Editing: 50 Lessons for Happy Lawyers

I recently completed the final edits for Nora Bergman’s latest book, 50 Lessons for Happy Lawyers. This is Bergman’s third in a series of lessons for lawyers. She collaborated with Chelsey Castro (JD, MA, AM, LCSW), a licensed mental health professional, to provide the most up-to-date research and ways lawyers can improve their happiness and well-being.

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One of the most fascinating aspects of this work was learning about lawyers’ thought processes and how they need to counteract these in many ways. Why? Because their legal training can spill over into their personal and professional lives, making them very unhappy. Plus, they are expected to work crazy long hours, which leads to burnout.


Lawyers reporting a decline in well-being experienced burnout twice as much as those that reported no change or an improvement.


“As a lawyer and now as the Executive Director of ADAA, I think about happiness and purpose daily. I found many of the suggestions in 50 Lessons for Happy Lawyers insightful and practical. I will be sharing the book with my lawyer friends as well as those who may be considering becoming a lawyer. We lawyers need a book like this. Thank you.” —Susan K. Gurley, Executive Director, Anxiety and Depression Association of America


Recently, a critical mass of research has provided what might be the most basic and irrefutable argument in favor of happiness: Happiness and good health go hand-in-hand.

Bergman and Castro deliver on the promise of how to become happier in life while continuing to practice law. There is no quick fix. It takes time and effort, but the payoff is priceless.


As an editor, I appreciated Bergman’s ability to organize how she wanted the work to flow. She maintained complete control, and I was encouraged to present my thoughts on content and context to make each lesson easier to understand and implement. We followed the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) and completed several rounds of revisions. Once my services were engaged, it took us a little over two months to complete. Due to COVID, we met regularly via Zoom and over the phone and through texts and a whole bunch of emails. Total pages of text were about 225. And, the best part, she’s terrific and lives according to her lessons.

After the edits were completed, the book was sent to the designer. The cover was designed during the editing process, and publicity was put into motion. All of these were performed by a range of professionals. As the title suggests, it does take a village to make a book.

I look forward to working with her on the next book and other projects as they arise.