a significant problem for many respondents; half of those who started their careers in large firms left to go to a different type of employer. Finally, both career satisfaction and life satisfaction were found to be high, with 81% of the respondents satisfied with their decision to become a lawyer, and 86% satisfied with their lives more broadly.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

Keywords: lawyers, career satisfaction, life satisfaction, longitudinal

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: September 18, 2008 ; Last revised: December 11, 2012

Suggested Citation

Monahan, John and Swanson, Jeffrey W., Lawyers at Mid-Career: A 20-Year Longitudinal Study of Job and Life Satisfaction (September 16, 2008). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1268948

Contact Information

John Monahan (Contact Author)
University of Virginia School of Law ( email )
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
434-924-3632 (Phone)

Jeffrey W. Swanson
Duke University - Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences ( email )
Durham, NC 27715
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,159
Downloads: 285
Download Rank: 60,709
Paper comments
No comments have been made on this paper

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo6 in 0.266 seconds