Excerpts from The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers:
Martin Seligman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the founder of the School of Positive Psychology, which focuses on the attributes that produce success and happiness, has identified optimism as critical for both. In his book, Authentic Happiness (Free Press, 2002), Dr. Seligman reviewed his research on whether any personality attributes were consistently correlated to success in any of 104 careers he studied. Interestingly enough, the only career he found consistent correlations for was lawyering. And the attribute? Pessimism. Pessimism was so highly correlated with success in lawyers that the higher the pessimism in law students, the higher their grades.