[ Mara Masters, 1L at Emory Law ]
I love personality typing systems. Of course, none of them are completely accurate or wholly encapsulating, but I find them so fascinating as mechanisms for understanding myself and other people. The Enneagram is a personality typing system based on nine central fears/desires. Each type has a wing (the number directly to the right and left of it on the circle), and a type it goes to in both stress and growth (location of integration and disintegration). It’s all very complicated, but just for fun, I’ve boiled each very complicated type down to just the law school stereotype you might see associated with each. Enjoy!
Type 1: The Reformer – The Type-A One
Ones often thrive in classes that have very clear, black and white rules, but may struggle in the classes that are a little mushier. There’s a good chance you will find the ones in your life hunkered over their color-coordinated flow chart, already prepared for exams six weeks into the semester.
Type 2: The Helper
Do twos exist in law school? I feel like twos are generally too nice for law school and instead are probably off finding a more practical solution to all the world’s ailments. Twos, are you out there?
Type 3: The Achiever – The Moot Court Champion
I have to say that I love being the type that I am, but if I could trade, I would probably want to be a three. Threes seem to have this kind of innate understanding of how the legal professional world works. They always seem prepared and put-together, even when they aren’t. The rest of us are just grateful to bask in their presence.
Type 4: The Individualist – The President of NLG
There’s a good possibility that you will find the fours outside smoking a cigarette or skipping class to attend a political rally for a cause they care passionately about. Fours tend to bring emotional depth to any situation, which – let’s be honest – we law students need.
Type 5: The Investigator – The Research Assistant
Type fives are probably the ones who check out library books unrelated to any of their classes and spend their time obsessively researching tangential subjects. Fives might have one research assistant position, but be in talks with several other professors about the research projects they are working on. Fives probably love the law, even though the fact that they never do their class reading may make it seem like they don’t.
Type 6: The Loyalist – the Law School Mom
I think sixes are one of the most diverse and most misunderstood types. Literature about them tends to present them as the fearful, anxious ones, always on the lookout for danger. This is certainly true of some of them, but my two closest friends are sixes and they are the best problem-solvers I know. They are experts at cause and effect, which is not only great for those issue spotter exam questions, but also great for people like me who are trying to learn boundaries and not heap too much on my plate.
Type 7: The Enthusiast – the SBA Social Chair
Sevens tend to be the most extraverted and fun people. They are driven by that desire to see and do everything, and generally want to have fun. This doesn’t mean the sevens aren’t also brilliant, though. They may spend their free time organizing the Barrister’s Ball open bar, but chances are they mastered the rule against perpetuities during an unrelated game of backgammon.
Type 8: The Challenger – The Natural Litigator
The challenger may have come to class straight from the gym, sat down in their chair, and then proceeded to correct or clarify a comment or error made by the professor. Challengers are confident, articulate, and persuasive. Eights are natural defenders, always looking out for injustice and fighting for the underdog. I am so grateful for eights because they are often the ones who spot a mistake in the syllabus and email the professor about it. I have had many eight friends who have gotten deadlines extended and classes canceled.
Type 9: The Peacemaker – The Secretly Smart One
Nines generally don’t want to rock the boat, so chances are, they have been studying alone on the silent floor of the library every day, and then quietly score in the top 10%. The thing about nines that is so amazing though, is that they would never tell you that, because they want to build you up rather than risk making you feel bad about yourself. Nines are excellent mediators and transactional attorneys, but any team that has a nine is lucky to have them.
If you are curious, there are definitely tests out there, but they are often not comprehensive enough to be super accurate. I think reading the type descriptions tends to be more productive. If none of them resonate, the relationship descriptions here are also super helpful.
Are you into personality types? Myers-Briggs? Reach out on Twitter and Instagram @the1lLife and let me know what your types are!