Legal Industry Boasts Average IQs?

What happens when you combine the strong self esteem and the unshakable self image of the modern warrior-lawyer, and the research into their IQs relative to the rest of the population?  Panic, defensiveness, and clichés, of course!

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Study reveals lawyers’ IQs are more in line with mere mortals’
by Kit Chellel

News that the relative intelligence of the legal profession could be in decline sparked a storm of debate on

The study, carried out by the Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) at Bristol University, suggested that lawyers have moved closer to average intelligence over the past 12 years.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many readers found this difficult to swallow. “The law employs, as it has always done, the finest minds in the City,” protested one commenter.

Others were more circumspect. “I think it’s about right. I went to law school after being addicted to Ally McBeal,” admitted an anonymous poster.

So have lawyers dumbed down during the past decade, and what does this research say about the intellectual state of the profession?

Far from poking a mocking finger at young lawyers, the study was carried out for a specific purpose. Researchers wanted to look into the barriers apparently preventing many people from poorer backgrounds from making it into certain careers.

The Government’s new social mobility supremo Alan Milburn has admitted that “too few youngsters from comprehensive schools are becoming lawyers, doctors or army officers”.

The first defence of any law firm or chambers when confronted with this fact is that they hire purely on merit, regardless of background.

The CMPO study challenges this argument. It found that, although the comparative wealth of lawyers’ parents had increased between the two study groups – born in 1958 and 1970 – their scores in IQ tests had moved closer to the average.


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