the Zealous

30 Oct 21

From the The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers:
While lawyers score well above the national average (115-130) in IQ, they score below the national average in emotional intelligence, as measured by the Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. Their lowest sub-score in this four-part assessment is in the first branch—accurately perceiving their own and others emotions, while their highest subscore is the third branch, understanding emotions, a more cognitive ability. Unfortunately, this means that while lawyers are able to competently reason about emotions and their implications, the emotional data that they are analyzing day in and day out is likely to be incomplete or inaccurate—lawyers are likely to be misreading what they themselves or others are feeling. The result is that lawyers are more likely than non-lawyers to be caught off guard by a disgruntled client, an overwhelmed associate or an angry partner, or even by their own powerful reactions.
30 Sep 21

A few years ago, the ABA presented a panel discussion, When Good Lawyers Make Bad Decisions, moderated by Serina Vash, a former prosecutor in the US Attorney's Office in New Jersey.

The panelists consisted of an acting FBI agent and three formerly-licensed lawyers, all of whom pled guilty to felonies. Each of these ex-lawyers had not only impeccable pedigrees (Princeton, Columbia, Univ. VA/London School of Economics), but were highly successful in their respective law practices—at least, up until the time the troubles for each of them began.

And their troubles began, tragically, as the consequence of enormous pressures in their personal lives. The discussion was mesmerizing. Each lawyer patiently and in great detail recounted his or her slow descent into ethical lapses and, eventually, criminality.