It just so happens that I'm sitting here in my office listening to "Oh Happy Day" on the Smithsonian's wonderful House of Prayer CD. (The CD goes great with a discussion of Morison v. Rawlinson, a case that enjoined a House of Prayer Church in Columbia, South Carolina. Makin's of some good discussion in property class, for sure!)
So ... the song goes well with the announcement that I've just seen that Nancy Levit and Douglas Linder's new book, The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law, is now out from Oxford University Press.
Of course, any day your work is compared to that of the Dalai Lama ought to be a good day! Robert Klonoff, Dean of Lewis & Clark Law School says this about The Happy Lawyer:
This superb work in an invaluable guide for a profession that, sadly, suffers from chronic unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. Like Harold Kushner's Living a Life that Matters and the Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, this work offers clear, practical advice that can truly transform a person's life and career.
The Happy Lawyer examines the causes of dissatisfaction among lawyers, and then charts possible paths to happier and more fulfilling careers in law. Eschewing a one-size-fits-all approach, it shows how maximizing our chances for achieving happiness depends on understanding our own personality types, values, strengths, and interests.
Covering everything from brain chemistry and the science of happiness to the workings of the modern law firm, Nancy Levit and Doug Linder provide invaluable insights for both aspiring and working lawyers. For law students, they offer surprising suggestions for selecting a law school that maximizes your long-term happiness prospects. For those about to embark on a legal career, they tell you what happiness research says about which potential jobs hold the most promise. For working lawyers, they offer a handy toolbox--a set of easily understandable steps--that can boost career happiness. Finally, for firm managers, they offer a range of approaches for remaking a firm into a more satisfying workplace.
Read this book and you will know whether you are more likely to be a happy lawyer at age 30 or age 60, why you can tell a lot about a firm from looking at its walls and windows, whether a 10 percent raise or a new office with a view does more for your happiness, and whether the happiness prospects are better in large or small firms.
I haven't had the chance to read the book yet, but I plan to.