Match a Criminal Justice Career to Your Personality

You may be considering a degree in criminal justice but are not sure if you have the right type of personality traits necessary to handle a particular criminal justice-related position. “All Criminal Justice Schools” has published an online article describing which criminal justice jobs match certain personality types. It is fascinating information, and this may help you decide which, if any, criminal justice degree is right for you. With so many careers available in the area of criminal justice, surely you will be able to find one that suits your personality.

CCU is only passing on this information conducted by this organization and is neither supporting nor discouraging any decision you make based on the information presented here. For instance, if you have always wanted to be a police officer but have none of the personality traits suggested for being a police officer, that does not mean you should abandon your dream of becoming a law enforcement officer. We simply suggest you read about all the different types of criminal justice jobs available and see which one may match your personality the best.

Personality Type #1: Detail oriented, highly organized, meets deadlines, and can follow directions carefully.

If that describes you, a career as a paralegal or court reporter may be of interest to you. Legal secretaries and paralegals (those terms are sometimes used interchangeably) must prepare legal correspondence that requires exact language. Court documents must be filed on time, and attention to detail is imperative because even the slightest mistake (even a typo) can cause a lawyer to lose a case.

Court reporters must record legal proceedings and meetings verbatim using a variety of devices such as a stenotype machine, electronic recording device or transcription. Attention to detail is imperative in a court reporting position because if you mis-type what someone has said, the entire case can be affected.

Personality Type #2: Born leader, take charge kind of person, would rather give orders than take them.

If this describes you, a law office manager may be exciting for you. This position requires a great deal of effective leadership ability, and you must run the day-to-day activities of busy law offices. You will supervise support staff, handle money, deal with vendors and keep the calendars for the attorneys. If there is conflict among staff members, you will be charged with managing that conflict and arriving at a peaceful solution. You will probably be in charge of interviewing and maybe even hiring and firing employees.

Corrections and probation offers are usually born leaders and enjoy being in “charge.” These positions require that you oversee many individuals (convicted criminals). You must create work assignments and make sure those assignments are adhered to, and you will have to supervise your subordinates. Probation officers have to follow a strict schedule of keeping up with their clients and maintain regular contact with offenders. You will help them find jobs and make sure they take their required drug/alcohol tests. If your clients commit a crime, you will have to submit sentencing recommendations and appear in court.

Personality type #3: Inquisitive and analytical.

If you are excited by gathering and evaluation information, formulating theories and investigating clues, you may enjoy the field of criminology. Criminologists study crimes and try to explain criminal behavior. One exciting aspect of being a criminologist is researching statistics and analyzing convicted criminals to help create a “profile” of the unsub (unknown subject). Law enforcement agencies will take the information you have provided and try to catch the suspect based on your findings.

Personality type #4 Natural problem solver.

If you handle stress well and often find that your family and friends come to you for solutions to their problems, then criminal justice careers that require problem solving techniques may be for you. Mediators are neutral parties who hear both sides of a legal dispute and try to settle matters outside a courtroom in an amicable way. You will hear of divorcing couples seeking out a mediator to avoid nasty proceedings that often happen during a divorce in a court of law.

Police officers must also be problem solvers. Their day is spent trying to figure out who committed a crime by gathering and analyzing evidence. Similar to police officers, security guards must protect private property, respond to crimes, and collect evidence for the law enforcement team.

Personality type #5 Interested in medicine/science.

There are many criminal justice careers available to people with a background in medicine and the sciences. Have you ever heard of a legal nurse consultant? They review and summarize medical records and health documents that will affect legal proceedings. They offer their medical expertise to attorneys.

Forensic specialists (CSI people) collect and examine the sometimes minute physical evidence left at crime scenes. They will often testify about their findings and offer their medical opinion based on what they discovered. Forensic specialists usually have advanced degrees as do forensic psychologists. A fascinating job, a forensic psychologist will analyze a suspect and present their psychological findings to the law enforcement and attorneys involved in the case. Forensic psychologists can be hired by the prosecution or the defense, or the judge in a case may request a neutral party serve as a forensic psychologist. If you already have a medical background or a psychology degree, this may be the job for you.

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