In The Creative Lawyer: A Practical Guide to Authentic Professional Satisfaction, author and career coach Michael Melcher guides readers through an interactive process to create the greatest level of satisfaction possible from their careers. A copy of this resource is available in the Career Development Office.

As the author makes clear at the outset, this resource is quite interactive and requires as much (or more) doing as it does reading. Each chapter describes a particular area of a lawyer’s career that can be improved and then offers writing and thinking exercises to guide the reader in understanding how to improve that area in his or her own career.

The first few chapters discuss the role that values and passions play in job-seeking and career satisfaction and how they can be used to achieve a healthy and desirable work-life balance. The author also describes how to recognize positive tradeoffs for the negative aspects of any job and how to utilize an understanding of one’s values to develop a plan for future career decisions.

The next section focuses on personality type and the impact that it can have on lawyers’ careers. This leads into a discussion about the importance of developing effective communication skills, professional and personal relationships, and a solid network. Interspersed within this discussion are exercises to help readers improve all of these things in their own lives.

Finally, the book rounds out with advice for investigating and experimenting with new career options and how to overcome mental obstacles, such as money, that can impede careers when they are not explored and discussed properly.

Overall, this resource offers some interesting, alternative perspectives for evaluating career satisfaction and how to achieve it. As the author points out, those who are willing not only to read but also to do the exercises are likely to benefit most from this book. Although this resource is geared toward lawyers who are currently practicing, its thoughts and exercises would also be beneficial to law students seeking some direction in finding a job that will fulfill them professionally and personally.