Unhappy attorneys—which is at least half of all lawyers, most likely—have one other thing in common in addition to their unhappiness: They are quite disconnected from who they are and what the dreams of their heart are.
As I discussed in Part 1, law students tend to enter law school without a clear purpose in being there; they don’t have a strong pull toward anything else, and they’ve gotten good grades, so law school seems like a decent idea. After all, the money is good, and in a society as rampantly materialistic as ours, a money career is A GOOD THING.
Then, as I talked about in Part 2, these unpurposed law students get thrown into the law school pedagogy of divorcing their feelings, values, and ethics from their problem-solving tool kit. Using values as a means of analyzing a legal problem is mocked and derided; only cold logic and dispassionate analysis is given any credence.
So new attorneys emerge from law school disconnected from themselves, and then get thrown into practice where no one sees this disconnection as a problem. Right, there’s no problem here, Houston, despite the high rates of depression, anxiety, phobias, hostility, substance abuse and even suicide among lawyers. Those rates much higher for attorneys than Continue reading