5 Lawyer Personality Types, and How Yours Should Inform Your Law Career
Contrary to popular belief, not all lawyers are cold, boring and greedy. Such a diverse field is bound to attract a diverse group of people — and studies on lawyers’ personalities prove it. Some lawyers are feeling while others are analytical; some lawyers are temperamental while others almost always remain calm. It is important to remember that everyone is uniquely human, even those in the legal field.
The personality traits lawyers share aren’t nearly as important as the ones that make them different. In fact, by recognizing your similarities and differences from the prototypical lawyer, you might better identify the field of law best for you. This guide will explain the five most common lawyer personality types and how they impact lawyers’ practice.
ISTJ — The Logistician
Introverted, sensing, thinking, judging
Perhaps it should not be surprising that the personality type claiming the largest percentage of lawyers is ISTJ, considering that much of the world is, too — but with over 17 percent of lawyers falling into this category but only 13 percent of the rest of the world, it is notable that so many in the law profession identify this way.
Above all else, ISTJs are logical, practical dedicated and filled with integrity, which certainly seem to explain the ideal lawyer. ISTJs rarely make assumptions; instead, they research and analyze, forming opinions only after gathering sufficient data. They are most content while working, and they will continue working until every task is complete.
If you are an ISTJ, you will fit into any position within the legal field. You shouldn’t worry about finding a path into the type of law most suited to you because you will feel challenged and excited just by being a lawyer.
INTJ — The Architect
Introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging
Though INTJ is among the rarest personality types in the larger population, amongst lawyers, it is the second-most common, accounting for over 13 percent of attorneys. Like other lawyerly personalities, INTJs are driven to learn, but INTJs are better equipped to apply their knowledge to far-reaching, complex strategies intended to achieve their goals. INTJs are stubborn, nearly impossible to sway from courses they perceive as rational, but they also believe whole-heartedly in certain causes with an almost contradictory idealism.
As an INTJ, you make a good lawyer because you can convince yourself of the proper path and follow it unerringly. You might consider enrolling in employment law courses online, to assist you in arguing cases that desperately need attention and dedication, or you could apply for positions in public defense offices.
ESTJ — The Executive
Extroverted, sensing, thinking, judging
Slightly fewer lawyers identify as ESTJs, roughly 10 percent, but this category remains the third-largest personality type for attorneys overall. More than ISTJs, ESTJs are concerned with what is right and wrong, and they are devoted to leading communities (or their clients) to the light. Often, ESTJs are traditionalists and exceedingly concerned about order.
ESTJs are another personality type that do well in most areas of law. However, their concern with right and wrong makes them ideal candidates for positions on prosecution teams or higher up in the justice system. You might consider running for district attorney in your area — and later, judge.
ENTP — The Debater
Extroverted, intuitive, thinking, perceiving
With a moniker like “the debater,” ENTPs are obviously meant for law careers. Yet, only about 9 percent of lawyers identify as ENTP. This might be because ENTPs are more interested in improvised verbal and mental sparring as opposed to the diligent, strategic argument-crafting performed by most lawyers. ENTPs find debate fun; they have no deeper drive to reveal truth or build integrity.
ENTPs are uniquely equipped to function as litigators. In trials, attorneys must think on their feet, often reacting quickly to defend their clients. This is the ideal environment for ENTPs, and you should pursue the field of litigation if you identify as this personality type.
INTP — The Logician
Introverted, intuitive, thinking, perceiving
Another relatively rare personality type that is relatively common in law, INTPs make up about 9 percent of lawyers. INTPs are marked by their creativity, their intellect and their desire to be great. INTPs are excellent at identifying inconsistencies and developing creative solutions. What they lack in emotional response, they make up for in their ability to manipulate data and apply efficient solutions.
INTPs function well in many areas of law. You might find enjoyment in research, jury selection and other tasks that require diligence and data analysis. However, you should certainly steer clear of emotion-heavy professional paths, including those in feeling fields like family, civil rights or immigration.
Lawyers come in all shapes and sizes — and all personalities, too. However, the above-listed personality types are most popular in the legal field, and knowing what drives you and how you react in certain situations might push you toward specific careers in law. You can take the personality test online here and find your legal path today.