Career Counseling for Aspiring Lawyers

The Highlands Ability Battery and The Lawyers’ Report

The Highlands Ability Battery for Lawyers assessment and report was specifically designed to describe the natural attributes and talent of lawyers  – law students, entry-level lawyers and lawyers in transition.


The Highlands Ability Battery measures performance through work samples which were designed to replicate those functions which lawyers perform in their work. Most of the work samples are timed. The work samples tell us:

• Whether the lawyer is a generalist or a specialist. Most lawyers test as specialists. As a result, they tend to focus on their own projects and develop their own areas of knowledge. This helps law firms to develop a broad range of “experts,” each contributing his or her own special knowledge.

• Whether the lawyer is an introvert or an extrovert. Again, lawyers are more likely to be extroverts than introverts, whereas the general public is more evenly divided between the two. Some lawyers test as ambiverts, an attribute that includes elements of both extroversion and introversion.

• How does a lawyer typically regard time as an element of planning and maturation? Most lawyers exhibit a long time sense, i.e., they have the ability to plan towards goals that they know they will not reach for many years. Foresight is a critical quality for lawyers. How else can they adjust to the competition for partnership or the rigors of appellate work or the dedication to a long-term client?

• How does a lawyer go about solving the problems he has to deal with? Lawyers approach problems either diagnostically or analytically. A lawyer who thinks diagnostically has the ability to see relationships among seemingly unrelated facts or objects. Often, he is able to see the right solution quickly. On the other hand, a lawyer who approached his problems analytically has the ability and the need to put facts and objects in their logical order before reaching a solution. Some lawyers diagnose first but wait for logical analysis before they announce a decision.

• How adept is a lawyer at contributing new ideas? The problems facing lawyers can often be solved by resorting to experience. Sometimes, however, the problem is new and requires a new approach. A lawyer who is quick at creating and contributing new ideas will lead the way, but he may need to be restrained by other lawyers who have the ability to measure the quality of an idea. Most lawyers excel at idea production.

• How does a lawyer approach the theoretical and the tangible? Most lawyers think in abstractions. They do not have the ability of an architect, engineer or surgeon to see and manipulate objects floating in space. These lawyers excel in those specialized areas which require expression in thought or language. Lawyers who can see and focus on tangible objects will be happy in patent law, real estate law or construction.

• How does a lawyer learn? What is the hierarchy among his or her learning channels? We know that students learn by reading or listening. We need to know which one of these abilities is dominant in the individual. Our schools are organized to promote both, but we need to recognize that they may differ from one individual to another. We also need to understand and test three other abilities which contribute to the learning process – design memory, rhythm memory and number memory. The Highlands Lawyers’ Report contains a chart showing the ranking of the learning channels for each lawyer.

• How well does a lawyer score in the other abilities we test on the Ability Battery? We test the ability to discern changes in the visual environment (observation). Lawyers score in the high range of this work sample. We also test pitch discrimination and visual speed and accuracy. Lawyers test in the same ranges as the general public in these work samples.

• How well do lawyers use the English language? This is where lawyers shine. Though knowledge of Vocabulary is developed through practice and diligence and does not qualify as a natural ability, woe unto the lawyer who is not in the high range of this work sample. The major functions of lawyers are to write and speak. They need to perform both functions with clarity and precision. Although knowledge of words does not guarantee quality of expression, it is indispensable to the communication of ideas.

When you finish the Highlands Ability Battery for Lawyers, you will get a detailed 32-page report of your core abilities, and a three-hour feedback session to explain the results of the test which is conducted in person or over the phone.

Highlands Ability Battery for Lawyers $550

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