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The need for caffeine

I have always loved coffee and been a coffee drinker. But I have noticed that ever since entering into the legal profession, or I guess since starting law school, that I don’t just love coffee anymore — I need it.

During the bar exam, I branched out to energy drinks as a caffeine supplement and haven’t looked back. I don’t know what it is but I just don’t feel like I’m doing my best work unless I have it during the work day. While it might be an addiction, it also might be more of a psychological thing at this point.

I guess my caffeine addiction isn’t such a terrible thing. In theory, there are a lot of benefits to caffeine and some of them are pretty huge, including decreasing the risk of certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Another benefit of caffeine is increased performance, although this is usually applicable to athletics, with athletes loaded up on caffeine before a big game or race.

But it’s not a big stretch to see how it could be applicable to performance in the workplace.

At my new office, I am the only one who really drinks coffee, something I’ve never really encountered before in the legal profession. (I don’t know how my co-workers do it!) Most attorneys I know drink lots of coffee. Heck, at my last job we even had a coffee club of sorts. This got me wondering if caffeine consumption is higher among lawyers than other professions. Or if it’s higher in desk jobs generally more than other jobs. I figured I couldn’t be the only one with this “addiction” and that “lawyer” would have to be at least in the top five of professions that drink the most coffee. So I found a study done by Dunkin’ Donuts and Career Builder and it turns out that lawyers don’t even make the top 12!

The profession that consumes the most coffee at work is scientist/lab technician, followed by marketing/PR professional and education administrator. I find these results to be very surprising and frankly I would question the integrity of the study if it hadn’t been for its two other findings. First, that workers in the Northeast drink more coffee than workers in other regions. And second — get ready — that lawyers and judges are most likely to drink their coffee black, bitter. (I can’t get over that last one.)

What about you: Do you need caffeine to get you through the work day or are you naturally alert? Do most people in your office drink coffee?