Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2014


In their first collaboration, The Happy Lawyer, the writing team of Nancy Levit and Doug Linder tackled a crucially important subject: how to have a happy life in the law. As part of that project, they interviewed more than two hundred lawyers about what makes them happy in their jobs. Levit and Linder noticed that happy lawyers nearly always talked about doing good work. Curious about the connection, the authors turned to recent research in neuroscience and learned, not to their surprise, that a key to a happy life is, indeed, the sense of doing good work. It is our good fortune that in their second collaboration, The Good Lawyer, Linder and Levit have turned their attention to unpacking what it means to “do good work” in the law.

The Good Lawyer has many uses. It would be an excellent supplemental text for any law school course teaching professionalism, such as Professional Responsibility, Clinic, Legal Writing, or Externship. As part of the externship experience, students could use the text in their reflective writing requirement. Parts of it could be assigned as reading in typical doctrinal courses where the professor is consciously integrating skills and values, as recommended by the Carnegie Report. It would be an excellent basis for a CLE on lawyering & professionalism. It could be a useful part of a law firm’s orientation for its newer associates. Finally, it makes for stimulating reading for individual lawyers seeking to improve their own practice.

Publication Citation

11 Legal Comm. & Rhetoric: JALWD 185 (2014).