Testing for the Right Skills
Personality attributes and life skills make for a good lawyer, according to researchers at UC-Berkley. While good grades, test scores and brains will get a student into law school and later help in finding a job as an attorney; other skills such as listening, reasoning and creativity will make for a good lawyer.
Ironically, law schools across the country currently cannot test an applicant for these skills. Instead, schools depend heavily on LSAT scores. LSATs can, to an extent, gauge the academic success of a law school student, but cannot test for the skills that contribute to making a good attorney.
UC-Berkley hopes to change this. Researchers have been conducting a study for the last six years to determine factors that make an attorney successful. Eventually, the group hopes to develop a test that will help institutions evaluate the needed skill set.
Source: “New cross exam: What makes a good lawyer?”, Judy Jacobs, San Francisco Business Times, June 23, 2006, http://eastbay.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/2006/06/26/focus1.html