UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Factors identified to enhance and hinder job satisfaction among practicing lawyers Quee Newell, Colleen P.


Job satisfaction among professionals has been addressed in numerous studies, primarily using quantitative research methodologies. Limited research has been conducted regarding job satisfaction among practicing lawyers. Given the educational investment and level of personal commitment required for career success in this field, from a career counselling perspective personal satisfaction in one's chosen career path is perceived to be important. The intent of this study was to highlight common themes or patterns perceived by practicing lawyers to enhance or hinder job satisfaction. Fifteen practicing lawyers (nine males and six females) were interviewed to obtain information in the form of critical incidents regarding factors perceived to enhance and hinder job satisfaction. Participants were also asked to provide a definition of job satisfaction, rate their level of job satisfaction and indicate the importance of job satisfaction to them. Nine categories of factors were described as enhancing job satisfaction. The three factors most frequently identified were success, positive feedback and positive performance. Ten categories of factors were reported to hinder job satisfaction with three factors predormnating: negative feedback, negative partner-associate relations and professional hazards. Although gender differences were apparent for both enhancing and hindering factors, these differences were more apparent for hindering factors. Definitions of job satisfaction were multi-factored and included themes regarding work enthusiasm, work enjoyment, making a positive contribution to individuals or society, a sense of accomplishment, and positive interpersonal relationships. Overall, a moderate degree of job satisfaction was reported and the majority of participants (87 percent) reported that job satisfaction was important or very important.

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