Happiest Lawyers

California’s chief justice tells law school graduates to yield to the “highest calling.”

Who are the happiest lawyers? That was something the grads of SCU Law learned in May. Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, chief justice of California and a member of the state’s supreme court, delivered the commencement address and encouraged the budding lawyers before her to get involved with pro bono and other forms of public service work. Why? Ninety percent of people today who find themselves in legal issues involving family law, landlord-tenant law, and conservatorship end up representing themselves in court, she said. “These people are navigating the law without a lawyer,” she said. “You just had three years of law school, and before you can even begin to navigate [it] we require you to take a three-day test.” The benefits work both ways; lawyers who engage in such work tend to be the happiest, she said. “So when you yield to the highest calling, you serve others and you serve yourself.”

post-image California's chief justice, Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, said the evidence shows that lawyers who do pro bono work are happier. Photo by Charles Barry
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