The Talent

May 19, 2008 11:06 AM

Lawyers are Introverts, New Book Says

Posted by Zach Lowe

Are lawyers as extroverted and confident as the depictions of them on TV and in film suggest ? A new career book from Jist Publications says no.

Lawyers ranked sixth overall on a list of the 200 best jobs for introverts, just behind the loner braniacs who work as computer software engineers and accountants.

As coauthor Laurence Shatkin told the Washington Post, introverts have a lot to offer in the workplace, "from original thinking to the ability to concentrate and 'think things through in detail.'"

Shatkin based his list on data from the U.S. Department of Labor; he tracked how often professionals in nearly 600 fields come into contact and work with others.

By those measures, lawyers have the 191st most solitary job. The profession wound up 6th on the list after Shutkin factored in pay and growth potential.

Larry Richard, a consultant for Hildebrandt International, isn't surprised by Shutkin's findings. Richard specializes in law firms and lawyer personalities. Using the Caliper Profile personality test, he has found that lawyers rank astonishingly low in the sociability trait.

"Lawyers are thinkers," Richard says. "[Consider] what a lawyer does--thinking, analyzing documents, editing and writing." According to Richard's research, low sociability scorers are less inclined to enjoy interaction with others" and "may prefer to spend more time with information."

Of course, there is a payoff, literally: The Jist Publications listing ranked the legal profession second in pay, just below astronomy.

If Kepler’s Three Laws of Planetary Motion involve too much calculus for you, there's always torts.

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