Did you see the article: Associate attorney is the unhappiest job in America, survey says? I wasn’t too surprised to learn that law firm associates are more unhappy than any other employees. This is not breaking news.

If you have been around awhile, you know that law firm associates have been unhappy for a long time. Many years ago, I did presentations on career development at law firms and law schools and I included these two references:


I researched and found many statistics that startled me. Some of them are captured in this Psychology Today article: The Depressed Lawyer.

  • According to an often cited Johns Hopkins University study of more than 100 occupations, researchers found that lawyers lead the nation with the highest incidence of depression.
  • An ABA Young Lawyers Division survey indicated that 41 percent of female attorneys were unhappy with their jobs.
  • In 1996, lawyers overtook dentists as the profession with the highest rate of suicide.
  • The ABA estimates that 15-20 percent of all U.S. lawyers suffer from alcoholism or substance abuse.
  • Seven in ten lawyers responding to a California Lawyers magazine poll said they would change careers if the opportunity arose.

As you may know, I ultimately wrote: Say Ciao to Chow Mein. It is a short, easy read about Tony, an associate in a large Houston law firm who was unhappy and would have helped the survey find that law firm associates are the least happy of any workers. He hated what he was doing. His wife Gina, also a lawyer, loved her work.

It might seem overly simplistic, but when Tony met with a senior lawyer from Austin, he learned to focus attention on his purpose (reason he wanted to become a lawyer before he went to law school), vision (what he wanted to become) and his core values (how he wanted to live).

I heard a radio commercial for a book recently. The author had gone from nothing to a millionaire using some technique to buy and sell stocks. According to the commercial he was willing to share his proven techniques from a book he would send listeners who would only have to pay the shipping costs.

Consider this a commercial: I am willing to send you, a colleague, friend, son or daughter, your law firm, your law school career placement office or anyone you want to have a copy of my book, and only charge the shipping costs ($2.53 for US shipments). If you prefer, you can get the book on Amazon for your Kindle, or iTunes for your iPad.

There are a million lawyers in the US. Not all of them are unhappy, but I suspect there is a significant number who are. My goal is to give away 1000 books. Will you help me? If you want a “free” Say Ciao to Chow Mein, contact Joyce Flo jflo@cordellparvin.com. Please spread the word. Use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media.I will let you know when we have given away 1000 books.