I. Introduction

I admit that the phrase ''happy lawyer'' seems like an oxymoron and is likely to induce snickers and scoffs, but these words share one another's company more often than you might think. In my seven years of practicing law and five months as a legal recruiter, I am delighted to report that I've met more happy lawyers than wretched ones. What's the secret that these happy lawyers share? If you're not a happy lawyer now, can you become one? Based on my experiences and observations, I have a theory about the first and can provide recommendations for the second.

Finding Bliss at the Bar: How to Be a Happy Lawyer

First, what's the secret to being a happy lawyer? Like what you do and the people that you do it with. Having just returned to my desk from an earthquake evacuation (!) I am reminded for the thousandth time that life is far too precious and unpredictable to spend it in the company of miserable jerks or on tasks that you find meaningless and/or unrewarding.
Second, based on my time spent in the company of happy lawyers, and occasionally occupying that title myself, I've developed a list of tips that can either transition you into being a sunnier counselor or can help maintain an already contented mien (see Section VI, below).