Happy lawyers are healthy lawyers

July 12, 2010
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Are lawyers just an unhappy bunch of people? Based on recent books aimed at attorneys, you’d get that impression.

Harvey Hyman is one of the latest people to write a book aimed at helping attorneys. Attorneys, as you may know, often spend a lot of time working. Being a lawyer is a stressful job and can lead to drug and alcohol abuse and addiction or mental-health issues.

Hyman, a personal injury attorney, disliked the long hours at work and was hospitalized with severe depression. He overcame it with meditation, exercise, and positive psychology. Now he wants to help you.

His book, “The Upward Spiral: Getting Lawyers from Daily Misery to Lifetime Wellbeing” shows attorneys how to use meditation, nutrition, and therapy to make themselves happier. Happier attorneys mean less stressed attorneys, which can translate into fewer chemically addicted or depressed attorneys.

If this book doesn’t sound like your thing, there are countless others out there aimed specifically at attorneys. There’s a new book called “The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law.” Not specifically a self-help book, it discusses how career choices can maximize the chances of achieving happiness.
Go to amazon.com and type in “lawyer happy.” You’ll get “The Happy Lawyer” but you’ll also find “The Unhappy Lawyer: A Roadmap to Finding Meaningful Work Outside of the Law,” “The Happy Lawyer: How to Gain More Satisfaction, Suffer Less Stress, and Enjoy Higher Earnings in Your Law Practice.” No doubt that many of the self-help books out there geared toward attorneys tackle happiness.

Is the lack of happiness key to attorneys (or really anyone) turning to drugs or alcohol, or becoming depressed? Do you find yourself unhappy because of your job? Would you buy one of these books?
 

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  • Mediation or Meditation
    I respectfully suggest that there is a typo in this story. I imagine that, instead of mediation being his path towards happiness, Harvey Hyman probably practiced meditation.
  • Correction
    You're right. Thanks for pointing that out. I've made the correction.
  • Meditation
    Great! Thanks for your thoughts about various ways for lawyers to de-stress and find a healthier path. I think lawyers' stress is a huge problem. Love yoga and meditation -- and exercise. They have done me a world of good. In fact, I am taking a yoga teacher training course now. It's wonderful to learn this 3,000 year old practice.

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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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