Law and the Art of Happiness

2 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2013

See all articles by Lloyd England

Lloyd England

Victoria University - Victoria University Law School

Date Written: August 22, 2013


Happiness as an abstract concept is interesting to briefly ponder; do we have a right to be happy? If so, what, all the time? Is this a realistic expectation? Tears of happiness are not the only anatomical reason we have tear ducts, so a degree of non-happiness or unhappiness is to be expected, right? The Yin to the Yang? What goes up…?

Happiness is big business, literally. It is the endeavor of serious academic inquiry; there are Happiness Conferences! I bet they’d be fun (come on - you’d hope so). ‘Sex sells’ and so does happiness; when did you last see a Crabby Coke drinker on a billboard? Or a Moody Motorist in his new car on a TV ad? Modern society seems to shun the very thought of ‘non-elatedness’ if advertising is to be believed, but times of occasionally having ‘The Blues’ or down-time from brimming with happiness are, perhaps, part of the natural rhythm of life and only to be expected at some points along our respective journeys. Obviously, persistent and unshakable melancholy is worth seeking advice over from a registered medical practitioner, as it may be symptomatic of an underlying issue and is best to get checked out, if just for peace of mind, but this is a separate thing to what I wish to discuss. I wish to discuss being unhappy if not because of, then during the study of, Law.

Keywords: happiness, legal studies, law students, well being, law school, mental health, depression, anxiety, mindfulness, thinking like a lawyer

JEL Classification: I1, I2, I31, I29, I39, K19

Suggested Citation

England, Lloyd, Law and the Art of Happiness (August 22, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Lloyd England (Contact Author)

Victoria University - Victoria University Law School ( email )

256 Queen St
Melbourne, 3000

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