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An Introverted Lawyer: Still a Good Thing

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on January 12, 2016 5:59 AM

According to Eva Wisnik, president of Wisnik Career Enterprises in New York City, more than half of lawyers are actually introverts. Surprised?

In fact, there's good evidence to indicate most adults are extroverts, but that lawyers tend to favor the more reserved and staid. It looks like flamboyant and booming litigators have set the tone for the rest of us. It is, at first glance, sobering news for a world that has idolized the extroverted. But introversion has its advantages too.

Counter-Intuitive Findings

Wisnik, whose profession involves finding the right people for the right job, has conducted an impressive number of Myers-Briggs tests on attorneys from the 90s till present day. Her own estimates are that about 60 percent of attorneys tend to be introverts. 

This isn't too surprising, though, given that attorneys spend a lot of time thinking, analyzing, and writing -- all alone.

A World That Can't Stop Talking

Susan Cain should know the dichotomy between the Ins and Exes. After all, she wrote the book on the subject. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking was a best seller which hit the spot for many attorneys who find themselves flustered in a world seemingly dominated by powerful personalities. Cain, a former lawyer who went on to established the Quiet Leadership Institute, has actually suggested such tendencies for calm and measured behavior tend to foster the trust of the client and the opposing counsel.

Testing on the Rise

Always with the eye on trends, it looks as if there has been increasing awareness of personality's importance in the workplace. Law firms are now adopting personality tests like the Myers-Briggs in order to suggest to candidates the positions best aligned with their tested personality. There are still bumps in the road, but it is refreshing to see that small changes are afoot to make the profession more accessible to those actually within it.

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