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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

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  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

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