Asked and Answered

Loving life as a lawyer: How to maintain joy in your work (podcast)

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Do you dread going to work? If so, maybe it's time to look at the other ways you can flex your legal skills, Nancy Levit says. There are many types of jobs for lawyers, and sometimes what you thought you wanted to do doesn’t work out, Levit tells the ABA Journal's Stephanie Francis Ward in this episode of Asked and Answered.

Levit shares tips on how to find the work you want to do and how to find joy in the work you’re already doing.

One way to adjust your mindset at work is to look at who you’re spending time with, she says. Are you hanging out with colleagues who have positive outlooks, or with the workplace worrywarts and complainers?

Levit advises keeping a mindset of “downward” comparisons. Comparing “upward” means focusing on the things others have that you don’t, while comparing downward makes you grateful for the things you do have. Lawyers tend to want perfection, she says, and the quest to keep up with the Joneses—or the Jones Days—can cause people to be unhappy.

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Updated Feb. 5 to correct passage about “downward” comparisons.

In This Podcast:

<p>Nancy Levit</p>

Nancy Levit

Nancy Levit is a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law and the interim associate dean for faculty. She teaches defamation and privacy, employment discrimination, gender and justice, jurisprudence and torts, and is the co-adviser to the UMKC Law Review. Levit is the author of several books, including The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law and its sequel, The Good Lawyer: Seeking Quality in the Practice of Law, both co-authored by Douglas Linder.


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