Associates top unhappiest jobs list

April 2, 2013
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How unhappy are you, associate attorneys? According to one recent survey, you are the least happy group of employees in your current positions.

CareerBliss took a look at more than 65,000 independent company reviews from last year to compile their 2013 Top 10 happiest and unhappiest jobs in the U.S. list. Using a “bliss rating” of 1 to 5, with five being the happiest, associate attorneys averaged a score of 2.89.

Key factors affecting work happiness were evaluated, including work/life balance, work environment, company culture and control over the work performed on a daily basis. These lawyers may be the least happy, but they can take solace in the fact that they have the highest average salary as compared to the other 19 jobs listed. This survey found the average salary of associate attorneys is $111,000.

“Associate attorneys stated they felt most unhappy with their company culture,” CareerBliss co-founder and CEO Heidi Golledge told Forbes. “In many cases, law firms are conducted in a structured environment that is heavily centered on billable hours. It may take several years for an associate attorney to rise to the rank of partner.”

But don’t worry, associate attorneys, you aren’t the only ones in the legal world who are miserable. Legal assistants scored an average “bliss rating” of 3.38, landing them seventh on the unhappiest jobs list. Their average salary is reported as $44,000.

Others unhappy with their jobs include registered nurses, customer service associates, and case managers.

If you’re looking for a career switch, real estate agents reported the highest “bliss rating” at 4.26. The switch to a seller’s market has led to lower costs of advertising and higher commissions for real estate agents. Other happy workers include construction superintendents, logistics managers, and executive administrative assistants. None of the reported Top 10 happiest jobs made anywhere near the average salary attributed to associate attorneys. The highest paid job on that list: senior QA engineers, who average $82,000.

CareerBliss also has a Top 50 happiest companies in America list for this year. No law firms made the list. Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, which I always thought were the happiest places on earth, came in at 23 on the list. Pfizer took the top spot, with its employees giving the company the highest “bliss rating.”
 

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  • Average Associate Salary?
    What geographic location was this survey performed in? That average salary for an associate attorney seems high.

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  1. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

  2. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

  3. Not that having the appellate records on Odyssey won't be welcome or useful, but I would rather they first bring in the stray counties that aren't yet connected on the trial court level.

  4. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

  5. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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