Over the years, people have told me that lawyers are very smart. However, after being in business for quite a while I would say that while there are some very smart lawyers, and I would say somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 20% are, but not necessarily the rest. You see, there are a whole lot of lawyers and attorneys who are out there faking it so they can charge you more money. Not to mention the fact that it’s often paralegals and other folks in the office that are doing most of the work. Of course, rather than get on my high horse or go into some lawyer jokes, I’d like to talk to you about some research on this topic.
There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal on August 28, 2012 titled; “Study Shows Why Lawyers Are So Smart” by Sam Favate, which appeared in the Law Blog section, and I have no doubt that a group of lawyers were behind this study. The article noted that even those who merely study for the LSAT for 3-months or 100-hours achieve better results on specific parts of the IQ test. An MIT professor of neuroscience believes that the study isn’t so surprising as anytime the brain learns something new or foreign it creates new pathways, which is about what the researchers had reasoned because it seemed increase cross-brain communication.
Fine, no problem, and even though I have little use for lawyers and do not consider them smarter, I also realize that since they live and work in a fake made-up world, different from reality, they are working or learning in a totally new environment. Almost as if we threw you into a third world nation, in a village with different customs and a different language, you’d have to learn your way of getting along, and you’d develop different pathways as well.
Now then, I would submit to you that computer programmers also become smart and create new cross-brain communication pathways as they are diving into a whole new world. The same with mathematics or music, it appears to be a totally different realm. Those that do lots of traveling, or even taxicab drivers in New York as they learn the ins and outs of getting around town have been shown to also increase their intelligence levels and create new brain pathways.
Therefore, in conclusion I’d say that anyone that has to use their brain for something which is fairly foreign to them and a whole new way of thinking, it will increase their intelligence level to some degree. If we say that makes them smarter, then so be it. In that case lawyers are smarter to some extent. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it. If you are a lawyer, I willing to debate you on this topic at an intellectual level, but in this realm, I rule, and you can’t twist the law of nature in your favor. It is what it is.