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Happiness Is a Warm Law Blogger

There are many adjectives I would use to describe the tenor of three-time ABA Blawg 100 nominee Above the Law -- snarky, funny and even depressing come to mind -- but happy isn't one of them. That said, happy is a word one could safely use to describe ATL's creator, lawyer-turned-professional blogger David Lat, who is the subject of this interview with Happiness Project author/blogger Gretchen Rubin, herself a former lawyer.

From the interview, here's what David had to say about his current state of mind:

These days I'm exceptionally happy, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I love what I do. Given how much time we spend at our jobs, and given how much emphasis we place on careers in this country, for better or worse -- I feel the U.S. is a nation where "you are what you do," to a greater extent than in many other countries -- it's important to your happiness to enjoy what you do.

I love the day-to-day work of blogging. I enjoy gathering and disseminating information. I like making people laugh. I take pleasure in editing a post, again and again and again, until it's just right.

Leaving a secure career as a lawyer was a big risk for me, and I remember feeling fear and anxiety when I did it. But it's a risk that has paid off. This is perhaps too obvious to merit stating, but sometimes you have to take risks -- in some cases, huge risks, unwise risks -- in order to make yourself happier.

Given the current state of the economy, leaving a career in the legal field may not pose the risk it once did. (As an aside, this somewhat slow-loading survey from shows that, insofar as salary is concerned, a lawyer in Winnsboro, S.C., would be better off laying bricks in Massachusetts or installing elevators in Kansas City.) Then again, if you're not sure what you want to do instead of law, happiness will remain elusive.

Oh, and just in case you wondered: I'm pretty happy to be back as a guest blogger here, just for the day.

Legal Blog Watch alumna Carolyn Elefant is the author of "Solo By Choice" and creator of, a blog for and about solos and small law firms.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on December 4, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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