JD Preferred Career Quiz

You know those quizzes in glossy magazines that promise to evaluate your personality and offer a tailored solution to any given problem according to your responses?  Well, this month I've created my very own 'JD Preferred Quiz' to help jumpstart your thinking on which career path suits you best in using your JD degree in a non-traditional way.  Whether you are still in law school but re-thinking the law firm path, or are a post-graduate lawyer thinking of doing something different with your law degree, this quiz can help narrow your frame of reference among the myriad options.  Ideally, your strengths and your interests are aligned, because this quiz assumes that what you like to do is what you're also good at (which is often the case, unless you are one of those hapless American Idol rejects).

Which 'JD Preferred' Career Path Suits You Best?

Please choose one answer for each question that most closely matches your professional interests.

1) If you had to spend the majority of your day doing one type of task, which of the following appeals to you most?

a) Advising people on impacts to their business or personal situation
b) Identifying inefficiencies or risks and creating smoother processes
c) Negotiating and drafting documents

2) What type of document would you prefer to create?

a) Company overview presentation
b) Specifications for a new automated workflow
c) Well-researched article

3) What type of document would you prefer to create? (Asking again with a new answer set because this is a pretty crucial data point.)

a) Executive summary of an issue you've analyzed to a business manager
b) Project charter setting in scope and out of scope deliverables
c) White paper

4) How comfortable are you with learning new technological systems or tools?

a) I'm capable and willing to learn any new technology if it'll help me do my job better
b) Learning new tools? I want to be involved in creating them!
c) Meh, only if I must and someone trains me

5) To what extent of your workday would you like to be devoted to interpersonal communications?

a) Most of my day, I love sharing my knowledge with other people
b) Half-half, I like to collect data points from colleagues and lay out a plan of action for them after deeply thinking about all inputs received
c) Minimal, I prefer to engage in independent projects and for most of my interpersonal communications to be written (via email, letters, etc.)

Count the number of a), b) and c) responses you selected.  The one selected the most matches up with the JD Preferred career paths as follows:

Mostly a): Trusted Advisor

Mostly b): Process Oriented

Mostly c): Deep Research & Writing

  • Consulting
  • Recruiting
  • Career or Alumni Services
  • College or Graduate Level Professorship
  • Investor Relations
  • Corporate / Regulatory / Government Affairs
  • Lobbying
  • Business Development
  • Sales & Account Management (esp. Fintech / RegTech / LegalTech)
  • Small Firm Compliance
  • Business Owner / Manager
  • Project Management
  • Product Development (esp. Fintech / RegTech / LegalTech)
  • Graduate / Law School Administration
  • Political Campaigning
  • Legal Marketing
  • Due Diligence
  • Anti-Money Laundering
  • Large Firm Compliance


  • Legal Reporting / Journalism
  • Procurement / Contract Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Think Tank / Public Policy Research & Advocacy
  • Corporate Communications & Marketing

Key Attributes

  • Client Service
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal
  • Fast Paced
  • Deadline-Driven
  • Proactive
  • Listens
  • Multiple Priorities
  • Problem-Solving
  • Team Player
  • Operational
  • Conceptual
  • Improvements
  • Innovative
  • Organizational
  • Detail Oriented
  • Research & Writing
  • Self-Motivated
  • Analytical
  • Highly Organized
  • Self-Starter
  • Thinker
  • Knowledge
  • Judgment

There you have it folks: my uber-scientific career planning quiz.  I recommend that you read this alongside my earlier JD Skill Drill post.  In that column, I scoured live job postings and aggregated the most-wanted skills that hiring managers want to see in today's job applicants into a word cloud.  Each of the three career categories in the quiz results and their corresponding key attributes listed above tie back to the essential skills I had dissected back in June.  

Your quiz results, of course, are only a starting point (or perhaps a confirmation to what you had been leaning towards already).  There is more work to be done by researching what these types of jobs entail and pursuing informational interviews with people occupying such roles.  To that end, LinkedIn and your law school directory will be godsends. 

I hope you gleaned some insights into your work preferences and matching career options that would allow you to leverage the skills you gained in law school without the drudgery of billable hours. (I’m only saying what you’re probably thinking!)  With a little bit of legwork you are bound to find the right job that will keep you engaged and happy in your chosen profession.  Or at least as happy as one can be when your job is not beach bum or ski bunny (which are surely JD Preferred roles, amirite?).  Remember, whatever you choose to do with your law degree, it is a choice.  

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