University of Denver

Phase One: Survey & Results

The first phase of our Foundations for Practice project identified the foundations that entry-level lawyers need to launch successful careers in the legal profession.

In a first-of-its-kind survey, we asked, "What makes a new lawyer successful?" More than 24,000 lawyers from all 50 states answered.

What we learned is that new lawyers need more than IQ and EQ to be successful. They also need CQ: Character Quotient. In fact, 76% of characteristics (thinks like integrity, work ethic, common sense, and resilience) were identified by a majority of respondents as necessary right out of law school.

Beyond character, new lawyers are successful when they come to the job with a broad blend of legal skills, professional competencies, and characteristics that comprise what we call the "whole lawyer."

Publications 
This report describes the Foundations for Practice survey and methodology used for the foundations and describes the demographics and practice-specific characteristics of the respondents.
This is the lead report in a series of reports that explore the results of the Foundations for Practice survey, which was designed to clarify the legal skills, professional competencies, and...
This report analyzes data from the Foundations for Practice survey regarding hiring practices and answers this question: How can employers hire new lawyers who have the foundations they desire?

For best results, use Google Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Firefox is not compatible. For more information, see our instructions.

This data visualization tool was created by Joseph Ryan, Head of the Center for Statistics and Visualization at the University of Denver

For best results, use Google Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Firefox is not compatible. For more information, see our instructions.

This data visualization tool was created by Joseph Ryan, Head of the Center for Statistics and Visualization at the University of Denver

IAALS identified leaders in the profession from diverse locations, practice settings, and affinity groups to guide our Foundations for Practice project.

Interim President and Chief Executive Officer (Ret.), WPX Energy, Inc.
Justice, Arizona Supreme Court
Chief Professional Development Officer, Hogan Lovells US LLP
Judge, Grand County Court, Fourteenth Judicial District of Colorado
Colorado Attorney General
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, DISH Network LLC
The Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant
Past President, National Conference of Bar Presidents
President, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell
ABA Past President
Attorney, Hamer Law Group
Executive Director, Washington State Bar Association
President & CEO, Public Advocates
President, National Conference of Bar Examiners
Training Director, Colorado State Public Defender
General Counsel, Rocket Lawyer
Former General Counsel & Secretary, Accenture PLC
Former Colorado Attorney General