“The Unhappiest Person Ever Is A Female Lawyer”
Well, the unhappiest white-collar worker, that is. A survey of such folks reports that the least happy among them is “a 42 year old, unmarried woman with a household income under $100 thousand, working in a professional position (i.e. as a doctor or a lawyer).”
The happiest, according to the survey by Captivate Network: “He’s 39 years old, married, with a household income between $150-$200 thousand, in a senior management position, with one young child at home and a wife who works part-time.”
Adrienne sent this to me last night, and I have some thoughts as a single female attorney (who is, however, very happy with her life).
- Of course the guy with a semi-stay at home wife making a ton of money is the happiest. OF COURSE. If I had someone to take care of the cooking, cleaning and childcare, who also contributed somewhat financially, I’d be pretty effing stoked too. I hope they didn’t pay someone to study that.
- The law is a demanding mistress. We work hard, long hours, and we’ll do so until we retire. As a result, many women have a tough time with work/life balance. While men seem (from a sampling of my acquaintances) to be able to find partners who can pick up the slack, I don’t know a single female attorney who has a semi stay at home husband to take off some of the pressure. So, we tend to try and do it all, likely to the detriment of both family and career. I don’t know what the solution is, but modern men should learn to be OK with supporting successful, professional women. Machismo is overrated and unattractive.
- If you’re making <$100k as an attorney, you either (1) have a not great job in a big city or (2) live in a suburban or rural area. Perhaps the types of practice you do for that amount of money aren’t as rewarding? My white collar litigation practice in NYC is pretty awesome—interesting, challenging and rewarding. But I can bet it would be way different if I was doing document review for $40k/70 hours a week. So maybe the lesson here is that what kind of lawyer you are makes a big difference in your happiness levels. Which brings me back to some advice I gave earlier: In this economy, if you can’t go to a great law school (Top 20), don’t do it. You won’t get a good job—if you can even find one—and you’ll have $200k in loans breathing down your neck. Become a plumber. Those people make bank.
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- tomlawyer said: One day in 5th grade, I said I wanted to be a plumber. When my teacher asked why, astonished, I replied, “Why not? Plus, they make good money.” The teacher reported me to my parents. Now I’m a lawyer.
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