#16: The Best Personality Tests for Lawyers

On today’s show, I’m talking about personality types and specifically how they affect people in the legal profession. I share four different types of personality tests that you can take, and reveal how each one has helped me grow and better understand myself on my own journey.

Things you will learn in this episode:

  • What is the Myers-Briggs personality test and the history behind it?
  • My MBTI results and why I feel I was chosen for promotions in the male-dominated legal industry because of it
  • How the Gallup StrengthsFinder and Caliper tests can help you embrace your strengths and improve your weaknesses at work
  • Embarrassing results from my tests and why I hesitate to share them
  • Why the VIA Survey is my favorite and helps you express yourself more authentically at work and home
  • The key to finding the right personality tests for you


Myers-Briggs Type Indicator


VIA Survey




Lawyer Brain


Book: StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath


Right-click here to download this episode.


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Professional Bio

Heather Joy Hubbard is an attorney, speaker, author, and strategic coach. Through her personal and professional development company, she helps attorneys reduce stress, manage priorities, and build a book of business. Prior to her work helping professionals find more balance and success, Heather was a partner and practice group leader at an AmLaw 200 firm. She has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Copyright, Trademark, Intellectual Property Litigation and Patent Litigation, Mid-South SuperLawyers, Benchmark Litigation and Managing IP Stars. She was also named one of Nashville's Top 40 under 40 by the Nashville Business Journal. Heather graduated  summa cum laude   from the University of Louisville and received her  juris doctorate  from Vanderbilt University Law School.

3 comments to " #16: The Best Personality Tests for Lawyers "
  • Andrea

    I recently discovered your podcast and have been really enjoying it! I had to come back and comment on this one about personality types since I just started listening to Gretchen Rubin’s newest book, The Four Tendencies. Are you familiar with it? It’s all about whether/how you respond to inner expectations and outer expectations. She developed the framework when she wrote Better Than Before (which I highly recommend!) There’s a link to her quiz here. https://gretchenrubin.com/2015/01/ta-da-the-launch-of-my-quiz-on-the-four-tendencies-learn-about-yourself/ Understanding the framework has really helped me understand myself but also other people (when I can ID their type). I’m a Questioner, which means I respond to inner expectations, therefore have good intrinsic motivation, but I struggle with outer expectations unless I feel they are justified. I would guess that you are an Upholder, which means you respond to both inner and outer expectations. That is also Gretchen’s type. I think I lean toward Upholder because I very easily justify outer expectations (like one of her quiz question is if you’d stop at a stop sign at 3am when nobody else is there, and I totally would because I think traffic rules are important – this is probably why I’m a lawyer, I like rules!), but otherwise I’m still pretty squarely a Questioner.

    This also reminded me about the concept of Growth Mindset versus Fixed Mindset (research/book by Carol Dweck). This isn’t a “personality type” as much as the others because it’s more a product of your childhood rather than an innate part of personality, and it can be shifted (although through my experience, only very slowly and with a lot of work). Recognizing that I had a fixed mindset has been super helpful to my self-awareness. Mindfulness has been really key in being able to move to a growth mindset since it helps me change my self-talk and beliefs about myself. Most of the articles I have read about Mindset it are in the parenting context (and there are oodles out there because it’s related to the hot topic of resilience), but here’s one that’s not specifically about children: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/29/carol-dweck-mindset/ This is about children but I think it’s a better review/explanation of the research (this was first article I read about this and it was a major lightbulb moment for me): http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/

    Maybe you’ve covered some of these in future episodes, I’m only up to #19 so far :)

    Also interesting, I took the VIA test and interestingly it almost completely lined up with my Strengthsfinder strengths, it was not super different like yours was. On VIA I was perspective, social intelligence, kindness, judgment, love of learning. On Strengthsfinder I’m empathy, connectedness, individualization, maximizer, learner.

    • Hi Andrea — Thanks for listening to the podcast and commenting! I’ve had several people recommend Gretchen’s book but I’ve not read it yet. Definitely on my to-do list and perhaps she’ll come on the show one day ;) I’m loving all of your recommendations and enjoy knowing there are other personal development junkies out there like myself. Changing learned behaviors can be difficult work but so worth it. Glad to know we’re on this journey together! Best, Heather

  • Melissa Andrews Carpenter

    I just recently found your podcast, which is why I’m commenting so late. I am really enjoying it. A few things hit me kind of sideways in this one. Maybe you’ve addressed it later on, but this is as far as I’ve listened. What I heard was to be successful as a woman you have to be like a man and I know that is not what you meant. I think we have to stop referring to certain traits as masculine and others as feminine. I don’t think there are any personality traits that are only found in one sex and not the other. Certainly there are certain traits that are found more predominately in males, but is that a construct of nature or nurture? Growing up most of my friends were males. I was often criticized for not being “lady like.” My competitive and aggressive nature was not something I was praised for. I avoided all things “feminine” because the message I received was that it was the weaker sex and I wasn’t weak. Flash forward to a roommate who showed me how to accept my “feminine” nature and that my “masculine” traits were not inconsistent with my “femininity.” I put these words in quotes because I don’t believe that these traits are feminine and masculine. Possession of “masculine” traits doesn’t make me any less female than “feminine” traits make anyone less male. These traits make up who I am and I don’t have to shun one to be true to the other. I get the implicit bias that may affect choices, which is why this talk of feminine v. masculine seems to continue to perpetuate the bias as it makes gender an inherent part of the discussion. Everyone has something to contribute and what makes this world turn is by taking the best from what everyone has to offer, regardless of gender. A couple of sources related to the topic that I found interesting were https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=584531641 and https://www.constangy.com/employment-labor-insider/board-alj-decision-vacated-for-sexism. Again, not being critical in the sense of being nasty, but just trying to add more to the discussion.

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