This blog post (Brazen Careerist) in which a woman explains why she did not practice law after law school describes the Renaissance Soul (coined by Margaret Lobenstine) or the Scanner (coined by Barbara Sher). Except in her post Emilie Wapnick calls this predisposition the mulitpotentialite. Renaissance Soul is my favorite of the three. Scannner sounds technological and multipontialite sounds pretentious.
What's a Renaissance Soul?
Most people view law school as a form of professional training– a means to an end. But to me, law was just one stop along an ever-evolving journey of exploration.
Before law school, I spent 4 years writing and producing short films. Before that, I designed websites and studied art and before that I wrote and performed songs, learned jazz guitar and taught myself audio production.
That’s what multipotentialites do. We find something new that fascinates us, dive in, absorb all we can and then when we feel satisfied, we move on to the next adventure.
It’s not that we’re unfocused or non-committal. In fact, we pour so much energy into
our pursuits, that we end up being extremely well-versed in many different disciplines. We’re fast learners because we’re driven by a need to understand.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret going to law school. I actually learned a lot of useful skills while I was there. It’s just that those skills aren’t going to help me be a good lawyer. They’re going to help in other ways.
Of course, there are many Renaissance Souls who find happiness in the legal profession. Years ago, I wrote a blog post in which I mentioned them. In deciding whether you want to practice law, knowing you are an RSer, a Scanner, a mulitpotentialite can be very helpful. (These people are often high in ideaphoria, defined here, too.) If you suspect you are an RSer, take this simple, unscientific quiz. Then read this book for tips on taking advantage of the gift of a Renaissance Soul.