Do Legal Professionals Have A Risk Type?

by Dr Simon Toms & Ileana Boyes

The legal profession holds an influence on society that few industries can match. It is tasked with creating, amending, updating and enforcing laws that can foster national identity and shape culture. The result is a justice system designed to punish transgressions and regulate our day-to-day lives.

At the individual level, practising law demands a range of tasks and behaviours. The legal profession is epitomised by tireless research, study and preparation punctuated by occasional trial-shaped flashpoints. Fulfilment of professional duties demands self-discipline, a methodical approach and an eye for detail, and working hours usually extend beyond the typical nine-to-five.

Be it the overarching mission of the law or the day-to-day tasks of the jobs it encompasses, seeking employment in the industry can speak volumes about an individual. As Psychologists, we are interested in exploring if and how individuals working in the legal profession vary temperamentally from the general population.

This paper summarises the findings of our research into the risk personality profiles of lawyers using the Risk Type Compass.

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