Should I Become a Lawyer?19 December 2013 / By Truity Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on December 19, 2013
The rule of law is the glue that holds our society together. Without laws and rules we would lose our cohesiveness, and the structure that protects our freedom and provides us with opportunity would be hopelessly compromised. Legal codes are also expressions of morality and ethics and they embody our highest ideals. For these reasons the practice of law is unquestionably a noble profession, and if the thought of becoming a lawyer seems attractive to you it is clear that you are interested in actually serving and improving society and have no desire to simply go through the motions.
It takes several years of intensive study and training to prepare for a career in law, so there is little doubt that the personality trait of Conscientiousness is essential for anyone interested in traversing this daunting path. Conscientious people are highly organized and never overlook important details, and these two characteristics are required if the intricacies, subtleties and complexities of the law are to be mastered. The law seems hopelessly complex to most of us, but a lawyer needs to have a firm grip on all of it if he or she is to become recognized as a legitimate voice of authority. Fortunately people high in Conscientiousness never set goals for themselves without knowing ahead of time they will be able to achieve them, and this breeds a tenacity and stick-to-itiveness that will help the aspiring legal eagle keep their nose to the grindstone until they have acquired the necessary expertise in their chosen area of specialization.
Lawyers must have a high degree of Resilience to thrive in the courtroom or during any crucial negotiation, when the heat is on and the difference between winning and losing can be immense and life-altering. The personality trait of Resilience is a reflection of deep self-confidence, and those who possess it are usually able to stay calm and rational in circumstances where emotions are running high. Because they have so much self-assurance and serenity under fire individuals who rank high in Resiliency tend to perform well on tests, and needless to say this capacity comes in quite handy for law students who must keep their grades up in a highly competitive academic environment and who must pass the Bar before they can become fully licensed advocates for justice.
Extraversion is another personality trait that comes in handy for lawyers. In the courtroom, boardroom, meeting room or judge’s chambers lawyers must be able to make their points boldly and effectively while verbally parrying their opponent’s most skilled ripostes. A good lawyer should instinctively take the initiative in competitive situations and know how to turn on the charm when it is appropriate, and if you are not an extravert by nature your capacity to take control of legal proceedings through the sheer force of your personality might be severely restricted.
Lawyers are intellectually oriented, but more than anything lawyers are advocates who must be able to persuade others to see things from the proper perspective – the term ‘proper’ being entirely relative of course. The abiding interest that great lawyers have in persuading is universal and indispensible, because despite its precision the law still has many gray areas and it is a lawyer’s job to persuade judges, juries or other arbiters that their interpretation of a particular statute or set of facts is superior and correct. Some might say that persuaders just love to argue, but in fact what really gives them satisfaction is winning the arguments they involve themselves in. Persuaders are natural leaders who tend to seek out a certain amount of risk, and when they are able to effectively sell concepts and ideas to others it leaves them feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
The practice of law is not as glamorous or dramatic as it appears on TV (believe it or not guilty people hardly ever break down and confess when testifying on the witness stand). But if you do decide to pursue a career in law your personal resources will be stretched to the limit, first as a law student, then as a young attorney trying to establish yourself and finally as a successful professional hammering out deals and preparing cases to go to trial if necessary.
Your ability to win friends and influence people will be just as important as your technical mastery of your particular specialty, and cultivating your full potential will take consistent and persistent effort in every phase of the game. But if you are conscientious, resilient, extraverted and deeply interested in persuasion and advocacy, a career in law could be just the thing to satisfy all of your needs and leave you humming a happy tune as you head off to work each and every day.
No matter what career interests you taking a comprehensive career assessment exam is always a superb idea. Even if you think you know yourself and what your strengths, weaknesses and real interests are there will always be limits to self-perception that can be extremely difficult to supersede. Happily for you, however, our Career Surveyor has been designed to reveal the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth about the true personality of everyone who completes it.
If becoming a lawyer is really the perfect choice for you we can guarantee you that your results on the Surveyor will show it, and after you have submitted your answers and received reaffirming feedback you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your career ambition is sensible and attainable. Case closed!