Do Legal Careers Ruin Lives?

For all the high numbers of law students and young lawyers around, there are vast numbers of people who simply hate being a lawyer.

I’m not one of them.

In fact – I love being a lawyer. I love going to work, I love interacting with my colleagues, and I love the nature of the work itself. There’s a reason I sign off on my articles and emails with “happy lawyering” – it’s because I genuinely believe that it’s possible.

“The usual sticking point when it comes to wellness among lawyers isn’t necessarily the career itself – it’s that people aren’t willing to do what’s needed in their own lives.

And that’s not an accident. In fact, it’s the result of a lot of hard work and a series of deliberate decisions on my part to craft a career that I love and which inspires me.

Although I don’t believe that everyone should be a lawyer, I do think that there are plenty of lawyers who simply haven’t been taught the necessary skills, habits and practises that will help them really enjoy their careers.

Importantly, though, just reading about these things won’t help you – you need to actually do some things, or there is no point.

In fact, if you’re not prepared to adjust how you approach your career, how you structure your day, and how you practice law and life – then you might as well stop reading now, click back to whatever fast scrolling social media site you were on, and keep wondering why you hate being a lawyer.

This Series for Lawyers who Hate Their Jobs

This is the first in a series I’ll be putting out on creating a career that you’ll actually enjoy.

The starting point, and the position of this article, is to see why we need to bother caring about this subject, and to take a look at the real problems people face as lawyers.

It’s a bit of a downer, but it’s important to see what we’re facing before we get in to some of the solutions.

I’m not going to minimise some of these issues or the complexity of them. But for young lawyers who genuinely want to avoid falling into some of these pits, there are some specific strategies that can really help you design a career you love.

I said “design” because it’s deliberate – it involves conscious effort and decision making on your part.

Why Bother?

I guess it’s a worthwhile question for those who are resigned to living lives of quiet desperation – why bother striving to create a legal career that you actually enjoy?

For starters, it’s more fun. Imagine for a moment actually getting out of bed in the morning with a positive outlook, an energetic feeling, and a desire to get to work. Sounds like a pipe dream? Well it’s not that common, and it takes some work, but that just makes it all the more satisfying once you get there.

In case the sheer nature of being happy doesn’t appeal to you (I have to wonder why) then there’s always this: people in positive psychology fields have found that those with more positive, happy outlooks on their lives and professions actually do their jobs better. People who are “happy” are smarter, more motivated and more successful.

Beyond that, however, a summary of over 200 studies on happiness (or positivity, if you want) has found that it leads to success in all aspects of our lives: marriage, health, friendship, community, creativity, careers and business.

It’s important here to recognise that the current view is that positivity comes BEFORE those things, not as a result of them. It is a distinct and discernible difference that many have yet to grasp – success does not cause happiness – rather, happiness causes success.

The usual sticking point when it comes to wellness among lawyers isn’t necessarily the career itself – it’s that people aren’t willing to do what’s needed in their own lives. The result is that they end up trapped on a path that they really can’t stand, and it gradually erodes at their lives.

to be continued next monday

Unini Chioma Kate… I got a message that i should introduce my self. will do that in due time.

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