Paul L. Caron

Thursday, February 2, 2023

WaPo: Want To Be Happy? Don’t Be A Lawyer.

Washington Post Op-Ed:  Want to be Happy? Then Don’t Be a Lawyer., by Kathleen Parker:

It might surprise few that lawyers are the unhappiest people on the planet, at least when it comes to their jobs. This is according to lawyers themselves and is the conclusion of a recent analysis by The Post of data on America’s happiest and unhappiest workers [The Happiest, Least Stressful, Most Meaningful Jobs in America].

Chalk up lawyers’ malaise to high levels of stress and a lack of “meaningfulness” in their work. This doesn’t mean all lawyers dislike their jobs, but data doesn’t lie (even if some lawyers sometimes do). I should mention that a significant number of my family members have been and are attorneys. ...

As a teenager, I once asked my lawyer-father whether he was happy. Pursing his lips, he thought for a moment, then said, “For some people, happiness is the absence of stress.” I assumed he was referring to himself. He also said in another conversation that he thrived on stress, from which I concluded that life is often contradictory. His answer, nonetheless, was consistent with the survey findings — the less the stress, the greater the happiness.

(Hat Tip:  ABA Journal)

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