Mental Health and Work/Life Balance

Figures Don’t Lie…

The following recent headline in Law360 caught my attention: “Law360 Canada Pulse survey shows strong satisfaction among lawyers with their jobs.”

Although I love Law360 and think very highly of their writers, the headline took me aback because it does not ring true with my lived experience or what I am hearing from the trenches.

It turns out that Law 360 has done a survey, which shows that nearly 70% of lawyers are either satisfied or very satisfied with their job.

These folks are going to put me out of a ‘job’ (an ‘activity’ really, since I mostly do not get paid for my ranting about what is wrong with the legal profession.)

My first reaction was that they certainly have not been talking to the same people that I have been speaking to, which turns out to be the case because the survey is based on 133 responses from firms with more than 50 lawyers.

So, the profession is happy, so long as you do not ask people who are not working for any but the largest medium-sized firms, or Big Law.

I imagine that if you ask the people who are earning the most money in the profession, that might skew the results a tad.

And if you don’t speak to the many women who were forced to bail from Big Law, that might also move the needle.

And of course, if you focus on firms with more than 50 lawyers, you likely will not get an over-representation of the views of internationally trained lawyers.

And the thousands and thousands of solo or small firm practitioners – who really cares what they think anyway?

Let’s not even get into a sample size of 133 out of 57,000 lawyers (in 2023). I am not particularly good at decimal places (which is why I became a lawyer instead of an accountant), but I think that amounts to 0.002% of the number of licensed lawyers in Ontario.

I believe that studying the happiness of lawyers is a great idea, and this survey may well be a good start, but perhaps should be redone with a more representative sample group.  At a minimum, they could work on the headline.  May I humbly suggest, “Most of a Small Group of Lawyers Making Alot of Money in Law Firms of Over Fifty Lawyers are Happy With Their Jobs.”

This article was originally published by Law360 Canada, part of LexisNexis Canada Inc.

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