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Should Lawyers be Happy?

Should lawyers Be “Happy”?

Looking for meaning in our work may be far more important and the key to contentment in our profession.

In a recent article on Lawyerist.com, Kate Mangan makes a compelling argument that lawyers should accept some level of negativity in their lives as essential, and even useful, to the practice of law. Rather than focusing on being happy, Mangan suggests that lawyers should, instead, begin a search for meaning in their work.

Agreed! Too many times we chase the dream of a life without negativity or challenge as though that is the path to happiness. And, in doing so, we miss both the point of life and the opportunity to serve that comes with the practice of law. When we ignore the significance of meaning, we deny ourselves the opportunity to live at the highest level.

At the Professional Compass, we define Happiness as the relationship between resource inputs (time, emotion, effort) and current outputs and life states (money earned, perceived financial security, health). This definition is the one generally supported in the field of “Happiness Economics” which studies the relationship between these factors and reported happiness. In short, the large body of social science research confirms generally that “more” will not make you “happier”.