Legal News

Lowest Paid Lawyers Are the Happiest, Study Shows
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

study shows lower paid lawyers happier

Summary: A new study shows that lower paid lawyers are happier than higher paid.

We well know by now that lawyers are unhappy. If they’ve landed work at prestigious firms, they may work well over 60 or 70 hours a week. Not even all these hours count. In some cases, many of the hours aren’t even billable or remunerable, but must be worked anyway. New research suggests that those lawyers lucky to land prestigious jobs at the top firms aren’t the happiest. Of the 6,200 surveyed in a recent study published this week in the George Washington Law Review, it was discovered that high income and partner-track jobs had almost zero correlation between happiness and well-being.


Working public-service jobs held a closer correlation to happiness. Public defenders and Legal Aid attorneys were also less likely to drink alcohol or abuse drugs.

“Law students are famous for busting their buns to make high grades, sometimes at the expense of health and relationships, thinking ‘Later I’ll be happy, because the American dream will be mine,’” said Lawrence S. Krieger, law professor at Florida State University and author of this study. “Nice, except it doesn’t work.”

According to self-determination theory, there are three pillars of happiness, including competence, autonomy, and connection to others. This study was based on this model of human happiness.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

Considering that lawyers live in a dangerous profession, being 3.6 times more likely than other professions to kill themselves, discovering what makes them unhappy, and how to handle it, matters.

It could be more than the long hours and the high expectations. Being a lawyer requires holding a cynical attitude, suspecting the worst of others, but many studies show that an optimistic attitude is healthier for you.

Further, the public loves to hate lawyers, and they are the butt of endless jokes. This collective consciousness that judges them can’t help being felt as invalidating. If a person feels their work isn’t meaningful and important to themselves and the world, they will necessarily be demoralized.


Interesting Legal Sites You May Like




Search Now

Civil Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-FL-Coral Gables

Coral Gables office of our client seeks civil litigation associate attorney with 3+ years of experie...

Apply Now

Family Law Attorney


Ogden office of our client seeks family law attorney with 2+ years of experience. The candidate will...

Apply Now

Insurance Defense Litigation Attorney

USA-FL-Boca Raton

Boca Raton office of our client seeks attorney with 5+ years of insurance defense litigation experie...

Apply Now


Associate Attorney


Attorneys helping people........Brayton Purcell LLP is an extremely busy plaintiff\'s litigation pra...

Apply now

Casualty Attorney II


Kuluva, Armijo & Garcia is seeking an experienced and skilled California litigator for the position ...

Apply now

Legal Assistant

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Small, real estate transactional and litigation law firm seeks EXPERIENCED part-time legal assistant...

Apply now

Mediation Coordinator

USA-NY-New York City

The Civil Appeals Mediation Program (“CAMP”) for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals inv...

Apply now


To Top