A study by professors at  the University of California, Berkeley, has concluded that the Law School Admission Test is "not particularly useful" in predicting an aspiring lawyer’s effectiveness in the profession after law school. 

The study included a survey that produced a list of  26 effectiveness factors with 8 umbrella categories.  They are not yet to a point of winning widespread acceptance of a substitute for the LSAT, but it’s a start.

And it would be good if they could recruit a generation of law professors who have more than a couple of years experience in real world law practice. Most law school professors have little experience outside academia other than having clerked for an appellate judge and perhaps having spent a couple of years writing briefs and toting someone else’s briefcase at a huge law firm. 

The list of "effectiveness factors" listed by categories includes:

1 : Intellectual & Cognitive
· Analysis and Reasoning
· Creativity/Innovation
· Problem Solving
· Practical Judgment

2: Research & Information Gathering
· Researching the Law
· Fact Finding
· Questioning and Interviewing

3: Communications
· Influencing and Advocating
· Writing
· Speaking
· Listening

4: Planning and Organizing
· Strategic Planning
· Organizing and Managing One’s Own Work
· Organizing and Managing Others (Staff/Colleagues)

5: Conflict Resolution

· Negotiation Skills
· Able to See the World Through the Eyes of Others


Ken Shigley is  currently Secretary of the nearly 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia.  He is a  trial attorney in Atlanta, who has been listed as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale).  A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury and burn injury cases.