Attorneys' career dissatisfaction in the new normal Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The 2008 economic recession had a seismic impact on the legal market. In this article, we empirically assess whether the recession has made law an unsatisfying career. Relying on survey data from over 11,000 active members of the State Bar of Texas, we find that only 13.5 percent of all attorneys and 11.5 percent of full-time attorneys are dissatisfied with their careers. Newer attorneys report greater career dissatisfaction than more experienced attorneys, yet they too are largely satisfied. We also determine using logistic regression that three factors are highly predictive of lawyers career dissatisfaction: (1) comparatively low incomes; (2) working in private practice as opposed to in government or non-profit/public interest; and (3) law firm employment in a non-partnership role. Equally important, debt and lower class rank only slightly increase the odds of career dissatisfaction; and race, gender, years of practice experience, and firm size have no effect.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 9.28

author list (cited authors)

  • Markovic, M., & Plickert, G.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Markovic, Milan||Plickert, Gabriele

publication date

  • May 2018