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Measuring Lawyer Well‐Being Systematically: Evidence from the National Health Interview Survey
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies ( IF 1.268 ) Pub Date : 2021-03-04 , DOI: 10.1111/jels.12274
Yair Listokin, Raymond Noonan

Conventional wisdom says that lawyers are uniquely unhappy. Unfortunately, this conventional wisdom rests on a weak empirical foundation. The “unhappy lawyers” narrative relies on nonrandom survey data collected from volunteer respondents. Instead of depending on such data, researchers should study lawyer mental health by relying on large microdatasets of public health data, such as the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) administered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The NHIS includes data from 100–200 lawyers per year. By aggregating years, an adequate sample size of lawyers can readily be obtained, with much greater confidence that the lawyers in the sample resemble the true population of U.S. lawyers. When we examine the NHIS data, we find that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, lawyers are not particularly unhappy. Indeed, they suffer rates of mental illness much lower than the general population. Lawyer mental health is not significantly different than the mental health of similarly educated professionals, such as doctors and dentists. Rates of problematic alcohol use among lawyers, however, are high, even when compared to the general population. Moreover, problematic use of alcohol among lawyers has grown increasingly common over the last 15 years. These sometimes surprising and nuanced findings demonstrate the value of relying on more reliable data such as the NHIS.

中文翻译:

系统地衡量律师的健康状况:来自国家健康访问调查的证据

传统观点认为,律师是非常不高兴的。不幸的是,这种传统观点基于薄弱的经验基础。“不高兴的律师”的叙述依赖于从志愿者答复者那里收集的非随机调查数据。研究人员应该依靠大型公共健康数据微数据集来研究律师的心理健康,而不是依赖于此类数据,例如由美国疾病控制中心进行的国家健康采访调查(NHIS)。NHIS每年包括来自100-200名律师的数据。通过累计数年,可以轻松获得足够的律师样本数量,并且更加有信心地认为样本中的律师类似于美国律师的真实人口。当我们检查NHIS数据时,我们发现,与传统观点相反,律师并不是特别不满意。确实,他们的精神疾病患病率远低于普通人群。律师的心理健康与受过类似教育的专业人员(例如医生和牙医)的心理健康没有显着差异。但是,即使与普通人群相比,律师中有问题的酒精使用率很高。此外,在过去的15年中,律师中酗酒的问题日益普遍。这些有时令人惊讶和细微的发现证明了依靠更可靠的数据(例如NHIS)的价值。即使与普通人群相比也是如此。此外,在过去的15年中,律师中酗酒的问题日益普遍。这些有时令人惊讶和细微的发现证明了依靠更可靠的数据(例如NHIS)的价值。即使与普通人群相比也是如此。此外,在过去的15年中,律师中酗酒的问题日益普遍。这些有时令人惊讶和细微的发现证明了依靠更可靠的数据(例如NHIS)的价值。
更新日期:2021-04-05
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