Why Lawyers Are So Smart – – The Science!

The first thing I saw when I opened today’s Wall Street Journal was an article entitled “Study Shows Why Lawyers Are So Smart.”  Of course I was flattered, but it turns out that there really is a scientific basis for this base flattery (ha ha). The article explains:

“Going to law school can be a life-changing experience. A new research paper says just studying for the law school entrance exam alters your brain structure – and could make you smarter.

Intensive study for the Law School Admission Test reinforces circuits in the brain and can bridge the gap between the right and left hemispheres, according to neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, in findings reported last week in the online journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.

These changes can improve reasoning ability and may increase a person’s IQ score, the researchers said.”

The article goes on to explain the researchers’ findings that brain pathways are malleable, and that the type of study involved in prepping for the LSAT and in the close reading and learning to understand the law that occurs in law school actually changes the brain to make it better at legal reasoning.

It’s nice to have scientific evidence that law school teaches students not just legal doctrine, but actually how to reason through legal issues and solve client problems.

The article can be found at this link:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20000872396390444230504577615443664768610.html

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3 responses to “Why Lawyers Are So Smart – – The Science!

  1. Wow! That is fascinating on several levels. Aside from being of interest to the lawyer, it shows that people can improve their intelligence.

  2. While interesting, if this information and the article are given without the context of how the brain changes in general, there is more significance given to this than is really warranted.

    Almost everything changes the way the brain develops and subsequently alters brain functioning. IQ as can be inferred by the article is largely subject to change it is not the “static” assessment measure many believe it to be.

  3. M. Anica Headley

    Um, this simply sounds like an advertisement for the LSAT, and a side note about the actual Law School experience. The truth is, the law school environment – the Professors, the summer clerkships or study and especially your colleagues – forces you to take your thinking to a different level, to think the way non-lawyer folks are often too lazy to think.

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