Lawyer, Know Thyself: A Psychological Analysis of Personality Strengths and Weaknesses
This book addresses what some consider to be a state of crisis in the legal profession. Despite the many perks of being a lawyer—among them intellectual challenge, social status, and high salaries—job dissatisfaction, poor mental health, and substance abuse are surprisingly common among lawyers. In addition, the public arguably has less respect for attorneys than for any other professional group. Finally, there seems to be a crisis of professionalism among lawyers, as borne out by the public's frequent complaints of incivility, "Rambo-style" litigation, and ethically questionable conduct.
What are the personality characteristics and behaviors that have contributed to this "tripartite crisis" in the legal profession? In this book, Susan Daicoff provides a comprehensive review of the behavioral literature on lawyer personality and argues that the personality characteristics of those attracted to the law help explain the tripartite crisis. Furthermore, she shows that law schools generally try to re-mould those whose personality characteristics diverge from the typical "lawyer profile." She asserts that while some of the traditional lawyer personality traits serve both lawyers and their clients well, it is also time to consider a new, complementary model of "cooperative lawyering" that is more altruistic and client-centered.