Top 10 Characteristics Of The Best Attorneys In The World

  1. The Quality of College Attended

When I went to the University of Virginia Law School, I was surprised by the fact that most of the students in my class who were not from the state of Virginia had all gone to top colleges-Amherst, Stanford, Dartmouth, Harvard, Yale. This did not make a lot of sense to me. I had always been under the impression that people were admitted to law school based on a formula: A combination of their Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) score and grade point average. Obviously, something was going on.

While I have no way of knowing exactly what was going on, my belief is that the University of Virginia closely studied the undergraduate alma maters of the students it admitted. I feel that it did this because it believed that the college a student attended before law school was going to translate into the quality of the attorney the law school ultimately sent out into the world.

It requires an incredible degree of motivation to get into schools like Harvard, Stanford, Amherst and other top quality universities. Generally, you not only need to be very gifted intellectually; you need to have more to contribute as well. Outstanding leadership skills, a strong outside interest in something (one guy I know that went to Harvard was interested in bug collecting), or excelling in another discipline or extracurricular activity such as sports, the arts or other interests are all qualities that can help someone who wants to get into a great law school. In short, you need to show unusual potential that far exceeds just being intelligent.

I went to a private boarding school for high school and knew a guy who took the Scholastic Admissions Test (SAT) twice. The first time he missed two questions and got a 1580.He took it again trying to get a perfect score but only got a 1560.However, despite being a good student and such a gifted test taker, he really did not have that much to offer schools. He applied to every Ivy League school and was rejected by them all. The best school he could get into was the University of Michigan (as an in-state student.) Michigan is a great school. However, it is the sort of school where you will get in simply if you have great numbers.

I have nothing against state schools, and a ton of good attorneys come out of them. The point, though, is that it generally shows something if an attorney went to a highly selective school that looks at more than just numbers. What this means is that the attorney showed a high degree of motivation and was interesting from the time they were 15 years old or so. A student’s past is no guarantee of future success, but it does mean something when it comes to whether the person is likely to be an outstanding attorney in the future.