What Makes Lawyers Tick

The Lawyer Personality Explained | taught by Dr Larry Richard

Course description

Lawyers are a unique group of people. They dominate government, the legal system, and many societal institutions. People who enter the legal profession are different from the general public, and with good reason. In this seminar, Dr. Larry Richard will explain what makes lawyers tick. Based on 30 years of research into the lawyer personality, and over 25,000 test scores, Dr. Richard will explain the interesting traits that characterise lawyers, and how they support legal excellence yet at the same time may pose challenges to other roles that lawyers play, like leadership, client retention, or mentoring.

Topics covered include:

  1. What is personality?
    • What is the biggest factor in our make-up that influences our behavior?
    • Is personality genetic or shaped by experience?
  2. Lawyer negativity—an occupational hazard
    • How is negativity built into our job description?
    • What type of person is attracted into the profession and why?
  3. Lawyers and the Hogan Assessment
    • What are the key lawyer traits and values?
    • What traits do lawyers lack when compared against the general public?
    • What is the hallmark trait that lawyers have, that makes us love the law?
    • Are male and female lawyers different on the key personality traits?
    • How do lawyers behave under stress?
    • What is important to lawyers and what motivates us?
  4. Lawyers and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
    • How atypical are lawyers when compared to the general population?
    • What is the most common (by far) modal type for lawyers, which is shared by only 2.3% of the general population?
    • Are lawyers more introverted or extroverted?
  5. Lawyers and Emotional Intelligence
    • What is Emotional Intelligence, and how do lawyers score on the Emotional Intelligence scale?
    • Why Emotional Intelligence is crucial for effective leadership, coping with change and sustaining long term relationships.
    • Can Emotional Intelligence be raised?
  6. Lawyers and the Caliper Profile
    • What are the 6 personality traits that lawyers are outliers on?
    • How do lawyers cope with change?
    • What is the single most pervasive trait on which 90% of lawyers score substantially less than the general public?
  7. Personality and Resilience
    • What is resilience?
    • What factors contribute to our resilience?
  8. Understanding your own personality
    • What are the key benefits to understanding your own personality?

Learn online, from anywhere.

You can access this course on a desktop, tablet or mobile.

Learn anytime, at your own pace

You can learn whenever you like, at a pace that suits you. This course is provided on demand.

You can start, stop and resume a course anytime, and you can access it as many times as you like once you purchase this course.

Earn CPD/CLE credits - 1.5 points


Lawyers in all Australian States and Territories can earn 1.5 CPD / CLE credits for completing this course (Professional Skills category).


Lawyers based outside of Australia need to check the requirements for CPD / CLE credits in their own States.

Dr Larry Richard
Dr Larry Richard

Dr. Larry Richard is recognized as the leading expert on the psychology of lawyer behavior. He has advised the world's top law firms on leadership, management, and related issues such as teams, change management, talent selection, assessment, and other aspects of strategic talent management.

Widely known as an expert on the lawyer personality, he has gathered personality data on thousands of lawyers.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Dr. Richard practiced law as a trial attorney for ten years. He then earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from Temple University. For more than 20 years, he has provided consulting services exclusively to the legal profession. Formerly with Altman Weil, and more recently the head of the Leadership & OD Practice at Hildebrandt, he recently launched his own consulting firm, LawyerBrain LLC, which focuses on improving lawyer performance through personality science. He focuses on Resilience, Change Management, and Leadership.

He is a frequent author and speaker on the use of positive psychology and applied behavioral science in helping law firms to succeed. He is a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, and a licensed user of the MBTI, DiSC, and 15 other tools.


Course Curriculum

What is Personality & Lawyer Negativity
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Lawyers and the Hogan Assessment (Traits and Values)
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Lawyers and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
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Lawyers and Emotional Intelligence
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Lawyers, the Caliper Profile and Resilience
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How to Use This Information
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