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Why Should Litigators Care about the Lawyers IQ?

— June 29, 2021

Law is a mark of prestige, and lawyers are a part of that esteem, but an average IQ of lawyers and their emotional intelligence plays a great role in building their career. Learn why litigators should care about the lawyers IQ.

Everyone knows the intelligence quotient, or “IQ”. Most lawyers use their IQ and SAT and LSAT scores as a recognized proof of ability. But what is your emotional IQ? Why should you care?

Despite the trust of lawyers, some people even feel arrogant about their intellectual ability. In most cases, they indicate that they are unwilling or unable to access emotional data. Over the past few years, overwhelming evidence has emerged in the field of neuroscience, which finally ended the long-standing debate about the role of emotions in the workplace: research has shown that rational choices can affect impaired emotions.  

It has now been scientifically proven that when we use emotion and intelligence at the same time, we will make the best analysis and decision-making. Lawyers realize that to improve their work, they need to use other data about their own emotions and the emotions of other people to improve their cognitive abilities, and the average IQ of lawyers is always needed in every matter.

Emotional Intelligence

Generally, emotional intelligence denotes “the skills related to recognizing, using, understanding, and managing one’s emotional state and the emotional state of others to solve problems and regulate behavior”, as defined by Mayer and Salovey.  The model identifies four branches of EI, each of which reflects different skills. The first branch is emotion recognition, which can recognize a person’s feelings and the feelings of others, accurately express emotions, and distinguish between true and false emotional expressions. 

The second branch is the use of emotion. This includes the ability to access one’s emotions and change emotional mechanisms, use mood swings to view multiple points of view, and try different ways of solving problems (for example, using happy emotions to generate new ideas).

Image by Gabriella Clare Marino, via
Image by Gabriella Clare Marino, via

The third branch is understanding emotions, including the ability to understand emotional “chains”: how emotions transfer from one state to another, identifying the emotions that cause emotions, and understanding the relationships and complexity of emotions. 

The fourth branch is emotion management, which includes the ability to recognize emotional changes even when emotionally uncomfortable, the ability to deal with and solve emotional problems without suppressing emotions, and the ability to manage relationships. 

About Lawyers

A lawyer is one of the people with the highest IQ of all professions. Note: This is analytical intelligence, not emotional intelligence. They also have solid formal training and professional licenses. This does provide a certain degree of analytical accuracy. 

Is there a way to apply computational intelligence and emotional intelligence (CI and EI) in legal practice, and which functions require special training and interpersonal skills that machines cannot perform? Otherwise, what is the main role played by lawyers? What are the characteristics that distinguish effective human lawyers from mechanical lawyers? The short answer is that lawyers have analytical capabilities that enable them to identify client issues and apply legal expertise to provide solutions that match the client’s risk tolerance and goals. 

Good lawyers combine IQ and EQ. They combine intellectual agility and reading ability. Although some daily tasks (legal research, discovery analysis, statistical analysis) that support machine work can of course be performed by machines, only lawyers can synthesize and communicate.  Build trust in different ways (“I’m glad she is my lawyer! This requires EQ and CI. Experimental work requires a combination of CI and EQ, but other fields of activity are also applicable. 

The EI score obtained by lawyers is lower than that of the general public. This may be correct for a variety of reasons. Lawyers have always adopted the stoic/Puritan view that emotions are best excluded from legal analysis and therefore should also be excluded from emotional intelligence. If you are not disappointed, you can at least underestimate yourself. In addition, strong analytical skills can enable individual lawyers to achieve sufficient success to convince them that they do not need to develop their own EI skills. However, the impact of low EQ in the legal field is obvious. 

Persuasion in Law

The lawyer participated in the conviction. You must convince potential clients, colleagues, opposing lawyers, and arbitrators to resolve the dispute. How do lawyers do that? There are several common elements: legal experience, understanding of facts, understanding of the client’s purpose and risk tolerance, and the comprehensive ability to state facts and laws convincingly. This falls under the average IQ of lawyers.  

Then there is emotional intelligence: the lawyer’s personality and style. This is unique to humans. The core that separates humans from computational machines. CI-capable robots are programmed to have a personality and moral compass, but the ability to communicate with others is only humans possess. Machines are better than humans in extracting data, but humans bring data to life. 

Ci-capable machines cannot build trust like great lawyers. Take medicine where the machine has been used for decades. Robots sometimes perform operations, but the final decision is made by a doctor trusted by the patient. Patients, lawyers, and clients all rely on trust, and machines cannot replace trust. 


All in all, it can be said that the average IQ of lawyers, emotion, and emotional management significantly affect people’s feelings and behaviors at work and it affects every circumstance and decision of their lives. In the legal field, identifying emotional intelligence skills and IQ skills, providing training to improve the overall low emotional intelligence and EQ score will not only affect lawyers’ satisfaction and retention but also significantly improve their analysis and decision-making capabilities.  In addition, the ability to use competency-based assessments to identify the emotions of partners and employees who are best at handling their own emotions and others should prove useful for improving the management of law firms and legal departments. It is necessary to improve the EQ of lawyers even when they are most often judged based on their intelligence and knowledge. 

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