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Analyzing the Traits of Future Legal Leaders: A Survey Among Law Students

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

The legal profession has always been held in high esteem, producing leaders who shape society’s norms, values, and regulations. As someone who has had the privilege of addressing university students, particularly those in the realm of law, I’ve always been intrigued by their perceptions of themselves and their chosen career paths. Recently, I conducted an informal survey among a group of law students to gain insights into the characteristics they believe define a law student. The findings were both illuminating and reaffirming.

Top Traits Identified by Law Students:

  1. Confused: This was an unexpected yet significant finding. Many students felt that the study of law can sometimes be confusing. This might stem from the intricate nature of legal doctrines, the constant evolution of laws, or perhaps the philosophical underpinnings that require deep introspection and understanding.

  2. Flexible: Flexibility is paramount in law. With changing societal norms and advancing technology, laws need to adapt, and so do those who study and practice them. Being flexible allows law students to navigate complex scenarios and find solutions that might not be immediately obvious.

  3. Opinionated: A trait that can be viewed both positively and negatively, being opinionated is almost a rite of passage for many in the legal field. It indicates a passion for justice, a firm stance on moral and ethical grounds, and the confidence to voice one’s views.

On the brighter side, the students also identified three positive traits that they believe are emblematic of their journey:

  1. Hardworking: Law, without a doubt, requires dedication and perseverance. The students’ recognition of hard work as a top trait underscores their commitment to the profession and the challenges it entails.

  2. Smart: While intelligence is a trait valued in many fields, in law, it’s not just about IQ. It’s about emotional intelligence, street smarts, and the ability to read people and situations effectively.

  3. Eloquent: Eloquence is the hallmark of a great lawyer. The ability to articulate thoughts clearly, persuasively, and passionately is a skill that every law student aims to master.

Analysis and Reflections:

The dichotomy in the traits identified – from feeling ‘confused’ to being ‘smart’ and ‘eloquent’ – showcases the multifaceted journey of a law student. It’s a blend of vulnerability and strength, of challenges met with resilience.

The acknowledgement of confusion is not necessarily a negative trait. It indicates a willingness to accept that the path isn’t always clear, but it’s through grappling with these uncertainties that true learning happens. Moreover, it’s a testament to the vastness and complexity of the legal field, which, though daunting, is also what makes it profoundly rewarding.

The Power of Positive Attitudes:

What stands out in this survey is the students’ profound self-awareness. Recognizing positive traits like hard work, intelligence, and eloquence highlights their aspirations and the benchmarks they set for themselves. These positive attitudes are not just wishful thinking but are essential for success in any field.

A positive attitude propels individuals to overcome challenges, seek solutions, and continue learning. In the legal profession, where stakes are high and challenges manifold, such an attitude can make all the difference.

In conclusion, the future of the legal profession seems to be in good hands. The upcoming generation of lawyers is not only self-aware but also equipped with both the soft and hard skills required to excel in the dynamic world of law. Their journey, filled with both challenges and aspirations, paints a promising picture for the future of justice.

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