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September 4, 2007

Happy Labor Day!  I hope you have the day off to enjoy yourself.   On this Labor Day, I’m wondering why we work, while skipping the obvious answer: “for the money.”  What I am wondering is why we are lawyers and what keeps us from walking away?

Legal Sanity compiled a list of articles written by lawyers on this subject.  In Why Do We Work?, one lawyer suggests that it involves “sanity” in the form of ongoing opportunities for intellectual growth; autonomy of professional judgment; celebrating a “superlative work product;” and supporting public services efforts. 

An Essay on Money and Happiness suggests that what keeps us here changes over time.

Who Really Matters? provides the Charles Schulz quiz to remind us that the people who make a difference in our lives are not those with the most credientials, money or awards, but are those who care about us.  Here’s the quiz (you don’t have to actually answer the questions, just read it):

  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
  3. Name the last five winners of Miss America.
  4. Name ten p[eople who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
  5. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

“How did you do?  The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.  These are no second-rate achievers.  They are the best in their fields.  But the applause dies.  Awards tarnish.  Achievements are forgotten.  Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.”

Here’s the second part of the quiz.  See how you do:

  1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
  2. Name three friends who helped you through a difficult time.
  3. Name five people who taught you something worthwhile.
  4. Think of a few people who made you feel appreciated and special.
  5. Think of five people who you enjoy spending time with. 
One Comment leave one →
  1. September 4, 2007 1:00 pm

    In a somewhat related vein, there’s been a lot of press in the past week or two about local first-time author Daniel Brook’s new book: The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All-America.
    The Inquirer had a piece on Sunday and Young Philly Politics is currently discussing it.
    The frequently cited statistic from the book is this: “In 1970, someone starting at a big-city corporate law firm made just $2,000 more than a starting teacher in a big-city school. Today that salary gap is $100,000.”

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