Law students, lawyers should take stock of evolving career, personal goals

Just as the seasons change, our goals and dreams may also evolve or change over time. Now is a great time to assess your personal and career goals and take the necessary steps to get or stay on the right path.

Consider assessing your:

  • Personal goals: Although there are several assessment tools readily available, a familiar one is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality inventory. Your personal style influences many things, from how you address others to the type of work environment you prefer.
  • Skills and interests: Interested in exploring new career paths or want to learn if your job is the best fit for your skills and interests? The Strong Interest Inventory is one type of assessment test to help you with these particular questions.
  • Career goals: When was the last time you took stock of where you are and where you want to be this time next year, or in five years? Some questions to ponder:
    • What is your attitude toward your career right now?
    • If you could do it again, would you go to law school?. Why?
    • At work, what do you enjoy doing the most, the least?
    • What accomplishments during law school or your career are you most proud of and why?
    • Are you satisfied with the amount of time spent with your family and friends? Is there anything you would like to change?
    • If you couldn’t practice law, what would you do instead? Why?

There are many excellent resources available to help get you started, including:

  • “The Official Guide to Legal Specialties,” by Lisa Abrams
  • “Life After Law: Second Careers for Lawyers,” by Mary Ann Altman
  • “What Can You Do With a Law Degree?” by Deborah Arron
  • “What Color is Your Parachute?” by Richard Bolles
  • “The Opportunity Maker,” by Ari Kaplan
  • “Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Jobs of Your Dreams,” by Kimm Walton

All of these books, and many others, are available at the Office of Career Services library.

Don’t forget to take advantage of your local resources. As a student or alumnus of KU, the University Career Center offers assessment tests at a discounted rate, including the Strong Interest Inventory and the Do What You Are personality assessment test. Todd Rogers and Karen Hester can counsel you on available opportunities based on your goals and information gleaned from your self-evaluations. There are also career coaches, some of whom specialize in working with attorneys, who can help you identify your goals and the steps you need to take.

Karen Hester, Director of Career Services