Should I Become a Civil Rights Lawyer? - Quiz & Self-Assessment Test

Civil rights lawyers have challenging but meaningful careers dedicated to upholding the rights of American citizens. Read on to learn more about this field and to determine if it might be a good career for you.

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Do I Have What It Takes To Be a Civil Rights Lawyer?

Do you believe everyone should be treated fairly? Are you passionately opposed to discrimination? Do you enjoy arguing these beliefs? If so, you have the makings of a civil rights lawyer. To see if you have the other skills and qualities you'll need in this career, answer these questions:

Do you think creatively? Yes or No
Are you dedicated to civil rights? Yes or No
Are you interested in a specific civil rights issue or special interest group? Yes or No
Are you adaptable? Yes or No
Are you open-minded? Yes or No
Are you interested in constitutional law? Yes or No
Are you are a skilled negotiator? Yes or No
Do you have strong interpersonal skills? Yes or No
Do you communicate well? Yes or No
Are you prepared for the postsecondary education requirements? Yes or No

What Do My Answers Mean?

Do you think creatively?

Courts and juries may not favor all civil rights matters so litigating these cases often requires creative ways of presenting claims.

Are you dedicated to civil rights?

To pursue this career, you should be passionate about civil rights. Because experience is valued by potential employers, you may want to begin volunteering in the field during school.

Are you interested in a specific civil rights issue or special interest group?

Many employers favor applicants who have experience in their civil rights specialization. Therefore, it is helpful to gain experience and training in one area rather than many different areas.

Are you adaptable?

As a civil rights lawyer, you may expect to enjoy great successes and disappointing failures. To be successful in this field you should be adaptable and perseverant.

Are you open-minded?

Civil rights attorneys are dedicated to making sure that their clients are treated fairly and that civil rights are not violated. To remain true to that mission, you will need to be objective and remain open-minded when working with a wide variety of people.

Are you interested in constitutional law?

Civil rights lawyers focus on constitutional law during law school and throughout their careers.

Are you a skilled negotiator?

As a civil rights lawyer, you may often need to work with opposing counsel to negotiate settlement terms that are agreeable to both parties.

Do you have strong interpersonal skills?

To excel as a civil rights lawyer, you should be a people person. Outstanding interpersonal skills are necessary to create strong professional networks and instill confidence in clients.

Do you communicate well?

Civil rights lawyers must present their claims and arguments clearly and persuasively both verbally and in writing.

Are you prepared for the postsecondary education requirements?

To become a civil rights lawyer, you may expect to spend four years earning a bachelor's degree and three additional years in law school.

What Else Should I Consider?

If most of the answers above described your interests and abilities, this could be a great career for you! You will want to look at law schools that offer concentrations in civil rights law and offer students hands-on experience working on civil rights cases. As a civil rights lawyer, you may choose to focus on the rights of a specific group of people, such as women or those with disabilities, or on a civil rights issue.

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