Emotional distress, dissatisfaction, and unprofessional behavior are major concerns in the legal field. The legal profession, as compared to other occupations, has a disproportionate number of unhappy people. Career choices driven by external factors such as status and compensation instead of intrinsic values like enjoyment and vocation are some of the reasons for such unhappiness.
In this infographic, we explore how major life choices by lawyers, early at law school and then throughout their careers, correlate to their well-being. A correlation is a measure of how two variables move together (“relate to each other”) – not necessarily cause and effect although still a possibility. Here, the higher the correlation, the more strongly the factor is linked to a lawyer’s well-being. A negative correlation, on the other hand, means a factor inversely associated with well-being.
Learning and keeping in mind how these factors correlate to happiness may help lawyers make better-informed decisions and stay on track for a more fulfilling professional and personal life.
Data Source: Lawrence S. Krieger and Kennon M. Sheldon, What Makes Lawyers Happy? A Data-Driven Prescription to Redefine Professional Success, 83 GEO. WASH. L. REV. 554 (2015), https://ir.law.fsu.edu/articles/94
The larger the law firm, the more its attorneys will rely on paralegals to get work done.
Paralegals take care of much of the legal work done in a typical law firm in the US. It is true that such work is usually done under the supervision of a licensed attorney, but it is still amazing how much is done by paralegals.
Some examples of work typically done by paralegals:
- Draft shells for pleadings, discovery, motions, etc.
- Communicate with court personnel to retrieve files, file legal documents, and discuss about dates for hearings and trials
- Research case law
- Organize discovery and other documents
- Communicate with opposing counsel and paralegals from other law firms
- File legal documents
- Pay court fees
Law firms that recruit paralegals with solid education and experience, can get much of the legal work done at a much better cost than it would be the case if done by attorneys. Again, such work must be supervised by a licensed attorney, who will always have the last word on which documents may be filed or served.
Learn more about the paralegal position at NALA, the US national association for paralegals: https://www.nala.org/