Thursday, March 12, 2009

Are Lawyers Getting Stupider?

I would not have thought it possible for lawyers to get more stupid, but according to a study from the Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) at Bristol University, the IQs of lawyers are dropping toward the population average. Thinking about the attorneys currently running the US government, however, it becomes easier to believe the decline. In fact, are they absolutely sure that average attorney IQ has not dropped below population average IQ?
The CMPO study.... found that, although the comparative wealth of lawyers’ parents had increased between the two study groups – born in 1958 and 1970 – their scores in IQ tests had moved closer to the average.

BPP College principle Carl Lygo argues that a relative fall in ability might not be such a bad thing. “This doesn’t surprise me,” he says. “Opportunities are ­widening – there are all kinds of people out there who need all kinds of different lawyers.”

He points to the growing number of people embarking on a law career, adding: “The law doesn’t need to be the ­preserve of the elite.”.....

.....Researchers tracked some 18,000 people from birth to age 34, recording vital data along the way. The 1970 group is the latest study (apart from one carried out in 2000, which is of little use when analysing today’s lawyers). The results of the 1970 survey were only released a couple of years ago and it was not until this year that the data was broken down by ability and income for each profession. The ­participants of the 1970 survey are now well established in law firms and ­chambers, making this the best data available, given that large-scale ­economic studies are thin on the ground. _The Lawyer_via TaxProfBlog_via_NewsAlert
If a pilot is incompetent, the plane may well crash. If the surgeon is incompetent, the patient may die or have the wrong leg amputated. But if a lawyer is incompetent, he fits right in with most of the other lawyers and judges, so there is generally no penalty.

Even if an attorney graduated from Harvard or Yale, due to affirmative action, grade inflation, and widespread cheating, there is little reason to expect him to be competent. Look at Obama. Case closed.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in AZ the local Justices of the Peace are elected, and as such are probably smarter than the average lawyer. The Az bar association however has a long term jihad against small claims judges without degrees, and especially against those that are elected.

The NY bar association is also waging such a holy way against the township judges of upstate NY, who are also elected.

In my perfect world, state supreme court judges would be elected, just like in Texas. I sincerely doubt elected state supremes could render worse decisions than the judges we have now. Also, appointments are for life, while elections come every four years.

2:28 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

Yes indeed. The kings of France were also kings for life. Some lived longer than others. ;0(

11:39 AM  

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