Title

Attorneys' Career Dissatisfaction in the New Normal

Document Type

Article

Publication Year

2018

Journal Title

International Journal of the Legal Profession

ISSN

0969-5958

DOI

10.1080/09695958.2018.1456437

Abstract

The 2008 economic recession had a seismic impact on the legal market. In this article, we empirically assess whether the recession has made law an unsatisfying career. Relying on survey data from over 11,000 active members of the State Bar of Texas, we find that only 13.5 percent of all attorneys and 11.5 percent of full-time attorneys are dissatisfied with their careers. Newer attorneys report greater career dissatisfaction than more experienced attorneys, yet they too are largely satisfied. We also determine using logistic regression that three factors are highly predictive of lawyers’ career dissatisfaction: (1) comparatively low incomes; (2) working in private practice as opposed to in government or non-profit/public interest; and (3) law firm employment in a non-partnership role. Equally important, debt and lower class rank only slightly increase the odds of career dissatisfaction; and race, gender, years of practice experience, and firm size have no effect.

First Page

147

Last Page

173

Num Pages

27

Issue Number

2

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

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