Recent Writing on Law and Happiness
Seattle University School of Law
October 18, 2012
Iowa Law Review, Vol. 97, p. 913, 2012
Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 12-36
In the course of a review of recent books on the hedonic level of lawyers' lives, I put forward an explanation for the high rate of stress, anxiety, depression, and burnout among lawyers. I examine suggestions of leading authorities on how attorneys may achieve happiness, usually through extrinsic measures such as more vacations, exercise, or meditation. I also consider proposals on how supervisors can make legal workers more content, including more art work for the walls, windows with leafy outlooks, a basketball court, or more praise. I specifically criticize the teachings of positive psychology, explaining that they hold little promise for lawyers and, indeed, open the door for chilling forms of social adjustment. The article concludes that lawyers will not be happy until the structure of the legal profession changes in fundamental ways, and propose a few.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: happiness, work-life balance, legal profession, legal educationAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 19, 2012
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