Attorney Trait Study Finds Mental Makeup is Key to Legal Career Success and Satisfaction

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Results from the largest online study of lawyers ever conducted shows that an individual’s personality traits and characteristics are key to one’s propensity for success and satisfaction levels with a career in law including specific work settings, practice areas and even specific law firms. The study used the data that The Right Profile and JD Match collected to better understand attorney personalities and judge how various traits play a role in an attorney’s career longevity and overall satisfaction.

There are Key Trait Differences in Lawyers Who Leave the Practice of Law

Based upon the assessment results, we see a number of clear links between certain trait patterns and satisfaction or dissatisfaction with specific practice areas, practice settings, or the practice of law generally

Although technology in the legal industry has made huge progress in the last ten years to increase the efficiency of legal research, litigation and document assembly, the human side – how law students determine their practice areas, how firms recruit, develop and retain attorneys, and even how college students answer the simple question of “should I go to law school?”, has changed little in the past 40 years. This lack of focus on the human side results in a huge cost to attorneys, law firms and their clients - 46% of new associates are gone within their first three years at a firm and lateral partners suffer similar turnover rates. All in, turnover costs the largest 400 US law firms nearly $9.1 billion annually, and more than 20% of practicing associates will leave the practice of law altogether when they leave their first law firm job.

“The first step in solving any of these issues is better understanding attorneys,” said Mark Levin, General Counsel of The Right Profile, “and based upon the assessment results, we see a number of clear links between certain trait patterns and satisfaction or dissatisfaction with specific practice areas, practice settings, or the practice of law generally.” Key trait differences by practice areas, practice settings, social generation and even attorneys that stay in practice compared to those who leave are all detailed in the company’s white paper, which can be downloaded from the company's website, at therightprofile.com/law-firms.

At its core, the answer to lower overall law firm hiring costs and higher attorney satisfaction is simple – hire better, develop your people and put them in roles where they will have the best chance to succeed, and, as a result, keep the most desirable people longer. Levin continued, “Our study shows that attorneys and firms can find a better mutual ‘fit’ by using an assessment; certain trait patterns fit better in certain work settings, specific firm cultures and various practice areas. Understand those traits and attorney satisfaction levels, and you have a way of finding a long-term member of your firm.”

In an effort to help law firms and attorneys ameliorate turnover issues, The Right Profile has published a full white paper discussing the finding and implications of the study. Please visit therightprofile.com/law-firms to receive a complementary download of the publication, Assessing Lawyer Traits & Finding a Fit for Success. Additionally, the company has re-opened access to its Attorney Trait Study and anyone can take part. Upon completion of the 20 minute assessment, at http://www.attorneyassessment.com, each participant will immediately receive a detailed report that profiles the individual’s distinctive characteristics in the traits that are most important to practicing law, and how he or she compares to the collective norm of attorneys across the country in each measured trait. The individual can use these results to understand his or her own strengths and how to leverage them. Any data used from the assessment will be aggregated anonymously, with no identifying individual characteristics.

The Right Profile (TRP) is the leader in predictive talent selection integrating the latest technologies with predictive methodologies in behavioral science that transforms the way organizations select and develop talent. The company harnesses people-centric science and predictive analytics to help organizations make smarter personnel decisions. TRP is active in multiple markets including professional sports, professional services firm and business. JD Match, the first truly 21st-Century legal recruiting platform, headquartered in New York, has been developed by Bruce MacEwen and Janet Stanton, the same individuals behind industry-leading publishing and management consulting firm Adam Smith, Esq.

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Mark Levin
@markjlevin
since: 04/2009
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The Right Profile
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