We always wondered why all our volunteers have smiles on their faces all the time. Now we know.
A recent study shows that people who do pro bono actually are happier! Lawyers are more satisfied when they fulfill the ABA’s aspirational goal of 50 hours of pro bono work a year. While only about 46% of lawyers actually meet the goal, those who do report a direct correlation between pro bono work and their own satisfaction. According to the abstract of Levit and Linder’s forthcoming article “Happy Law Students, Happy Lawyers” in the Syracuse Law Review , “people who have a richer sense of happiness aren’t those who work on their narcissistic personal needs, but those who embrace a larger sense of civic engagement.”
This is consistent with research done in the last few years that shows that ‘giving’ increases happiness and lifespan of Americans. It also explains why I always think I have the best job in the world. I get paid to peddle happiness – and this time around it is legal.