Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Testing "lawyerly talent"
The New York Times has an interesting story today about a study at the University of California, Berkeley, that looked at traits that a "good lawyer" should have. To find out what applicant traits should figure in admissions decisions at law schools, they coordinated individual interviews, focus groups and finally a survey of judges, law school professors, law firm clients and hundreds of graduates of Berkeley’s law school. Their survey produced a list of 26 characteristics, or “effectiveness factors,” like the ability to write, manage stress, listen, research the law and solve problems. The professors then collected examples from the Berkeley alumni of specific behavior by lawyers that were considered more or less effective. Using the test, the researchers developed a test that could be administered to law school applicants to measure their raw lawyerly talent.