In the course of a review of recent books on the hedonic level of lawyers' lives, I put forward an explanation for the high rate of stress, anxiety, depression, and burnout among lawyers. I examine suggestions of leading authorities on how attorneys may achieve happiness, usually through extrinsic measures such as more vacations, exercise, or meditation. I also consider proposals on how supervisors can make legal workers more content, including more art work for the walls, windows with leafy outlooks, a basketball court, or more praise. I specifically criticize the teachings of positive psychology, explaining that they hold little promise for lawyers and, indeed, open the door for chilling forms of social adjustment. The article concludes that lawyers will not be happy until the structure of the legal profession changes in fundamental ways, and propose a few.
Richard Delgado, Recent Writing on Law and Happiness, 97 IOWA L. REV. 913 (2012).