Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions
 

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1992

Abstract

For some time now the phenomenon known as psychological typing has been finding its way into the study and even the practice of law. The phenomenon has its origin in the notion that people are different in ways that are meaningfully categorizable and classifiable, i.e., that there are genuine, empirically verifiable psychological "types" among people, with the members of each type possessing similar psychological characteristics to some significant extent. The phenomenon is based in Jungian psychology, but its influence has extended well beyond that discipline and into others, including the law and lawyering. More than two decades ago, in an article published in the Journal of Legal Education, a program director for the Educational Testing Service suggested that a positive correlation existed between personality type and law school survival and attrition. The article is still influential today. College pre-law advisors have taken to using psychological typing indicators as aids in career counseling. In other contexts, family law practitioners, following the lead of many marriage counselors, now use psychological typing indicators as conciliation tools, and law firms, following the lead of corporate management in general, are beginning to use them in personnel development programs. What is psychological typing? What are psychological typing indicators? Is the theory behind them sound? Are they useful, or dangerous, or perhaps both? These are the questions that will be addressed in this article.

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