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Each year, thousands of men and women make a decision that will ultimately change not only the course but the quality of the rest of their lives: they decide to become lawyers. From the moment that thick congratulatory envelope arrives, accepting and welcoming them to law school, they begin their journey down a road they hope will lead them to a life of worth and personal satisfaction. Unfortunately, for most of them, this road leads only to misery and despair which oftentimes plummets to depths that eventually cause them to leave the practice of law or, more often, remain, resigned to spend their entire professional lives working for people they do not like and on issues for which they have no interest. The Happy Lawyer Handbook is out to change all that, examining the roots of this phenomenon and providing practical advice for law students and young attorneys in how they can avoid this in their legal careers. The Happy Lawyer Handbook provides insight into those practicalities of law practice that are never discussed in the career services office but which will very likely have an overwhelming effect on the entirety of a budding attorney's career. For example, the dangers of being pigeonholed and trapped into practicing in an unsatisfying area of law are discussed as a way of stressing the importance of choosing one's preferred area of practice right out of law school. Once in the workplace, competition among fellow law firm associates and issues relevant to promotion is analyzed in order to provide a better understanding of who gets promoted and why. Intrinsic in this discussion is the importance of job satisfaction right off the bat as a required tool for career advancement. The topic of student loan debt and how to deal with it is likewise a focus of The Happy Lawyer Handbook. Far too many students and young attorneys permit their fears over their student loans to dominate their career decisions, causing them to accept employment positions they otherwise would never even consider, thereby dooming themselves to a lifetime of professional misery. The Happy Lawyer Handbook shows them how to make sense of their student loan obligations, how to put their debt in the proper perspective, and how to avoid falling into a disastrous career spiral. Should young attorneys strive to retire their student loan debt as quickly as possible? Surprisingly, and contrary to popular opinion, The Happy Lawyer Handbook demonstrates how and why this is perhaps the worst thing he or she should do. On a larger economic scale, the book discusses how the combination of new technology and the recent recession has changed the legal employment marketplace forever. It shows readers how to make sense of it all and points out the hidden upsides to seeking legal employment in a down economy. As The Happy Lawyer Handbook shows, it is possible for savvy legal job seekers to use the current fragile economic climate to their advantage to secure the job of their dreams. The key is in understanding the new rules of the job search game. Readers of The Happy Lawyer Handbook will not only learn these rules but, more importantly, learn how to make them work to their advantage.