Young US lawyers 'more miserable than ever'

By James Barnes

15 May 2013 at 11:17 BST

Law firms' ruthless focus on profits and logging hours is breaking the spirits of young lawyers, author Steven Harper has claimed in his new book 'The Lawyer Bubble'.

Young lawyers suffer under pressure

Business Insider reports that Mr Harper points to American Bar Foundation research which tracked 4,500 lawyers and found many big-firm lawyers from top 10 schools were dissatisfied with their career path. After just two years on the job, 60 per cent said they expected to leave within two years.


The report adds that the intense pressure faced by new lawyers to log as much time as possible working for clients which pay by the hour is a main driver to the unhappiness, with firms keen to take on lucrative work but at the expense of their junior lawyers’ well-being.


Mr Harper writes: ‘As for their daily tasks, most big-firm attorneys spend the vast majority of their time on small slices of large cases or transactions. Those matters can be financially lucrative and professionally rewarding for the firm's senior partners, but junior attorneys often feel little connection to an overall mission.’
Mr Harper adds that the high salaries paid by big firms is not enough to make lawyers happy due to ‘boring’ but ‘strangely nerve-wracking’ tasks.


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