As you know by now, I am a huge believer that successful lawyers deserve to be happy too. I write about it, and I speak about it. Therefore, I was thrilled to read this article – Not a Hoax, Not a Myth: Lawyer Happiness Is Possible. This passage by the author, Lisa Dimyadi, struck a particular chord with me. And no one can deny that legal work is often stressful and requires long hours of hard work. The stress from focusing on winning a case and knowing that the results could potentially change lives can weigh heavily on a lawyer’s mind. But, happiness on a personal level is possible. Overall, this article provides such great tips for lawyer happiness.
This article reaffirms something that I have come to know as a legal recruiter. First, while compensation is significant, it is often not the lead contributor to lawyer unhappiness. I see other factors playing a more prominent role. In no particular order, they are:
- Work-life balance. Too many long hours leave no time for other interests. Additionally, long hours can cause stress at home as your spouse and kids may be hating your schedule.
- Not enough support at your current law firm. I get feedback from unhappy lawyers that they do not have enough help or the right kind of help. This can be on the associate level, staff level, or practice group level. Also, it could be due to a lack of marketing and financial support.
- Incompatible culture. You just do not like where you work, office politics, management style, and related issues.
Big and Small Things
The article offers some basic tips for lawyer happiness. Among them are to define your values, focus on personal interests, make time for the people in your life, and make small, incremental changes. It also mentions how to rid yourself of minor annoyances. In my opinion, this may be a bit more difficult for lawyers in the trenches.
When the cause of unhappiness is not due to small stressors, you need to consider alternatives. This is where somebody like me can help. I work solely on finding the exact right perfect fit for law firm partners. A perfect fit is a place that will satisfy your needs, which as a result, will increase your happiness. The article has a chart that provides a nice overview of the pros and cons of different types of law firms. Again, these are general comments and not exhaustive by any means. Just know that there are law firms out there that can satisfy your needs.
If you would like more information about finding a firm that will make you happier, please reach out and schedule a call with us! If you would just like some answers to your questions, please fill out our confidential Q&A form so that we can get you the answers you need!