Should I not become a lawyer if I'm really introverted?

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roranoa
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Should I not become a lawyer if I'm really introverted?

Postby roranoa » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:21 am

I would say that I'm a bit socially awkward or really shy and I barely say anything in social settings. I do enjoy deep conversations with one or two people but I don't go to parties because I hate the small talk.

I'm not sure how much socializing and networking is required in this career so I can't judge for myself whether I'll do well or not.

Would my personality be a total hindrance to get me moving up in Biglaw? (which was essentially what I had in mind)

Or do you think I can maybe fake it to the top?

Any advice or insight would be helpful

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Lacepiece23
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Re: Should I not become a lawyer if I'm really introverted?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:04 am

I would say that in my brief experiences with law students and attorneys the introverted ones do better in school, usually can write well which is essential, and can give great legal analysis. However, the extroverted attorney's usually make more money because they can bring in business, network with their piers for job opportunities later in life, and basically put their brand out there better. I think its possible to be introverted and a great attorney, but I think the ceiling on advancement will always be lower. You will always be working for someone probably not as smart as you, but can do the thing you can't which is bring in business.

Just my two cents could be totally off.

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minnbills
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Re: Should I not become a lawyer if I'm really introverted?

Postby minnbills » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:25 am

Law school is packed with introverts, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Try and come out of your shell though, it's important to have good people skills in life.

Gorki
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Re: Should I not become a lawyer if I'm really introverted?

Postby Gorki » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:51 am

No, IF you can get biglaw b/c its almost never expected you bring in clients as a junior associate. If you bust at getting biglaw, your introvert personality will really make you unappealing to a lot of employers. Like the other poster said: The go-getter types are appealing b/c they are gonna get involved in organizations and bring in clients... The guy who rocks out drafting memos then goes straight home does not.

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cranberry
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Re: Should I not become a lawyer if I'm really introverted?

Postby cranberry » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:11 am

it depends on what kind of lawyer you want to be. i had a really hard time at my biglaw screeners and callbacks. i did get some cbs, but i'm very withdrawn and non-assertive in social situations, i have a lot of trouble with it. i find people in my law school class to be weirdly outgoing and many seem aggressive about interviewing. i attended a few of my school's firm/job fair events, and just listening to the other students talk to recruiters made me really uncomfortable. i couldn't bring myself to "network" either and didn't do well on the job hunt.

on the other hand, once i started working i was able to develop relationships with associates i saw regularly, and felt a little more comfortable around them.

roranoa
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Re: Should I not become a lawyer if I'm really introverted?

Postby roranoa » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:08 am

cranberry wrote:it depends on what kind of lawyer you want to be. i had a really hard time at my biglaw screeners and callbacks. i did get some cbs, but i'm very withdrawn and non-assertive in social situations, i have a lot of trouble with it. i find people in my law school class to be weirdly outgoing and many seem aggressive about interviewing. i attended a few of my school's firm/job fair events, and just listening to the other students talk to recruiters made me really uncomfortable. i couldn't bring myself to "network" either and didn't do well on the job hunt.

on the other hand, once i started working i was able to develop relationships with associates i saw regularly, and felt a little more comfortable around them.


So what's your advice?

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mvredd
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Re: Should I not become a lawyer if I'm really introverted?

Postby mvredd » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:12 am

Look, being extroverted or introverted have their ups and downs inthe legal world. Extroverts are going to be able to better think on their toes and network and build client lists, but they also tend to speak before they think (which can get you into trouble) and can come of as grating to the 50ish percent of the population who aren't extroverted. They also come off as less serious (something that a client may find unnerving). They may also have trouble listening to others first before speaking because many Extroverts think best when they themselves are talking things out.

Introverts are going to be better at briefing and other forms of written communication. They tend to be more thoughtful in what they have to say and tend to be better listeners because they talk less. As long as you are comfortable public speaking, you can still make a good presentation in a trial setting and may be able to pick out flaws in the other lawyer's argument better. At the same time, it may take you longer to become established in your work place because it takes you longer to feel comfortable in new environments. Introverts also take about 5 to 8 seconds to process information, which could mean you get talked over a lot by your more outgoing associates.

TL;DR- You can do it, don't panic.




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