Conclusion

We no longer have to wonder what new lawyers need. We know what they need and they need more than we once thought. Intelligence, on its own, is not enough. Technical legal skills are not enough. They require a broader set of characteristics (or, the character quotient), professional competencies, and legal skills that, when taken together, produce a whole lawyer. When we value any one foundation, like intelligence, and when we value any one group of foundations, like legal skills, we shortchange not only the potential of that lawyer—we also shortchange the clients who rely on them.

For legal education to make meaningful strides, law schools and legal employers must work together. They must focus on the desired outcome—law school graduates who are ready to enter the profession—and build learning outcomes and educational and hiring models that serve that goal. When law schools educate students toward learning outcomes developed with feedback from employers and employers hire based on what they say they want, we will see law school graduates with high character quotients who embody the whole lawyer, we will see the employment gap shrink, we will see clients who are served by the most competent lawyers the system can produce, and we will ultimately see public trust in our system expand.