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National Survey of Lawyers' Career Satisfaction, Wave I, 1984, and Wave II, 1990

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Hirsch, Ronald L.
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • American Bar Association. Young Lawyers Division
Free Keywords
attorneys; demographic characteristics; educational background; job satisfaction; job stress; psychological wellbeing
  • Abstract

    The purpose of this data collection was to assess career satisfaction among young lawyers throughout the United States. The questionnaire was designed to include as many factors as possible that might reasonably affect job satisfaction. The 1984 survey solicited information on lawyers' job descriptions, educational background, psychological characteristics, and basic demographics. Other questions pertained to job setting, substantive law areas of the respondent, geographical area in which the law firm was located, time spent each day on certain projects, and job stress. The 1990 survey posed questions identical to those in the 1984 survey, and added items covering part-time work, referral plans, sexual harassment in the workplace, gender and racial biases, reasons for changing jobs, drug use, disabilities, law school activities, and weighted job satisfaction scales.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Standardized missing values..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: 1984 Survey Data
    • DS2: 1990 Survey Data
    • DS3: SAS Control Cards for 1984 Survey Data
    • DS4: SAS Control Cards for 1990 Survey Data
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1984
  • Time period: 1990
  • 1984-02 / 1984-04
    Collection date: 1984-02--1984-04
  • 1990-03 / 1990-05
    Collection date: 1990-03--1990-05
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
For 1984 data: all lawyers admitted to the ABA in the United States prior to 1983. For 1990 data: all lawyers admitted to the ABA in the United States after 1983.
In 1984, three target groups were identified: lawyers 36 years of age and over who belonged to the American Bar Association (ABA), members of the ABA under 36 years old, excluding law students, and all lawyers in the nonmember files kept by the ABA. A systematic random probability sample was drawn to represent each of the three groups of lawyers involved in the survey. The group of lawyers under 36 years of age was oversampled. In the 1990 survey, the 1984 respondents were reinterviewed. Also, a systematic random sample was drawn of all lawyers admitted to the Bar after 1983.
Collection Mode
  • In Part 1, 1984 Survey Data, the variable MATCHID can be used to match subjects in the 1984 data file with those in the 1990 data file (both files are already sorted by MATCHID). The variable RESPOND can be used to select those 1984 subjects present in the 1990 file. Missing data was not standardized in Part 2, 1990 Survey Data.

2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions. Funding insitution(s): American Bar Association. Young Lawyers Division.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 8975 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08975.v2
  • Kim, Jinhyung, Hicks, Joshua A.. Happiness begets children? Evidence for a bi-directional link between well-being and number of children. Journal of Positive Psychology.2015.
    • ID: 10.1080/17439760.2015.1025420 (DOI)
  • Wright, Bradley E., Christensen, Robert K.. Public service motivation: A test of the job attraction selection-attrition model. International Public Management Journal.13, (2), 155-176.2010.
    • ID: 10.1080/10967491003752012 (DOI)
  • Chiu, Charlotte, Leicht, Kevin T.. When does feminization increase equality? The case of lawyers. Law and Society Review.33, (3), 557-593.1999.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Chiu, Charlotte. Do professional women have lower job satisfaction than professional men? Lawyers as a case study. Sex Roles.38, (7-8), 521-537.1998.
    • ID: 10.1023/A:1018722208646 (DOI)
  • Laband, David N., Lentz, Bernard F.. The effects of sexual harassment on job satisfaction, earnings, and turnover among female lawyers. Industrial and Labor Relations Review.51, (4), 594-607.1998.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Chiu, Charlotte. Do Professional Women Have Lower Job Satisfaction Than Professional Men? Lawyers as a Case Study. American Sociological Association. 1997.
  • Chiu, Charlotte. Large Firms and Prestigious Credentials as Factors that Promote Women's Equality. American Sociological Association. 1996.
  • Laband, David N., Lentz, Bernard F.. Workplace mentoring in the legal profession. Southern Economic Journal.61, (3), 783 -1995.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Laband, David N., Lentz, Bernard F.. Is there sex discrimination in the legal profession? Further evidence on tangible and intangible margins. Journal of Human Resources.28, (2), 230 -1993.
    • ID: (URL)
  • (author unknown). State of the Legal Profession 1990. American Bar Association.Chicago: ABA Order Fulfillment Department. 1990.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 3 | Registration Date: 2015-06-30

Hirsch, Ronald L. (1989): National Survey of Lawyers' Career Satisfaction, Wave I, 1984, and Wave II, 1990. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.